New way to interview for a job

Ross was tired and frustrated. He’d spent six months battling Zoom fatigue, going through job interview after job interview, always hopeful and always getting the same result: “Thank you, but you’re not the right person to we. We wish you good luck in your search.

Now he was interviewing for a digital marketing gig with one of the biggest and best-known tech companies in the world. But he was tired of doing what he called “the dance.” Besides being a brilliant SEO guy and coder, Ross is flamboyant and outspoken – a world traveler, musician, and weed connoisseur in his civilian life. But he had recalled his personality and his style in all his previous interviews, hoping not to offend anyone. His results ? No.

Screw it, he thought as he prepared for his interview. He’s done playing by the rules. What had he to lose? Instead of a costume, he put on his finest Hawaiian shirt and set his Zoom background with Lego sculptures. In the interview, he talked about his travels and his guitar playing. He and the interviewer started vibrating. They shared a passion for anime. The interviewer defined the culture and the type of teammates that thrive in it. The result? Ross landed the job.

The rules have changed

It was 2019, when employers like this still had the upper hand. Today, after the Great Resignation, companies have millions of vacancies to fill and they desperately need talent. This puts Rare Breeds like you in the driver’s seat. You don’t have to follow the dusty, timid, conservative job interview rules of the past. Thanks to remote work, hustles, and generous checks, employers need you much more than you need them.

It’s time to break the rules and smash that interview for the gig of your dreams by being the bold, brave and unapologetic original that you are. Below are some moldy interview staples from the era of eight-track tapes, plus Rare Breed rules that will give you an unbeatable edge in today’s post-apocalyptic job market.

Old rule: You want any job.

Rare Race Rule: you want it law work. You’re here to find out if this business is right for you. you.

The Great Resignation happened because millions suddenly realized that one paycheck wasn’t enough. They wanted flexibility, family time, purpose, and a respectable salary and benefits. As a rare breed, you seek to land in a place that matches the way you think, what you love, and the way you express yourself. So reverse the roles. The interview is not just a chance for the company to find out more about you; this is your chance to glimpse the soul and guts of the company. Ask tough questions and don’t settle for simple answers. If the gig or the culture isn’t for you, don’t rationalize. Keep watching.

A few questions to ask yourself:

“How will this role challenge me?”

“How long has the previous person been in the role?”

“Can you describe a typical work day or week in this role? »

Old rule: dress for the job you want.

Rare Race Rule: Dress professionally, but reflect your personality fabulous.

An old marketing adage goes, “You can’t bore people into doing business with you. It’s the same with hiring. We are anti-conservative clothing because instead of reflecting a person’s authentic self, it reflects their fear of standing out from the herd. It’s not you. Let what you wear to your interview, whether it’s a Cuban shirt, Indian saree, or vintage Hepburn LBD, tell your interviewer who you are, what you care about, and your level of self-esteem and confidence. In you. Stand out and be memorable.

Tip: Of course, a little common sense is in order. If you show up to an interview with dirty or torn clothes like you’ve just fallen out of the back of a garbage truck, you’re stacking more cards against you.

A few questions to ask yourself:

“What values ​​are important to you as a company? »

“What are the best characteristics of employees who thrive here? »

“Do you have a dress code? If so, what are the expectations? »

Old rule: answer all questions, even the stupidest ones.

Rare breed rule: reverse the roles and come up with a better question.

You’ve heard (or been asked) inane interview questions like “What’s your biggest weakness?” “, is not it ? In the past, you probably felt compelled to answer them. Not today. You’re in the driver’s seat, so if you’re hit with a dumb question, try this ploy: “You know, I’ve been asked this question before in interviews, and I don’t think it’s very helpful. Do you mind if I suggest another one, can you ask me? If the interviewer agrees, suggest a more provocative or revealing question, such as, “If I were your boss and you thought one of my ideas was bad, how would you tell me?” »

Tip: Be courteous. No one wants to be told their question is stupid, even if it is. If the mood in the room tells you to answer the question before suggesting your own, turn on your inner diplomat.

A few questions to ask yourself:

“What kind of value do you place on the job I’m applying for?” »

“What is the style of leadership here? »

“How will you measure my success in this role? »

Old rule: everything is positive, not negative.

Rare breed rule: Know the business and show your ideas.

Today, savvy managers are looking for sharp operators with their own minds, not men and women yes. This means you can come to the table wearing your reviewer hat, show that you’ve done your research and know the company, and more importantly, show that you know the industry. Before the interview, dig deep into the company and learn everything you can, and prepare reviews, especially about the department you are interviewing for. A smart leader or HR person won’t care if you’re all soft and light if you show up with valid, accurate opinions about what marketing or IT did wrong in 2020 and what it might do better.

Serve the reliable ‘shit sandwich’. Include praise and positivity, with a center of criticism and fuss, topped with a layer of “if you did it this way, I think your results would be 200% better.”

Tip: don’t just slur the company; it’s not productive.

A few questions to ask yourself:

“How is criticism handled within the company?

“What are the top 3 initiatives the company is tackling right now? »

“How do you recognize your employees for their contributions? »

Old rule: Be careful, vanilla and harmless.

Rare Race Rule: Surprise your interviewer and be memorable.

If a position is desirable, even in a tight job market, a manager or HR staff member may speak to hundreds of applicants before selecting a dozen finalists. As a rare breed, do you want to be dumped with everyone who gave boring answers, told lame jokes, or kissed ass? Of course not. Be yourself. Take a photo of a handwritten card and email it. Tell this story about your MMA phase or the time you were arrested during a Black Lives Matter protest. Wear a lime green suit and make a rap video like Chase Zreet made for a concert at the Sprite. Make sure you are the one everyone remembers.

Advice: read the play, for heaven’s sake. It’s one thing to be pissed and weird if you’re up for a gig at Apple or Rockstar Games; it’s another if you’re sitting in a chain of hospitals or in the Catholic Archdiocese. Calibrate your “memorability” accordingly.

A few questions to ask yourself:

“What’s the boldest thing the company has done in the past year?”

“When was the last time someone broke the rules? Were they fired for this?

“Do you think there is a high degree of psychological safety here?”

Old rule: Be humble.

Rare Race Rule: bluster and humility.

In the past, it was safer in an interview to keep your head down, minimize your accomplishments, and not interact with anyone other than your interviewer unless asked to. God forbids people to think of you as bold. Guess what? Bold works, as long as you are also kind and charismatic. Greet everyone you meet with enthusiasm and respect, as if you’ve been waiting all these years just to meet. their. Radiate confidence and the energy of well-being. A gentleman who spent decades as a director of a major hotel brand told us that when he interviewed candidates, he introduced them to assistants or other staff just to see how they treated these strangers that they might never see again. Charming and respectful candidates usually got a second interview, while dismissive ones did. . . dismissed.

True humility always works, so show it when appropriate. Believe in yourself and show off because you’re awesome, but when talking about why you work or who you work for, your talk should only be about the team, the community, your family, etc. Remember that in the end we are all here to serve someone.

“How would you describe your culture? »

“What would surprise me the most about working here? »

“What is the pace of work here? Fast pace ? Is there high stress? »

Old rule: you will be grateful to be hired.

Rare breed rule: They would be lucky to have you.

Employers need people like you now more than ever. So while it’s important to show your appreciation for the opportunity, remember that you’re a rare breed. You bring something valuable to the table. Any company should feel lucky to have you, not the other way around. Carry yourself like this, proud of who you are, what you have done and what you can do.

Now go get them.


Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger are the founders of Currency and authors of Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Rebellious, Dangerous, and Different.


About Carl Schroeder

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