How would you move Mount Fuji?

What is it with zany job interviews and why are they suddenly en-vogue?

“There are lots of reasons for interviewers to ask a weird question – to see how fast a candidate can think on their feet, to gain insight into their personality, or to gain an idea of their thought processes.” says Mat Jackson of Manpower.

Rather than asking if a candidate whether they are qualified, job interviews ask silly questions.

“One job seeker was told to talk to a teddy bear, while another was asked if he knew how it felt to kill a man…” claims a BBC news article.

Ever since Microsoft made headlines for its unconventional approach to interviewing, more and more companies are looking for that certain approach that will uncover just the right quality of mind, despite them have little, if anything to do with the job.

In the book How would you move Mount Fuji?, it lists some of the more wierd questions that Microsoft and other big businesses are using.

To get a job, it would seem you need to think of the most unexpected questions… but, I mean really — who gives a damn whether or not you can move Mount Fuji or not?

Walking the talk

More and more companies use tests, exams to see just how good you are. Even smaller companies or one-man-band’s need to know that you can do what you say you can do… they want to see you “walking the talk”…

In the new media and website industry, companies increasingly ask you to do a test: design a website for a client, or design a logo, write compelling copy for a client, etc, etc…

This kind of questioning, testing process might anger, frustrate and annoy many job interview participants — the idea of being more entreprenuerial than the next job applicant is not a new one, and all it needs is a spark of creativity, a “think big” attitude.

The 5 assets of any business

Before you apply for any job, think first of the 5 assets of any business – which one of these are important for a business? Which one would you be most concerned about when applying for a job?

  1. Financial assets
  2. Physical assets
  3. Intellectual assets
  4. Human assets
  5. Social assets

Of those, the most important asset is the social one. If your company/business or potential next employer doesn’t share the same social assets or philosophy as you do then ask yourself “why should I work for this employer?”

Once you’ve fulfilled that asset you can really shine at an interview regardless of whether or not they ask “stupid” questions.

But what happens if you don’t have a choice about the social asset? What happens when you need a job so badly that it hurts? How do you stand out?

If you really want to shine in an interview, in a job…the answer is simple, don’t treat it like a job… be more entreprenuerial than the next guy/girl and be open to the idea that you *can* and will make a positive impact for your next employer by thinking big, think about the benefits you can bring to their business (not what you can/will do), think about the finanical assets you can improve, think about the physical, technical, intelliectual and human assets you can improve upon, use bottom-line language and fresh ideas like the cardboard cut-out idea

In the end, a job is only a job if you feel it has no value to you. A job becomes much more than that (regardless of any question asked of you) when you believe it is worth more than the numbers printed on your pay-cheque.

More Resources

More on Microsoft Interview Questions
More on the Interview process at Microsoft
Google search on Microsoft Job Interview Questions:

Myths of Entreprenuership

So, you got a small business, its up and running (finally) — does this make you an entrepreneur? What is the difference between running a business and being an entrepreneur — and does it really matter?

According to the highly acclaimed book “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber as well as the many other E-Myth books that Mr Gerber has written — a small business isn’t the same as being an entrepreneur.

IDEA #1 – There is a mythI call it the E-Myth – which says that small businesses are started by entrepreneurs risking capital to make a profit. This is simply not so. The real reasons people start businesses have little to do with entrepreneurship. In fact, this belief in the Entrepreneurial Myth is the most important factor in the devasting rate of small business failure today.
— Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited.

According to the E-Myth you should be building a business that you can either sell at a great profit, or a business you can franchise and again sell off your success formula.

The concept of the E-Myth is that most businesses are not started by entrepreneurs, but by people with a skill or passion and that most they fail because they remain in the technician’s mindset, instead of learning to think like an entrepreneur and a manager.

But what other myths are there?

Continue reading

7 principles for a successful website

What makes a website successful? If youve ever asked yourself this question, youre not alone there are many people who wonder what makes a website successful.

There are many components of a successful website. Here are just 7;

  1. Content
    Although debated by some whether or not content is important. If youre selling suits online, you need to educate your customers why your suits are the best. If youre selling train tickets online you optimise content to increase people to buy the tickets content is still king in my book.
  2. Search Engine Readiness
    Making your website easy for search engines to trawl, record and utilise your site. The ranking and optimisation of content and keywords for search engine readiness is one of the corner-points of a successful website.
  3. Customers
    If you dont have visitors and prospective customers then your website and business is suffering and you need to promote the site more effectively.
  4. Communication
    What does your website communicate to your audience? What should it look like to help communicate the website better?
  5. Metrics
    How are you measuring the success of your website? Forget about hits. Concentrate on page views, unique page views, subscribers, returning subscribers, number of purchases, number of sales, and number of clicks on article/e-zine. If you’re website is making you money you can help improve your website by concentrating on 1 or 2 things you are interested in measuring, recording it every week and then evaluating it every month. Remember to ask yourself how can I improve the numbers coming to my website?
  6. Promotion
    How are you promoting the website? If you are not promoting the website, this may be the cause for your lack of website success. You need to promote your website everywhere, anywhere, and anyhow. Combine traditional marketing with online promotions. Use promotion to help attract prospects and turn them into customers. Use promotion to help turn customers into loyal ones
  7. Purpose
    What is the purpose of your website? Is it to inform, and articulate debate? Is it to give customers a phone number to call? Do you want them to buy things from you? Knowing the purpose of your website is important because without it you may make critical mistakes that impact on its overall success

You may rank one thing higher than another. You might already be saying He forgot about X, Y and Z thats good. It means that youre thinking seriously about the success of your website and how to improve it.

Now get a pen, a piece of paper and write the things you feel are important for the success of your website, then ask your web designer hard questions regarding each part.

These answers will then help you focus your mind on how to improve your website even more!

What self-made millionaires really know, think and do review

Buy What self-made millionaires really think, know and do

“I really loved this book, its the perfect compliment to Think and Grow Rich…”

With a title such as What self-made millionaires really think, know and do you might be thinking that this is a book about how to become a millionaire and whilst the book does cover some excellent practical hints and tips on how to actually do it that isnt the real theme of this book.

Unlike other NLP/self-help books it leans towards the business side. Of all the practical business books Ive ever read I believe this book offers the best value in terms of business because it covers the widest range of ideas, concepts and values.

Much like Napoleon Hills Think and Grow Rich, this book covers a lot of subjects from How to think creativity, the definition of success, what strategy is and how to use strategy to get where you want to be, how to use marketing, how to improve your sales skills, how to negotiate better, how to become a great leader, how to understand the bottom line and how to use your time effectively and thats just a brief overview of the contents of this book.

At 308 pages long the book is surprisingly easy to read with a good choice of typography and well spaced lines theres nothing I hate more paragraphs too close together and making it harder to read, understand and digest. This book offers excellent ideas and expands on them easily, without hyperbole.

The only issue for readers might be the strategy side because the book covers the Boston Matrix and some people argue that the Boston Matrix strategy is out of date and we should be using the Ansoff strategy and the book doesnt say why it uses one strategy concept above another.

This book offers an overall depth of expertise from its co-authors in a concise and direct manner. Clear language and structure convey powerful messages with practical strategic tools that will leave you empowered, and well-informed.

Why is this book so good? I think its because it really offers practical advice it is clearly written, concise and a joy to read on a Sunday. The quality of the content is a great compliment to Think and Grow Rich and offers the reader a chance to focus on key business ideas, goals, objectives and values to take forward to tomorrow.

Overall Id give this book 9/10.

Buy what self-made millionaires really know, think and do from Amazon