Beyond the job description

Recently, a client asked me to help sit in the interview as a guest panelist for the role of Executive Director. These are some of the requests you cannot refuse. We are in the era of client retention and customer loyalty. This was my opportunity to deepen the client relationship.

I quickly asked for the following:

  1. Was the job advert placed in the newspapers or the website? If yes, share a copy of the advert.
  2. A copy of the detailed job description with a clear scorecard and KPIs. Is it available? Share a copy. If not,
  3. The candidate’s curriculum vitae and qualifications and a summary thereof.
  4. The indicative interview questions and expected responses
  5. The panel interview scoresheet
  6. Which panelists to ask which area
  7. Brief about the company and the ideal candidate

These questions helped the client improve their interviewing process.
When I joined Ernst & Young as an auditor and then IT consultant, my then boss asked me to help shortlist applications for a manager role. Most audit firms have an executive selection department where they help recruit for clients. At the time, I thought being asked to review a pile of over 500 applications to shortlist them against the minimum job requirements was a very low-end job.

At first, I protested. My then boss, being a calm man, assured me how this was a critical training for me for my career. He said “You are not doing this for EY or me. It will help your career immensely. Just knowing how others would assess your job application is great insights for your success.” He was spot on.

When I began my own firm, I recalled this experience.

And most important, when the client asked me to help sit in their interview panel, I added a lot of value and was retained to provide on-boarding services support.

What are you doing over and above your current job description? Do not be rigid. Ask to give a hand and be open-minded. Learn.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved.

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