For the past few weeks, along with Will Greenwood, Scott Quinnell and Chris Chudleigh (pictured below) and with special guest appearances from Boris Johnson and David Haye, I have been working on a Sky TV show called School of Hard Knocks.
Working with a group of long term unemployed young people from Croydon, the aim is to help them develop their life skills by training them to become a rugby team. On Friday we filmed a special Job Fair for the participants of School of Hard Knocks where recruiters from several employers came down to Croydon Town Hall to interview our candidates. Some major employers were represented, including Aviva, BGC Partners, Timpson and Bright Sparks, and this was the acid test of how much progress these guys had made over the past eight weeks.
As The Pitch Doctor, I am very used to seeing how people react before they have to go into pitches, presentations or job interviews so I was keen to see how the guys would react to the kind of pressure that this big opportunity to get a job would bring. Whilst there were some nerves, I was really proud with how the guys stepped up to the plate. In my motivational pep talk before they went in to meet the recruiters, I spoke about some of the things I felt were most important:
1.You never get a second chance to make a first impression. People can make up their minds about whether they like someone within the first 2-3 seconds so it is important to create the impression you want immediately.
2.Your physiology leads your psychology. If you want to feel confident hold yourself like a confident person. Shoulders back - chin up.
3.Smile. The old saying of ‘smile and the whole world smiles with you’ is true. As human beings, we mirror other people and if someone smiles at us, we are innately compelled to smile back. If you get someone smiling you are well on your way to getting great rapport.
The result was that the team excelled themselves and when we spoke to the employers afterwards, they were very pleasantly surprised at how well the candidates had presented themselves. The feedback was so good that it looks like several of them will get job offers very soon.
Congratulations to them and the whole School of Hard Knocks team who have made a real difference in people’s lives.
Life is good.