How To Get An Interview

Nine years ago, I was hiring a personal assistant. We were still a pretty small company at the time, so the number of applicants wasn’t like it is today. But I was hiring for an assistant, which meant I was slammed.

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Image by Nomadic Lass via Flickr

The process was taking me a while. In fact, I hadn’t found anyone that I was excited about. There were definite possibilities, but nobody who I felt needed an interview. One day around 10 a.m., our Director of First Impressions called and said there was something for me at the front desk.

Sitting there was a little red gift bag with a handwritten card that read, “Start your week off right. Call me in for an interview!” Inside the bag was a little four-count box of Russell Stover chocolates. Guess what happened next? Yep, she got an interview. Why? Because anyone who’s willing to go to those lengths to get my attention deserves a call.

I interviewed her, but she wasn’t the right person for the job. However, I wouldn’t have known that if she hadn’t left that little gift for me. Why? I had already passed up her resume. It looked good, but not great. But her go-getter attitude made me take an extra look!

The great thing is, this technique works in a lot of situations. Especially in sales. Yes, you can bribe your way into a sales “interview.” I always tell people that until you know who we are, we’re just salespeople to you. If you don’t understand that we are actually changing family trees, you probably just think we’re trying to sell something.

Once you know how revolutionary our information is, you become a huge fan. But first, we have to capture your attention. Here are some simple ways to do that with someone you want an audience with:

  • Know your audience. Truly understand who it is you’re trying to meet with. Is it a guy? Is it a girl? Is it a team of people? If so, what’s their makeup? Getting to know who it is will help you know how to get their attention.
  • Think! What you do doesn’t have to be extraordinary, just thoughtful. A small, four-count box of chocolates got my attention. Honestly, a stainless steel coffee mug probably wouldn’t have. If it was a plant, not so much. A bag of freshly roasted coffee beans from a local independent coffee shop, definitely!
  • Be proportionate. The job I was hiring for nine years ago was paying in the mid-20s. A small box of chocolates was fantastic. If the job is paying six figures, then you might want to step up your game a bit.

Are any of these deal breakers? Of course not, but using any one of these tips just might lead to the thing that gets you in front of someone who’s too busy to realize that you’re the gem they’re looking for!

How have you tried to get someone’s attention? Did it work?



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

2 thoughts on “How To Get An Interview”

  1. Seth Godin would call this permission marketing. Resumes are just interruptions… like traditional ads. They’re becoming less useful by the day. Thanks for the story here! Great application to sales, marketing and small biz too.

    I used a similar approach to help get some leaders at our church “on board” with FPU. It’s been a little bit of a struggle to get leadership support. Even though we’ve had FPU for about two years now, there is little promotion allowed and never any mention from stage on Sunday. The church is somewhat typical in the fact that we don’t like to talk about money often.

    My wife and I decided to give our leadership team and their spouse tickets to the Live Event a few weeks ago (KC). It got their attention. They loved the event, and I anticipate that it will lead to more support of FPU.

    In fact, last weekend one of the pastors that attended the Live Event gave the message. Even though it was on “Equipping ourselves with the armor of God” (Eph. 6), he worked in five “debt is evil” references … I counted.

    I’d say it got their attention. Keep up the great content here. I enjoy reading your posts.

    1. That is AWESOME Josh!!! People come to me about that all the time. They always tell me that their pastor isn’t on board and they don’t know what to do. I tell them to do exactly what you did: get them to a Live Event and they will be on fire. If not an LE, get them in an FPU class.

      Great job brother! Hmmm…that would make a great post by the way. 🙂

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