October 2023

All Dressed Up

NewMark Merrill President & CEO Sandy Sigal compares trick-or-treating to the corporate interviewing and recruiting experience.

Creativity abounds during NewMark Merrill’s annual employee costume contest.

Walking around in an ill-fitting costume and knocking on strangers’ doors is not a bad description of job interviews. No matter what side of the desk you’re sitting on, we never really grow out of the urge to dress up as someone we want to be—or someone we think others want us to be. The trick is finding out who we really are, so we can see if we can get to the best treat of all: a good match.

With that in mind, here are some seasonally spooky lessons for anyone looking to navigate the recruiting process without getting egg on their face—or on their house.

The fancier houses don’t always have the best candy

“As long as you’re looking in the right neighborhood—or the right type of company in the right industry—quality opportunities will be there.”

— President & CEO Sandy Sigal

What matters most is the quality of the residences, not just the size of the house. If someone has taken the time to leave their light on and put a candle in the jack-o-lantern, they are looking to welcome that knock on the door and it’s worth your while to give them your full attention.

Be careful about stuffing your bag too full

Eager trick-or-treaters enjoy filling their bags at Spooky Village at Village at the Peaks in Longmont, Colorado.

“My best interviews tend to be those who have spend the time upfront to determine why they are knocking on our door for an opportunity.”

— President & CEO Sandy Sigal

Grabbing as much candy as you can carry is just going to weigh you down and, eventually, leave you feeling like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew—or even a little sick to your stomach. Filling out as many applications and scheduling as many interviews as possible might seem like a way to increase your chances, but the reality is that it’s just going to lead to a lot of situations that leave you (and your interviewer) feeling like both of you might have wasted each other’s time.

Don’t get spooked too easily

“Avoiding an opportunity because you’re nervous or intimidate is only going to leave you wondering what you might have missed out on.”

— President & CEO Sandy Sigal

That house at the top of the hill might look like a long hike, but sometimes the most challenging opportunities leave you with the best lessons. Maybe that lesson is figuring out which places have the best candy! In the corporate recruiting game, it might be learning what to do—or what not to do—next time.

Don’t toss out the unusual treats

Children at a NewMark Merrill event can select a delicious fruit treat with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

“The trick is to keep those priorities in mind as you knock on the right doors. If you do, you’ll likely find yourself feeling good about the process, regardless of the outcome. And that’s a pretty sweet deal.”

— President & CEO Sandy Sigal

Sometimes the atypical opportunities are those that ultimately build character—and resumes—and set you up for long-term success and prosperity. Think of every interview and every job opportunity as an investment in your future and proceed accordingly.

So, when it comes to looking for the right opportunity and the best professional fit, approach it like a trick-or-treater at Halloween! Take your time. Plan your route. Be bold, but not greedy. Take advantage of promising opportunities, even (and perhaps especially) those that might be a little unconventional.