- Robb Conlon
You might be asking yourself, what do scaly reptiles have to do with hunting for a job...?
Surprisingly, quite a bit based on today's little story that gives this article its title.
We've all heard that we need to impress interviewers by doing research on their company and making it look like we want to work there.
Whether that's true or not is up to you, but in Recruiting Hell we tend to advise folks to apply to jobs that they actually have a chance of liking. So we'll be honest on that part and say that we are genuinely interested in a position.
We've heard the advice to look at the "About" page on the company to find out their year founded and who the original owner was, but there's a different method to this that will help your job search when it comes to landing a potential position.
I recently had an opportunity to interview with a company that outwardly appears to have an amazing culture. The interactions I've had have been wonderful, the hiring process isn't making me tear my hair out, and it seems genuinely like a place I'd like to work.
Last Thursday I had an interview with them, and spent around 60 minutes researching every little thing I could about the company. The founder, year founded, potential number of employees, how they work, their core values, you get the picture.
I placed this all into a google document for myself to reference during the interview and then I went to look at the LinkedIn Profiles of the folks who would likely be interviewing me.
I soaked up as much information as I could from these profiles and then I stumbled upon it...
Buried deep within the Director of HR's profile was an achievement from a few years back that he had written a piece of fiction and submitted it to a contest.
The Story was called "12 Crocodiles", and it's about a man who wakes up one morning to find out his soul has been stolen, and that the party responsible wants 12 crocodiles in exchange for said soul. The man then has to wrangle these 12 reptiles of varying attitudes to help get his soul back.
I'd never heard of this story before and I thought it was really intriguing. So I jotted it down on my page to ask as a last question for the interview.
Here's the logic.
The hiring director had this on his profile, and it was the only thing like it. That tells me it's important to him in some way and meant enough to be on a public site as an accomplishment. The position I was applying for had an emphasis on client management and knowing a clients business.
So imagine the reaction when the final question before closing out the interview with this director is, "So my last question is, what's "12 Crocodiles" about?".
It was a stunner, and proof to him that I did the digging, did the research on who he and his company were.
You can find the very same type of smart question to ask as well.
You need to base it off the role you're applying for, and you need to find the piece of information about the company or individual you're interviewing with that is going to make them stop in their tracks that you noticed that.
If we look at my own profile, something you might ask me about would be Integrity Solutions. It's an important aspect of how I sell, and if you asked more about it, I'd know you were deep in my profile doing quality research.
There are other ways to do this as well when networking in person. Try to remember the little things folks say when you meet them or watch for what really makes them light up.
For me, it's my podcast.
For you and others, it's something else, and it is on you to find it so that you can deploy it effectively in an interview as I did.