Not Only A Recruiter, But A Movie Guy Too

What is the last good movie that you saw?

A simple and unassuming open-ended question that has really helped me over the years in my cold calling blocks.

My recruiting background is in the health care sector, mostly working with physicians. Most physician recruiters would agree that the chance of connecting directly with a doctor in his or her office from a random call is very slim. It is a combination of difficult schedules between patients, call services and gatekeepers.

Nonetheless my first few months on a desk were spent calling physician office lists. My manager stressed the need to be professional (yet yourself) and to get something from every call. That was a tall order given that my average call lasted a mere thirty five seconds. So after leaving my message and contact information I asked the individual taking the message what was the last good movie that they saw.

This simple question would often catch people off guard, but would also allow them to lower their guard. It would suddenly turn a standard sales call into a free flowing conversation.

My initial goal was to extend the actual conversation and try to learn something from the person on the other end. It often worked and I would gain additional information such as a schedule or alternate phone number, but over time by asking the question I began to stand out from the crowd. I was not only a recruiter cold calling, but the ‘movie guy’.

Now I am not going to say that this always resulted in getting a call back, but there were a handful of occasions where it did come back full circle and my movie question would open the dialogue and transition to sourcing a quality candidate.

Roger Ebert I may not be, but I still enjoy watching and critiquing movies. By injecting a bit of my personal interests into my cold calling blocks I found it made the exercise a tad more bearable, but more importantly allowed me to standout from being just another random caller.

So for those of you who might be curious my current list (in no particular order);

  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Graduate
  • Vicky Christina Barcelona
  • Adaptation
  • Inception

So have you had success bringing one of your interests into the workplace? Do you have your own technique for making cold calls a bit more user friendly? And if you’re movie fan like myself, what is the last good movie you watched?

By Tim Spagnola -

Views: 129

Comment by Adam Eckels on October 26, 2010 at 4:37pm
Tim, I am a movie buff too. Great list...really dig most of those movies, Inception goes beyond digging though. That was a picture my friend and sure to start a conversation.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on October 26, 2010 at 5:19pm
Hi Noel, great way of connecting with people and getting to know them a little better. I enjoy Clint Eastwood's movies as director. Some great ones!
Comment by Barbara Goldman on October 26, 2010 at 5:37pm
This is such a great idea! It also makes you human.
Comment by Leigh Cosgrove on October 27, 2010 at 3:52am
Hi Noel, I have used the weather (very popular subject in the UK!), football and TV shows in the past but I like the idea of sticking to one and becomming the "movie guy". And Inception was the last good movie I saw
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on November 1, 2010 at 6:16pm
During my first interview for my current position, the sales manager introduced me to the company CEO who's first question was: What's your favorite movie?

I hesitated before answering, I agree with this post that taste in films does reveal a lot about personality.

Usually I don't tell people what my #1 fave movie is because it's controversial, and not rated G. Typically I say it's StarWars Empire Strikes Back (#3) or Blade Runner (#2) -- but in this instance I answered honestly. Guess I should be grateful I got hired anyway ;-)
Comment by Noel Cocca on November 2, 2010 at 12:24pm
Thanks everyone for the feedback on this post. It was just a little trick I tried that worked for me.

Adam - a great flick.....agree fully!
Charles - see Hereafter yet? Heard good things.....
Barbara - Human.....exactly!
Rayanne - Not as much as I would have liked, but when asked most responded with the latest hit at the theaters. That in itself would open the conversation for us to go into other similar films and then be able to slip back into shop talk and get a Dr's cell # and/or work schedule
Leigh - when local w/. calls I at times used weather too, but talking movies was a bit more engaging
Sylvia - love the feedback and story. I would be hard pressed to find a G rated one myself. What is your controversial fave?

Thanks all...glad you all enjoyed the post and finally got around to The Social Network and really enjoyed it.


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