Marie Ablaza (AKA “Fairy Job Mother”) is a Talent Recruiter at Netflix Games Studio. She was previously a recruiter at Ubisoft, Lucasfilm, and Dolby Laboratories, and has worked in industries such as tech, entertainment, media, and video games. She was also recognized for the 2021 San Francisco Top Recruiter of the Year Award. Trust me, “You are going to BINGE this episode like you binge Netflix shows.”
Here are some questions we will be answering:
– Deep dive into Netflix Games Studio?
– New Netflix Series on biggest candidate mistakes?
– Favorite Netflix shows?
– What do people NOT know about working in tech, media, entertainment, and video gaming?
– Should you document your life/career?
– Best practices for transferring from a community college?
– Is success a group effort?
– Why is staying involved important if your “cup” is already full?
*Download Hirect App for Free: https://bit.ly/HirectApp
Connect with Marie: www.linkedin.com/in/mariebenigno/
Marie’s Personal Website: www.marieablaza.me/
Follow our Host on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-aj-eckstein/
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this podcast are of the host and guest and not of their employers.
“If you are at the final round interview, you’re pretty much there. Meaning that, really the team is just ready to get to know you.” – Marie Ablaza
Welcome to the Final Round podcast, where our mission is to help you knock out the competition and land your dream job. My name is A.J. Eckstein, and I’m a recent college graduate, a strategy consultant, a five-time intern, and the founder of the Career Coaching Company.
Have you ever wondered why only a few people get past the final round interview and land the job offer? Join me in the ring as I speak with recruiters at top companies to learn the secrets why certain applicants get “knocked-out” and others are still standing after the final round.
This episode is brought to you by Hirect, the first chat-based hiring app. More about them later in the show.
Now, let’s jump into the ring and get you past the final round.
Marie Ablaza has been called a “Fairy Job Mother,” and is currently a Talent Recruiter at Netflix Games Studio. She was previously a recruiter at Ubisoft, Lucasfilm and Dolby Laboratories, and has worked in industries such as tech, entertainment, media and video games. She was also recognized for the 2021 San Francisco Top Recruiter of the Year Award. Trust me, you’re going to binge this episode like you binge your Netflix shows.
What is going on everybody? Happy, Happy Sunday. I have Marie Ablaza tuning in today. She is a Talent Recruiter at Netflix and is also known as the Fairy Job Mother. So, Marie, how are you doing today?
Marie: I’m doing well. Happy Sunday, AJ. Thanks for having me.
Of course, and I’m so excited to dive in. I think that Netflix has been a company that our audience has been asking for some time now. Actually, first want to st art, we did a lot of research on you and your background and I know you have a personal website, Marie and something that really stood out on your website is you have a quote and it says, “I am a Disney fan, Star Wars nerd, and in the same room as George Lucas, been inside the Millennial Falcon, was on Star Wars show for like 1.5 seconds.” So, where does this passion stem from?
Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, it’s really just stem from I’ve always wanted to be in the entertainment industry. When I think about my career journey, I felt like I was going to fall into the stereotype, right? Like I’m an Asian woman, my family have all been like doctors or nurses and I thought I was going to go in that direction, but really, like ever since I was a kid, I’m like, “I’m not going to do that.” I know I really want to be in the entertainment industry and so really that passion has just stemmed as a little kid. I really am like a huge Disney fan ever since I’ve been a kid and so I think that’s just always been carried through my life and like I’ve actually just kind of intertwined it into my career as well.
Best Practices for Transferring from a Community College
I love that! Again, you’re not just a recruiter, but everything that you put out there in terms of a content perspective always has a little bit of a twist, right? I think you’ve coined yourself as the Fairy Job Mother and trying to spread magic to candidates to help connect them with amazing opportunities. I also had the privilege to intern at the Walt Disney Company and obviously, really learning how to tell a story. I think for today’s episode, we’re going to tell an amazing story about you, your background and all the knowledge you can share with our audience. So, diving a little bit deeper into your background and starting in college, I saw that you attended a community college before you attended a four-year institution, and I was actually in the same boat. I attended community for a year before I transferred to USC. I think that from afar a lot of people have a negative connotation when they think of community college. So, I’d be curious why did you choose to go to community and then also any best practices or advice for our audience who might need to or want to go to community before transferring to a four-year?
Marie: Absolutely! I went to a community college because I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. I wasn’t super motivated in high school, and so like, just thinking about going to a four-year in university and also thinking about how much money that would be for myself and for my family as well, I was like, ‘Well, I want to be intentional.’ I want to make sure that if I go to wherever I’m going to go, I know I have a path. But as of that point, after graduating from high school, I didn’t have a path, had no idea what I wanted to do. I agree, there was definitely a stigma, I think even within my own family. So, my older brother and older sister both went to UC Davis and UC Berkeley right after high school. So, I was like the third child. I was like, oh, my God, that’s a lot of pressure for me to have to do the same thing but I think I just broke that norm within my family. I was like, you know what, they had a path right after high school. They knew what they wanted to do, but I don’t and so I wanted to be very intentional with my journey.
So, going to a community college, I felt was such a great opportunity to figure things out. I majored in like four different things honestly, before I found that I wanted to be an HR. I tried bio, I tried chemistry, I tried hospitality and accounting and finance. I tried a bunch of things. It just didn’t work out, but I still love that. It gave me the opportunity to really figure out what I liked and didn’t like until I narrowed down what I wanted to do. So, for my advice for anyone who’s thinking about this, I’d say break the stigma, there’s nothing wrong with going to community college. It’s still very much college material. I think some people think, ‘Oh, maybe it’s just an extension of high school,’ which it’s not. I feel like the education, the curriculum, all of the things that I learned while I was there was just continuing to be steps of a ladder to like get to where I really wanted to be. So, that’s my advice is like break the stigma. If you haven’t figured it out and you’re not ready to just step into a four-year university just yet, you can bridge that. I feel like community college is such a great bridge and really not to be something to look negatively upon because that opportunity really can help branch to that next step if you do want to go to that four-year university.
And if you’re not sure of what major to pursue or what career to pursue, what would you say is that first step? Whether you want to go to community college or not, how do you really figure out what you wanted to do? How did you figure out your passion for HR and recruiting specifically in media, entertainment, tech, and gaming?
Marie: Exactly. Yeah! So, I think it goes back to what I said earlier. I really wanted to get into the entertainment industry. I think for me, while I was in community college, I really just had a reflection on what is it that I really love? What do I really like to do? Why do people out there love their jobs? And so, for me, my reflection was, ‘Well, I really like Disney. So, how do I get to Disney? And what are things that Disney does?’ Obviously, it’s a huge company. And so, for me, I just thought about, ‘Well, there’s got to be a way to tie what I do in college, what ends up being my career, and hopefully getting to the magical castle at the end of the day. So, for me, I like Disney, and that was just kind of my pinpoint, that was the pin drop for me of like, ‘Okay. If I really liked this so much, how do I get past it from just being a consumer, but like how do I tie that into what careers are there at Disney?’ And so, as I explored different majors and then I fell into HR, I was like, wow, HR is not only a great major, but it’s a great career. Every company needs it and then it clicked like, ‘Wait, Disney needs HR, right? Disney needs recruiters. Of course, they do.
And so, from there, that was my journey of I would love to be able to get into Disney eventually, but overall, my career was just around I just want to be in the entertainment business. So, that’s why I started at Dolby where it’s not exactly an entertainment company, but it was entertainment adjacent. It was at the time that I joined, they were just creating Dolby Atmos. So, if you’ve watched a movie and Dolby Atmos in the cinema or theaters, that was that technology, but that’s really how I chose it. I just picked what I liked at the time and was like, ‘Okay. This is something that I really care about from a consumer perspective. How do I turn that into making that a career?’ So, that’s what I actually told some students too who are going to ask me, ‘Well, I don’t really know what to do.’ I’m like, ‘Well, what do you like?’ I know there’s one student out there, he’s like, ‘I love Nike, I love shoes.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. Well, have you thought about networking with people at Nike? Have you thought about getting a job there?’ He actually has like applied for internships there and he’s connecting that, ‘Oh, wait, yeah, just my love for shoes and the brand, Nike really led him to start pursuing like maybe that’s the career that I want to go into.’
Working in tech, media, entertainment and video gaming
I love how you answer that question, even your own question of what I want to do, because it’s a common question and I think so many people even I, I think everyone will come across that is what do I consume? What do I like today? And then let’s figure it out, right? If I’m someone who’s obsessed with Netflix and I love binging Netflix shows, what opportunities are there in Netflix? I’m a big athlete, I love Nike sneakers, how can I work at Nike? I think it’s the same across the board, whatever company it is, and then try to think about how could I get there. One of our last few episodes, we had a Spotify recruiter then the New York Times then Google. If you’re someone who’s an avid reader of the New York Times or an avid listener of Spotify, think about those opportunities first because also when you answer the question of why Netflix, why Spotify, why google it’s much easier to answer from a consumer perspective than trying to have a really big reach and figure it out. So, I love how you answered that. I think that you manifested the opportunities. I’d love to talk a little bit deeper post college actually diving into your eight years of recruiting experience. I saw that you’ve recruited for Dolby, Ubisoft, Lucasfilm and now Netflix.
I want to make sure that our audience truly knows the power of these companies and who these companies are because they have a lot of types of programs under them and types of portfolios or different types of films. So, to give everyone some context, Dolby Laboratories is a global developer of audio imaging and voice technologies for cinema and games. Like you said, it kind of parallels the media, entertainment industry. Lucasfilm, if you’re not familiar, one of the world’s leading firm and entertainment company, is best known for Star Wars and for the Indiana Jones franchises which everyone I’m sure has either heard of or has written the attractions at Disneyland. And then lastly, Ubisoft is a French video game company and creator of Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Watch Dogs and more. So, I really want everyone to get some context to understand how experienced you are in the industry and how cool these companies are to work for. And obviously, I think everyone’s heard of Netflix and they’re probably binging on Netflix show right now. So, my question for you, Marie, what interests you the most about working for these types of tech entertainment media and video game companies?
Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think it just boils down to just storytelling. I thought of going back to that last question of why do I like Disney so much? Why do I like entertainment and media so much? I think it’s really that storytelling, the way that it grabs people. There’s a reason why people are listening to music or playing video games or watching Star Wars or binging. There’s something there and I think it really boils down to storytelling. And so, for me, like that was really kind of my interest in getting to it. The reason why I love Disney so much is because you don’t forget those moments, you don’t forget those moments of watching your first Disney film and watching the entire portfolio and then looking back at it like 30 years later. And like, ‘Wow, I’ve like watched every single Disney movie,’ right? Or even like going to the parks, that’s a story in itself.
And so, for me it was just like, I love how those stories are created, how they’re concepted and how they go through the entire build phase and then how it’s released and then seeing how the audience is consuming it. Right? Like seeing the emotions, seeing how people are excited about it. I love when I first joined Lucasfilm that was actually right when Force Awakens was coming out, the revival of the Skywalker Saga and I just remember the energy of, oh my God, the story is coming back to life, the characters are coming back to life. We’re going to see new characters and old characters that we remember from these beloved films, that was just so exciting. So, I think it’s always been ingrained in that. I think from a recruiting perspective, I see storytelling in every individual. So, that’s why I think it’s also important is that like when I hire people or interview people who want to work in entertainment or media or the companies that I’ve been at, I really just tie into like you have a story yourself and these companies are founded on stories. And so, for me, that’s how I try to tie in everything together is that you have a story, you’re bringing your story into this company and that’s just really the beauty of what I think is important about working in this industry.
Is Success a Group Effort?
I think there’s so much power in storytelling and really convincing the audience what you want them to take away. I remember when I ended up leaving and exiting Disney, people would ask you what was your biggest takeaway? What was your biggest learning lesson? And I literally said exactly what you said, the art of telling a good story. It wasn’t just about reading a children’s book to somebody else, but it was about presenting a slide deck to senior leadership about finance and really telling a compelling story or whatever they did across every single facet of the business whether it was theme parks or the tv shows and movies, whatever it was, it was always about telling a compelling story to the guest or to the audience.
I think for our audience today, you need to think about your own story because everyone has a story, you just make it compelling enough for people to really listen to it and make it meaningful, so they walk away remembering you. Diving deeper into your story, I understand that on top of you being extremely busy as a talent recruiter at Netflix, you also are a serial volunteer and community member and you still participate and are on the board of a lot of different organizations, for instance, the Filipino Alumni Network, the Society for Human Resource Management at San Jose State University and Fairy God Boss. So, out of curiosity because you are so busy, what motivated you to stay connected in the community on top of this crazy, busy full-time job?
Marie: For me, my success was not built just on my own. So, I think for me it’s always been my whole entire career journey, I’ve had a village of my own. I’ve had a community of people who have helped me, I’ve had professionals who have mentored me. There are mentees that I have ended up mentoring that I still continue to learn from. So, it’s just about giving back, that’s really important for me, because my career again, I don’t think and I will never say that I did it on my own. There were so many people involved with helping me and so giving back to these different communities are important because I just want to be able to give back and hopefully, they also will give back. For me, I always just see it as the cycle of paying it forward. I ended up being very successful and I’m really proud of my career, but I never want to hold on to that and not share.
And you’ve seen this too, when I’m posting on LinkedIn and creating content, I have all this knowledge from just how fun my career is that I want to share that with other people like there are fun careers out there. We don’t have to settle for jobs that make us miserable. So, for me, it was really just like I want to give back. And so, even though, I am super busy, there’s a lot of things that I do. I mentioned to you earlier that I’m also a mom and so it’s a crazy life, but it always boils down to just how thankful I am and just that power of giving back so that hopefully other people will get back. I hope my story goes to you AJ and you share it with someone else and someone else goes, ‘Hey, I listened to the Final Round,” and then it just kind of like full circle effect, like that’s what I love to see. And so, that’s why I really love to get back to the community and just fun to do it because our lives isn’t just our jobs. Right? My cup is full here at Netflix, like I love this job so much, but there’s other places where I’m like where else can I help fill those cups for others?
Why is staying involved important if your “cup” is already full?
I love that analogy of your cup is full right now, how could I really pour water into someone else’s cup? Another great analogy and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these videos where you’re in line at the drive thru and you say, “I’ll pay for my food and I’ll pay for the person right behind me,” and then you leave the drive thru, you walk up high, it’s $25, another person in front of you pay it. So, you feel okay, I feel obliged to help the next person and it’s just this ripple domino effect where you keep helping other people because someone helped you and I love that theme.
I do think that especially when you are younger in your career, it’s hard to offer value to another person when you’re networking. I saw on your LinkedIn that a theme that you often highlight is asking the other person how you can help them. So, for instance, if I’m a younger student or someone younger my career and we just hopped on a quick networking call and you provided so much career advice and value and I feel most indebted, like thank you so much. That was so helpful. What are some good examples that you’ve seen from some younger folks in their career who can really add value to your life?
Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. Pretty much what I said is the one thing that comes to mind is yeah, like paying it forward to others, right? Hey, I talked to an amazing recruiter at XYZ Company and they share this information with me. I’m going to share that with my friends. They should really know this because we’re all job searching right now. And being able to recognize that professional like I know that you feel like you said you might feel indebted, but sometimes, like for us professionals, we just love that we can share stuff that can be shared with others. Of course, I’m just speaking for myself as a recruiter but yeah, when I’m talking to students and they asked me and they’re like, “I don’t really know how I can help you,” but sometimes it’s just like, just share it, share what you found was helpful, feel free to have them come to me. I would love to be able to see how far my advice goes and if there are other people that I can help, that’s something that’s super important to me.
What else? Sometimes it’s just like just supporting each other. Again, I’m not going to put you on a project but sometimes it’s just like just stay in contact with me, don’t forget who I am. I think for us recruiters and professionals who do give back, it does make us sad when it’s, “Oh, I’ve helped AJ and now it’s been three years and I’ve never heard from him from that one conversation.” We hope that it’s just like a continuous, “Hey, I’m going to check back in and see how they’re doing. Is there anything that I can help with?” For me, when I was in the middle of creating my website, there were some people who are asking me, what can I help you with them? Like, “Well, I’m working on a website and I’m not really sure if I want to go live. Can I just show it to you really quick and just see what you think?” It’s just like simple things like that. So, the recruiters are the professionals who will tell you. They’ll let you know, “Oh, no, there’s nothing that you need to help me with now,” or something as simple as, “Well, just support me on LinkedIn. I’m going to post some content. And so, if you think it’s helpful, like it, comment, share it, things like that.” So, I think it’s even just like those simple small moments that build over time is what I think should be the focus. So, I wouldn’t worry about like, “Oh, my gosh, I have nothing to offer. That professional has been in the industry for 10 plus years. What do I have to say?” But I think it’s just that relationship building that is going to be crucial and really what’s important to be fostered.
I also think on that same note that it’s so important to do your research because if you do your research on Marie, you see that she has a personal website, you see that she posts content actively on LinkedIn. Obviously, now that you are stepping into this content creation role, you want to build your audience. So, the easiest way to support is literally to support someone’s content and to like it, to share it, to comment it, to tag friends, to repost it, whatever that may be and it might seem super small, but it actually is super helpful because then your network gets notified and it’s a ripple effect. So, I think that’s just the bare minimum how easy it is to help and support someone. I also think what you said that you want to hear from the people that you help. I think this is such a big thing for me where I always get so upset where I give up time out of my weekend to help mentor somebody and then you never hear from them again. They don’t give a quick thank you note and it’s just a ghost and you almost feel like, “Well, that was a waste of time because I do want to hear from you.”
Maybe I don’t have time to hop on another call immediately, but just a quick, “Hey, Marie! Thank you so much for your advice on getting involved. I just became the VP of the Filipino Alumni Network or whatever maybe and because of your advice, I am now a leader on campus and I’m interviewing for XYZ Company. I just want to say thank you again. I hope you’re having a great Friday.” I think those little check ins are so important. It could even be what I started to do with some of my friends and people in my network is a voice message. You could do a voice message on LinkedIn or over text. It’s super quick. It’s under 60 seconds and just to check in to stay top of mind and continue that relationship because again, I think you would agree that if we’re giving time to help, we want to hear from you again and it shouldn’t be a transaction and then that’s it. We’re never going to hear from you again.
Marie: Yes! Exactly, yeah. It’s so important because again, it’s just fostering that relationship. Most of the people like us who do give some time away. We don’t ask for anything huge in return, right? For me, I’m not doing it for money or anything. I just love to do this and I really just love to help, but also don’t take advantage of that. That’s also the reality is don’t take advantage of the people who help you because really just those small little moments like you said of just saying thank you, saying, “Hey, I just submitted an application for XYZ Company and I used some of your advice that you help with my resume or I’m going into an interview and I just really want to say thanks and wish me luck.”
Just little moments like that are so important because again, it’s fostering that relationship. You’re not ending it. You’re continuing to network, which like some people don’t think that is but that’s still continuing to network because then if you tell me, “I’m interviewing at XYZ Company,” and then you end up getting it, guess what? I’m also going to be watching your career. I’m going to be like, ‘Oh, my gosh, AJ got the job at Disney. What’s he going to do? I can’t wait till he like puts in his responsibilities in his LinkedIn,’ and for people like me, I really get excited about that because I’m watching people’s career and especially if I’ve helped you. For me, the transaction never ends. It really is like if you got the job, I’m watching your career. If you got the promotion, I’m even more so watching your career because you just never know, ‘Hey, AJ, I got this role now and I would love to chat with you if you’re looking.’ It could totally turn into something like that.
Literally like you said, the little things have the biggest impact and if you don’t do the little things then it’s really just wasting people’s time. So, make sure to go out of your way to send a little message to share, “Because of your advice, I did XYZ thing or I still remember to this day, I’m walking into an interview and the five things you said with the breathing exercises, whatever it is are so impactful for the person who’s helping the other person.” So, I love that small things, big impact.
On the topic of the relationship between recruiters and jobseekers, I want to take a quick pause and tell you about today’s episode partner Hirect. If you’re a jobseeker, Hirect allows you to build a resume in three minutes and send direct messages to company decision makers like founders, recruiters and even hiring managers. If you are a company trying to recruit talent, Hirect offers the quickest way to do so. You can post a job in three minutes, let their app match you with talent in under one minute and chat instantly with candidates. Hirect is trusted by 10,000 companies and over 100,000 job seekers. I will drop a link to their free hiring app in the show notes below. Now, back to the show.
Deep dive into Netflix Games Studio
I want to shift gears and talk about your role as a talent recruiter at Netflix Game Studio and before we dive into kind of what your day-to-day looks like, I read a news article on Netflix’s website sharing that Netflix is in the early stages of creating a great gaming experience for their members around the world and they’re excited to announce the recent acquisition of Night School Studio. So, can you tell us a little bit more? Because I feel like most people just think of Netflix as the streaming platform where you watch your favorite documentaries, shows, movies. What is the gaming side of Netflix?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So, most people don’t know that Netflix has decided to venture into the game industry but it’s really just part of like what you said like our goal is that we want to entertain the world. We want to bring joy to our members and yes, that is done through the streaming side of things like you said tv shows and movies but we’ve also seen that there is an opportunity to expand our members experiences. So, from the game side, I think that’s really why we decided to make a bet and a venture into this new vertical for the company is because it can continue to bring that member joy, really expand the experiences. If you think about it, if you are watching your favorite show and it ends, what’s the first thing you do? You’re on IMBD and you’re like, “Argh, I want more stuff, I want more content. I want to know more about the actor or whatever.” And so, I think that’s kind of what we’re thinking about from the game side is like just again extending that experience like after you’ve finished watching a show, is there an extension that we can think of? So, really that’s kind of the journey that we’re having now and figuring that out with the game studio.
What is your day-to-day look like on this side of Netflix? I feel like again, it is something that they’re putting investment into, they’re growing the team, but I guess if you could share, how big is the team and what are your priorities from a gaming perspective?
Yeah. So, the team right now is still fairly small. I want to say there’s probably like 20 or so of us from the leadership team and it is still early stages. We’re still in build, but pretty much like what we’re hiring for is just building out the game studio. So, we are looking at engineers and game developers and we’re looking for creative leads and producers. So, really, we’re looking for the foundational group for this vertical. So very early stages, there’s only a couple of us. It’s very small right now, but we’re in build. So, that’s pretty much what you can think of as like how you build out any company, we kind of feel like a bit of like a startup right now. So, if you think about it that way, like who are going to be these crucial players to start building out that content, how it’s going to get onto the platform and things like that.
And what has the experience been like being in a startup setting, but working for a public company with unlimited access to resources and I’m sure that experiences, it’s a small team, but you’re a part of this huge community of other Netflix employees.
Marie: Yeah, it’s been great! It’s a really cool experience. If I just zoom into like my team, this game development team, this game studio, it’s really like we’re like the expertise, right? It’s really cool that the larger Netflix can look at us and be like, ‘Wow, like that’s the games’ team. They know games, they know what’s going to be best for the company,” but at the same time, like you said, we have such a backing with Netflix. Obviously, like you said earlier, it’s an investment and so it’s a really, really cool mesh of bringing something totally new but also knowing like well what could we use and how do we leverage Netflix success overall and then making sure that those goals are continuing to be the best for the company. So even though the game studio is like: this is our goals, this is XYZ what we want to do, but we also partner with the bigger Netflix to look at it and say, “Okay. Is that going to be best for the business overall? Because it’s not just the Game Studio we’re trying to make successful, but again, how it’s cohesive with Netflix overall.”
That sounds like such an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to see what Netflix Game Studio looks like in the next few years. I’m sure the team is going to grow exponentially and I think the thought of Netflix will be added to gaming and a whole gaming side of things and especially you kind of running over there, I think it’s going to be incredible. And if a candidate has an interview whether it’s at just Netflix or Netflix game studio and they get the question of why Netflix. The reason why this is a tough question is because so many people are consumers of Netflix that it’s hard to just say, “Oh, well, I love Netflix, I love the brand and I binge watch XYZ Show.” So, I guess what are some tips that you can give to a candidate to help excel and get either the interview or the job offer specifically on Netflix?
Marie: Yeah, absolutely! That’s such a great question because I think that question could be for anything like why X company. I will say don’t just say that you like it from a consumer perspective. I didn’t get my role at Lucasfilm because I’m a huge Star Wars nerd. I didn’t get my job at Ubisoft because I play video games and I didn’t get my job at Netflix because I binge watch. So, as much as those things help, it does help us recruiters say like, “Oh, I’m glad that you are a fan of the product, of this company,” but always look at that next step. Like what do you hope to do with that? So, as a binger, as a video game player, what do you hope to be able to contribute to the success of that? So, whenever I help people answer this question and they stop at, “Well, I just like Netflix or just like Ubisoft because I play video games and I watch movies,” I’ll be like, “And then what?”
I really want them to think about it more because it really is about like your skill sets, what do you bring and highlighting that because you’re not just bringing the fact that you binge watch Squid Game. No one’s getting hired because they love Squid Game, but if there is something that you love so much about this company about the product and you want it to be better and see improvement, really hone in on the things that you can bring to the table to make that happen. So, I also think about it as stepping away from taking yourself out of the equation. I know a lot of people also answer the question of, “Well, I really like this so I want to get this out of it,” but I’m also thinking about it of take yourself out of the equation like how do you want to help? How do you want to provide your expertise to help the company? Because I know sometimes ego can get caught up in that. Someone can get really confident, like, “Well, I watch all of this, so like I know the company and I know XYZ,” but I think it’s like stepping away a little bit, taking a step back, taking yourself out of the equation and then really providing like how you can continue to build and improve and be an asset and bring value to that company.
Favorite Netflix Shows
I love your response to kind of answering why ABC company. So, if you make it, “I, I, I.” No, it should be, yes, of course you need to have passion, you want to talk about yourself, but it really should be focused on how you can help the company grow, not just that you’re someone who binges Squid Game 25 days in a row. So, I think that’s such a good response, but you did mention squid game and it comes to my next question which is actually submitted by an audience member, Josh Cohen, and he said, can you ask what are some of your favorite Netflix shows?
Marie: Oh my goodness! Oh, that’s such a hard question. Squid game definitely was a really good one. I’m going to say Stranger Things, just because if you see recently, we just announced that the Stranger Things is going to be coming out in two parts. And so, the first part is coming out this summer. So, I’m really excited about that. Currently, I am watching Baking Impossible. That’s kind of like a weird guilty pleasure I have. What else? And then I love just like the Criminal Mind type shows and so Mindhunter. If you’ve not watched that, that was a really good one.
New Netflix Series on Biggest Candidate Mistakes
Yeah, no, I’ll have to write some of those recommendations. I love the NFL [?] was an amazing, amazing show. So, I thought it was just a fun question to ask. I mean, I had to ask someone who works in Netflix about that. But now, I want to ask an even more fun hypothetical question. So, if you were to come out with a Netflix series called Fairy Job Mother and season one was all about the biggest mistakes candidates make in the recruitment process, what would some of those episode highlights entail?
Marie: Oh, that’s a good question. Okay. If it’s going to be the first episode, I would say that it would highlight everything before the recruitment process. So, some of those things is like cold reaching out, cold calling someone on LinkedIn without doing the research. Like, “Hey, Marie, I see you work at Netflix. What jobs do you have for me?” No, no. I’m hoping that you go to the Netflix career site and you do some research and you figure out what you’re interested in and then you come to me and say, “Hey, I’m interested in X, Y and Z. I’ve applied for it. Here’s also my resume. If you have time, would love to talk.” So, I would say like that would probably be the episode highlights is everything that even gets to the process because I feel like the reason why some people don’t get to that recruitment process is because they missed some steps before getting there. There are missed steps in how they prepare, there are missed steps in how they communicate and reach out to people. So, that would be some of the things that I would highlight especially if it were like the first episode or like a season one is before you even get to the recruitment process, let’s fix these things.
Let’s say that Netflix tapped you and said, “Marie, season one has gone exceptionally well. We’re making a trailer and we’re actually going to unveil season two which is the interview process and season three getting the offer all at the same time. What would some of those highlights be in the trailer?
Marie: Yeah, for sure. So, for the interview process, I mean really, it’s like how you prepare. How do you prepare for the interview? But also, all the other things that happen while you’re in the interview process. I just made a post about this earlier this week about like everyone is so focused on acing the interview but there’s also things that you should also be mindful of while you’re in the process: how you communicate via email or via phone, how you’re responding to recruiters and recruiting coordinators, how you’re answering your questions. Self-aware is also part of your preparation and just how you interact within the interview process.
Should you document your life/career?
I think those are all such great tips and for our audience, we’ll have to convince Netflix to bring you on. And one of the final questions for today, Marie is we were doing a ton of research and I mentioned earlier that you have a personal website and blog and I’ll make sure to link it in the show notes below for people to take a look. But one of the main things on your blog, which is called The Fairy & the Force blog and I want to make sure actually to read a snippet from one of the blog because it really moved me and I think this is going to move our audience. So, the blog was called One Day at a Time and I want to read a little excerpt. So, it says, and I quote, “I like to document everything I’ve accomplished or I’m proud of at the end of every month. It’s a peaceful reflection in the chaos that consumes my days. I also find a very spiritual lift from it because I’m actually counting my blessings. This exercise is also fun to do because of the full circle you come to realize at the end of the year when you see how the last 12 months unfolded with all its twists and turns. I particularly appreciate the moment of transformation when you’re January self is so different compared to your December self.” So, I wanted to ask you, do you recommend that people document their lives?
Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, I would recommend it. I think it’s a fun way to really just see again like that reflection, that journey because it is chaotic, right? How many times have you said, “I don’t know what happened in 2020.” I just know there was a pandemic and it was crazy. That’s usually like how we can wrap up a year, but I started really being intentional and I don’t want to just say the year has passed and I can’t remember all the good things. Maybe I remember some of the bad things and the stuff that sucked. But there are so many blessings and there are so many great things that do happen in the year that I feel doesn’t get documented, it doesn’t get the light of day. And so, yeah, I definitely recommend that people just document just like the good things, the bad things, the things you’ve learned. Sometimes when something bad happens to me, I’ll even write that down and then a couple of months later, I’ll look back on it and be like, “Wow, that was something that worried me? I’m not worried about that anymore, or I figured it out.” So, I think it’s just a great way to reflect and I like to do this both professionally and personally. From a professional perspective, everybody knows about the dreaded performance review every year. I highly recommend that people do it just so you don’t look back at the end of 2022 and say, “That was crazy.” At least I could go back and say, “You know what? On February 20th, I talked to AJ. We had an awesome conversation on the Final Round. That was one of my highlights for this year.” I want to be able to go back to that.
Well, I’m definitely going to add to my documentation list that I had an amazing conversation with Marie, the Fairy Job Mother on my sheets and those are such good tips. No matter where you are in your career, in your life, in your journey, documentation is everything to go back in time. So, Marie, we are wrapping up this episode and Netflix comes back to you and says, “Marie, this pretend series has gone so great. It’s the number one for international, for national top charts everywhere. We need help to bring you on for a season finale.” The season finale is going to be one question and that question is, what is the best piece of advice that you can give to our audience to help them get past the final round interview and land their dream job?
Marie: That’s a wonderful question. You’re getting me like, hyped up. I really don’t think it was going to come for me one day, but that’s a great question. Before I answer it, this is one piece of advice that I want everyone to know, if you are in the final round interview, you’re pretty much there, meaning that really the team is just ready to get to know you. No one just gets to the final round, no one just gets to that very final interview and if you are getting to that final round interview, if you’ve been invited, yes, there’s going to be pieces of it where you’re still going to have to talk about experience and answer some questions, but really at the same time, they’re really starting to get to know you. They’re starting to get to know you past the interview phase and thinking like, “Well, how will this person show up if they were in the job tomorrow?” That’s one thing that I guess is the piece of advice is as you go in like it’s not so much of like, “Oh, my God, I have to always answer these questions and I’ve got to continue to prepare.” Of course, that’s part of it, but not everybody gets to the final round for a reason. And so, I hope that that’s the piece that people will get from this conversation. And for this final advice is that yes, there’s still an interview, but the final round is really just about like getting to know you and hoping that we’re ready to bring you on board.
And there you have it, action packed advice from the Fairy Job Mother herself, Marie Ablaza. Thank you so much for your time given how busy you are at being involved in the community, helping others, helping our audience, it’s an absolute pleasure having you on the show today.
Marie: Thank you so much. This was so much fun.
Wow! No wonder why people call Marie the Fairy Job Mother. I really enjoyed learning more about Netflix’s new focus on gaming and it will be interesting to see what the platform looks like in the future. And if you’re like me, after you watch Netflix show that you love, you tell your friends about it. If you liked or even binge this episode, it would mean the world to me if you shared it with others and left a quick rating and review on Apple podcast. Until the next episode of the Final Round, keep fighting and I will see you in the ring.