Tag Archive: I really work well with people


How many graduating university/college seniors in communications disciplines (i.e., public relations, marketing, investor relations, public affairs etc.) will utter the  worn-out cliché to hiring managers in the coming weeks and months: “I really work well with people”?

Gag!workwell

What precisely is the return-on-investment (ROI) for someone who allegedly works well with people?

How does one measure how effectively a candidate interacts with other humans?

Come to think of it if one was pursuing a career in anything and everything communications, wouldn’t working well with people be a given?

Tell me something – anything – that I don’t already know.

There are precisely 1.490 billion results when one Google’s, “I Really Work Well With People.” Surprised there are so few web instances devoted to this NOT thinking outside of the box phrase.

Almost DailyBrett will declare now, and will say it forever:

Telling a hiring manager you work well with people: 1.) Makes the hiring manager roll her or his eyes; 2.) Brings into question whether you have any creativity; 3.) Does not differentiate you from your tenacious competition for the legal tender; and 4.) Makes one wonder whether your brain has flat-lined.workwell1

Strong opinion to follow.

Tell Me/Us About Yourself?

At this point in the interview process, the hiring manager is transitioning from the requisite small talk to getting serious.

The above question, which surely will follow with “Why do you want to work for us?” is more than an ice-breaker. It is an opportunity for a candidate to systematically demonstrate ROI based upon experience, results, digital and analog skill sets and education.

Think of it this way: A dollar is a friend (same applies for pounds, euros, yen …).

An agency, corporation, non-profit, governmental agency has to spend a certain amount “friends” in the form of income statement SG&A salary, benefits, time-off and maybe even stock options to hire you as opposed to someone else or no one at all.

Why should they make this investment in your particular personality, talents and skills? Aren’t your type a dime a dozen?

Instead of the throw-away line about working well with people, how about talking about how you collaborate in teams and what you and your teammates accomplished? Everything should be first-person plural: We, Us and Our.

Teaching digitally oriented public relations, advertising, integrated marketing communications (IMC), blogging/social media, corporate communications and investor relations now at Central Washington University and before at the University of Oregon, our students were always required to work together as teams to reach assigned goals for their clients.

This experiential learning approach does not require each student to love or be loved by their teammates, which is asking too much. Instead, a hands-on collaborator needs to respect and be respected, which is the essence of being a good team player.

Instead of tired verbal Pablum, how about demonstrating with concrete examples how you teamed/collaborated with others to cure cancer, climb Mt. Everest, achieve world peace and break political gridlock in Washington, D.C.?

The candidate with real-time results, which can be quantified and verified, and who didn’t take all the credit but collaborated effectively with others, has a better chance – a much better opportunity – of being hired.

The Stark Difference Between Anxious and Interested

Let’s be generous for a second:

In most cases, the candidate who feels compelled to blurt out how well he or she works well with people (or others … a distinction without a difference) runs the real risk of coming across as hungry and anxious.workwell2

Hiring managers are not welfare agencies. They are not there to feed the hungry or heal the sick. They are there to recruit the best and the brightest to solve problems and perform miracles.

Some candidates feel compelled to incorporate “objectives” right at the top of their resumes, declaring they are seeking a position in a given field.

Well, duh!

Didn’t you already make that point in your cover letter?

The smart applicants start with a “profile,” detailing their individual value, accomplishments and what she or he is bringing to the party. These wise contenders immediately demonstrate through concrete examples their ROI.

They also speak in the language of the company, the agency, the non-profit, and the public sector agency.

Instead of “you know,” “you guys,” “me and my team,’ and Almost DailyBrett’s favorite, “stuff,” the prepared applicant talks about driving the top and bottom lines, fiduciary and corporate social responsibility, and enhancing SEO and SEM.

In short, they speak the language and signal it will not take long to become totally fluent in whatever serves as the Raison d’ etat for the entity doing the hiring.

Yes, the wise candidate understands very clearly how the hiring manager’s company makes money, which even applies to non-profits.

As you will note, this is not the first time your author has written about this subject. Just like cock roaches this offending phrase instead of going away is actually multiplying.

It’s time … not it’s past time … deep-six this horrific, “I really work well with people,” before another hiring manager has to excuse herself or himself from the table.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=I+Really+Work+Well+with+People

https://www.livecareer.com/interview-questions/how-well-you-work-people-you-prefer-working-alone

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interview-you/qt/working-with-people.htm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/11/15/the-20-people-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-work/#74d85a6264b5

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/online-college-not-good-enough-for-pr/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/i-really-work-well-with-people/

 

 

 

Really?

Did you just say that to a hiring manager?

Please tell me you didn’t just say that to a hiring manager?

Do you expect this person/organization will now magically hire you?

Have you ever heard of ROI?

Would you know ROI even if it bit you?

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)?

June is the traditional month for white weddings, skating the Stanley Cup, college-and-university graduations, and oodles of newly minted graduates sending out cover letters, resumes and hopefully preparing for interviews.

people1

Are hundreds, if not thousands, also warming up the tried-and-true: “I really work well with people”? Maybe these folks should take that phrase and $4.00 to Starbucks for a grande mocha with no whip. Or maybe just the $4.00?

If you are pursuing a career in public relations, employee communications, marketing, investor relations etc., wouldn’t working well with people (e.g., target audiences, stakeholders, colleagues) be a minimum prerequisite for any job?

If the hiring manager returned fire, and asked you to provide examples of how you really work well with people, would you be gasping for air?

Maybe you should be approaching this interview in a different, less-predictable way.

Maybe you should put yourself in the shoes of the manager and rhetorically ask: “What’s in it for me?” At that moment, you realize that really working well with people doesn’t pay the bills.

Think of it this way: the hiring manager’s organization has to expend its limited capital to hire you. You offer your precious college degree. That is only your ticket to play the game. And you “really work well with people.”

What else do you bring to the party?

Buy Low, Sell High

The cardinal sin of job candidates heading into interviews is being clueless about how a company or agency makes money.

If an organization is going to spend capital for your salary and benefits, wouldn’t it be a good idea to know where this money comes from?

Almost DailyBrett strongly suggests that job candidates arm themselves with two differentiators:

1.)   Experience above-and-beyond the college degree

2.)   A working knowledge of the organization that is taking the time and effort to interview you and check your background (let’s hope it is a clean background).

Your resume, which can exceed one page if you have the data to support a greater length, should highlight with quantifiable results your work experience, particularly communications-related internships, projects and jobs. Be prepared to discuss your experience (e.g. summer internships with a PR agency), what you accomplished and how you interacted successfully in a team environment. (Isn’t that better than the generic: “I really work well with people”?)

If the hiring manager’s organization is publicly traded or if the hiring manager’s agency represents publicly traded clients, then you have a literal treasure trove of research available to you with just a few clicks on your mobile and laptop device.

incomestatement

After answering questions about your direct experience, can you imagine posing interrogatives to the hiring manager based upon your knowledge of the company’s income statement, balance sheet, CEO annual report letter or the company description in its required 10-K filing to the SEC?

Ditto reading the financial and industry analyst (they are not the same) reports about the company or the clients, represented by an agency.

If a company is going to hire you, wouldn’t it be nice to know that the organization has the means to pay you going forward. Don’t forget the axiom: Last hired, first fired.

“Why do you want to work for us?”

There is a nearly 100 percent chance that you will be asked some variation of the above question.

For some this question is a wicked curve to use a beisboll metaphor. For you, it should be a lazy soft ball ready for you to clobber it.

This “Why do you want to work for us” question is a great opportunity to reveal that you have done your homework. “Reading financial analyst reports this past weekend, I noted that (insert company) name is a market leader in the provision of … How can I use my digital and conventional media skills to support the company’s business strategy?”

All interviews come to a close with the hiring manager asking the applicant if she or he has any questions. And of course you will be ready, particularly with questions that show interest in the opinion of the hiring manager. (People love talking about themselves. It’s human nature).

people

And instead of sneaking in the traditional-causing-the-eyes-to-roll “I really work well with people,” you could instead talk about how you have been a team player and provide specific examples of how you have worked with others in accomplishing great goals.

Every organization needs good people, who work well in team environments, who bring solid experience to the table and who know the difference between revenues and net income (yes, there is a difference).

And they also know what the acronym, ROI, stands for.

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interview-you/qt/working-with-people.htm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/11/15/the-20-people-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-work/

 

 

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