You’re Hired!

We recently hired two, soon to be three, additions to the Distilled Outreach team and one member of the SEO team. Going through the interview process brought back memories of when I first started at Distilled, a wee 9 months ago.

Coworkers at Distilled in a London pub, Feb. 2012. I’m the dude holding a pint. See me?!?!

When I first caught wind of Distilled I didn’t know anything about SEO, I never heard the term link bait, and I sure as hell didn’t know the difference between DA and PA. After reading the job description on the Distilled site that stated the ideal person loves surfing the web, has a natural sense of curiosity, and the ability to get shit done –  I was like, “I can totally do that!”

Filling out online applications sucks. But Distilled does things differently. The application process had only 6 or 7 open-ended questions and resumes were not accepted. During this latest round of hiring, one of the questions was; tell us why we should interview you in the length of one Tweet.

Going over 140 characters was a red flag and being well under 140 wasn’t a good thing either. Awesome candidates naturally thought outside the box and not only used those 140 characters to explain WHY they should be interviewed but then linked out to YouTube, an online resume, or a sweet infographic that further explained the WHY part. Genius.

True story: We hired a person who linked out to a YouTube video of her explaining why she should be interviewed in the form of a rap song. A RAP SONG! Genius.

It’s the little things that make a job special, and the whiskey.

Part of my interview process consisted of me sitting in a small conference room using a computer hooked up to a projector so my future employers could see how I searched the internet. I was sweating balls. There I was in a stuffy tiny room with two people watching and judging my every click. They gave me topics to search for and I had to find blogs that wrote about those topics and their contact information. Simple stuff for me now. I actually did similar stuff at my last job but on a VERY small scale, but I’m a natural internet stalker. I’m not bragging. It’s kind of embarrassing really, but I just have this natural sense of curiosity – and now I have job because of that.

I really love my job and the company I work for.

I really wanted to love my last job.

It just ended up not being a good fit for several reasons. Here’s what went wrong right off the bat:

The job description – What they asked for did not represent 80% of the daily tasks I ended up doing. What they told me I would be doing sounded great. The things I actually did had very little to do with marketing, which included driving a forklift. How many people with a business degree, sitting in a cubicle, wearing kakis know how to operate a forklift? I was so close to being the guy in the video.

PRO TIP: Make your job description reflect what the candidate will actually end up doing. I was told I would be part of a marketing team working creativity, but I mostly answered the phone and ran reports. 

The Interview – I interviewed with my last company three times. A group interview with the people I ended up working with (good), who asked scripted questions (bad), then two one-on-one interviews. First with a VP of sales and one with a manager from a different group. Both I very rarely ever worked with in three and a half years.

PRO TIP: There are lots of people with skillz to pay tha billz. Interviews should see how well the candidate fits in with the company culture as well as their ability to complete the daily tasks at hand.

Boy is my job great. I’m sitting here drinking a beer looking out my window at the Puget Sound (Actually I’m looking at the tree in front of my window and then there’s the viaduct, but minus those two things I’m totally looking at the Sound)

Bonus tip: Don’t brag too much about your sweet job.

Hindsight is 20/20, at the time my last job seemed great. As time went on I became bored and grew to disliked my job – but one bright spot (besides the friends I made) is they gave me the name Jamazing! Anyway if your company wants to hire people that love their job (and write blog posts about it) maybe they should look more closely at how they find people and how they interview them. Just my 2 cents – but I’m a few beers deep so don’t listen to me.


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