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Hiring Great People at Jameco

By Greg Harris

The Key to Getting a Job

Hiring Great People Getting a job requires using sales and marketing skills. If you have an engineering brain, then your appreciation for the people in your Sales and Marketing departments probably has a bit of ebb and flow to it. No doubt your appreciation is never higher than when you find yourself having to look for a job.

Finding a job requires channeling your best sales and marketing skills to figure out what the hiring manager is looking for and how you can position yourself as the answer to all their needs. You'll have to anticipate their questions, prepare answers and be able to look at yourself with a critical eye and figure out how to dance around the negatives while promoting your positives.

While all of the concepts above (and more) are important, in my opinion none of these examples is the most important consideration to get a job. The most important thing to getting a job is to forget everything you ever learned in school about being "cool."

I was never cool in high school. Frankly, all I ever wanted was to be like the cool kids, but it wasn't meant to be. While these cool kids mastered their social environment, I would later learn that being cool didn't always translate when it came to looking for a job.

See, cool people have a persona that ultimately translates into "disinterest." Cool people don't try to get someone to like them. Cool people don't brag about themselves. Cool people wait for us to come to them. None of that works in a job-seeking environment.

I've seen it happen first hand. Recently here at Jameco, we interviewed for a new Marketing Managing Editor for this newsletter. One candidate in particular stood out. He had great experience and was very cool. When the interviewers got together to discuss the candidates, here's what they said about this cool candidate:

"I'm not sure he would work hard enough."
"It's not clear to me that he really wants this job."
"I didn't get the sense that there was a good organizational fit."
"I don't think he will be happy here."

While being un-cool is not the only criteria for getting a job, in my experience, the person who wants the job the most usually gets the job.

Let me say that even more precisely. If, as a job candidate, you don't want that job so much that it will hurt if you don't get it, then you are less likely to get the job. And, of course showing how much you want a job is almost the definition of being un-cool.

Here's another example. I once interviewed a woman who was a friend of a friend. She didn't get the job because no one she interviewed with was convinced she really wanted the job. That friend asked me many months later if we had found someone more qualified. "No," I replied, "she was the most qualified, but we thought she didn't want the job." I was later told that she couldn't have been more surprised that that was the impression she made.

Conversely, the woman who we hired as the new Marketing Managing Editor flat-out told one of the interviewers, "You probably have heard this from everybody, but I really want this job and I think I would be a good fit." The interviewer responded, "Actually, we haven't."

There are lots of great interview and job seeking tips. If you have one you want to share, email [email protected]. We'd love to know what other people have discovered through their experiences and maybe we'll find a way to share it with Jameco readers in a future article.