By Allan Thomas Chiulli, DigElearn
December 15, 2018
Most people, in an interview, emphasize their experience, accomplishments, honors and education. After all, a person should rightfully be proud of who they are and what they have accomplished. Therefore, it appears to make sense to focus on these areas in an interview, sprinkle in a few questions about the company and its competitors and conclude, at the end of the interview, “That went well!”
Unfortunately, the idea that most of this interview is backwards-looking usually never enters their mind. It is only after never hearing back from the company again does one begin to suspect something went wrong, but this silence does not enable a person to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. In fact, it is likely that the questions this person did NOT ask is what ruined their chances. Worst of all, no one will tell them this. In the end, sadly, this person is certainly qualified, but probably still unemployed.
It appears to make sense to focus on these areas in an interview,
sprinkle in a few questions about the company and its competitors
and conclude, at the end of the interview, “That went well!”
Digital Savvy people, however, approach interviews differently. Areas such as experience, accomplishments, honors and education are important, but they are on the resume for anyone to review. Five, maybe ten minutes is spent on these areas as the Digital Savvy person has much more important things to talk about.
The critical element of a Digital Savvy person’s interview is how they actively engage – probing different areas of Digital Transformation, asking questions, seeking explanations, making suggestions, creating discussions, exchanging ideas – about a company’s Digital Transformation Strategy. This person’s ability to help a company address its digital challenges are clearly emphasized and carefully articulated. The Digital Savvy use the interview process to engage in a give-and-take, back-and-forth experience that clearly demonstrates that they provide critical digital knowledge, skills and perspective that an organization needs in a Digital Age.
So, let’s think about it from the interviewer’s perspective: Who would you hire? The “Qualified” person who displays competence over their career (but who doesn’t understand the Digital Age) or the “Needed” person that can come in and rock it in the Digital Age? In the end, the Qualified person gets silence and the Needed person (the Digital Savvy person) gets the opportunity.
The critical element of a Digital Savvy person’s
interview is how they actively engage.
Now, let’s illustrate this different approach: What are the types of questions a Digital Savvy person might ask in an interview? Well, in case you do not know, here is a list of 15 Questions that Digital Savvy people are likely to ask in an interview.
First, however, please understand that these are not “Yes” or “No” questions (unless the person doing the interview is digital obsolete!). Rather, each question is an opportunity to explore and engage where the direction an organization is heading, the strategy they are using, the challenges they face, the resources they are expending and where you could contribute to their Digital Transformation Strategy.
The Qualified person spends their time talking about what they did five or ten years ago while the Digital Savvy person sells themselves as they explore how they can help an organization prosper today and tomorrow in a Digital Age.
Get it? Each question is an opportunity to sell yourself!
Here are the 15 questions (in no special order):
1) How are you using machine learning, chatbots and natural language processing to improve your company’s UX (user experience)?
2) How are you employing The Cloud to create and scale new business models and initiatives?
3) How does validated learning from continuous experiments factor into your data analysis for decision-making?
4) How many experiments are you running per quarter and what is your process (dashboard?) to monitor and evaluate progress, success, failure, validated learning, scale up and drop decisions?
Each question is an
opportunity to sell yourself!
5) How do you communicate and collaborate your Digital Transformation Strategy to your employees, partners, vendors, customers and other stakeholders?
6) How are you using continuous experiments, validated learning, small teams and gig workers to create a continuous ideation and innovation process across your entire organization?
7) Who is ultimately responsible for the success of your Digital Transformation Strategy, why was this person chosen and how is “success” defined by your organization?
8) How are you using validated learning to develop and refine your buyer journey, buyer personas and sales funnel?
9) How is the Platform Revolution helping and/or hurting your organization and what is your next step to leverage Platforms?
10) What are the digital threats that today you might consider a “gradual” threat today, but that could arrive “suddenly”? What are the similar opportunities?
The Digital Savvy person sells themselves as they
explore how they can help an organization
prosper today and tomorrow in a Digital Age.
11) Does, and if so, how does the convergence of technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), robotics and 3D printing, factor into your long-term plans for Digital Transformation?
12) How does GDPR impact your business and data environment and does GDPR constitute a threat or competitive advantage?
13) How does Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain impact your Digital Transformation Strategy in the near and long term?
14) Are you creating or investing in Startups and where do you see Startups as a threat or opportunity?
15) How do you keep your employees up-to-date on the most recent trends in Digital Transformation and Disruption?
And, as a reward for reading this far, here are five more questions that a Digital Savvy person may ask in an interview:
1) What is the best example of the digital convergence of technologies (such as AI, Big Data, Blockchain, Cloud, IoT and AR/VR) that you have experienced and how did it help this organization?
2) Where do you think your Digital Transformation Strategy faces its biggest challenges?
3) How do you see radical personalization, best possible journey and omnichannel marketing as an opportunity for your organization?
4) How could tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Alibaba enter your market by leveraging their platforms, AI, data and UX?
5) Most importantly, what is your plan to create a UX that is the envy of the industry and how important to you is this mission?
Now, I have two questions for you to think about:
1) How many of these questions would you ask if you did not read this blog?
2) Has omitting these digital perspective questions hurt you in past interviews?
Now, you can only use a few of these questions in a single interview and (obviously) many are not applicable to all circumstances. Still, let’s look at the bigger picture: By illustrating the type of questions that Digital Savvy people ask in an interview, you can hopefully develop a better handle on the thinking and perspective used to create the specific questions that you should ask in your next interview.
Has omitting these digital perspective
questions hurt you in past interviews?
Also, the key to your digital success is not simply asking the questions, but in understanding the context of the questions, which allows you to ask the question and begin digital engagement on the subject. Through your digital engagement, you demonstrate how you can help this organization address their challenges in a Digital Age. And, that is how, in an interview, you transform from Qualified to Needed!
The key to your digital success is in
understanding the context of the questions.
I know the difference between Qualified versus Needed from my own personal experience. Despite my status as an author, I still get contacted for positions periodically and always accept an interview opportunity. However, there is a huge difference between my interviews from before I began my journey to Digital Savvy and now. Before, I took the traditional route and got silence in return. And, I would wonder why.
Now, I engage in a Digital Savvy discussion from the get-go! I skip the entire experience, accomplishments, honors and education thing. The results are quite difference: Now, I often not only receive job offers, but I also receive offers to join firms as a partner. Same person, but two very different results.
Now, I engage in a Digital Savvy
discussion from the get-go!
So, if you look at these questions and do not feel comfortable asking them, that’s fine too. There is hope! There is empowerment! You can become Digital Savvy! Our new book “Winning in the Digital Tornado” and membership website at www.DigElearn.com provide a step-by-step, easy-to-follow and easy-to understand Path to Digital Savvy. In this flexible, time-efficient and minimal investment learning experience, I share my own journey in the Digital Tornado and our incredible Path to Digital Savvy.
Using these resources, you can become Digital Savvy. It all up to you. You just have to decide to do it. You will Win in the Digital Tornado!
Please check us out at www.DigElearn.com.
Allan Thomas Chiulli is the co-founder of DigElearn, an online digital learning membership experience at www.DigElearn.com and the author of Winning in the Digital Tornado. Both are guides to digital transformation for business and technical people needing to catch up and stay ahead of digital transformation. Readers may take a free quiz to measure their Digital Savvy at www.DigElearn.com.