There is a story in Native American history of an Indian chief who one night talking to his tribe tells them there are two dogs inside his mind. One a white dog who is good and courageous, the other a black dog who is vengeful and spiteful. He tells the tribe the dogs are fighting to the death. A brave, not able to wait for the end of the story asks "Which one of them will win." The chief responds "The one I feed."
Let’s face it, sometimes it’s really easy to be someone who we’re not. Humans are the ultimate adaptation machines. Yet, it’s because of this adaptability that many of us end up working in the wrong environments. In complete honesty, the interview process that most businesses go through is inconsistent, to say the least. Many companies have online filters; which filter applications, resumes, cover letters, you name it. More concerning are companies who vet applicants based off online personality tests. All of these mechanisms have the core common purpose to bring the right candidates to the company for an in person interview. What I’ve come to find, is that despite spending buko bucks on the latest technology, and application filters; businesses are forgetting that humans are the ultimate adaptation machines and know exactly what interviewers want to hear. In today’s blog we’re going to talk about why it’s important to NOT be the right person for the job; but rather be the right person for the company environment:
The Mindset – I have a slight confession… at one point in my life I probably could have qualified as a professional job applicant and interviewer. I used to send out a ton of resumes and as a result of a
good resumewould get a decent amount of interviews. What I realized during the interview process is that I could be anyone who I wanted, and my answers to each interviewer reflected that. I consciously and subconsciously knew what interviewers wanted to hear based on their questions, but mostly tone of voice, facial expressions, etc… Now, some might be thinking, what’s the secret!? But what I’m about to tell you, is that knowing what interviewers want to hear is no superpower at all!
The Environment – After getting multiple job offers and taking several jobs I found out one pretty important thing: The answers I gave during my interview didn’t reflect who I was. As a result I stuck out like sore thumb in company culture. I soon realized being the “right” person for the job really had no impact; it became more about who I was working with that determined my overall enjoyment of being at work. We’ve all been there, when working with people who fit into our tribe and share our goals and interests time flies; yet when working with people who don’t agree with our values and mindset, time can go freakishly slow. After going through a few jobs and learning this the hard way, I started to customize and cater my interview questions of my personal and professional beliefs, to the company I was interviewing with.
Your Questions – At the end of every interview the interviewer always asks, “Do you have any questions?” Quick interview tip: Always have questions prepared, and don’t let the first question you ask be about you. My questions would always be directed more towards company culture such as: “what are some of the core values and beliefs of the business?” or ask the interviewer “what is it about this business, that you like working here?” nine times out of ten the interviewer will reply “I love the people I work with” and then you can ask “what is it about the company culture and people that you like so much?." Conversation like that gives both you and the interviewer the tools necessary to make an educated decision to see if you would be a good fit for the company.
Conclusion – Never interview for a job; but interview for a
company. I have a firm belief that humans can do any job they want, and it’s not pay or a job title that determines their happiness in doing so; its the company culture and the people who they spend the most time with that brings them the most happiness. As described in the quote above, we all have the power to be happy but it’s a matter of continuously feeding that happiness is what makes the ultimate change and difference in our lives. What do you think? Is being a “right” fit for a job more important than being the “right” fit for the work environment? How does your environment define you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!