The Winning Difference-Beyond Words

Your team represents your organization and your interviews are seen as a reflection of your company. The effectiveness of your presentation is influenced by both the message (content) as well as the messengers (your interview team). Both will make effect whether you are selected or not.

Getting on the short list means you are qualified. The interview provides an opportunity for the owner to get something the SOQ can’t provide. Interviews give the owner a peek at who they might work with. It is important to understand that people are influenced by what they hear, what they see as well as what they feel.



Psychological research suggests that we make decisions first based on feeling then justify it based on logic. Think about any major decision you have made: a house, a car, a job, a spouse. Why did you make that choice? Are all purchases made because the option selected is the most affordable and practical? Or are there other elements that can influence our decisions?

I was leading a workshop for a large construction firm and posed the following question: Let’s say you are interviewing two prospective Project Managers: John and Marcus. Both have the experience and qualifications you are looking for. Both are creative problem solvers. Both could get the job done. You have one spot. Who gets it? What makes the difference? One estimator responded, “I’d pick the one I like best, the one I want to work with.”

BINGO! All things being equal, it comes down to a feeling.

We all want to work with people we like and trust and your panel is no different. So how can you help the panel feel you are the right choice?

Winning firms exhibit the following Qualities. I call them the 6 C’s
Confidence-They are good at what they do and they are comfortable speaking to the panel about what they know.
Competence-If you couldn’t build it you wouldn’t have made it to the interview. How do you set yourself apart form competition? Have you really done your homework? Do you know what really matters to this client on this job? Have you take the time to understand the important features of the project? Have you come up with creative solutions to potential challenges?
Credibility-They have relevant experience on comparable projects helping the panel to feel the firm s capable of managing the critical elements of the job.
Caring-They appear team-oriented, hard-working and passionate and proud of the work they do. They also seem genuinely interested in being part of project, working with the owner and stakeholders to make it a success.
Connection-Are you connecting with the panel? Does your team seem connected?
A Conversational Tone-While it is important to know your content. In certain circumstances, it is equally important that to sound like you are natural and just talking to the audience.