“Heyy, Eddie,” said my sister.
“How’d it go?”
“Ohh I fucked it up,” I said.
I was referring to my HubSpot interview. It was years ago, with the former VP of Marketing, Joe Chernov.
I had sent the former Head of Content, Jay Acunzo, a cold email. And he forwarded it to Joe. It helped me get the interview. (Thank you, Jay.)
Here’s my actual email:
Not how I’d write it today but that’s alright. It did work, after all.
“Hey, Eddie,” said HubSpot’s recruiter.
“We’d love to schedule you for an interview with Joe.”
“Great,” I said. “Thanks!”
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“Hey, Eddie,” said Joe.
“Hey, Joe! Thanks for taking the time,” I said.
“Sure thing. So it says here on your resume that you speak Russian?”
“Yep,” I said. “It’s actually my first language.”
“That’s really cool,” he said. “Hey, by the way, what’s my last name remind you of?”
(Phonetically, Joe’s last name sounds like the Russian word for black, the color.)
“Well…” I said. “The color black, I guess.”
“Yes!” he said. “Yes, that’s exactly right — the color black.”
It was quiet for a moment.
“So anyway tell me about what you’re writing at work, Eddie.”
I had practiced answering this question more than once.
“Sure,” I said. Then I told him what I thought he wanted to hear.
“Why do you think you messed it up?” said my sister.
“I dunno,” I said. “He big-wigged me out.”
We both laughed.
She started singing Under Pressure.
We laughed some more.
“Hi, Eddie,” said HubSpot’s recruiter.
“We’ve decided not to move ahead with the process. This was a tough decision and we truly appreciate your time and energy and will absolutely keep your resume on file.”
“Great,” I said. “Thanks!”
“Hi, Eddie,” said Joe in an email. “Thanks for the note.”
He was responding to my post-interview “thank you” note.
Here’s his actual email:
This is the most valuable email I’ve ever received.
Because it gave me some confidence and some drive. Enough to register VeryGoodCopy.com the very next day.
And that was all I needed. I was off.
I started my own blog. I also started submitting long-form articles about copywriting to the HubSpot blog, building relationships with incredibly talented writers and editors along the way. (Ginny. Carly. Karla. Sophia. Lindsay. Cliff. Many others. Thank you, guys.)
And I became a student of analytics, of data.
HubSpot didn’t hire me.
And that made all the difference.
Now, a few lessons:
Lesson 1: Don’t tell people what you think they want to hear. Be authentic. People appreciate that.
Lesson 2: Try not to let your failures discourage you. Move forward. Who knows what’s good or bad?
Lesson 3: If you can prop up someone who deserves it, you should. Words carry weight. The right words at the right time can change someone’s life. (Thank you, Joe.)