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Characteristics of Success in Club Management Interviewing

Search AmericaBy Harvey M. WeinerManaging Partner
Search America

Q.  How does my approach to a job search effect a recruiter or a prospective employer's impression of me as a candidate?

 An astute recruiter / interviewer visualizes an applicant first as a candidate, then as an employee. By observing your behavior and comparing it to that which we know to be successful characteristics in others, we may be able to predict your on-the-job performance. Here are several traits you must demonstrate throughout the interviewing process:

 Tenacity You get people to speak with and meet with you. Nobody wants to employ an executive who gives up after just one try.

 Realistic You do your homework; know when to charge and when to back off.  Nobody wants to employ someone who perpetually runs at full tilt over cliffs.

 Focused concentrate on specific targeted opportunities. Use a rifle rather than a buckshot approach. Focus tells a prospective employer you will not waste his or your time on insignificant busy work.

 Self-reliant Eager to take on new challenges, you wake early, get the jump on others, seek opportunities for growth and don't wait for someone to tell you what to do next.

 Resilient Mistakes are inevitable and educational. If turned down do you find out why and learn from the experience? Winners demonstrate the ability to grow from adversity. They strive not for perfection but for excellence.

 Selective You're not content to simply accept the first job you hear about. You energetically work at pursuing and getting the right job. This tells us you won't jump at just any opportunity that comes your way later or make gut-feel decisions which may prove costly to your employer.

 Persuasive You know your strengths and have the ability to sell yourself. By relating anecdotes, which
provide evidence of experience, you convince others of your ability to apply skill and knowledge to addressing their needs.

 Ethical You won't accept an offer and then leverage a better deal elsewhere.

A good recruiter is always on the lookout for candidates who have responsibly thought through the job-change process and can articulate why they are the best qualified to fill a particular search. In fact, the process itself can provide opportunities for a candidate to demonstrate competencies.

Q.  As search chairman for our club, I was astounded at some of the things applicants say. Please share some tips in your column that might help management candidates maximize their performance and minimize mistakes.

  Smart job seekers are informed job seekers. Before interviewing, at the minimum, you must learn something about the employer, their expectations and the job. When asked "Why are you interested in working here," you'd better be ready with a good answer.

Some hiring authorities define their role as "screening out" applicants. Sure, it's a negative approach but it does save lots of time. So if you're less prepared than others you won't stand a chance. Talk to colleagues, former employees, and current department heads.

Find out why the job is available. Ask to see the last two fiscal year's financial statements, secure Chamber of Commerce materials. Tour the area and the club before the interview so you can make some informed observations.

Here are some of the most outrageous questions I've actually heard. This is, unfortunately, far from a comprehensive list. They just keep coming:

What psychiatric care benefits do you have available?
What is the president's zodiac sign?
How do you feel about the manager putting together his own Saturday morning foursome?
What is your policy regarding the manager drinking on the property?
What hours do you expect me to work?
Can my children enter club tournaments?
When will I be eligible for my first vacation?
Do you mind if I wear slippers in the office?
How do you feel about a manager getting divorced after he's been here a year or two?
What is the club's policy regarding the manager being away frequently to attend to trade association business?
Just how many committee meetings do you expect the manager to attend? Really?
How high could the food cost go before you worry?
How many warnings would I get before being fired?
What color is the manager's car?

 I seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. What can I do to break this cycle?

 Mental health professionals say a sure sign of illness is when a person does exactly the same thing over and over again and expects different results each time. A lesson tends to be repeated until learned. It may be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. But, once learned, you move on to the next lesson.

Learning does not end. Everything we do in life contains lessons. If you are alive, there will always be more lessons to learn. Doesn't that beat the alternative?

Harvey Weiner, Managing Partner of Search America private club management search & consulting, is an agenda-setting, trusted advisor to club leadership since 1974. 800.977.1784 
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