What 'Shark Tank' Can Teach Us About The Job Hunt

Business Insider

Shark Tank is one of the only reality-type shows my wife and I watch (though we’ll dabble in X-factor every now and then, shh!).

The premise of the show is that entrepreneurs come in and pitch their products to a panel of venture capitalists (“sharks”), who try and strike a deal for a stake in the company. So the entrepreneur must sell his or her product to get capital for the company.

The job hunt requires some of these same skills. You need to sell yourself to the employer, and we can learn right from Shark Tank what works and what doesn’t.

Presentation

The way you represent yourself needs to be crisp. Those who go in the Tank with confidence and are sure of themselves and their products have a much better chance than those who don't.

In your job search, you need the same mindset.

1. Present your case clearly and sincerely. Convince them that you would be an asset to the company.

2. Make sure you are professional and courteous.

Originality

Hiring Managers don’t just want the bare necessities for the position, they want someone who brings a breath of fresh air to the table.

You have something that others do not. Make sure to reflect this on your resume and in the interview.

If you are new to the workforce, show how your skills from school make you a star candidate. If you've been working for a while, you have years of experience to draw stories and successes that effectively demonstrate your unique value.

Preparation

One of the worst mistakes in the Shark Tank many entrepreneurs make is they don’t know the ins and outs of the company (especially the numbers).

Many make this same mistake when they’re on the job hunt.

1. Know what you want to do. You should take the time to figure out if this position is even a step in the right direction.

2. Plan, prepare, and practice for the interview. You should know the basics of the company and your interviewer backwards and forwards, and go in equipped with questions that show your enthusiasm to learn more. Think about your answers to the questions they might ask you.

When you negotiate ("when," not "if"), you need to know the numbers and exactly what you deserve. Think, What’s the market value for this position? What leverage do I have? What leverage do they have? What’s on the table for negotiation?' If you don't, like Kevin O’Leary says, “You will get slaughtered!”

Likability

Talent can only go so far at times. In the end, you and your personality are what your co-workers are stuck with day in and day out. If HR doesn’t like you, chances are you may not get the position. 

But you want to work with people you get along with too, so do your research, talk to current and ex-employees and see if the culture fit is right for you as well.

Some deals in the Shark Tank came about not because the product was amazing, but the investor said, “I really like you,” and that’s what sealed the deal. 



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