So I’m at home watching dragons den. What a great TV show. What interests me the most is how analogous the show and its process of “pitches” are with the process of going for a job interview. I actually spoke to a client recently who was somewhat despondent about the lack of research candidates had undertaken into the market when approaching their interview and how little hard factual information candidates had proffered during the meeting .
His view point was that “basically a basic salary is an illusion in that it doesn’t really exist. It only exists for the extent to which you are useful to the organization that gives it to you. Therefore when people come to me for a sales interview really they are pitching themselves to me for a non recoverable loan offset against sales that they make for as long as they continue to make sales for the business. In other words they are asking the dragons for an investment in which they get a franchise in the company. Now if they were to go their bank manager and ask for a loan with which to start a business then they would have to have researched their market and future business in minute detail and similarly would need to have a very cogent business plan to boot, and that is what I am expecting here”
As I sit here now and watch the dragons its mind blowing how people haven’t really thought their pitch before they go on the show. They make spurious claims about forthcoming orders and are unaware of the size of the market and what makes their offering unique. I’m often amazed at the extent to which people overvalue their businesses irrespective of how little the business has achieved.
So what are the main antagonists of the dragons? and what does it mean for interviewees?
1. Wishy Washy figures and sales figures – dragons hate words like “about” for example “we’ve sold about 20000 “ – be sure to be accurate with your sales figures past and present NEVER EVER say I did about 1 million last year etc”
2. lack of Intellectual Property – dragons don’t see value in products that anyone else can copy and that don’t have a quantifiable uniqueness – Have a serious think about what it is that makes you absolutely unique in the minds eye of prospective employers – WHAT ARE YOUR USP’s.
3. lack of research into the market – dragons hate it when inventors haven’t thought about the size of the market and haven’t researched it in proper detail – Think about it would you give a job to someone who didn’t know if the market in which you operated had potential to sustain them.
Anyway – the shows over now and the two guys with the magic wand remote controller got £200k for 10% of the business. It’s been a long day, we’ve had a couple of new job starters today and its time for bed so for that reason ……I’m out.