Last night a friend asked me for some advice. He was in a job interview for a sales role and, either after the interview or towards the end of the interview, the interviewer told him that his energy level was too low.
This was shocking to my friend. He is an excellent salesman, and pretty much always exceeds any quotas.
His question was: How do you respond to that? The first impression was already made… you can’t rewind. Plus, that’s his personality. High energy doesn’t always mean successful, even in sales. And he has a track record that however he does it, he brings in the sales.
I don’t remember what my response was to him, last night. Right now, just writing this, my thoughts are “counter the claim (of low energy) with stats and facts. Let your past accomplishments tell your story.”
Yep. Good answer. But that just came to me. For most of the day I’ve had a different thought: If the boss wants a high energy team, and you have a different style, then perhaps you aren’t a good cultural fit.
Trust me… as good as it might seem now, and as appealing it is to have that (or any) job, let this be a yellow flag that you look at and think “Hm… maybe the culture here is not going to work out.”
Years ago someone asked me about a huge career transition. He said that he didn’t care what the job was, or where it was… his main criteria was the amount of money they would pay. I should mention that this person, a Baby Boomer, has a level of loyalty that is awesome… for employers.
He ended up taking a job, for ten years, that was horrible. Yes, the pay was great… until after the first year, and they somehow figured out how to reduce his salary by 33%. Remember the loyalty thing? That’s why he stayed. The job got worse and worse. The culture fit couldn’t have been more mismatched. This professional cared about people, building teams, empowering managers… but the owner cared about revenue and profit. Ten years of cultural mismatch had an impact on him. He’s out of the situation now, and he’s a great guy, but I doubt he looks back at those ten years fondly.
Some experts say that company culture is non-existent. To them I say, you have never worked at a company that had a strong, great culture. I have, and it was amazing to witness.
Here’s what I know: when you are looking for jobs, make sure you weigh cultural fit just as much as you weigh salary and commute and benefits. If you don’t, you might be setting yourself up for an unhappy work environment… one that’s destined to point you in the direction of yet another job search.