Be more like Mike…

…and you will easily connect with job applicants and others.

Recently I took the 2 ½ hour ferry ride to Nantucket. My normal traveling persona is to skip any casual conversation with strangers who just might decide to bend my ear for the whole trip. It is a good opportunity for me to read, think, or nap. So why take the risk?

Before the ferry left the dock a guy one booth away caught my attention by saying… “Hey, what’s your name?” I looked up and said “Jim” and went back to reading. A few minutes later, I heard: “Hey Jim, who’s your favorite comedian?” I said “Jerry Seinfeld” and went back to reading again. He told me that his favorite was Lily Tomlin. At that point, I now felt obligated to ask, “What’s your name?” He said Mike. “Hi Mike” says I and went back again to reading. A few minutes later I hear… “Hey Jim, tell me a story about you.” I told him that I was visiting some friends on Nantucket. Now I feel obligated to say, “Mike, tell me a story about you.” He says “I have cerebral palsy Jim, and I hate it.” My heart melted for Mike & we chatted for a little longer before I told Mike that I needed to finish what I was reading. Well, a few minutes later an undaunted Mike connected with a guy at the next table over and I heard: “Hey, what’s your name?”… and Mike repeated his routine about who is your favorite comedian and all of that. This went on for most of the trip as Mike made new friends.

You can be more like Mike when you greet job applicants with “Hi, my name is Jim and it says right here that you are Mike. Is that right? Who’s your favorite comedian, Mike? Before we start our interview, can you tell me a story about you?” Then you can share a story about yourself and segue from that into your meeting. Be more like Mike – Treat people warmly and show an interest in them…build some rapport with them. It makes our business a whole lot easier when we are working with friends.

This Bullhorn Blog post was written by Jim Della Volpe.

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