Posts Tagged ‘interviewing’

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

BaseballI know that’s a particularly cryptic title for a blog, but hopefully it makes you want to read more. I do think it’s appropriate for the topic.

I’ve heard this too often lately, and witnessed some of it myself in my interviews with candidates. Brandon Barrett, our Director of Business Development for our MB Interim Leaders business unit, and I recently called on a human resources executive at a major Southern California company (major for SoCal is revenue north of a billion). This particular executive happens to be an old friend – someone I’ve worked with personally and through our firm at 3 different companies over the past 14 years. She’s one of my favorites!


When to Make Sure Your References are Solid

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

magnifying lensIt’s 2pm and I’ve been sitting at Jury Duty since 7:45 this morning, with a break for lunch. Lots of time to catch up on emails, and to think about an impactful blog.

I just received an email from a former employee asking me to take a reference call from a potential future employer. Writers block solved!

I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s probably worth repeating. References can be job winners or job killers. Often, it can be the “back channel reference” – the one the employee didn’t give but where the potential employer knows people that worked with the candidate – that makes an impact. Rather than call references that should be well-versed in singing the candidate’s praises, including not being able to think of a single weakness other than the employee works too hard or really takes his or her job extremely seriously, the back channel reference is a confidential outreach to a co-worker or former supervisor that the job candidate didn’t give their prospective employer. We all know people, and if we can get the real skinny on someone without the concerns of having it sugar-coated, we have a better shot of making the right hire choice.


Do You Preflight?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Piper Malibu MirageI’m a pilot, and the first thing you do before you get ready to fly is to preflight the plane – and the trip. The preflight is pretty involved and requires a thorough inspection, both inside and outside of the plane, as well as all the available information for that flight, including weather and notices to airmen (NOTAMS) about the airport I’m departing and my destination. Missing information here could have me set up for an approach that the NOTAMS would have told me were not applicable that day or time, or even worse, an airport or runway closure.


Funnel to Success

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

A thought I’ve considered recently: If job search is like sales, why is it that job seekers have so few prospects? One of the most elementary and well known facts about a sales person is that you can’t afford to have too few prospective buyers. And let’s face it…in a job search, you are the product you’re selling. Why would you sell yourself short (pun intended) by not presenting yourself seriously to as many buyers as possible?

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m perfect for this job”? I’ve recently spoken to far too many job seekers that have recounted their most recent prospective job opportunities only to tell me they fell in love with one or two opportunities and focused all their efforts to pursue them only to be let down in the end. Not only is this damaging to your corporate ego, but you’re hurting yourself by not incorporating a funnel or pipeline (more comparison to sales) of possible job opportunities that you can seriously pursue all at one time.


“You’d be Great for this Job!”

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Or, “I’m definitely going to submit you.” 

How many times have you heard these words during your job search?

I’ve heard many transitioning executives tell me they were hopeful they would be chosen for a position because the hiring manager, HR leader, recruiter (fill in the blank) told them this.  However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it hasn’t worked out, because they are too numerous to mention.


What’s Up with the Responsiveness of Companies?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I have heard from many job seekers that today’s market is worse than all past job markets in one very distinguishable area – the hiring companies today are not communicating like they used to with candidates. This is incredibly frustrating to candidates and can be the catalyst to get some people really worked up. I’d like to share some of my thoughts on this topic, and I can only profess to know my own personal experiences in working with candidates so please feel free to share your experiences as comments to this blog.

So, what’s the solution? You are probably not going to like what I have to say, but remember, it’s just my opinion, so here goes – what choice do you have?


Once You’re in the Process of a Search…Now What?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Working on a number of searches at the moment, I’m juggling about 12 candidates that have been submitted to my clients, and are still “in the process”. The reality is, when we submit candidates to a client, our objective is that everyone can do the job, but 1 or 2 might be better fits than others. Generally, our client will tell us early on who is not a fit and we can let them go so they no longer consider the opportunity open to them. However, for the short list of viable candidates, the waiting game begins.

Some candidates handle this part well, while others get too antsy or don’t follow up at all, and end up hurting their brands with us and our client. So, what’s the right formula?


The Job That Should Have Been Yours

Monday, March 8th, 2010

After 11 years and over a thousand interviews with candidates for searches I’ve worked on, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone that should have been great for a position, but either didn’t get presented to the client by me, or didn’t get the job once they interviewed. Has this ever been you?

If it has, you might have committed one of the job killer crimes. OK, so I just came up with that term, but to me it does seem like a crime when a great candidate comes up short because of a trait, a comment, a demeanor, or something else that doesn’t serve them well in the interview. I’ll share a few real-world examples I’ve experienced with candidates over the years that doomed their chances:


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part IV: The Car Makes the Candidate

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Wow, am I setting myself up for the hate mail or what? I know this post will be controversial to some, and I’m the first to say, if you don’t agree with me, it’s ok, do what you want. These are only my opinions, are not set in stone, and sometimes even I go against them if I feel compelled.

That said, I do have some thoughts on how some candidates do themselves harm with their car. I was taught about five years ago by my business coach, Vance Caesar, to walk candidates to their cars after an interview. I must admit, I am not always able to do this, but I do try, especially when interviewing someone at my office. I might say something like, “I’ll walk you out” after the interview is over, and then follow them out of the building since our suite is on the first floor. As we’re making conversation, I might say, where are you parked and they’ll point in the direction so we’ll start walking towards their car.


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part IIIb: How to WOO

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

If you’re an extrovert, you’ve probably never been told you lack energy or the ability to build rapport. However, when interviewing with an introverted hiring manager, it’s important for an extrovert to dial it down. Introverts want to drill down on your past responsibilities, your experiences, and your success stories. Keep it to the point. While one-word answers are almost never great in an interview, stick very closely to the question asked and don’t over communicate.