Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to Land a Better Job

By Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp, CFP(R) - Feb 28, 2020 at 12:02PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Two Foolish recruiters walk you through a successful job search, from resume preparation and networking to weird interview questions and salary negotiation.

Members of The Motley Fool's recruiting team join us with their best advice for how to make your resume and cover letter stand out, nail a job interview, and negotiate a great offer.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Feb. 18, 2020.

Alison Southwick: This is Motley Fool Answers. I'm Alison Southwick, and I'm joined, as always, by Robert Brokamp (Bro with a capital "B"), personal finance expert here at The Motley Fool. Hello, Bro!

Robert Brokamp: Well, hello, everybody!

Southwick: In this week's episode, we're going to help you get a new job with the [assistance] of Motley Fool's ace recruiting team. All that and more on this week's episode of Motley Fool Answers.


Southwick: So Bro, what's up?

Brokamp: Oh, I might have a few things for you, Alison. In fact, I have three things.

Southwick: Oh, I love it when there are three.

Brokamp: No. 1. Get a raise and fall behind? Well, so maybe at the end of 2019 or the beginning of this year, you got a raise, or maybe you listened to one of our episodes about how to ask for a raise and it worked. Or maybe you'll listen to today's episode, get a new job, and make more money. However it happens, earning more is always a good thing, right?

Southwick: Right. That's the whole premise of why we're doing this episode. Are you trying to undermine this episode?

Brokamp: Well, don't blame me. Blame a new report from Morningstar, which is entitled More Money, More Problems: How to Keep a Bigger Paycheck From Spoiling Retirement.

Here's the problem. According to their research, most people don't increase their savings rates after they get a raise. What do they do instead? They increase their lifestyle.

They go out to eat a little bit more. Buy a nice car. Get a bigger house. As the report put it, "Yesterday's indulgences become today's new normal and tomorrow's expectations." In other words, lifestyle creep. The problem is the more you increase the cost of your lifestyle, the more you have to have saved to replace that lifestyle in retirement, because that's what people want to do. They want to maintain their lifestyle. Nobody wants to cut back when they retire.

The report included a hypothetical analysis of someone who earned $100,000 a year, saves 11% of their income, and is on track to have enough saved for retirement. But then they get a huge raise -- a 20% raise -- and make $120,000. Good news, right? So they are saving more.

They're going to continue saving 11% of that salary, so they are saving more in absolute dollar terms, but it's not enough to make up for the increase in their lifestyle, so that person who was at $100,000 on track to retire with enough money now is falling behind.

The question is, then, how much should you be increasing your savings rate every time you get a raise? They offered three guidelines and analyzed which one was best.

  1. Spend twice your years to retirement. Let's say you're 20 years from retirement. 2 x 20 is 40. You could spend 40% of that raise, but you should be saving an extra 60%.
  2. Save your age as a percentage of the raise. If you're 45, just as an example, you should save 45% of the raise, and you could spend the rest.
  3. Then another was just flat. You should always save at least 33% of your raise.

Which one came out the best in most scenarios? The first one -- spend twice your years to retirement. The "save your age" guideline also worked for people who were 45 or younger, and both of those demonstrate that actually the older you are, the more of your raise you should be saving, because you have less time for that money to grow to make up for the increase in your lifestyle.

But, of course, dear Answers listener, your situation is unique because you're just so darn special and all that, so the report made a point that I often make, and that is because your situation is individualized. If you get a big raise, it actually might be a good time to see a fee-only financial planner to analyze how much of it you should be banking because, after all, if you're really behind your retirement savings, maybe you should be saving all of it.

No. 2. Let the good times and the credit roll. So the economy is doing pretty well these days. The unemployment rate ticked up a little bit last month to 3.6%. That's still pretty low. In 2019, GDP growth was 2.3%. It's actually down from 2.9% in 2018. It's still pretty good, and the stock market is at all-time highs.

What are people doing with the economy going so well? Piling on more and more credit card debt. I just don't understand this. But anyway, according to the most recent figures from the Federal Reserve, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, total credit card balances increased to $930 billion as of the end of 2019. The all-time high was well above the previous peak seen before the 2008 crisis.

More troubling is that the amount of debt in serious delinquency -- that is 90 days or more -- rose to 5.32%, the highest level in almost eight years. And for younger folks, those who are aged 18 to 29, the delinquency rate is 9.36%, and that is the highest in more than 9 years.

Something I always found interesting and, frankly, perplexing is you would think debt would go up during a recession, but then as the economy recovers, debt would go down; but really, the opposite happens. The Wall Street Journal article quoted a vice president at the New York Fed by the name of Wilbert van der Klaauw as saying...

Southwick: The most New York Fed name ever...

Brokamp: Wilbert van der Klaauw saying, "There are increases in the credit card delinquency rate that make you wonder whether some parts of the population are not doing so well, or whether this is just a result of more relaxed lending standards. It's something we are looking into." I guess the Fed is as perplexed as I am about how this is happening.

And finally, No. 3 is, "Nothing gold can [stay] for higher prices." In case you didn't know, that's a reference to a Robert Frost poem. Anyone see The Outsiders, the classic 1983 movie? Never mind. Anyway, we invest today in order to buy something in the future. The thing is that that thing in the future will probably cost more than it does today, so our portfolio has to keep up with inflation.

One thing many people still think is an inflation hedge is gold, but as recently pointed out by Eddy Elfenbein on his "Crossing Wall Street" blog, January 21 marked the 40-year anniversary of the peak of the gold price, at least as adjusted for inflation. So in January of 1980, gold hit a price of $843, and then it just kept going down until by the late '90s, it was only about $250. It did come back up to almost $1,900 in 2011, but right now it is at about $1,500. So on a pure price perspective, gold has doubled over 40 years.

Unfortunately, the cost of living has tripled over that time, so right now, on an inflation-adjusted basis, gold is still 30% below its 1980 peak. Just keep that in mind the next time you see an article or an ad saying that gold is an inflation hedge.

And that, Alison, is what's up.

Southwick: Bro, I have something that's up.

Brokamp: What's up?

Southwick: What's up is that we are going to survey our listeners, so if you're listening right now, we would love to hear from you no matter how often you listen to the podcast. Whether you listen to all of them or just ours, we would love for you to head to the show notes. There will be a link there that will take you to a survey. [We would like] to ask you to take it so we can make this show better and learn more about you. Please, won't you? Again, the link is in the show notes. And that, Bro, is what's also up.

One of the biggest factors of your wealth is, of course, your salary and how much money you're bringing in. Being awesome at your current job tends to get you raises of about 3% to 5% on average, but changing jobs can mean pay bumps of 10%, 20%, or more.

We brought in a couple of recruiters from our very own Motley Fool recruiting team with their advice on how to find a new job. Hi, guys.

Rachel Koslow: Hi.

Dan Ejigu: Hey.

Southwick: We have Dan Ejigu and Rachel Koslow.

Koslow: Glad to be here.

Ejigu: So excited to be here.

Southwick: So you two -- fun fact -- recently got a new job here at The Motley Fool, so this topic, today, is going to hit pretty close to home.

Ejigu: Yeah. About two weeks apart I think we started. This is month five for us here at The Fool.

Brokamp: Still like it?

Ejigu: Still here.

Southwick: Never a dull moment. Dan, how did you end up here at The Fool?

Ejigu: Unfortunately, I was a bit unhappy in my last role. I reached out to an agency, and they lined up an interview with The Fool. They lined up a series of interviews, and after I met with The Fool, I kindly asked them to cancel all the other interviews...

Southwick: Did you really?

Ejigu: Yes. [I knew] if this worked out, I'd accept on the spot. But now that I know I could have gotten a 30% increase I should have held out.

Brokamp: Too late, buddy.

Koslow: And I landed at The Fool, the last company that I worked for went public when I was there. I've been a follower of The Fool for quite some time. Just not really understanding when I went through that process what it all meant for me pursuing. Then I moved to D.C. about two years ago and kept a close watch on job openings. I found an open position for a recruiter over the summer and was really excited to join the team.

Southwick: And it is a great team of people. I'm lucky I get to sit close to you guys. We talk sometimes. We joke. We have fun.

Ejigu: Never a dull moment.

Southwick: Never a dull moment.

Let's get into it. If you want to find a new job, of course that first step is going to be landing that interview. You guys suggest starting with your network.

Ejigu: Yes. Leveraging a lot of the job boards, especially LinkedIn, in particular. Do your due diligence. It gives you great insights into companies. You'll get to see the "life tab." You'll get a chance to connect with folks that work there. And feel free to send an outreach -- as many touch points as you can get. It's only going to be more beneficial the more you're in front of us. And again, it may deter you from applying to certain places if you take a look at their life tab. Get a sense of retention through LinkedIn. It helps you make a more informed decision, and it gives you a little bit more insight than just a job description would.

Koslow: I would add to leverage your network. See who you're connected to on LinkedIn. See who they are connected to. A lot of companies look to referrals and actually, in fact, prioritize referrals when they are screening and interviewing candidates. See who you're connected to, reach out to people, make those connections, and try your best to get in front of the recruiting team as soon as you can.

Southwick: One thing I hate here at The Motley Fool, is because The Motley Fool has such a reputation for being a great place to work -- I don't know how often this happens to you guys -- but I'll get emails from people saying, "Hey, I'm thinking about working at The Motley Fool. I wonder if we can get a cup of coffee." And I'm like, "Ugh." I hate getting those emails.

Brokamp: I get those every once in a while.

Southwick: And then I have to take time out of my day to go out with you for coffee for you to make the case that you need to work at The Fool. You're like, "I just want to learn about what it's like at The Fool. It may be a good fit for me." Ugh! Am I wrong in feeling that way?

Brokamp: You're heartless is really what the point is.

Ejigu: 90% of our job.

Southwick: But that is your job, right?

Ejigu: It is.

Southwick: It's not my job. Yes, when people reach out to me and say, "Here's my resume. Can you pass it along?" I pass their resume along, but I hate the "Let's go get coffee so I can hear more about what it's like to work at The Motley Fool."

Brokamp: But that is part of the network. Someone reached out to me just because we went to the same college. I haven't responded yet, but I thought about it, and I'll probably respond at some point.

Southwick: At least you thought about it.

Brokamp: On the one hand, you're like, "I don't think anybody should get a job just because of a connection." On the other hand, there is something to giving someone a leg up and the affinity you have with people who went to your college.

Koslow: I would say that if you're planning to reach out to people who you don't necessarily know and ask for some type of introduction or referral -- finding commonalities like we went to the same school or we used to work at XYZ Company I think can be really helpful in just making that connection and incentivizing them to want to help you out.

Ejigu: Be deliberate with your messaging, too. Instead of just "working at The Fool," go through our careers page. Find roles that are applicable to you. Make sure you include your resume and cover letter so it's not just this, "Hey, I'm super interested in The Fool because I think it's a fun place to work." You have to add a little bit more value than that.

Southwick: That takes us to our next point, which is tailoring your resume and cover letter and making sure that you are doing just that. What's some of your best advice around making sure that your resume and your cover letter really are your best pitch?

Koslow: You should be willing to update your resume and cover letter for each and every job that you apply to. You should very carefully and thoroughly read through job descriptions. See what their top two or three bullet points or takeaways for the role are, and then make sure that you're really highlighting those in your resume and your cover letter. To the extent that you can, I always encourage candidates to use data points in their resume to tell the story around how and why they fit the qualifications for the role.

And then the last piece of advice that I always like to share is you don't necessarily need to hit every single qualification in order to apply to a role. Don't let that discourage you if you don't have the specific skill sets. If you don't check every single box or you don't match the years of experience that they're looking for, because oftentimes hiring teams are much more open than their job description would indicate.

Southwick: It used to be the rules for doing your resume where it needs to be all on one page. It needs to be pretty boring looking. It needs to be, "What was your most recent job? What was your job before that? What was your job before that? Where did you go to school?" And it feels like there's much more wiggle room in how you can showcase who you are and how you do your resume these days.

Ejigu: Absolutely. I think there's no one-size-fits-all approach to your resume anymore. Kind of like Rachel touched on, for each role, you have to make it very deliberate. We look at every resume -- every resume that we get in -- so we have about a minute to digest it, and if you're not really hitting those points, it's hard to retain our attention to your resume. So making sure you're highlighting the points that are applicable to the role that you would be doing. And if you don't have that, your cover letter is your opportunity to tell your story and show a little bit more of your personality.

Southwick: How much personality is too much personality? Have you received some cover letters where it was like, "Whoa! Easy there! Let's put it down a notch."

Ejigu: It might have been you or [Sheryl]. I've seen these cover letters where they'll introduce themselves as your next hire right off the bat. That's about the extent of it. But I don't think you can have too much personality at The Fool.

Brokamp: What about other places, though? I do think that at The Fool, we're a little offbeat. What about if you are applying to a standard accounting firm or a government contractor or something like that? Not that you're not interesting people, but it's a more standard job. How do you gauge what you should do to make yourself stand out without seeming too much like a kook?

Ejigu: Do your research on the company to the best extent that you can. I would suggest you probably tone it down going from The Fool to another company. But again, those job boards give you a lot of insight into what company cultures look like now. It's a little bit more due diligence on your end, but as long as you do it, you can kind of get a sense of what the culture is like, what the company is like, and tailor your cover letter to that. If you look at our Glassdoor or our LinkedIn, and you know that we are a bit off...

Southwick: In the best of ways.

Ejigu: Yes. You can show a little bit more about your personality, but if it's a public accounting firm, you probably don't want to use the same cover letter that you use for The Fool.

Brokamp: Several years ago, someone applied for the editorial team, and they sent in a tape of their stand-up act. So the managing editor thought, "Hey, let's watch the stand-up during one of the meetings," and it was raunchy. The managing editor leapt to the TV and turned it off because it went too far.

Southwick: You can go too far. So once you send in your resume and your cover letter -- we talked about this a bit at the top -- making sure you have a lot of touch points and reaching out and connecting with as many people as possible. Again, I'm like, "Oh, that sounds annoying." At what point are you making yourself annoying? When you're reaching out on LinkedIn, and you're following them on Twitter, and you're like, "Hey Rachel! Hey, Dan! What's up? I applied for this position. I think I'm really great." You guys are OK with that?

Ejigu: A little emotional intelligence is needed. If it's been a week or so and you haven't gotten a reply, an additional touch point probably isn't going to move the needle. For us, our inboxes get a little bit flooded, so you might not get a response right away, but if you're reaching out four or five times without a response, it's probably a bad sign.

Koslow: And I think it's also that if you are going to have multiple touch points, then showing that you care, or showing that you're super excited about the company. I had a candidate who we recently hired here at The Fool. She reached out to me on LinkedIn to try to flag her application for the team.

The second that I got her message, I, of course, went to her cover letter and her resume in our internal recruiting system, and as her cover letter she had included a wonderful note and then a photo of her in a Motley Fool jester cap, which was pretty cool. It immediately caught our attention, and the hiring manager and I were super excited to see that level of engagement. As Dan mentioned earlier, just making sure they're not just sending blanket outreaches. You're really taking the time to show your passion and enthusiasm.

Southwick: Guess what? We got the interview. Yay!

Brokamp: Yay!

Southwick: Our cover letter and resume were so great. We're all set up. We're going to meet with them on Tuesday. Or maybe it's a phone interview. We do a lot of those, too.

Ejigu: We do.

Southwick: We have a bit of a gauntlet to get through at times to get a job.

Ejigu: Yes, we beat you up a bit. It is a bit rigorous.

Brokamp: In a good way.

Ejigu: In a good way.

Southwick: In a good way.

Ejigu: But given the autonomy and the trust that you get here at The Fool, I think a lot of it is because we do take you through a pretty long process. Once you're in your seat, there's very much a lack of micromanagement, because we've really gotten a sense of your work.

Southwick: So we have the interview lined up. The first step is to do our research.

Ejigu: Yes, do your due diligence. There are so many different ways and different outlets to research a company, whether it's Glassdoor. Whether it's Indeed, LinkedIn, Google Reviews. Whatever it is, looking through different people's LinkedIn profiles and getting a sense of retention. You can't do too much in terms of research of a company.

Koslow: I think it's also helpful to practice and rehearse. I certainly did this when I was preparing to interview at The Fool. I know a lot of people will stand in front of a mirror and work through why this company, why this role... A lot of companies will also ask behavioral questions, so tell me about a time when you improved a process or built something up from scratch. Or worked with cross-functional stakeholders. It's very easy to have those experiences in mind coming into an interview so that you can work the team through that. I always encourage folks to practice and rehearse, but don't let it overwhelm you, and don't overthink it.

Southwick: And you said that often you'll get questions using the STAR method. I haven't heard of this before.

Koslow: Yes. The STAR method means situation, task, action, and results. In a type of scenario where an interviewer is asking you to tell them about a time that you improved a process, you would essentially walk them through in that order your particular experience, and it's just a really helpful framework for thinking through how you can very clearly articulate that particular situation and the outcome.

Southwick: You said, "Tell me about a time when you've had to work through a process." What are some other common questions you should work through in your mind?

Ejigu: Why you're interested. Is there something missing from your current role that you're exploring others?

Koslow: I think also, especially at companies like The Fool, so much of the work that you're doing on a day-to-day basis is super cross-functional in nature, so your ability to work well with other teams across the business is so important. You would probably get questions around how you've managed those cross-functional relationships. Have you ever worked in a scenario where timeline or priorities weren't necessarily clear, especially when they involve multiple teams? And how you worked to get to a solution. I think those are the common ones that I've seen.

Southwick: Do you have any favorite questions that you've learned since coming to The Fool? I know you sit in on other interviews. Do you ever look at another Fool and be like, "Hey, that was a good question for our candidate."

Ejigu: Annie Healy asks this question of candidates that I love. She'll ask them to give a bit of feedback that they've received and accepted. Then on the flip side, she'll ask them, "Give me a time you've received some feedback and chosen to reject it." I love that question. I've stolen that question from her.

Southwick: That's a good one. Not only are you going to be asked a lot of questions, but you also need to be prepared to ask a lot of questions, too. What questions should you ask in a job interview?

Koslow: Essentially you have to ask questions in order to get the information that you need to figure out if a role is a good, mutual fit. I think for some candidates, asking questions at the end of an interview can be a little bit of an afterthought. I like to encourage candidates to come prepared with questions for the team about the day-to-day of the role. Why they love working at the company. What the main priorities are. How this person will get ramped up and onboarded and set up for success. I think those are all interesting questions to focus on.

Southwick: Also comp? When do you start asking about comp, salary ranges, and all of that?

Ejigu: We talk about it on the front end with your recruiter. You never want to get into a position where both the candidate and the employer are excited about someone and then you're misaligned in terms of comp. So address comp as soon as you can. I know it can be a bit uncomfortable for some folks, but the quicker you get through it, the easier the rest of the process is.

Koslow: If you don't necessarily feel comfortable sharing your salary with the recruiter, when they ask you during that initial call, you can feel free to ask them for the range, just to make sure that you're in the same ballpark.

Southwick: Do you have any advice for how to answer a particularly tough question? Sometimes companies like to ask weird, wonky questions like, "How many golf balls can you fit into a plane?" Do you have any advice as to address those questions that come out of nowhere?

Koslow: Be thoughtful. Be able to show you're thinking. Try to articulate it out loud why you're approaching the problem in the way that you are. Some companies that ask those types of questions are really just looking for your thought process. Even if you don't get the right answer, they just want to see how you're getting to where you ultimately land.

Southwick: The interview is over. Now what?

Koslow: Send thank-you notes to the team.

Southwick: So old-fashioned, but so classic, right?

Koslow: Yes. Usually just over email is totally fine, because by the time that snail mail shows up, the interview is long gone.

Southwick: That could be embarrassing, too.

Koslow: Yes. Send thank-you notes to your recruiter, who can then pass them along to the team. Make them as personal as you can for each individual team member that you met with.

Ejigu: You can touch on one or two things from the interview, especially takeaways that you had. Include those, but thank-you letters will go a long way.

Southwick: So let's say we got the job. What do we do if we get the offer? Play hardball, right?

Ejigu: Yes.

Koslow: Yes. There's usually at least some wiggle room.

Brokamp: Not at The Motley Fool, of course. That's our last offer.

Koslow: It can't hurt to ask, but what I always encourage candidates to do is be very up front with your recruiter and transparent about what it is that is most important to you. There are usually levers that you can pull, but whether that is salary, equity, benefits, or flexibility, you want to make it really clear to them where they should advocate for you.

Southwick: What if we didn't get the offer?

Ejigu: Don't be discouraged. Oftentimes, it's about alignment, just with unemployment the way it is. And even here at The Fool, [given] how quickly we're growing, chances are another role will open up. As long as you've gone through the process and done everything as you should, there should be another role available. Don't be discouraged. It just takes one yes.

Southwick: Have you ever told someone to just go away and no, that they would not be getting a job here? Or at a previous job?

Koslow: Delicately, perhaps.

Southwick: You're like, "This is a hard and permanent no."

Ejigu: We call everyone that comes on-site, so whether you get the job or not, we are going to call you to give you the good or bad news. Those calls aren't always fun, but I think candidates appreciate the extra touch point, which is more than just sending an email. Giving them an explanation why. Nobody I've had to say "no forever" to.

Southwick: No forever. And hang up.

Ejigu: Not yet, at least.

Southwick: Generally speaking, it is a tight labor market, and there are a lot of industries where people are in demand. Like being a developer. It's like, "Oh, just learn how to code and then you'll be able to find a job anywhere." So there might be some people listening thinking, "OK, well maybe I could change my role and learn something new." What's your advice for people who maybe are looking to switch careers later on in life?

Ejigu: If you're interested, make the switch. Don't be afraid to fully jump into it. We are in a position with the labor market, now, where going to a coding dojo or getting a six-month boot camp in coding should and most likely will land you a job. Besides that, there's external resources everywhere. There are companies that work specifically with people, whether you've been a stay-at-home mom for six years and you want to rejoin the workforce. Whether you're a veteran. There are [numerous] companies out there that help support those folks. You just have to go out and find them.

Brokamp: What about other resources? We talked about LinkedIn a bit. There are tons of job boards out there. Are there some that are considered better than others, or are there just some more geared toward specific jobs than others?

Koslow: That's a wonderful question. LinkedIn has been super helpful for us at The Fool...

Southwick: They are a sponsor, and I swear that we did not pay her to say that.

Koslow: ...but there are also sources that we certainly use that are great, as well. Things like Glassdoor and Indeed. You can also go directly to company pages -- their jobs pages to apply. And then there are a number of organizations that are a bit more specific and targeted. We work with Built in Colorado. We have an office out in Lakewood just outside of Denver -- to feature a lot of our job postings in that region. Again, going back to Dan's point, [it's about] doing your research and connecting with local organizations that can help you get to where you want to be next.

Southwick: All right. Your best and final piece of advice for landing a new job.

Ejigu: Persistence.

Southwick: Oh! That means they're going to send me emails to go out for coffee.

Ejigu: It only takes one yes, and I think oftentimes you get discouraged when you hear the nos. Just be persistent.

Koslow: I would say stay true to yourself. I think so many people view the job interview process as a one-way street, but it is very much two-way and you want to make sure that when you ultimately join a company you'll be happy and set up for success.

Brokamp: Can I add one just as someone who's occasionally helped with the hiring process? And this might be a little bit more focused on The Fool, but so much of it is just cultural fit. Are you going to be a good Fool? There have been situations where we have chosen people who were not as qualified as someone else, but we just knew that they were going to be a better fit for The Fool. As opposed to the person who was applying for a financial planner job and she said that she didn't think people should pick individual stocks.

Southwick: Woof! You're not going to thrive here.

Brokamp: That was not a good fit and a lack of preparation. She realized it later. She sent a follow-up email. "I'm thinking a little bit differently about how I framed that answer." But knowing the culture and knowing what that company is going to value I think is very important.

Southwick: I know here, at The Motley Fool, we used to say "cultural fit" a lot, and I think that unfortunately results in a more homogenous workforce than you maybe would like. Because cultural fit in the early days of The Fool would be a bunch of bros playing board games. Do I have that wrong, Rick?

Rick Engdahl: In the early days it was more foosball.

Southwick: Sorry. There we go. I think in the future it's more talking about "cultural add" and I think we've gotten better at understanding that we don't all need to be a bunch of foosball-playing bros. Now, some of my best friends are foosball-playing bros, apparently.

Engdahl: I could never make foosball work. The way those guys play, where they just flick and the ball goes pow and rips...

Southwick: A good reason to hire someone, though. Foosball skills.

Engdahl: I'm glad we moved over to board games. I'm much stronger there.

Brokamp: I've never played foosball at The Fool. As the official Bro, I've never done it.

Southwick: Well, you know, there's Bro with a capital B and then bro with a lower-case B. You know what I'm talking about.

Brokamp: I know what you're saying.

Southwick: You guys, would you mind sticking around, because I think it's time for you to have a job interview. Da da da! No pressure, but a little bit of pressure.

Ejigu: Let's do it.


Southwick: As I talked about earlier on the show, some companies have weird questions that they ask in job interviews and so I wanted to see how well you-all do answering some of these funky little questions. Bro, would you like to go first, just cuz?

Brokamp: I would love it. Oh my gosh, I would love it.

Southwick: Bro, thank you so much for coming in and joining us here today. I was just wondering. If you were a kitchen appliance, which kitchen appliance would you be and why? It sounds like we're on The Dating Game.

Brokamp: A mixer, because I can take all kinds of separate things and make something great out of them. How's that?

Southwick: I like it!

Brokamp: Thank you. Thank you.

Southwick: Now, Rachel, can you tell me 10 things you could do with a pencil other than write?

Koslow: Yes. You can unsuccessfully try to pick a lock. You can erase. You can give your mom the gift of a pencil.

Southwick: But only mothers. Only your mother. We're at three.

Koslow: I'm going to need some more time on this one.

Southwick: OK, we'll come back to you on that one. Dan, what do you think of garden gnomes? Apparently this is a question you might get at Trader Joe's, just so you know.

Ejigu: Underrated. They're a dying breed. You don't see them quite as often as you did. Garden gnomes are great.

Southwick: Tell me more about why you think garden gnomes are great.

Ejigu: It's a good way to distract the rodents in your neighborhood.

Brokamp: They're famously afraid of garden gnomes.

Ejigu: They are. They are. They are the scarecrow of suburbia, if you will. They look great in your yard. It gives your house a little bit more personality.

Brokamp: A lot of class. A lot of class.

Ejigu: A lot of class. I'm a big garden gnome guy.

Southwick: I could tell. I could tell the moment you walked in here. I said, "That's a big garden gnome guy."

Ejigu: A gnomer.

Brokamp: A gnomer.

Southwick: All right, Rick. Let's say you've been given an elephant. You can't give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

Engdahl: I would feed it, and pet it, and name it George.

Brokamp: That is a classic. A classic.

Southwick: Everyone who's listening is too young to get that one.

Engdahl: What would I do with my elephant?

Southwick: Yes. What are you going to do with this elephant?

Engdahl: I think that I would take it out for walks and maybe take it down to the playground to let the kids climb on it, and slide down the trunk, and all those things you want to do with an elephant.

Southwick: Mm-hmm. Bro...

Brokamp: Oh, more?

Southwick: What would the name of your debut album be?

Brokamp: My debut album?

Engdahl: Why didn't I get that one? I have an answer for that one.

Brokamp: That's right.

Engdahl: I have a debut album.

Brokamp: My debut album. You Don't Want to Listen to This. Especially if I'm singing, you don't want to listen to it.

Southwick: Rachel, do you have any more things you can do with pencils, or do you want another question?

Koslow: Let's get another one.

Southwick: If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start? Apparently this is a question that HubSpot asks.

Koslow: Interesting.

Southwick: Only $40,000. Such a weird number, but...

Koslow: I would start a baking business, maybe, because that's my passion and I now know a mixer.

Brokamp: Bread? Cake? Anything in particular?

Koslow: Cookies and bars mostly, but it depends on the occasion.

Southwick: Very nice. So Dan, if you're the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?

Ejigu: Revenue. Employee engagement. The stock price? That ties into revenue.

Southwick: I wish our listeners could see your face, because you're saying it with real scrunched-up authority.

Ejigu: Luckily for us I am not Tom Gardner.

Southwick: All right, Rick, the last one. If you were a brand, what would your motto be?

Engdahl: "More of this." Bigger, better, more of... I don't know.

Brokamp: Isn't that also your album name, by the way?

Southwick: Well, you know what?

Brokamp: Did we get the jobs?

Southwick: I don't know.

Engdahl: I'm really glad that we all have jobs here.

Southwick: We're going to get back to you. I appreciate you coming in and I will be in touch.

Engdahl: Just Slack you a thank-you note.

Southwick: Yes, I would recommend that. It's not going to hurt, but I'm not going out for coffee. You guys, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Koslow: Thank you for having us.

Ejigu: Thank you for having us.

Southwick: Well, that's the show. It's edited recruitingly by Rick Engdahl. Foosballingly?

Brokamp: Persistently?

Southwick: Persistently.

Engdahl: Rejectedly.

Southwick: Aw.

Engdahl: Aw ho ho.

Southwick: I'll give you some time to ponder your questions, if you want to think, again, about what your brand would be.

Engdahl: "I make you sound better."

Brokamp: There you go. And it's the truth.

Southwick: And it's very on brand. That's true. Like I said, the show is now edited on-brandingly with Rick Engdahl. Our email is We always have a mailbag episode around the corner, so send us your questions and we'll try to get to them.

Also, take a moment and join the Facebook group. We have a private Facebook group called Motley Fool Podcasts. You can just knock and be let in, and that's where we talk about Motley Fool stuff. Why are you looking at me like this is the first time you heard about this?

Brokamp: I'm just looking at you. Always admiring your professionalism and the way you keep saying the same thing over and over again.

Engdahl: And that scarf is also really nice.

Brokamp: You make it sound so interesting.

Southwick: You got the job, OK? Like you don't have to lay it on. All right. For Robert Brokamp, I'm Alison Southwick. Stay Foolish, everybody!

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.