December 4, 2023


3 minutes

This job-search took 2 weeks. Here's why.

Kareem Abukhadra

Author, Founder Relentless

We worked with a candidate who took 2 weeks to get a job.

The most unique part of his job search approach is he created value during the interview process.

He did this by creating a solution-in-a-box.

A solution-in-a-box is an asset that a candidate gives a hiring manager that solves a problem the hiring manager is facing.

Here are examples of how we've seen this get applied for different roles:

  • Targeting a marketing role?
  • We saw a candidate pre-write a 1 page document of discount codes for software marketing teams use, then share it with hiring managers they interviewed with.

    This candidate also went through their network of 1000+ marketing professionals, identified the best 10 marketing professionals, and categorized each professional by the domain they were skilled in (LinkedIn, Google ADs, etc.). They also listed the hourly rate the professional charged Fortune 500s for their services (which was anywhere between 100 to 900 dollars an hour).

    During interviews, the candidate made it clear that these 10 marketing advisors were close friends and thus could be used for free marketing advice, which meant hiring this 1 professional was like hiring 11 marketing professionals.

    The candidate also offered each hiring manager the database of contacts for free and explained that they’d still willingly do intros for the hiring manager even if they didn’t proceed with their candidacy.
  • Targeting a venture capitalist role?
  • We saw a candidate pre-vet 30 deals from their network that had meaningful traction, then categorize the deals by space.

    During interviews the candidate would willingly offer intros to the founders on the list with no strings attached, and explain why he thought they were compelling founders. Here's a screenshot of V1.0 of the database he built.
  • Targeting a sales leadership role?
  • We saw a candidate create a course on sales leadership, list it publicly, rack up a lot of testimonials, then offer to teach the course live to junior employees in the sales organization.

    He did this by learning what issues existed with the sales team during interviews then mentioning the specific part of his course that talks about solving this problem, and offering to teach it to the salespeople in the company for free.
  • Targeting an engineering role?
  • We saw a candidate use relationships from past companies where they negotiated deals for AWS credits that could save engineering orgs 10 thousand dollars+ in yearly spend then share the list with employers before interviews.
  • Targeting a product manager role?
  • We saw a candidate conduct user research into the user base of companies they were targeting and then email the user research report to hiring managers throughout their interview process.

    They also included the contact information of the relevant person and where possible got the person to pre-confirm that they were comfortable being contacted by the company for research.
  • Targeting a product design role?
  • We saw a candidate pre-buy a series of design assets off Figma (a design software) then offer it to interviewers for free.
  • Targeting a recruiting role?
  • We saw a candidate connect with leadership at Greenhouse, find out who was responsible for deleting reviews left by disgruntled (and unfair) employees, then look at each company's greenhouse reviews before their interview process.

    During interviews, the candidate would kindly point out the reviews and indicate that they could ask to have them taken down as a courtesy (even if the company doesn't move forward with their candidacy).
  • Targeting a customer success manager role?
  • We saw a candidate write a series of books on how to solve problems for customers effectively in different industries, buy a website domain that mentioned customer success in the name, and then list books to sell on the site.

    This demonstrated their proclivity for solving problems for customers in different spaces and allowed them to offer the books for free to employers they met with.

    Here's the site .. and this approach worked so well on Relentless that we hired them to work for us.

You'll notice that every solution in the box:

  • Requires 10 to 20 hours worth of upfront work to create. However, once created, the candidate can bring it to every interview and deploy it within a few seconds or up to an hour of additional work.
  • Requires you to deeply understand why companies are hiring for your role and the value your role would create.

The quality of a solution-in-the-box can be measured using the following criteria:

  • Value it creates: More is better. For example, if you share a discount code for a software that saves the hiring manager 10,000 Dollars, that's more helpful than one that saves them 1,000 Dollars.
  • Time to value: Less time is better. For example, if your solution creates value immediately, that's more valuable than one that takes 3 months to create value.
  • Effort required to implement your solution: Less is better. For example, if you share a course that requires the hiring manager 20 hours to watch and then implement, that's less effective than a 1 hour course that offers the same value.

Want to learn more about how to implement solution-in-the-box interviewing during your interview processes?

Reply with a "Yes".

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