Based on our in-person research with selection panel members and our work with many teams on complex projects, JTG has developed a strategic interview preparation process that:
- Turns nervous, inexperienced team members into confident, effective presenters.
- Achieves timely agreement on strategy and approach so preparation time is devoted to creating and polishing the interview presentation.
- Applies experience from past projects to current projects in way that is meaningful to the panel.
- Encourages team members to learn from each other.
- Enables a diverse group of professionals to collaborate about their different perspectives.
- Coaches professionally competent team members who need help demonstrating and speaking about their competencies.
- Addresses long-term client needs as well as project concerns such as budget and schedule.
- Crafts a conversational interview whenever possible as opposed to a one-way presentation.
- Provides a process for handling Q&A and interactive exercises.
- Enables team members to create and deliver memorable introductions.
- Employs visuals effectively to enhance a team’s expertise and create opportunities for interaction with the panel.
- Captures insights into the competition that leads to a high-level strategy for winning.
Implementing the Coaching Process
JTG works within the available time frame, taking into consideration in-house preparation that has already been accomplished.
Ideally, strategy sessions with the project’s team and those who write the proposal begin prior to the proposal being created. With both the writers and the team in the room for strategy development, the proposal-to-interview process is more efficient. Thus, as time grows short and the pressure of going to the interview is bearing down, strategy and tactics are already aligned.
More commonly, however, we begin working with the team after the team has been short-listed – or when they are quite certain that they will be. Because team members are all working on other projects for other clients, the sooner preparation for the interview begins, the more likely the team will be prepared.
And, yes, we do coach teams even when there is a very short time frame between being short-listed and the interview – even one session helps.
Scott did a great job bringing new team members together and helping the individual team members hone their presentation skills. His coaching across the spectrum of the big picture all the way down to the most subtle details helped get our team ready and our interview preparation was instrumental in winning the project. Well done Scott.”
Greg Hill, Principal
Karen’s good…we brought her in to help us with two projects for which she seemed ideally suited. She forces a rigor into the strategic thinking of our interviews. She drives us, pushes us out of our comfort zone, which we need to do. Anybody can sit in a room and critique you, but Karen focuses on the strategic message first. She makes you think. That’s the value she really brings.”
Dave Heater, Managing Principal