Mailani Veney explains her “two magic questions” to students. Photo courtesy of Victoria Cameron.
By Victoria Cameron
On Sunday night, LocalAnyDay CEO Mailani Veney came to Concordia to deliver a presentation on what she called “two magic questions.”
With a small crowd, Veney directed attendees to sit together in two rows and greeted each person individually, introducing herself by her first name and asking questions to get to know everyone. She also asked what everyone wanted to get out of the presentation. Later, she mentioned that she had done so to remove assumptions about what she thought the group might want to hear, so she could present something more tailored to the students’ needs.
Veney began by telling the students about her company, LocalAnyDay, which runs an app that allows users to search for deals at local businesses in their communities.
Veney then called a student up for a mock interview. The rest of the students were asked to rate how well the student did. It wasn’t well, so Veney had another student come up and attempt to sell her a pen. It was similarly lacking, so Veney presented the first magic question: “What are you looking for?”
This question, according to Veney, communicates courtesy, value and respect, while giving useful information on how to best answer your target. In interviews, it’s useful in knowing what information to give potential employers instead of telling them everything and hoping some of it was relevant. In sales, it allows the seller to tell the customer why their product is good for that specific person.
The second question follows the first: “What is most important?” This way, if a person lists multiple things they are looking for, it can be narrowed down further to one specific item; from what’s on the target to what the bullseye is.
“It’s a way for people to understand the value they bring to a situation or relationship,” Veney said.
However, Veney was careful to point out that the questions can be used for more than business. She said they can help in all relationships, including dating, by making sure both people know what the other wants.
“I think its pertinence and relevance to life is what’s most important,” Chris Burma, LocalAnyDay’s director of operations who supported Veney in her presentation, said,
Students appreciated Mailani’s personal, interactive approach, and many stayed after to speak with her and connect on LinkedIn. They also appreciated the presentation’s message itself, finding it relieving to have a process to lean on for interviews.
“I thought that it was really helpful, I have a couple interviews coming up and now I can apply this advice and hopefully get hired,” senior Abby Protzman said.