As the Director of Employee Development and Training at a Fitness Studio in Los Angeles, I’m responsible for interviewing and hiring intelligent and passionate fitness trainers. Usually, it’s their credentials (certified, years of experience, online presence) that get them to the interview, and then it’s up to them to sell me on why they are the perfect pick for the job.
I always start the interviews by giving some background about what we do, their job responsibilities, and the specific qualities we are looking for in a new hire. I keep it fun so that I can see all the potential candidates in their best light.
One question I love asking is “Tell me about a moment in your life where you played the role of ‘superhero’ and saved the day.” I’m not looking for an actual life-saving moment, though I’ve heard several. What I’m looking for is someone to demonstrate how they went above and beyond and took the initiative to provide a creative solution to a problem that others weren’t able to accomplish.
Sales people are the best at answering this question. When they know that their answer must convert a potential customer into a paying customer, they suddenly are able to think it through in advance and feel confident in the delivery.
It’s not as easy as you may think. In fact, most people are given a similar opportunity every day, and they blow it! Believe it or not, most people find this to be one of the most difficult questions in their interview process. It’s difficult to choose one shining moment when the pressure is on.
Whether it’s a job interview, potential sale, new client, or new relationship, knowing how to speak about your successes will make everyone in the room more comfortable working with you.
Here’s an outline of how you can best express your Superhero Moment:
- Problem: state the situation that was cause for distress (only the highlights that pertain to your solution)
- Solution: give a description of how you solved the problem (walk your audience through your thought process)
- Outcome: give a quantifiable result of your solution (numbers are easier to remember, so think of how fast, how much, how many, how often that you may be able to tie to your result)
- Reaction: give the qualifying reaction that others had to your success (emotions are easy to grasp without having to be remembered; this will leave the story on a positive note)
Give it a try! Think of a time you were incredibly proud of yourself. Walk through the above outline and then start looking for moments to share your Superhero moment!
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