Every morning when I get to my computer I am amazed at how many companies have targeted me as someone who needs their product or service. But I take it calmly, because 99 percent of the time I’m not interested, of course, and I know that the email was sent to a wide audience.
I usually read at least some of the content because I was intrigued not by the content but by the company’s marketing tactics. However, I am amazed that all of these marketing gurus advocate overwhelming their audience. We know the average attention span for a person is 20 seconds, but reading the entire document would likely take more than 10 minutes. So my questions are: How many people are put off by the sheer size of an email? How many read at least part of the message? and, How many are convinced that the product or service is exactly what they need and end up buying it?
For my part, I am the type of person who needs quickly summarized information and has to remain curious; otherwise I delete without regrets, block the sender and move on.
What caught my eye this morning in particular was an email on the subject of “Winning, Answering Interviews”. The link to the website led to a listing of several potentially difficult interview questions – which, of course, were designed to improve the reader’s emotions. It reminded me of a common question life insurance sellers like to ask, “What happens to loved ones when you die?” Additionally, the site promised to build your sympathy. And your trust. Oh really? So easy? And all of this by downloading a bunch of PDF files and buying books which, if finished by tonight (!), Would be reduced by 40%. And to increase the trust of the readers, there is also an asset recommendation.
What struck me as frightening was the suggestion that reading the answers to such questions “hired” one. But actually, I’m a practicing professional career coach who specializes in training people for job interviews. And after 11 years of such practice and after 700 clients, I can confidently say that the allusion to employment is exaggerated.
Interview preparation is a complex task that involves more than just memorizing ready-made answers. I wonder if anyone thinks that by reading a book about dancing, you’re ready to jump on the dance floor and make a demonstration in front of an audience of critical judges. The only way I know of training people for interviews is to demonstrate for them, practice with them, give constructive criticism, and then do it over and over until it’s perfect. Please share your opinion. The value of these blogs lies in the comments of others.