If you are interested in the position, or are reading this because you are trying to learn more about me for our interview, let me share with you some advice.
One of my philosophies that I have borrowed along my legal marketing career is that what we do is all about getting to know, like and trust one another. Without these three things, true relationships cannot be formed, built, nor sustained.
If you are interviewing with me, know that I have already Googled you. If you do not know what your Google results look like, you better figure it out fast and ask yourself: “Is this how I want to be known?”
What does your open Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram accounts say about you? Will I learn what I need to know about you, or, worse yet, will what I learn about you lead me to pass on even calling you in for an interview?
During the interview process, bring your true self, not the self you think I want to meet.
We are in the relationship business. If you are at the interview it’s because I believe you have enough of the basic skills to do the job. But do you have what it takes to work along side me, or with my team? What about the attorneys in the firm, and our client base?
If you are open to being taught, I can teach you how to work a program. If you are open to new experiences, you can learn how to figure this or that out with a little help and guidance. But if you’re an asshole, arrogant, or entitled, I’m not going to spend 8+ hours a day with you no matter how talented you are.
This is the most important quality, as far as I am concerned. I can know you, and I can like you, but if I cannot trust you, game over.
How to build my trust? One word: Honesty.
In a one-on-one with a partner last week we talked briefly about my interview. He mentioned asking me a specific question, in a very specific way, and he liked my answer.
The question asked doesn’t matter, nor does my exact response. What mattered is that my answer did not tell him what I thought he wanted to hear, but what I believed to be right and true.
Too often, during the interview process, the interviewee tells the interviewer what they want to hear, or what they think they want to hear, rather than using the interview as an opportunity to explore the job’s possibilities and if it is a good fit. The same is true with the interviewer. If they are hiding information, or painting a rosier picture of the firm, the results are the same: A bad fit.
In my pre-legal marketing days, I interviewed with a company. I was impressed and excited and accepted the position. On my first day, in the first team meeting it went something like this:
New Boss: “If we don’t turn this enterprise around by December 31 we risk the company shutting its doors come January 1.”
Did I mention it was September?
That was not the job I signed up for, in the least.
Needless to say, I never trusted my boss from that day forward. We never developed a good relationship. And I never felt at ease in my job.
If what we do truly boils down to know, like, and trust, shouldn’t we begin with being honest and true to ourselves? And then allow that true self to be revealed? If you don’t get the job, it’s because the job wasn’t right for you, or you were not right for the job. And that is OK, and how it should be.
Since I changed my interview style, and how I approach the process, I have yet to regret the jobs or the new hires where I said yes, or the ones where we mutually agreed it was a no.