Monthly Archives: July 2009

…On vacation…are you kidding me!

…Candidate has been out of work three months…we get him an interview…he explains that he can’t go because his family has planned a vacation next week…I might be more understanding of this, if he had a job and was looking for one…but, he doesn’t and this is only the second interview opportunity he has had in that three month period of time

Some would say that it’s cause he is a millennial…i.e. a kid… well, whatever the reason that is just plain crazy… (Vacation from what, anyhow?)We had another candidate that ran into the same situation… he sent his family out to the vacation spot and he joined them after the interview…so, he missed a couple of days of vacation…but he needed a job…Most folks with commons sense would put finding a job above taking a vacation…

…don’t assume anything until you interview

candidate last monday says, “oh, i know them..i wouldn’t work there…they are blah, blah, blah”

i convinced him to go on the interview..he got the offer today and starts at the company on monday..

when i was much younger and much less experienced in this profession, i believed candidates when they said something like this…i figured they ought to know..especially when it is a competitor…

well, they don’t …my candidate had no idea what he was talking about…he “checked” the company out with friends of friends of friends of friends..who didn’t know what they were talking about…

companies change more rapidly than ever…going by what someone else says or thinks isn’t smart…

make your own judgement about a job and a company…interview anywhere you can, with anyone reasonable…you have nothing until you have an offer..

if you don’t like the opprtunity or the company after you interview…for whatever reason,  you can drop out of contention..

and as long as we are at it…interview as well as you can, even if you don’t think you will want the job or the company…sell yourself as hard as possible…you need a job or need to change jobs…don’t let your preconceptions get in your way…you really don’t know as much as you think you do ..get in the habit of getting offers…

….shock and awe

i spoke to a candidate of mine today who i have placed twice over the last 15 years…he lost his job, his company went broke seven months ago…he has never been out of work this long…he has always had an easy time finding a job…in fact, in the mid 90’s i got him three offers within one week..

things have changed…he was actually mad and frustrated at me because, “after all the money i have made you, you have only gotten me three interviews…”

i had to remind him that this isn’t whataburger, you can’t always “have it your way”…this market is very, very tight and just because it was easier to find a job a few years ago..it isn’t now…and frankly we were fortunate to have had the three interviews ..(which he didn’t do well on)

and it had nothing to do with his dazzling brilliance…there aren’t as many opportunities for his skills as there was and he can’t do much about that…

i didn’t rub it in, because his life is rough enough…but he didn’t listen well in the begining of his search when i tried to explain that the market was very difficult…

he dismissed the instructions i gave him about interviewing…tried to get him to review www.thejobsearchsolution.com …especially about interviewing…he tought that since he had made $250,000 to $300,000 selling software, he didn’t have to worry about how to interview…

he was condecending during two of those interviews because he thought he was better than the jobs….now he wishes he had the oppotunities back…he blew the other by going in explaining what “he wanted”…instead of what he could do for the potential employer..

the  lessons: this market is very tight…you will be shocked by it sooner or later…take nothing for granted…get lots of interviews…sell yourself really hard…be prepared for a long job search…

…seven years later

might have metioned it before, but i presented a candidate to an employer…they really liked each other…the deal didn’t work out at the time…

the candidate was smart and kept in the touch with the employer…the employer liked the guy…they did have a more than normal appreciation for each other, but nothing spectacular…

every once in a while, the candidate would call the employer…they would go to lunch..

the employer eventually hired the candidate…seven years after they first met…the employer had changed companies twice and the candidate three times..

lesson: never burn a bridge…be nice to everyone..what goes around comes around

…mentors

it has been a rage for a number of years to give people advice to find mentors..i.e. people that are authorities… wise, trusted teachers… and seek their opinions about all kinds of things..

many candidates, over the years, have decided about an offer or even an interview by seeking the advise of their mentor…i have even known some candidates to think they have two or three mentors…maybe they do..

the problem with most mentors is that they don’t really know enough about most jobs, careers, etc. to an authority or even have an educated opinion about many issues like this..

they are usually friends, parents of friends or associates that may know their own expertise very well, but they are hardly mentors…they maybe trusted…and wise about what they know…but beyond that, their opinions aren’t much better than anyone else’s

here is the lesson…before you take action based on the information of a presumed “mentor”…make sure they are knowledgable about the subject you are asking about..

i can’t tell you the number of times candidates have sought information from mentors who really aren’t…maybe trusted, but far from wise..they were knowledgable in their own expertise, but really ignorant about other things… 

most people love to give opinions…especially about things they know nothing about…

so, if you are going to seek advice from a mentor, make sure they are really wise..

one clue…they aren’t uncomfortable with saying, “i don’t know”…especially when they don’t…in fact, they say that more often than not