86. How Do You Crush Your First Job Interview?

Getting a good job is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your financial prosperity. Today Connor and Brittany give listeners some advice on how they can prepare for their future careers now and give some helpful tips on crushing a future job interview.

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Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

 

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: Now, many of our listeners are younger and might not be out looking for jobs right now, but to really understand the way the world works, it’s so important to understand, you know, what it takes to, for example, land a good job. And that’s what I wanna talk about today. You know, it’s gonna be very hard to pay rent and put food on the table and buy all the new gadgets you want without a job, without income. Yep. And we’ve talked on past episodes about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, but you know, the reality of the world is that a lot of people are not entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Maybe some people don’t have the right personality or skill set, or they just don’t want to, they prefer to have a steady paycheck, a steady job, and that’s fine too. and even, you know, future entrepreneurs sometimes work for other people before branching off on their own, right? It’s, a great thing to work for a few companies, learn how they do things, and then once you’ve learned a lot, then you, you know, can go launch, your own business, for example. So today I wanna talk about what it takes to crush a job interview, even for teenagers. This isn’t just for adults, and, gives some helpful tips. So, maybe to start off, Brittany, how many jobs do you think you’ve interviewed for in your life?

Brittany: Like, too many to count, probably because I started interviewing for jobs when I was 16 or maybe 15. Cause I was like a nanny at 15. So a long, long time. Too many jobs to count. I don’t love them. But this is a really good skill to have because being a good interviewer will get you really far. And I know you, Connor, you’ve been kind of your own boss for most of your life, right? I think you even mentioned that you built websites as a kid, but you’ve probably interviewed for jobs, but you’ve also probably done a lot of job interviews, conducted them yourself, right?

Connor: Yeah, I, did have my own little website thing, but I worked at a lot of different jobs, certainly as a teenager, but also, you know, I didn’t start Libertas until I was, I think 20, let’s see, I wanna say 29 or 30. I think I was 30. And so I worked for all kinds of different companies from when I was a teenager to, you know when I was 29 or 30. So, but yeah, now since I’ve been, for about the past nine years or so, I’ve been interviewing a lot of other people to hire them. And so I wanna share a few things. And Brittany, I want you to chime in if you’ve had experienced yourself, with, your own interviews and things to look for, things to do well, if you are interviewing for a job. Now, here’s what’s interesting. I believe it was the past episode we were talking with Larry Reed and he talked about common people versus uncommon people. Like, you wanna be uncommon because, you know, common people don’t stand up for what’s right or don’t be courageous. It’s uncommon people who are kind of the exception. And you want to be uncommon because what you find in life is that a lot of people are fine with the status quo, right? They’re fine with the path of least resistance. They’re kind, kind of lemmings. They, just follow people.

Brittany: That’s a good word.

Connor: Yeah. They’ll follow people off a cliff, even like oh, here’s what society is doing. I’ll go do that too. And, so you don’t wanna do what everyone else is doing, especially when people are doing the wrong thing. And that can even apply to job interviews as, a boss, myself, as an employer, there are so many people who do things the wrong way. So the first thing you want to do is obviously you wanna have a good resume. And when you’re young, that’s hard. You don’t have a lot of stuff, but you can do your best and you can be creative. Now here’s what’s interesting, especially today, what I would do to set myself apart is not just send a resume to a job that you’re applying for, but also send a video resume.

Brittany: Never heard that before.

Connor: a video cover letter. In fact, we require this of people applying us cuz we wanna see how they handle themselves on camera, what their personality is like more than on a piece of paper. And so a video, resume, or a video cover letter is basically you can just create a selfie video. And if you wanna work for a company, you send over your resume, but then you say, oh, here’s a link to a video I created. I guarantee you they’re gonna watch the video, especially if you’re like, Hey, it’s only a couple minutes long, right? Even if you wanna apply it like a department store, the business down the road, you’re like, Hey, I created a little video just to introduce myself. That’s clever. It’s uncommon, right? And that is the key here. If you’re applying for a job, there’s a lot of other people, especially if it’s kind of a troubling economy, right? There’s a lot of people competing for that same job. Your goal is to stand out from the rest. Your goal, your goal is to show that, you know, you rise above everyone else. That if they have a big stack of resumes, that yours is the one or one of the ones to have at the top of the stack. And so shoot a little video, do a little cover letter introducing yourself and say how excited you are. Here’s another idea. I actually learned this one from Isaac Morehouse, a friend of ours. and he runs a company, I believe, and we can link to this in the show notes, page two, I believe it’s crash.co. Where, CEO, where he’s helping young adults do this exact thing to create kind of this video little based, cover letters and introductions to send out to people. So Isaac has studied this issue a lot. And what he talks about when you want to try and get a job, you want to show your potential employer, right? The company that you wanna work for. You wanna show them that you’ve done your homework, right? What I don’t like as an employer, Brittany, is when I have a, in fact, this happens literally all the time. I post a job interview and it doesn’t just happen to me. This happens to everyone who’s hiring. I post a job interview and then I say, okay, here’s, you know, what we’re looking for and so forth. And then I get these random applications from people who, yeah, they want the job, but they didn’t adapt the, resume to say like at the top where it’s like, here are my objectives. They didn’t customize it at all. So it’s, through the job. Yeah. It’s just kinda bland sounding, right? They have a very generic cover letter. so it makes it sound very clearly like they just wrote it once and they’re sending it to, a hundred people. This is the spray-and-pray approach, right?

Brittany: I’ve never heard that before. That’s funny.

Connor: It’s spraying everywhere and praying that you’ll succeed, right? No, you wanna be as in like, think of fo the teenagers out there and the young adults, right? Think of the dating world. You don’t just go out there and say the same exact thing to every person. You try and identify what that boy or girl is interested in you try and kind of connect with them individually and make yourself appealing to them individually. It’s that same way with an employer. It’s very much like a dating relationship, right? It’s kind of the get to know you at first. You have to catch their attention because there’s a lot of other people competing for their, attention. For me as a guy, I think of it like a there’s the pretty girl at the dance, right? Or at the club or at the whatever. And every all the other guys are trying to catch her attention, right? And I need to stand out. And that’s how you need to think of yourselves as a job applicant. So think of doing the video. but another way of, doing it as well is think of how you can solve a problem, right? So what I just said a moment ago is you don’t wanna spray and pray. You don’t wanna have a generic cover letter or resume. You wanna take just a few minutes to personalize it for that company. But what you wanna do, and Isaac talks about this, you wanna go a step further and show them that you’ve done a little bit of homework. So here’s how that might look. Imagine that there’s a company that sells dog toys and you wanna work there. They’re kind of a dog toy manufacturer. I’m just picking this idea out of nowhere. And, so what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna spend an hour if you really wanna work for, if you don’t want, if you just need a job and you’re spraying and praying, then fine. But if there’s a company that you’re like, Hey, I’d really like to work for them for these various reasons, great. So you’re gonna do a little bit of homework. You’re gonna go to their social media channels. Like let’s say you wanna do marketing for them, right? You wanna help them do social media marketing or something like that. You’re gonna go to their Facebook page and their Instagram. You’re gonna scroll through. You’re gonna look at how many people like the content, how many people are commenting. you’re gonna look at how often they post. You’re gonna look at what kinds of content and you’re just gonna look through it. And maybe you’re gonna go do your homework and compare it to some other brands. Maybe they’re competitors. And then you’re gonna tell them in your little cover letter, Hey, I’m so excited about working here. I took the time to do my own little analysis and here’s what I found and here’s ways I think that the company can improve. If you look at your competitor that they’re posting three times as often as you are on social media and they’re engaging in the comments so that they boost engagement and get people commenting more often, whereas your company doesn’t post very much and doesn’t engage at all in the comments, I think I would bring value to your team by being on the social media team and responsible for community engagement so that we could elevate your profile and boost, you know, engagement in your social media or something like that, right? And I’m just making this up on the flight. The point is, you’ve done a little bit of homework, you’ve looked at what they’ve done, you’ve offered suggestions and you’ve connected it to how you can help and why that’s important. That company may have their own reasons for why they don’t engage in comments or why they don’t post as often as they do. And you don’t know that, right? Like you don’t have access to that information, but they know that you don’t know that they know however or they see that you’ve taken the time to already start trying to think of how to help their company. You’re looking like a problem solver. You’re coming across as someone who is uncommon, who isn’t just saying, Hey, lemme go through the motions and hopefully you hire me. It’s like, no, I’m so excited about your company. I’m already thinking about ways to contribute. That’s amazing, right?

Brittany: So I’m curious if you get someone who says that, would you be as the, you know, the company, would you be like, oh, how dare they insult? Or would you be looking at them as, oh, you’re solving a problem you’re creating or demonstrating the value you can bring to the team? Cause I think a lot of people might be hesitant to do that cuz they think, oh, I don’t know, want to insult what they’re doing, right? But there’s a right and a wrong way to do that.

Connor: Absolutely. I’m glad you brought that up. The first is you gotta make sure your tone is right. So you wanna be complimentary at first. Hey, your Instagram posts are amazing, you’ve got such great photos, I really love it. So you start with the compliment and then you give the constructive feedback, right? Like, Hey, here’s how I think you can do even better. So you don’t wanna criticize. You wanna be like, oh, you guys are doing awful. You wanna be like, you wanna praise something the company is doing, right? Maybe it’s not social media. Maybe you’re a developer, you’re, you know, a program and you’re like, Hey, your guys’ software works really well, but I see that it’s only on iOS and it’s not on Android and I’m an Android developer. Let me help you. Right? Like, so you’re complimenting whatever they’re doing in some aspect that you like, and then you’re identifying something that you think is a way to improve now how you can then improve even further. so the first thing is to be complimentary, but then you also want to say what I said a moment ago, you want to recognize, so you can even say this in the email. Look, I know that you may have reasons for not, let’s go back to my example for not posting as often as you do or for not engaging the comments. And obviously I don’t have that information, but I do know that companies that do these things tend to perform better. And I’d love to engage with your team and figure out ways such as these to improve. So you wanna say like, look, I recognize I don’t have all the knowledge, I’m just from the sidelines, right? From the outsider’s perspective. I’m trying to think through how you guys can level up and here’s some ideas. All that matters here is that you are already thinking of how to help them. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to even be accurate. It just shows that you’re already working on their behalf. And here’s, here’s where that gets even more, crazy. Isaac Morehouse is the one that set me on this path as well. And I’ve seen this work in a few cases. if there’s a company you really wanna work for like really wanna work for, okay, to gain certain skills or have it as a resume builder or like there your target is set on that company, what you want to do is you want to offer to work for free. Okay? If you’re a young person, you can get away with this cuz mom and dad are paying the rent and paying the bills and, you know, you can assume a lot more risk, even if you’re a young adult living on your own. Maybe you work for dirt cheap. Maybe you say minimum wage for first. What you wanna do is give them a trial. Okay? So you go to the company, let’s say you’re a teenager and you’re like, Hey, I’m so passionate about your company and I think I can actually help a lot based on X, Y, and z. And I’m so sure of my, abilities that I’m willing to give you a trial. I’m willing to work for free for your company for 30 days, or 90 days, just so that you can see what I can contribute. And if at the end of the trial you wanna walk away and you don’t think it’s working out, no problem at all. And I’ll, you know, we’ll go our separate ways and I’ll wish you the best. But I think you’re gonna love what you’re gonna see. And you’re gonna want me to be part of the team. I’m sitting here as an employer, if someone came to me and identified how they can help my company and they were willing to do it for free or for very little money, I would be blown away. I would absolutely say, well, yeah, like who’s gonna turn away free help for someone who’s, you know, confident in their abilities. Now here’s what’s genius about this. If you do this in that 30 days or 90 days, you’re building relationships with coworkers.

Brittany: Kinda Networking too. We’ve talked about that before.

Connor: Absolutely. You’re networking, you’re demonstrating your ability. You are taking ownership of something. So if I as an employer start assigning things to this kid or this young adult or whatever, right? Pretty soon they’re gonna get good at it. They’re gonna start doing it. Now I don’t have to anymore. I’m delegating to them, oh, my life is better cuz that person’s doing it, et cetera, et cetera. At the end of that 30 days or 90 days, I’m not gonna want to have to do that again myself. I’m not gonna want to have to find someone else or go through a hiring process. The most natural thing for me. As long as this person isn’t crazy right? And like, and that they work well, the most natural thing for me is to say, you’re hired. Right? Like, keep doing what you’re doing because it’s going to be painful for me if I have to go out and hire people and find more people. Like, the easiest thing for me is to just say yes to you. So it’s a very sneaky way to get your foot in the door to a company you love, especially if you can identify, here’s a problem that I think you have. Here’s a solution that I can help with, and I’m willing to give you a low-risk or no-risk experience in working with me. That would be a game-changer. And the young people listening who do this, you’re at a much better position than those of us with kids and mortgages and all that kind of stuff. It’s much harder to do anything like that. Use it while you got it because you can set yourself apart like crazy. Can I share, do we have time for final one, Brittany? Yes, let’s do it. I have, I have a final one that I wanna do. And this was born of an experience I just went through and, again, be uncommon. Like, it’s so crazy how this happens. When, whenever I applied for a job, I would always send a follow-up, thank you email, right? Hey, thanks for your time. Really appreciate it. I look forward to hearing back from you. Something simple. Maybe it’s got a little personal touch in there. Like, oh man, you know, like we both love Star Wars. That was amazing. It’s, I’m so glad to know you or, you know, I was really excited to meet the team. You guys seem like awesome people. Something like that. Just a brief little touch. Some people might go so far as to do a thank you card and, hand delivers it, which you know, is going above and beyond, but you just wanna say, Hey, thanks. It shows personality. It shows what’s called like emotional maturity. Like I, have a good head on my shoulders, right? I know that this is how good people ought to treat one another and say thank you and so forth. I just went through an interview process for,  we were hiring a new, employee, interviewed a whole bunch of people out of all of these people. Brittany, only one person sent me a follow-up. Thank you. Just an email literally took 10 seconds for this person. Only one person did it. Out of all of the applicants, you wanna guess who I hired?

Brittany: The person who sent the letter, I bet

Connor: And I didn’t hire them only for that reason, right? But they stood out immediately.

Brittany: They were Uncommon.

Connor: They were uncommon. No one else did this. And then I’m, racking my brain thinking, why doesn’t anyone else do this? But here, this person is, that makes me more confident in their abilities. and so I’m much more likely to hire them. Just think of creative ways, guys. You can even Google a lot of this stuff. Creative ways to, you know, send a follow up, thank you. Or creative ways to apply for a job and just find unique ways. Like if I got, a FedEx package, and it had someone’s resume and cover letter, I mean, you could even get crazy. There’s video cards like that you can get for like 15, 20 bucks where you can like load a video on it. So then I get it in the mail and I hit play and it has like a little battery inside and a little video screen and plays a video. Imagine sending a little video cover letter like that to a company, right? Like absolutely the employer’s gonna check that out. He is gonna show everyone like, Hey, look what we just got. This kid seems, you know, incredible that he would like go to this length. and so be like, if I got something in FedEx, forget the video, idea. Imagine I just got a resume, a cover letter, and maybe, you know, a nice tie or a box of chocolate or something with a little bit of personal touch, you know, where you think that person might appreciate it or just, oh, hey, heads up. I’m, this person. I’m gonna give you a call in, you know, a few days to see if we could set up an interview. Like, all you have to do is a little bit of investment of time like that and you are immediately gonna stand out and succeed. And, I guarantee you, if you do stuff like this, you are gonna succeed so much more in your career just by standing out from the masses. Some people might say, oh well they have a process, right? They have an interview process. Well, yeah, for all the common people. right? because they have to filter out all the common people.

Brittany: Yeah,

Connor: they have to take all the applicants and then filter them down and look at the resumes and then go through the process. Like all the common people have to be like in like an industry factory, right? Like you got the conveyor belts and everything’s standardized. It’s all the same. You don’t wanna be the same. You wanna set yourself apart. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. But guys, you will see such a reward. Any final thoughts here, Brittany, from your own experience?

Brittany: Just echoing everything you said. And I really like the thank you letter. Not only cuz it does show gratitude, but I love the term uncommon now. I love that we’ve kind of brought that back in because I think that’s important. You want to stand out and there’s gonna be a lot of people applying for jobs. So yeah, strive to be uncommon.

Connor: Strive to be uncommon. We gotta turn that into a hashtag or something that’s maybe it’ll make a t-shirt about it.

Brittany: There you go.

Connor: Great. Is always a chat with you guys. Take this advice to heart, especially for those of you who are teenagers, young adults, you’re trying to figure out how to build a career. go check it out I think it’s crash.co. We will link to that and other resources from Isaac Morehouse who is absolutely worth following in this kind of arena. If you’re a young adult you’re gonna wanna learn about practice, we’ll link to that as well. Head to Tuttletwins.com/podcast. Check out the show notes page. Until next time, Brittany will talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.

 

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