How I went from a small town to a Fortune 100 company
It all started with a gift long time ago. I believe the exact translation of the title is “Why do we lie with eyes and we feel ashamed with our feet”. This was one of the two books which forever changed how I see people, and gave me the key to get from a small village nobody knows to being a manager in a Fortune 100 company.
At the time I was fresh out of university and I had no idea what to expect from the interviews I had lined up during the following weeks. I was not too concerned about the technical questions, I started to code when I was 11 years old and spent nights on anything from Assembler to C# ever since. Though I was about to step into a world I knew very little about and needed some shortcuts to make an impression.
I thought the best way to brainstor a strategy was to start from my comfort zone which happened to be hacking and reverse engineering. For some reason I have been always fascinated by why things work the way they work and how could I change them to make them work the way I need them to. My parents might have not been too excited about having every single appliance at home disassembled and reassembled with almost all its screws but they always supported my learning.
The next step was to figure out how could I leverage it to get ready for my job interviews. Well some might disagree, but after you have read several psychology and neuroscience papers by P.hDs in the field you will be amazed by how many similarities the human brain, and the way it functions, has with a computer.
Think about it in simple terms: your brain receives inputs from the 5 senses, elaborates them, stores some data and gives an output (i.e. manifests a behavior). Just like a computer. So if you know how it is wired and you can control the inputs you can influence the outputs too.
In my case the inputs were:
1. visual (how I am dressed, how I move, where I look,...)
2. verbal (which words I use, what connotation do they have,...)
3. auditory (how loud I speak, how fast I speak,...)
4. tactile (how do I shake hands)
Once the brain of the interviewer had received all these inputs he or she would likely compare those against the ones of an “ideal” candidate and if they match more than a certain amount the candidate passes to the next step.
I was confident on my tech skills because I applied them day and night for the last 5 years so the last piece of the equation missing at this point was “how does the ideal candidate look like!?”
This is where the book came in to help me. The psychologists who wrote the book had spent their lives researching what are the behaviors which make people like you or dislike you.
Of course, the fact that the interviewer likes you does not guarantee you will get the job. But do you think they will help you more if they do or if they do not like you? They might rephrase a question in a way that is easier for you to understand if they see you did not get it right the first time. Or they might ask a colleague to interview you to get a second opinion rather than putting an end to the process right away.
The other argument for being liked is very straightforward: if they do NOT like you it is very unlikely that they give you a chance to work there. Before they hire you they have to like you.
This requires some effort but the great side benefit of becoming an outstanding communicator is that it will give you an edge in every task that requires you to deal with other peopole. Wether you need help from someone on the street of an unfamiliar neighborhood or you need to convince your boss to support your project those skills will come handy. Obviously to be a person valuable to the company so you DO need to be good at what you do and be prepared in your field and domain of expertise. Being a great communicator will just amplify it and give you an edge if there is some substance in what you are saying. On the other hand if you are great at what you do but you are not able to communicate it appropriately you will very likely fail in achieving your goals. That is why mastering these skills is so important.
This was key to my career success. Within a month I had several job offers and had just to pick the one I really liked the most. This triggered my curiosity in human behavior and communication and the more I learned the easier it became to get jobs in prestigious multinational companies, get into a World Top 10 business school I never thought I could even apply to, and widen my network of contact in 80 countries.
Unfortunately it is easier said than done and it does quire a lot of practice and advise. It took me many years of reading, experimenting and tweaking these techniques in various countries, cultures and environments to succeed. During the years I saw many friends and co-workers not being successful just because they were not presenting themselves in the right way. This seems unfair but this is how things work, so I decided to help by creating FasterSkills.
My mission is to make the process of quickly improving your interviewing skills as painless and easy as possible. You should be able to quickly get to a point where your communication and soft skills are an asset for your interviews rather than a liability. You should be able to do this without having to pay for a mentor if do not want to, or having to find the time to meet with a coach or read 10 books. You can just do the first step from the comfort of your room, whenever you have time, wherever you are.
I really hope it will help you land the job of your dreams. If you have any questions feel free to send them to me directly: fabio <at> fasterskills.com