Searching for a new role is HARD. Regardless of your reason for being ‘on the market’, it’s a road full of twists and turns, ups and downs and general emotional carnage. We all feel this on some level, just some of us a little more profoundly than others.
No matter how much you think you might want the role you have applied for, it’s important that you remain as objective as possible throughout the process. You should be interviewing and assessing us right back. All the while asking yourself the question; do you actually want to work with/for the people that you have interacted with during the hiring process?
With that in mind, I want to give you a little insight into some of what makes us tick on the other side of the fence. De-mystify the process a little and hopefully make things a little easier for everyone in the process. Here are some of the things I think it’s worth being aware of that can have an impact on the way that we might view you as a prospective employer.
Your CV should be a conversation-starter as opposed to the whole conversation. Entice us with some juicy achievements for sure, but be prepared to really paint the picture when you meet us in person.
There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple: a clean, efficient CV covering your employment track record thus far is great. Keep it specific. Stick to the facts. Some bullets on your role, some bullets on your achievements.
When it comes to your work history, I’m really interested in three specific things in the early stages of interacting with you: what you liked about a role, what you didn’t like about a role and why you left.
I might choose to dig a little deeper around your motivations for things as we progress our conversations, but ultimately these three questions give me a tremendous insight into your suitability for the role I’m hiring and for working with the other people we already have in our business.
Try to make plans as efficiently and as painlessly as possible. Companies will often have a bunch of interviews happening for different roles at any one given time. We try to make this process as simple, friendly and as informal as we can, but we know it can be hard for all parties.
From both sides of the fence, the way we communicate with each other throughout this process can form a huge part of how we judge each other as people – we want you to feel positive about the possibility of working at Shazam, even when it comes to the smaller details like this.
One size does not fit all. Be mindful of the fact that not all interactions work for everyone. Some people like to speak on the phone, some like to meet, some like to send messages, some like to email. Be prepared to adapt the style of your approach and interaction for different audiences. Do this by being mindful of their responses when you approach them. Reading emotional intelligence effectively, even online, will mean that you are able to find a style that works for all parties.
Consider the tone of voice of all forms of communication you are sending, including your CV. Be positive, be open and be engaging.
Invest time in getting to know who you really are and what makes you tick, then let that permeate everything that you do. Trust me, it’s the safest investment you will ever make – both when it comes to networking and in life in general. People feel authenticity instinctively – whether you meet them online or in person, so make sure that the version of you that you show to the world is the real one.
I’m all for professionalism, but please never be afraid to sound like you. At Shazam, we are delighted by the little glimmers of different people’s personalities they show us when we interact. We are a business full of personalities, so we dig that in a big, crazy way.
We want to show you who we really are and you should absolutely do the same. People often ask me for any specific tips when it comes to interviewing. For me THE most important one is: be yourself.
Your vibe will attract your tribe. If you project something other than that which you truly are, no one wins. You won’t be able to truly assess whether the company and the people you are meeting will be a good fit for you, because the version of you that we are interacting with, isn’t actually the real one.
I give the same advice to companies too. When our teams at Shazam conduct interviews I ask them to keep it as real as possible. We want to show you all the truest version of who we really are and what our challenges might be.
Be bold with giving us examples of how you might be able to deliver on some of our current challenges in practice, even when we haven’t asked for something specific. The more we can visualise us delivering against those, the more likely we are to think you are the person for the job.
If you leave a meeting feeling super-energised and excited about the role, don’t be afraid to drop over a note to say so. It’s wonderful to hear from you about what you are excited about, and also what you are not. We will ask you for feedback in the days that follow anyway, and offer ours, but don’t be afraid to make the first move.
If you are interested in someone professionally in general, never be afraid of reaching out to them and asking them to meet or connect online. It’s hugely flattering to have someone be interested in your expertise and what you do – most people will be responsive when you ask them. The worst thing that would happen is they say no, but there is an even bigger chance that they will say yes.
Approach every role you apply for as a brilliant networking opportunity and you won’t go far wrong. If you haven’t been successful with a specific role, it’s always great to go away from an experience having taken a few learnings and also secured a few contacts.
As a Recruiter, I will almost always want to keep the door open with you, and if you would like to do the same; awesome. We all need to make sure therefore that we go away from our interaction feeling great about it, so that staying in touch for future reference feels like the most natural and obvious thing to do. Because who knows, perhaps we might get to work together more directly in the future?