How to Get a Job with Us – or Anyone

The first recruiting Emerson ever did took place about 20 years ago, in our first company headquarters – our CEO’s basement. Our recruiter conducted phone interviews surrounded by critters – Trish’s cat, her large poodle, and the overly friendly woodland animals who made their way through the open window.

“Can you tell me a bit about what made you contact us?” Our recruiter asked one candidate. “Well, actually,” he answered enthusiastically, “my dad said great things about your company. He used to work for Emerson!”

Cool story, bro. At that time, we were just a few months old, so we didn’t know your dad.

In those early days, the average person thought “Emerson” was a window company or the electric company, depending on their geography. Candidates often said they knew our work, but that was rare.

Today, candidates seem to be as informed about our company as we are. They have worked alongside our employees at client sites, attended our workshops, read our books, and spent hours on our website. We offer the flexibility today’s workforce wants — to work remotely and make their own hours, while serving our clients well. They know who we are and they know they want to work with us.

That makes our job a little harder. The candidates we talk to love Emerson. They love what we stand for, what we do, how we do it, and who we are. We love them right back. We sometimes wish we could hire all of them, but we can’t. Our recruiters have to make tough decisions.

Want to land a job with Emerson – or any company? Here’s what we recommend:

Impress us with your communications.

If you represent Emerson, you will help clients create business outcomes. There are a lot of documents and deliverables that support those outcomes, and they have to be exemplary. The first deliverable we see is your resume. If we wouldn’t present it to a client, we can’t hire you. Is your resume well written, succinct, good-looking, and honest? Great! We’re already interested.

If we ask you for a writing sample, make sure it’s your best work. It might seem like a perfunctory step in the process, but we take it very seriously. The same with your emails to us. We ask ourselves whether we’d send them straight to a client, under our logo. That’s a high bar.

Be yourself.

If you are smart, polished, funny, or professional, we will love talking to you. But if you are consciously trying to seem smart, polished, funny, or professional…you won’t. You will just sound like you aren’t being yourself. Or, worse yet, you might come off sounding pompous or defensive. We want to get to know the real you. That’s the only person we want to meet.

Do your work.

Sometimes we come across candidates who misunderstand what we do. If you don’t really understand what we do, your examples will just make things worse – they will prove you don’t know the job you’re applying for.

There are also candidates who DO understand what we do, but they’ve never done it. They’ve been around it, next to it, have a friend who does it… Writing an article about a house fire is not the same thing as being a firefighter. Just be clear and distinct about your experience. Not having every skill we need is better than “stretching” your experience to seem like you do.

Answer the question.

The bulk of an interview is made up of questions and answers. Our conversation will go smoothly if you answer the question that was asked. Sometimes it’s simply too much of a good thing – enthusiasm can make you lose track or talk in generalities. Or, maybe you don’t know the answer. That’s ok! It’s always better to be honest. When you are honest, we can have a real and productive conversation and get to the right answer for both of us.

Remember the “I” in team.

For the purposes of our interviews, there is an “I” in team. If you’re a great person to work with, you’re probably used to acknowledging other people’s contributions and seeing every victory as a team effort. And we love that – that fits our culture beautifully. But, just for this conversation, we need to know what you did. We’re not hiring your whole team. What was your role? What did you deliver? What difference did you, personally, make to your company or client?

Mind your manners.

We are grateful for your interest in our company. We appreciate the time you take in getting to know us. We feel lucky you sought us out as a potential employer. We like it when we can tell you feel grateful, appreciative, and lucky too.

We hire experts in behavior change. They are smart, capable, kind, collaborative, down-to-earth people with a great sense of humor. If this describes you, and you take our few bits of advice, we’d love to hire you. Who wouldn’t?