Session 10: Communication Fundamentals
In this session, we deliberately use incendiary questions to see how candidates respond to racial, gender, ethnic, political etc. discrimination.
By this stage of the coaching Samantha would have clearly seen that effective communication leads to better case solutions. Superior communication skills will always give candidates a material and significant competitive advantage, and will many times lead to an offer over a candidate with better case skills. Communication is the pillar on which cases are solved and the process through which the interviewer gains trust in the candidate.
We teach 4 important communication tricks.
• The first is the blind-navigator trick which actually comes from the auto-racing industry.
• The second is the airport-syndrome which comes from the KGB training manual, and does not refer to whether or not you can spend the day with a candidate on a long flight.
• We next teach candidates self-awareness, and
• The missing-presentation technique.
In this session, we still conduct cases, but zoom in on the transition points of a case, and teach the candidate how communication can facilitate this process. The vital lesson is that these techniques exist to help Samantha gain confidence, and by gaining confidence, she does better.
During Session 10 we usually start off the training a little faster to increase the difficulty level of training. We want candidates to struggle and make mistakes. By the candidate making mistakes, we can observe and correct. Moreover, we want our sessions to be tougher than real cases so that candidates can feel comfortable and in charge during the actual interview and hence perform better.
Candidates need to learn to be perfect in front of the interviewer, but not in front of us, at least not in the beginning. By trying to be perfect, they are actually missing the opportunity to learn. Perfection is an outcome out of learning the right techniques and that comes in time. We teach on a curve. That means if Samantha is doing well in a case, we immediately will make the case more difficult to see how she handles it.
This means she cracks far fewer cases with us, but her learning curve is consistently steep. This serves two purposes.
First, candidates avoid becoming complacent since they receive tougher cases.
Second, they are rarely learning if they are able to solve a case. The only way to learn is to face newer and tougher types of cases. If we don’t explain this to Samantha, she could worry that she is never solving any cases.
Note that for some candidates, like Felix, the communication training overlaps into session 11 as well.
In the session descriptions which follow, we are using one description for 4 different candidates. Yet candidates do not perform the same, and while the descriptions are mostly accurate, there will be some differences as a few cases are brought forward, others moved back or candidates fail to prepare adequately. While these differences are minor, they sometimes occur.
Cases questions taught in the session:
Felix’s cases recorded in the session; why China’s socio-economic system is inferior to Japan’s & Brainstorm how foreign students take jobs from US citizens
Rafik’s cases recorded in the session; why Morocco’s socio-economic system is inferior to Egypt’s & Brainstorm how foreign students take jobs from French citizens.
Samantha’s cases recorded in the session; why are female scientists underperforming relative to their male peers & Brainstorm how foreign students take jobs from US citizens.
Sanjeev’s cases recorded in the session; why India’s economy is inferior to China’s & Brainstorm how NASA faked the moon landings.