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BuzzFeed HR Exec: ‘You Can’t Have an Ego Here’

BuzzFeedLogoThe latest installment of Cosmopolitan‘s “Interview Insider” is most apt, since it relates to a media company that has – per the interview subject – ‘hired a new employee every day for months.’ We’re talking BuzzFeed.

When writer Heather Wood Rudulph asked senior vice president of talent Joel Greengrass what BuzzFeed looks for in job candidates, he gave this very useful reply:

“You need to be self-directed and know how to solve a problem on your own. But you must be excited about the opportunity to work with others and understand that you’ll become better by bouncing ideas off of colleagues.”

“You can’t have an ego in a collaborative environment such as this. If you have too much pride of ownership of an idea, this is going to be a difficult place for you to work. The other piece I look for is leadership. I want to sit across my desk from someone — whether just out of college or working in the industry for 20 years — and think, I want to work for you!”

Another tip Greengrass shares is that while he expects applicants to be user-familiar with BuzzFeed, he also understands – Pulitzer Prize winners in the ranks notwithstanding – where the site fits overall. “Don’t B.S. me that you get all of your hard news here,” he warns. Ha ha. We can’t imagine anyone saying that during a job interview at BuzzFeed with a straight face, but then again, per Greengrass, stranger things have happened:

“I used to get such a kick out of people making resumes into “25 Reasons Why You Should Hire Me.” I love that kind of preparation, but I might poke my eye out with a white-hot needle if I see another one of those.”

BuzzFeed currently has 582 employees and 100 open positions. Read the rest of Greengrass’ extensive, valuable advice here and follow him on Twitter here.

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