Everything is an Interview…

Are you looking for a job?    Did you send your resume in to a potential employer?   Keep one thing in mind – Everything you do and every conversation you have – IS AN INTERVIEW.  Whether you are talking to the Manager, to Human Resources or to the Front Desk Receptionist, Everything is an interview.     

  1. Do not have a weird font or graphics on your resume
  2. Do not have an unprofessional voicemail
  3. Do not have an unprofessional email id
  4. When meeting someone for coffee to network, dress professional and pay for the coffee
  5. Be prepared – expect that person calling you to be an Hiring Manager
  6. Respect and professionalism
  7. Social Media – keep it professional.    Companies will search your social media, be prepared and delete the party pictures from college.

When being interviewed or considered for a job, you are under a microscope.   A lot of times the companies will look for a reason not to hire you instead of reasons to hire you.    Do not give them a reason.   The little things you do, do matter:   Hold the door open when walking into a room or building, have good eye contact when speaking, have a firm hand shake, sit-up in your chair and speak slowly and clearly and thank them for their time and consideration.

Your resume will get you in the door but how you portray yourself will get you the job.

Fear of the Invisible

In all my experience with preparing candidates for interviews, the hardest interviews that people have are with phone interviews. And understandably so – phone interviews are a lot harder than the face-to-face interview. Not only are you dealing entirely with verbal cues as to the interviewer’s interest, but you are also on the self-timer when it comes to answers. Go too long, and you’ve lost the interest of the person on the other end of the line. Go too short, and you can be interpreted as lacking experience and credibility for the job you are interviewing for.

You know the saying “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure?” Nothing could apply more directly for the phone interview. Preparation is the key to getting to the next step in the hiring process, and being passed over by the recruiter for the next candidate.

First, start by doing your research on the company and the position. What are they looking for? What deficits does the company have that you can immediately fill with your skills and experience? How do you fix their problem, and fill in the needs of the company?

Next, research the individual you will be interviewing with. Put their name in on Google and see what comes up. Check out their LinkedIn account to view their background. If you can draw parallels with them and find common ground by which you can both work, your conversation will go that much easier on interview day.

Finally, prepare your answers to the interview. Brevity is key on this one: Don’t go so long that you lose their attention, but don’t give too little detail that you don’t answer the question. Try to have your answers prepared for thirty seconds or less. If you have more to share, you can always ask if they want you to continue, or if you have answered their question.

The phone interview does not have to be as intimidating as it sounds. With the right preparation, you can be ready to sound like the competition, instead of a competitor.

The Job Search: A Covert Operation

So you’ve landed the interview – great job! You go into the interview prepared, get great feedback from the people you interview with, and are feeling like you’ve got this deal signed and delivered. So, naturally, the first thing you want to do is tell the world whose checks you will soon be cashing.

Let’s take two steps back here and consider a couple things. First off, you don’t have the job until you get a formal offer; a title and job description, salary, and start date. So as long as those things have not been delivered, you don’t have a job. Translation: You’re probably not the only candidate they will have discussions with.

Which brings me to my second point: If the company you just interviewed with is still talking to other people, why do you want to advertise that to the entire world? People in your immediate circle – whether they be friends, golf buddies, or people you are connected on Facebook with – may also be looking for a job like the one you want. And if they know the company you just talked to will hire, your odds of getting the job just got wider.

When going through the job search and interview process, think of it as a secret mission. The information you are guarding is who you’re talking to, what you’re talking to them about, and the timeline they’ve got you on. By keeping this information close, you have more control over the hiring process, and are able to better secure your odds as being the chosen candidate when its time to make a decision to hire.

On a Contract? Everyday is an Interview…

Are you on a contract or interested in one?    I have one phrase of advice for you…. Everyday is an Interview.

There is no secret that a contract job is a great way to get hired on direct and to land that full-time job.   There are many reasons you may be a contractor:

  • cover a medical or maternity leave
  • cover for someone who is working on other projects
  • to work on special projects
  • they are behind and need some extra support
  • for a Temp-to-Hire.

Whatever the reason you are in there and contracting – this is your chance.   Show them they don’t want to let you go.   You need to out work and out perform the others there.    Live by the motto – Everyday is an Interview.   You never know what is going to happen.    What if the person doesn’t come back from the leave, now they have an opening?   What if after you start a full-time employee gives their notice?   You just never know when a scenario will open up and you are now being considered for the job.

Also remember, hiring managers usually know other managers.    Maybe the contract is over but they recommend you to another manager and department.     It is important for you to keep your A-Game and again – Everyday is an Interview!

I have had many, many, many contractors hired from a contract job.    It happens all the time and has already happened twice this month.  I also have had many passed over and other contractors were hired and given the opportunity.  Mainly because they failed to live by the motto.

 

Don’t be scared to speak up.

I know there are a lot of people out there that have had at least one, if not multiple bad experiences with a recruiter. Heck, I have and I am one. (Not you Bruce Rowles. You are the best!) So, I understand if you get another call (probably your 3rd of the day if you’re a Java Developer) and you aren’t overly optimistic. But, if you do decide to spend time on the phone with one, and agree to being submitted to a job, keep in touch.

Now, I realize this is a 2-way street and that there has been a time or 2 in the past where you never heard back from your recruiter. But, there are some of us out there that actually enjoy helping people get jobs. We like calling you with updates about your interview times and preparing you with tips on what works in an interview.

We take pride in helping you re-arrange your resume’s format to make it “pop”. Enjoy telling you how to best learn about the company and person you’re meeting with and providing you with details about the job/company Monster’s hyperlink to HR fails to give you. These are some of the benefits of working with a top-notch recruiter.

So, with that being said, why would you entertain the initial phone call, talk about your job history, goals and desires, ask to be submitted for a job, dress up pretty for an interview, accept the job offered, take a drug test, get fingerprinted for the background check, fill out paperwork and then NOT show up for your first day?!?

No longer are you answering the phone when I call. You have decided to not respond to emails. Text message are no longer reaching you. You have officially disappeared from planet Earth. But why? Magic? Probably not.

More likely is that something just wasn’t quite right for you. You had a bad feeling in your gut. “Instinct”. We all get those feelings and it’s completely normal. What you DON’T want to do is ignore that recruiter who helped you get the job. Who taught you about interviewing and provided insight into processes and procedures that increased your interviewing effectiveness and led to an eventual job offer.

Don’t be scared to speak up regarding ANYTHING! Good recruiters are like agents. We represent you the way you want to be represented. If you have a question, just ask. If it’s not an answer you want, that’s okay. Now I know exactly what you want/think/feel so the next time we work together, the job I present you with will be more in-line with what you want and you are happy as a pig in…..

A bird in the hand…

Have you ever heard the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.”?   Simply put, this means a definite thing is still better than 2 maybes.   The same goes with Job Offers.

If you are actively looking for a new career then you are probably interviewing and applying for jobs.   Some of these opportunities are probably AWESOME.    They would offer a pay raise, a chance to work close to home and to work at a job that you have dreamed of doing.

However you have also interviewed and applied for jobs that are like your most recent one and have true experience doing.    After a couple of interviews they come back and offer you the job.    Is it your dream job?  Maybe not a dream job but a very good job that you are qualified for.   Now comes the dilemma.   Do you accept or hold out for what is the dream job.

I have heard of this scenario many times.   What do you do?    That is when I always go back to this saying.   “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.”     I am not saying you should accept it just to accept it.   But if you have a good feeling about the job and feel you can be successful there – then YES – ACCEPT IT.     Do not stall or wait to see if you get the other jobs.   There are 100’s of people applying for those other jobs too.   If you do turn down the job offer and do not get the dream job then you are exactly where you started – Still looking.

 

Bruce

 

Do you accept a counter-offer?

Would you accept a counter-offer?   You need to answer this even before you start interviewing elsewhere.    But please note:  Most people are interviewing for a reason.    So think about it – why are you looking for another job?

The Best Advice I can give is to Google the words “Counter Offer.”   You need to read all of the literature out there.   First, read the articles and blogs about accepting it.   Next, read the percentages of you staying with that company, if you do accept it.   Finally, read the Pros and the Cons.

Accepting a new job is a life decision and I will not push you to do it.   I will give you all of the means so you can make the right decision for you and your family.   Go and Google “Counter Offer” and see what you find.

Trust a recruiter – we can help make your interview count…

Part of my Job is to prepare you for the interview.   This includes Interview Prep and Debrief afterwards.   I understand that candidates do not interview every day – I do.    If you were just laid off from your job, after 15 years, that could mean, you have not interviewed in 15 years.   A lot has changed since then and you need to be prepared for your interview.  I can give you some helpful tips and suggestions that hopefully will help you get a second interview or better yet – the job.   

 

Interview Prep.:

Before the interview you will have all the info. you will need to be successful.  You will have the complete job description, details on the job/company and my experiences working with them, as a recruiter.   I will ask you to do your own research on them and on the Hiring Managers.  We will then discuss what you found.    

We will discuss the questions you still have and how to ask them, along with asking some great follow-up questions at the end of the interview.   We will discuss how to answer salary questions, goal related questions and how to end the interview.

My goal is to make the interview as painless as possible and hopefully you were prepared and there were no surprises.   I will let you know what to expect from me, as your recruiter and what I expect from you, as my candidate.  

 

Interview Debrief:

After the interview, you should call me as soon as possible, while it is still fresh in your mind.    I am going to ask you 100 questions about the interview.   Questions like:  What time did you arrive?   How long were you in the interview?   With whom did you meet?   What questions did they ask?  How did you answer?   and so on…   I need to understand how the interview went and what was the vibe.   

The most important question I will ask following your interview is:  “Is this still a position you are interested in and if it meets your salary requirements, would you accept?”   I am looking for a YES or NO answer.   Anything else usually means it is not the right fit for you – for what ever reason.

We are a partner in this process and need to work as partners.   I have worked hard in sourcing, finding and recruiting you for the opportunity.   I will not let a bad interview stop me in getting you the job you want, need and dreamed of.

 

Top 5 Reasons Job Seekers should use a Recruiter…

I was asked this weekend,  why should they use a recruiter?   This was very easy for me to answer and decided to post the top 5 reasons Job Seekers should use a Professional Recruiter when searching for a new Job.

 

  1. We Interview people Everyday.   We can help you.
  2. We have jobs/opportunities that are not posted anywhere else. (Contract, Contract-to-Hire and Direct Hire)
  3. Contract work can lead to a PERM job/Career.
  4. You should always know at least 3 recruiters in your industry.  You never know when you’ll need one.
  5. We know the story behind the job and may be able to give you the inside scoop.

 

Extra Reason:

  •  I don’t push resumes – I share stories to verify it is the right fit.