Hello SOTGC community,
This post was inspired by some emails I have been getting lately. On a regular basis I get asked “what should I look for in a company when I’m looking for a job?” or “are there any positions open in your company because I’ve always wanted to work for it?” Here are two of the BIGGEST pieces of advice I can give to someone who is either looking to change companies, industries, or even start the interviewing process.
Advice number 1: You are interviewing them AS MUCH or MORE as they are interviewing you. I know, you’re probably thinking: “WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY?! That’s ridiculous Marney!” Yeah…I know…but here is the inside secret…interviewers respond WELL to confidence. Now there is a difference between confidence and: cockiness, sense of entitlement, or indifference. As someone who has helped interview multiple candidates in the past couple years, I can honestly say, interviewers are LOOKING for someone with a VERY healthy dose of confidence. They respond well to candidates who have the “aura” about them that says “I REALLY believe in your products and service and want to work with you. But you need to prove to ME that you will be a good manager, good teammate, good company that will allow me to grow, expand, and move up in my career. Or I’ll go find a company that will.” Now this is said with a healthy caution of “know your audience.” If it’s a female interviewing you, I’d probably ease off on the “overt confidence” and go in with a friendly, outgoing, and excited confidence. If it’s a male interviewing you and it’s a male dominated industry (finance, medicine, IT, insurance, sports) then go in with a more overt confidence that kind of borders on cocky. As long as you can deliver the goods when asked, it’s always good to let these guys know you can not only hang in the Good Old Boys Club, but that you’ll thrive there.
Advice number 2: Pick a product or a service….NOT a company (this is not advice just for sales people.) Companies can get bought, broken down, and sold off. You definitely want to make sure the environment of the company and the people you’ll be working with match your morals and beliefs. However, if/when those acquisitions happen please realize that the ONLY thing that will get you through the changes, the new management, and the new initiatives, is your belief and passion in your product or service that you deliver or support. Take it from me, I’ve survived 5 acquisitions in the two companies I’ve worked at for the last 9 years…you NEED to passionately believe in your product.
So that’s what I have folks. And remember, the difference between a job and a career is how much time you “emotionally spend in it.” IE do you think about it before and after hours? Do you wake up at night wondering if you remembered a specific task or stressed about an upcoming meeting? On the weekends do you find your thoughts drifting to your team, your job, and your customers? If so…that’s good…that means you’ve decided to make a career out of your job. So pick a product/service, and company environment that will bring both work and emotional satisfaction.
If you have any thoughts or feedback on an interviewing process, or someone you’ve interviewed with please share. I’d love to hear what’s working and what’s not working for people.