Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Job matchmaking

The more I watch The Millionaire Matchmaker, the more I realize that looking for jobs is like dating. Both job hunting and finding a soulmate is about finding the perfect fit, the person with the whole package. But most importantly it's about personality and chemistry.

The Millionaire Matchmaker has become a guilty pleasure for me to watch. I like Patti Stanger's energy and honesty (however, I wouldn't like her honesty if I were one of the girls in the pre-screening). Patti and her team of matchmakers, match millionaires with smart and good looking non-millionaires. Most part of the show is about being presentable to the other person and become a good date, with the hopes that two people have found the right one.

In almost every episode, both the millionaires and the non-millionaires, ask each other questions like: What kind of girl/guy are you looking for? How do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you want a family? What are your hobbies? What do you do for living? What happened in your previous relationship?

And you see, those are, believe it or not, similar questions asked in an interview: What kind of employee are you looking for? How do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you want to commit with this company? What are your interests in this job? What experiences do you have? What happened in your previous job?

These are the questions that are meant to get to know each other (as a couple or as employer-employee). Both the employer and the millionaires ask questions in order to find if the other person is the right fit for them. Do they have the characteristics you are looking for? Looks, experience, knowledge, personality, chemistry?

Employers, besides experience, are looking for the personality and fit for the company. For example, if you apply for a company where the culture is all corporate and professional, and you tend to dress eccentric, covered in tattoos, have your hair dyed pink, have numerous piercings, then chances are that you don't fit in the company and hence they will not hire you. BUT, if you apply for a job at like Hot Topics, HMV, West 49, then you completely fit the company's image. However, if the company has a chill and casual atmosphere, and you are the chill and nice looking person, your changes of getting a job are higher, because you can blend in with other employers at the company.

Personality is important. You don't wanna date a guy or girl who is boring, dull, stressed, cocky on your first date. Just how employers don't want to hire a person who is boring, dull, stressed, and cocky in the first interview. Kind of personalities that both people and employers look for: courteous, sense of humor, friendly, open minded, outgoing, independent, ambitious, and smart. If you put these characteristics out in your first interview, then you nailed 60% of the interview. The other 40% is the experience.

Few months ago I applied to this job. Few weeks ago, I learned that someone else got the job. Yesterday, I learned that she has my same name. I thought that I had nothing to lose to ask someone who got the job I applied to how did she succeed in getting the job. She told me that she was actually surprised she got the job because she knows there are people with more experience and didn't even get the job. She also said that you have to know what the employer is looking for. She's got a similar experience in her last job, she was available to start immediately, and she looks like she fits in with the other people working there.

So next time I get an interview, I will know how to deal with it. The things I think I lack is the experience department. For me, it always comes down to the "No experience, no job / No job, no experience" dilemma. I also sometimes think that I have got the personality, but my nerves get the best of me sometimes and I am unable to channel my personality to the interviewer. I need to make my personality shine! I wanna be like Zooey Deschanel. You look at her and you wanna be friends with her instantly. I want to interviewers look at me and say "You're Hired!"

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