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Be more Egyptian during your interview…

I set up the interview initiative with the view to establish a learning platform that would allow people to access all of my learning from 10 years meeting and interviewing thousands of people.

I also set this up in the knowledge that I was likely to be away from the traditional office for the next 18 months and hoped to travel, which fortunately has happened so far.

Within this I’ve noticed some fascinating aspects at our first destination in Egypt that I think would help stand people in good stead when it comes to interviewing.

Thus far in Egypt I’ve found that a vast majority of people have been absolutely unafraid of what in western society we would view as confrontation and everyone has also shown incredible curiosity.

The confrontation is exemplified when it comes to haggling, personally I love it (especially when I’m the buyer) but in our western society it’s simply not done but often should be. Relating this to interviewing, on many occasions at the very final stage people will feel pressured to accept the first package offer made. Why though?

In this situation you should be informed about what’s the market rate and what’s fair. Knowledge is power, if I’m being charged $50 for a taxi and the going rate is $20, which has happened, then I’ve been ripped off but it feels like a win if your the taxi driver.

Some businesses view this in the similar light, they’ve secured the best talent for under market rate. It raises questions about the business culture but if it’s a business you want to work for, know your value and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Secondly, curiosity. Having ordered a coffee AND an orange juice for breakfast I was simply asked, why?

I’ve learnt now it’s very unusual it seems to order two drinks but how often would we be scared to ask that very simple question in a corporate environment.

Curiosity is so valuable and you won’t regret being curious in your interview process. However, often we are told we should be polite and not challenge too much during our interviews. You should have done plenty of research during your preparation so make sure to be completely confident when it comes to signing your contract. Ask the obvious questions and don’t be afraid of any discontent it might cause, you have every right to an answer.

There is so much we can learn from the people around us and the interview initiative programme will give you the confidence and ability to ask the simple questions to get the answers you need.


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