The following is an approximate transcript.
Heather: Hello and thank you for joining Episode 37 of Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. My name is Heather Huhman, and I am the founder & president of Come Recommended, as well as the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. I’m joined by my co-host, Tony Morrison.
Tony: Thank you and good morning Heather. Good to be with you again! As Heather mentioned, my name is Tony Morrison. I’m the vice president of business development for Cachinko. We operate a free job matching and career networking application on Facebook. Our goal is to help job seekers find the jobs they’ll love, companies that interest them, and help companies find their next rock star candidates. We offer a number of online recruiting solutions that focus on helping job seekers get connected to companies as well.
Heather: Today’s episode is “The Parallels Between Your Job Search and Your Love Life.” Let’s get started. Tony, in your opinion, how and why do you feel that the hunt for a job and a soul mate are similar, such as knowing what you want, where to find it, that sort of thing?
Tony: The hunt for a job is very similar to the hunt for a soul mate in that you reflect on the types of values and the shared interests and the importance that you place on relationships. You reflect on that and what you want in the relationship of a company is the same way you’d reflect on the type of person you’d want in a soul mate. Companies that live their values, share their values, they have products and/or customers in an industry or sector that interests you, that you’re passionate about – it’s very similar to a soul mate where you have common interests and activities or art, or books, or cuisine – when you have those similarities and you can have something to talk about, there’s that common bond, but then, the real connection starts where you see the person or the company not only talks about their values and shares their values and words but they live their values and it’s the interaction with that person that helps you to realize just how genuine they are and the company as well.
Heather: Why is the ‘woo,’ such as putting your best foot forward on a date or in an interview so critical?
Tony: The first impression is a lasting impression. And the ‘woo’ could come off as fake, but I think the ‘woo’ – putting your best foot forward – is important and that you want to be who you are, but also think about who that other person is.
Let me explain the ‘woo’: the woo could be you demonstrating who you are and only thinking about you are and your first impression and how you’re impressing that other person. Much like in an interview, you prepare you prepare for that interview and you’re always talking about yourself and your background and your skills and maybe how you might be able to benefit that company. But I think the woo is more than that – the woo is demonstrating that you’ve taken an interest in that company, or in the case of dating, a sincere interest in that other person. You want to be able to explain to that person what is it that drives you but at the same time you have to get to know that person is. Putting your best foot forward really is not telling everything about yourself, it’s about asking everything that’s important about them and showing a sincere interest in them. So I think wooing a company is about getting to know who the company is and being able to demonstrate that you have a sincere interest in that company, same as with a first date.
Heather: Absolutely and obviously the company should also be wooing, correct?
Tony: Absolutely, I mean it’s a two-way street. If you’re the only one doing the wooing in a date, chances are you’re not going to get a second date. Same thing with a company: if the company’s not interested, they’re not wooing you, you’re not going to get a second interview.
Heather: Absolutely. What ways can you make a great first impression? You were talking about how important is it, but how can it be done?
Tony: I think with any interpersonal communication, the most important thing you can do is smile. Make a first great impression by showing that you are friendly, that you’re open, flexible. Body language has a lot to do with it, you know, especially if you’re in person, even in a video chat. Showing that you’re paying attention to the person, you’re looking at them, you know you’re not crossing your arms, you’re not leaning way back, and trying to move away from the conversation, but that you’re leaning forward, your showing an interest, you’re smiling, and you’re actively listening.
A lot of people ask the question, “What is active listening?” Active listening is paying attention to what that other person says and being able to react to that and respond to that in a respectful manner; not thinking about what you’re going to say next and just dismissing everything that person was is telling you. So those are probably the most important ways to make that great first impression.
Heather: Absolutely, I completely agree. How can follow up determine whether you get the job? This is one of my favorite topics. I’m anxious to hear what you have to say about it.
Tony: I know you talk about follow-up all the time in our webinars and I tend to agree with you. There are tons of ways to follow up, it could be via email within an hour or two after the interview, it could be via a personal thank you note. I think a handwritten thank you note goes a long way. It’s not respected by everybody, but in terms of dating there are rules. I’ve been out of the dating scene long enough that I may have these rules wrong, but forgive me if the rules have changed. But I know that even when my wife and I go out on a date night it’s sort of an unwritten rule that the next day I should thank her for a great time. You know “I had a lot of fun at the movies”. And you know we’ve been married, so it’s still required.
I think the rule was always within say one to three days, maybe not the next day but the second day or the third day you should follow up. Unless of course you’ve been given some other clue as to when you should follow up. If you make a promise to follow up, follow up on that given day. And this is true of a company as well.
Companies are very busy, they get a flood of applicants and they may want you to follow up, they may want to see what you’ve taken home from that interview and how you’ll respond in a follow up, demonstrating that you have taken away some of the key messages. You want to follow up and provide additional information that supports the information you’ve provided in the interview. Some of that data might be something that you have to retrieve from your files and they want you to provide that information by a certain date, make sure you provide that follow up within that time frame.
Now if that company is very busy and they’re getting a flood of applicants they may say that they’re not expecting to follow up with you for a week or two weeks. Abide by that time frame. Give them some time to get through their flood of applicants. And then at the end of two weeks, if you still haven’t heard from them it’s ok to follow up and say “just wanted to remind you of our interview on such-and-such a date and the information we discussed, I’m still interested.” And just have that respectful follow up that says ‘I respect your time, I’m still interested, what’s the next step?’
Heather: So like you said companies receive so many applications, obviously not everyone can be accepted. So what are some good tips on handling rejection?
Tony: Good question. I had fun with a blog post about a year ago. I forget the forum but it was around Valentine’s Day over a year ago and someone had discussed the similarity between dating and the job search and one of the comments had taken us down the path of going to a bar and trying to find a soul mate. And there are arguments about whether or not you’re going to find a soul mate at a bar anyway but that’s beside the point. The fact is that if you find someone that you really like, you find a company that you really like and you’re pursuing them, you’re wooing them, you might not even get to that interview stage. Or you might not even get to the second or third interview. There may be that rejection.
The blog post I remember and the comment was along the lines of, you’re at a bar, you’re interacting with someone that you really like and they reject you. You can go away disappointed, you can go away completely dissatisfied with their response, the fact that they rejected you. Or you can smile and thank them and move on. One of the comments actually described a situation where one woman rejects you and doesn’t want to dance with you, doesn’t want to accept your drink and you simply move to her friend and ask her friend whether or not she’d be interested in dancing or sharing a drink with you.
I personally like that approach and I think the same thing is true in pursuing a company. If you’re interested in a particular company and a particular industry and you have a professional skill that is needed in that industry, by sharing your interest with a particular company and getting rejected you learn from that experience. You understand what they’re looking for and perhaps you’re learning from that experience what you have to do to improve your interview with the next company.
So think of the company as, in my case I’m thinking of the company as a woman that I’m interested in dating. And I go to the first company and the first company rejects me, I learn from that experience. Why was I rejected? And I move to the next company and I’m better prepared for that interview and I provide the information that they’re looking for and I understand what skills they’re looking for. I may have even taken the time to understand the industry better and understand what their customers and competitors are like better, so that when I go to the next interview, I won’t get rejected.
Heather: Absolutely, excellent points. Well thanks so much Tony that’s actually all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Talent Connection, a podcast about connection job seekers and employers produced by Cachinko. For details about the next episode, please visit blog.cachinko.com.