How Top Executives Read And Assess You From The Smallest Things
I’ll tell you how top executives and successful hiring managers do this. They understand and apply a simple, two-word concept when viewing and assessing others. The concept is, Everything Counts!
In my own recruitment firm, I emphasize these two words to every new recruitment associate and consultant who joins our company. I do this because the successful companies and executives that we work with apply these words when evaluating the candidates that we introduce to them.
The basic idea behind Everything Counts
There are two important things to understand about this Everything Counts concept. The first is that everything a person says and does represents something about them. In fact, this even applies to the things they don’t say and don’t do.
The second is that, in the business world, there’s a certain consistency in the behavior and orientation of high-caliber people. For instance,
Excellent people are always excellent
Professional people are always professional
Mature people are always mature
People who really care about quality always care about quality
For instance, if you’re someone who’s reached a level of excellence, why would you ever represent yourself as less than this to others? If you’re mature or highly professional, why would you ever be less than these in front of others? The answer is, you wouldn’t. Nobody wants or tries to be less than they are.
However, in business situations and job interviews, people are always trying to impress you and be more than they are. In doing so, they may come across a certain way for a while. Then, suddenly, they do or say something that’s unimpressive or undesirable. It’s different or less than everything else about them up to then.
What you may ignore, they don’t
Most people will ignore the sign. They justify and overlook it. However, experienced executives will trust their instincts and internal sense. Instead of ignoring these signs, they’ll form their judgment and assessment of the person largely based on them. In their mind, these signs represent the true level of how the person really thinks and does things.
You may think that judging others this way is unfair and overly critical. I mean, everyone has a bad day, may not be in a good mood, or doesn’t do things sometimes as well as they normally do, right? So how can you assess someone by just one thing he does or says, or doesn’t do or say?
Trust me, it happens all the time. Because in business situations, here’s the reality. If you do or say something in an unimpressive way, you don’t get a second chance to do it better. For example, if for whatever reason one of our consultants doesn’t do something well for our client, I’ve never heard one say, “Are you feeling okay? Are you having a bad day? Would you like to come back again and show us what you can really do?”
This just doesn’t happen. Successful people and companies don’t have the time or interest for excuses and explanations about why you’re not better than what they just saw or heard from you.
They Notice More Than You Think
Btw, I learned this Everything Counts concept from my former boss, an executive VP, whom I worked for after business school. After hiring me, he told me that the reason he pursued me was because of an MBA conference I helped organize, where he was a guest speaker. Actually, I didn’t interact with him that much during the event. And when I did, our conversations were casual and relaxed. But the event and our brief interactions were enough for him to assess my leadership and people skills, my drive to deliver a great result, and my overall orientation as a hardworking, down-to-earth person.
The fact is, most successful people have developed good instincts for sizing up people through their experience and success. They can form a clear sense of your capabilities, personality, values, and potential from just a single remark or observation. For example, when clients give us feedback on our candidates, beyond what they mention from their interview questions, they also mention the little things they notice. For instance,…
You don’t know anything about their company or business (low standards, low sense of purpose)
You arrive late, but don’t apologize or acknowledge that you’re late (not very professional)
You take a call during an interview (low self-awareness)
You say something that’s inconsistent with something you said earlier (not very credible)
You say a lot of negative things about your former company and boss (easy to complain).
Your inability or hesitation to give a straightforward response to a straightforward question (lack transparency).
You don’t make eye contact (lack of confidence or sincerity in what they say).
You don’t have any questions at the end of the interview (not very curious, not that motivated, or lack critical thinking)
Even Small Things Say A Lot About You To Others
The smallest things you say and do can reveal to others something about your level of professionalism, motivation, initiative, sense of accountability, attention to detail, quality sense, solutions- and team-orientation, etc. And the more experienced the person, the more they notice.
So if you’re someone who wants to become a person who can accurately assess others, understand and apply the concept of Everything Counts!And if you’re a candidate, never underestimate what others are noticing about you. Because if you want to be more successful in the business world, this is how high-caliber people view and assess you.