Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

“What’s Your Ideal Job?” and Other Recruiter Questions

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 in Featured, Silly, Work |

“What’s Your Ideal Job?” and Other Recruiter Questions

As most of you know by now, my company Threxy has closed. After six extraordinary years, I’ve decided to go in-house again. Why? Because I miss collaboration, I miss the startup feeling, the long-vision roadmaps. I miss the ability to see a project through instead of just advising others how to. I’ve been the Annie Oakley of outsourced marketing long enough and I can’t wait to begin working with a team again.

In the past few days, I’ve spoken with some fantastic companies and, as you’ve probably experienced yourself,  I’ve been asked the same battery of questions by almost every person I’ve spoken with. What do you say we make it easier on all of us? I’ll just go ahead and answer the questions now… then we can move onto the fun stuff like experience and interest and cool technology.

To the recruiters who are seeing my blog for the first time (welcome and, um, happy-ish reading), this, like most of my writing, is just plain silliness.

Q: What is your ideal job?

A: Well, I could be snarky and say, “Not having one,” but that’s not true at all. I love to work on projects I can wrap myself around. My ideal job today would be a VP Marketing role in a smaller size company that is building out or rebuilding their marketing initiatives. My ideal job would involve working with smack-down-smart brainypants, because, well, that’s what I call fun. I’d throw in a tasty product that is actually exciting to market and one that could benefit from my experience. I’d like to learn from my colleagues. Mama always says, “Learn and teach, learn and teach to keep the balance of work just right.”

Q: What is Threxy? It sounds a little dirty.

A: Threxy is not an adult business, although I’ve made sales programs for enough of them to know more than I should about it. Threxy stands for “Three Ex-Yahoos!” and it’s a company we started in 2005 with three ex-Yahoos (product, engineering and me, the marketer). We had a product idea that we incubated and took through the funding stage. A killer VC told me to scrap it, take the assets and create something new. He was right. From the bones of FamilyRoutes came a six-year business that built online products, developed product and marketing strategies and knocked back about $1 million in revenue. Not bad for a true cottage (like, really, in.my.cottage) startup.

Q: What are your salary requirements?

A: Now, really. Etiquette says to never talk about money, sex or politics and we’ve already covered two of the three. My consulting rate is about $150/hour. That would be over $300,000 per year if I applied the same metrics to a 40-hour work week. I’m not asking for that much, not even in the same ballpark. So there you go.

Q: What makes you a good fit for this role?

A: See, this is a trick question. No one is the perfect fit. It doesn’t happen. It’s about having the right skills to apply to the right company, at the right time, with the right team. Stars have to align — that or a great recruiter. Which is why I’m on this call anyway. So tell me, what makes me a good fit for this role?

Okay, maybe not the way to answer that one. I know people apply to hundreds of jobs online. I’ve known friends and colleagues who click Apply to every job with their keyword search results. That’s not my approach. I’m looking for a company to call home, a place to sink my brain into, and a place to enjoy watching a company grow and develop. I’m only applying to companies where I think I’m a good fit. That said, I’ve had two calls already where the job description and the job offered were different things. Thank goodness for great recruiters who can navigate it with me.

Q: So you graduated from Syracuse University in 1992?

A: <<Crickets>>. Most people don’t know that I didn’t ever receive a degree. I left Syracuse University in 1992 with a good education and a lot of life lessons, but no, I did not graduate, despite my genius IQ. Did I just say that out loud?

Q: Are you willing to relocate?

A: Nope. San Jose to San Francisco is about the max I’m willing to shift. I have too good of a life to consider anything else.

Q: Do you do SM, SEO/SEM, CRM, UGC, SCRUM or PCP?

A: Yes, I have been doing social media since before SM was a catchphrase and I’ll be doing it long after it is called by another name. Social media to me = customer engagement where customers are. SEO/SEM are in my planning and management suite but not my day-to-day job. There are people a lot more skilled than I at executing on SEO/SEM. CRM is old fashioned lead generation and customer retention. So yes, I’m a marketer to customers and CRM is about customers. I earned my chops building, monetizing and growing UGC. I’d consider myself well versed. I know the SCRUM philosophy because two of my clients are using it and because I try to follow what product and engineering are doing. After all, the whole reason you have a company is for the product, right? PCP, nah, but thanks.

Q: Tell us something unique about you so that your resume will stand out!

Are you telling me my resume doesn’t stand out? Okay, fine. Here you go: I once spent five minutes alone with Michael Jackson. There you go. Does my resume stand out now?

Q: It must be hard closing your company and going in house.

A: Not really. I’ve been looking forward to it for a year. This step was planned and I’m literally thrilled and like a kid waiting to open birthday presents over finding just the right company to work for. I am very proud of the company I built, but I’m also proud to say that phase of my career has finished and I’m onto this next one.