My professors tell me the best way to prepare for interviews, is to read newspapers every day. They highlight the importance of being aware of what’s going on with the economy and current events outside of the 40 Acres, because that’s the world we will be living in. When speaking with adults, being able to apply what we are studying to current events creates more stimulating conversation than talking about assignments and grades.
I have accepted this as something I need to do to be successful with recruiting. I thought this was all that I needed to do, until I read a blog by the Young and Frugal highlighting the importance of sports in the business world. They made an excellent point:
“In the real world most people won’t talk politics with you for fear of offending you (or someone else), and not many people want to talk business because that’s what they do all day.”
Sports is something that you can talk about with everyone, and use as a gateway to talk about most anything: from the business of sports, player gossip, personal experiences from playing the game, and locations you have traveled to watch games. It is a topic almost everyone can relate to or have an opinion about, and a great way to join a conversation. In fact, a Green Mangoes blog made an interesting point on the importance of sports in the business world:
“My friend Anna, who is Hungarian, told me once that when she was in school in Hungary, studying English, she took a course on doing business in America. (Maybe that wasn’t the title, but that was the topic.) One of the things they stressed as a key to being successful in business dealings with Americans was to be familiar with the names and current records of sports teams. Because there is no better way ‘in’ than , ‘Hey, how about those [fill in name of appropriate sports team here]? Think they can go all the way this year?’”
To summarize up the underlying reason why sports are essential in business, I would like to go back to the Young and Frugal blog:
“Talking sports is about relationships. The emotional connection that forms between you and “your” team, the relationship that forms with your co-worker because his team is your team’s rival, and the relationship of feeling that if you can have a good conversation with someone about sports, you can have a good conversation with them about anything. On the contrary, when meeting someone who doesn’t follow sports it’s extremely difficult to break the ice and find a common ground. Up- to-date knowledge of sports is a key part of business in today’s world because businesses are about relationships, and sports can be the key to developing strong relationships.”
After this I thought I had what I needed for recruiting down: news and sports. In addition, when I think back to my prior experiences with recruiters, it is true that I have discussed sports and current events many times, but many conversations centered on pop culture like movies, music and TV shows. Talking about these things has the same effect as sports, they help establish relationships. Talking about these things helps me to determine if I could work with someone for over 8 hours a day. If we like the same movies and TV shows, we most likely have very similar senses of humor and personalities.
This revelation helps me in two ways. First, it will help me prepare for recruiting and building relationships. Second, it will help me convince my parents it is essential for me to catch up on all my TV shows over break!