Mind Grapes

and then things get awesome

What TV Shows do you watch?

[originally posted on the BrightWave Marketing blog]

For the last 6 years or so I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of multiple companies that were in high growth mode. This inevitably leads to an increase in staff which in turn means several interviews, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 – 4 interviews per hire. At this point in time I’ve interviewed several hundred people in the digital marketing space. Also know that I get easily bored and don’t like to say the same thing twice (which is why I think gravitate to positions like COO). If you take both those points into consideration you could see how I might lose interest in interviews even though it is one of the most important things a services agency can do.So, I came up with a question that would keep me entertained while still being useful: What TV Shows do you watch?*

After asking this to hundreds of people I realized how much information I could get out of this question. Although there is no wrong answer (even, “I don’t watch TV”), it’s a personality test, it’s an honesty test, it tells me at least one way you keep up with pop-culture (we are in marketing after all) and in general it just reveals a little about who you are. Aside from giving me information about you, it helps ease tension, gives you a question you weren’t expecting (till now), and 9 times out of 10 opens up a point of commonality (we’ll have at least 1 show in common) between you and one of the two people interviewing you (I like 2 on 1 interviews best). Oh, and I just love TV shows (or episodic video) because it allows the viewer to build a relationship with the characters in a way movies don’t.

I’ve learned that in many ways this ends up being the most important question I’ll ask, along with favorite hobbies (yikes! gave away another one). This question usually opens up the conversation to who you really are as a person and who we really are as a company. It turns out that it’s more important that everyone likes each other and gets along than it does how awesome you are at PhotoShop. Don’t get me wrong, the technical skills are important and you probably didn’t make it that far in the interview without them, but knowing that you can work well with the team AND have a common vision is the real significance.

Why is this important? Because you spend more time with people at work than anyone else in your life. Because great companies rally around a common vision. Because I don’t want to work somewhere where people don’t like coming in to work, and clients don’t want to work with those types of people either.

We don’t all need to be the same, there are strengths in our differences. We have just as many “History Channel” watchers as we have “Robot Chicken” watchers, but they all work together and have common ground. Keep in mind common ground (everyone wins) is different than middle ground (everyone compromises).

BrightWave is hiring. What does this mean to you? If you want to work here we want you to enjoy working here and make us enjoy working here more. We expect you to add something to the mix and we expect to give you something in return. You have to be passionate about what you are doing in addition to being smart, savvy, and skilled.

I can’t tell you why we are different or better than anyone else, you’ll have to meet us to find out. But if you don’t think we are different and better then we don’t want you to work here. We focus on serving (we even have a reverse org chart), educating ourselves, and doing our best. If that isn’t you then no worries, if it is then please tell me your favorite TV shows.

Here is where we put job openings when we have them, http://www.brightwavemarketing.com/employment.php

Oh yeah…
Surprisingly, only about once in five times do I get asked what my favorite TV shows are. I usually say that it’s not a fair question because I watch all TV shows. I really do subscribe to several shows and keep up with them when I can but I won’t name them here. One thing I hate (too strong?) is when someone was told that I ask that question and tries to name TV shows they think I will like (someone once said their favorite TV show was “Star Wars”**).
I will say that most BrightWavers watch “Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. It’s definitely not a requirement and in some ways may be a plus if you don’t. I suspect most of us watch it to feel better about ourselves 🙂

– RT

*This is a big reveal for those coming to interview. I’m giving away all my secrets so I’ll have to come up with additional questions now. However, this is a reward for anyone who has done their homework and found this post 🙂
** Nerd Note: This was before Clone Wars was a series

 

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