The 3 Minute Sell

I’ve now been part of several interviews for projects. Sometimes I am comfortable, sometimes I am painfully nervous, but somehow I have managed to make it through them in one piece…..it’s weird how I haven’t been in one of those interviews where they murder you and chop you into pieces. You would think the way I get anxious that it was coming at any moment.

I have learned that I definitely feed off the energy of the other people presenting with me. If they are nervous or start taking too much time then the panic starts in – i need to make up for them….I need to shorten mine so we stay on time….oh no, we are losing them! Quick where are my tap shoes? etc.

This week I had two interviews in two days and unlike the past interviews I have been a part of, these were only 15 minute interviews with zero time for questions at the end. With a team of 4 people with the principal opening and closing, that gave us each 3 minutes or less to sell ourselves and show them our passion and ideas for the project…..3 minutes. It’s nearly impossible.

After it was all over, I started thinking how ludicrous it all is. If someone told you “you have 3 minutes to earn your salary for the next year and go!” wouldn’t you just shit your pants? Obviously there are other opportunities to make up for it if you don’t win, but still, how can they assume that 3 minutes is adequate to know you are the person for the job? How do they know you are who they want to work with for a whole year or more?

I mean I know there are people who if you only spent 3 minutes with them you’d think they were the coolest person ever, but then if you spent an hour or two a week for 52 weeks you want to stab your eye out. Vice versa, there are people who in 3 minutes would make you believe they are lame and could care less about ever seeing them again, but I am sure that given more time you’d be their BFF….

Anyway, I was just thinking more about this whole project interview process and how critical the 3 minute sell really is. The good news is, we know we won at least one of the two projects. The other one I am not that confident about. Even though it was the second interview – so you’d think we would all be more comfortable – the main dude talking on that one was too nervous and bland and it came off as disinterest. Then I tried to overcompensate, but just ended up sounding rushed and shakey….sadness.

Oh well, as exhibited here: you win some, you lose some. I do think it would be a fun experiment though to stage a 3 minute sell experiment with a group of people. Who’s with me?

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2 thoughts on “The 3 Minute Sell

  1. Doing a 3 minute sell of myself would require about 100 hours of prep work, followed by at LEAST 20 hours of practicing my script prior to show time. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that!! 🙂

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