My Telephone Interview, Pt. 2

by Andre Milteer (M.A.)
(Texas, USA)

Andre V. Milteer (M.A.)

Andre V. Milteer (M.A.)

Q11: Please describe a situation where you used your creativity to solve a problem.
As of Year 2008, I decided to promote my own brand awareness. My professional skills as a speaker and applied psychologist needed promotion and marketing. The question was how?
Taking a curiosity with social media, I felt that a frontal assault via Internet would be of the greatest benefit. Taking a page from S.T.A.R. playbook, I sought to understand the medium through close examination of the practices of other successful social media personalities.

I learned that websites/blogs/forums, while being essentially free, were not easily manipulated. Adopting a targeted approach, I committed to working with niche webportals that matched my passions and interests. LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter have yeilded the most fruitful results. My goals were to achieve recognition via a long term approach; I dismissed an instant gratification results mindset.

Q12: What are your greatest strengths?
I see all possible arguments, positions, ideas, and solutions from all sides…a 360 degree approach. I appreciate opposing viewpoints; respect for ideas contrary to my own, shape me to grow as an effective Leader, Psychologist, Problem-solver, and Human Being.

Q13: What is your greatest weakness?
In an effort to intimately identify with opposing viewpoints, I infrequently ignore my intuition and frame of reference. Intuition is one of an individual’s greatest resources; it serves us. Without fail, my ignoring my own inner intuition to join an opposing view, has created less than optimum outcomes.

Q14: Talk about your customer experience.
Both my academic as well as military service background has not contributed to my customer service expertise. Retail, Retail, Retail is where I learned the most about serving the public. My retail experiences, within grocery, banking, and insurance provided me with a Customer Service Psychology that was impossible to gain through academia.

I stress Retail because a Customer will either withhold or advance their money based upon their perceptions of cost benefit value as well as an emotional tie-in to the vendor. Another word for this could be construed simply as TRUST.

Q15. Describe a situation where you have gathered and analyzed facts to arrive at a decision.
I’ve touched on this subject within one of my previous answers; so I’ll approach this question from a personal experience.

I decided to purchase a sports car in Year 2007. Perusing trade magazines, websites, blogs, and visiting the public library, I learned that a vehicle will depreciate 10-15% immediate after customer purchase. Moreover, vehicles typically depreciate 25% of value after the initial first year.

Second, I queried safety features and consumer reports of various models while cross-referencing American-made vs international vehicle branded models. The aforementioned variables were then correlated with pricing ranges.

Once I had boiled down the data, I had a picture of the vehicle that I desired. Applying my preferences to the internet websites, I located an automobile dealership less than 50 miles from my residence. The vehicle’s retail prce was posted to the webpage.

After securing a telephone appointment, I traveled to the dealership, interviewed the sales professional and the vehicle. CarFax provided a detailed history; I believed that the retail value exceeded the offering price. I purchased the vehicle based upon the research. My spouse really enjoys the vehicle; I appreciate the safety features and well as the relative low maintenance costs. Win-Win!

Q16: How do you prioritize your work to meet deadlines?
Utilizing a project management software program or planner, I select the top value tasks. I call these tasks, High Priority/Big Bang Musts.

Generally, High Priority tasks require a great deal of cognitive dedicated resource. I disagree with Multi-tasking; it doesn’t work. Professional can accomplish more…quickly and more effectively, by SINGLE-TASKING. I do one thing at a time. Complete that one task, and then move on to the next High Priority Task.

Q17: Why did you leave your last position?
I am currently employed; my tenure with this company exceeds 8 years. I voluntarily resigned from the Grocery business because I was a ‘Fish out of Water.’ It was an ill fit. Great Company, Fantastic Compensation; yet after 3 years, I realized that I wasn’t living my passion. I could be “Good at My Job,” but I Couldn’t be Great!

About Your Style & Personality
Q18: How would your friends (mentor, teacher, supervisor) describe you?
My Friends would describe me as a Thinker; “he ponders every thought before speaking.” My Priest would describe me as a person with a Big Heart. My supervisor would suggest that I could be out of balance with work/life; he may say that I tend to “Take My Work Home.” My spouse would say that I can generate a 2 hour speech about something as insignificant as a marble.

Q19: What motivates your best work?
People connection. If I know, in advance, that a certain demographic of person(s) will directly benefit from my research/talk/plan/workshop, I literally “throw myself” at the project. Also, if I am learning a new skill in the process, all the better.

Q20: How do you keep track of things you need to do?
I love electronic gadgets. A simple, non-blackberry, mobile telephone has a very functional organizer. I use to alarm function to alert me to upcoming suspenses. When solutions, ideas, and professional thoughts come into the forefront of my awareness, I record them on my mobile telephone.

In many instances, I will transmit an email to my work email account. My non-electronic task tracker is my “Git-R-Done” list. I write out my Top 6 taks that Must be accomplished. My goal isn’t to complete ALL 6 tasks, but to work to successfully finish one task…then the other. Tasks that are not completed, are simply added to the next day’s workload.

Q21: Would you rather write a report or give it verbally? Why?
I’d rather give an oral presentation; my personality is extroverted. Yet, written reports work best. Written reports not only provide a organized template for both the sender and receiver, but it also serves as an anchor for future works/studies/project. Oral presentations serve to deepen the audience’s understanding of the subject matter.

Q22: Give an example of a high pressure situation you faced this past year and how you resolved it.
Year 2008: Insurance Client experienced a horrific claim; water damage to flooring. Client questioned the legal language of the insurance policy. After review, it was discovered that he claim was legitimate.

I referred him to the Texas Department of Insurance. After an inquiry, I was asked to submit a statement. I answered truthfully; liability was against the insurance company. My saving grace was that I obeyed my intuition. I had mailed a letter to his residence, 12 months prior. The letter documented various deficiencies within his policy.
Further, he was compensated $20,000 for his claim. It was not standard operating procedure to mail letters to clients with regard to liability omissions. Yet, I followed my intuition; that action saved both my client relationship as well as protected my licensure from disciplinary action.

About Your Interest & Commitment:
Q23: Why are you interested in working for SAIC?
With regard to Military contractors, SAIC is Best of Breed. $8.9 billion in revenue and contracts, a +40 year history, and an emphasis on employee-ownership are all qualities that are high desirable. Further, SAIC places a premium on scientific expertise, continued learning, and entrepreneurial passion within a Team environment.

Q24: Why did you choose your major?
Psychology is the study of humankind’s window into the soul. My fascination with the Why? Why do workers have an abundance of and/or a lack thereof for motivation. What is the measurement of performance; how is it achieveable. Moreover, what is the payoff for the participant.

Q25: If you could choose a school or major again, what would you change?
I wish that I had a passion for vocations that command a higher pay…Yet, I’m bored with those areas. I Love Psychology. My wish is that the education system had the resources that are available today. eBooks, online collaboration, conference call, and social media learning portals. Alas, these resources were in their infancy during my degree pursuant years.

Q26: How do you deal with stress?
Check it at the Door! I focus on awareness of the present moment. Do what I can now; pursue the unfinished at the latter appropriate time. My Stress relievers include meditation, prayer, aerobic exercise, and intellectual research on topics of interest.

Q 27: What aspect of this position would be the most difficult for you?
The initial learning curve of the SAIC way of doing things vs the Command & Control expectations of the Field Commanders. Balancing the academic with the practical. The perfectionistic desire to “always get it right.” My greatest challenge is to remember that the work experience is a journey…not a destination.

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