…”but i was making $130,000 three years ago!”

great candidate…top performer every place she has ever been…took two years off to have a baby…fair enough…now needs to find a job…

no way of her knowing that the market is really tight…she figures, like most top performers, that there is always room for a winner..

we don’t get that many interviews because: 1. the market is tight ..and 2. she has been out of the market for two years…

after three months and only three interviews, we get an offer…$90,000 salary plus commission…she said that she was probably going to turn it down because …”i was making $130,000 three years ago!”

well, it isn’t three years ago and this is a much different market… she eventually accepted the offer…it is a great company and she will have a great future..

lesson:..what you made three or four years ago was three or four years ago..the market is different now..no one is intrinsically worth any amount of money

…backdoor references…beware and be ready!

…it happens at least once a month in our company…a candidate looses out on an opportunity because of a “backdoor” reference who “threw them under the bus,” as the saying goes..

a backdoor reference is a “reference” from someone who supposedly knows you, but you don’t provide as a business reference..someone you might have worked with or for in the past, or, as is the usual case, someone who knows someone, who knew someone, who knew someone, who thinks they know you..

here is the problem with “backdoor” references…if someone implies to someone else that you, for whatever reason, aren’t a good potential employee, and you don’tget hired…that person is right and the person or firm considering you will never know if they were right or wrong because you didn’t get hired…

unfortunately, it is human nature to  be negative about stuff like this…and it is rather sad…some people feel “big” by diminishing others…even if they don’t know what they are talking about…i once had a candidate get a bad reference from someone who knew somone, who knew someone, who knew somone who played golf with my candidate….one time!…yea, you got it..this was a third or fourth hand negative testimony from someone who had no idea what they were talking about…

if you have been in any profession or industry for any length of time, and you are looking for a job, you’d best expect that a potential hiring authority is going to find at least one or two “backdoor” references regarding you…even if they are distant…best hope they are good references

there isn’t much you can do about this …if you have burned some bridges in your career, try to mend them…if you think some folks you use to work for don’t like you, make sure you have some stellar references to offset any negative ones that may be uncovered…

most of life isn’t fair and this is one of the most unfair aspects of looking for a job

…”but i never hear back from them…it’s sooooooo mean and rude”

we hear this almost daily…sometimes even about oursleves…people send a resume…have an interview..or even two…then don’t hear from the employer or interviewing authority…..ever…not even a “buzz off”…”you suck”…”wouldn’t hire you if you were the last candidate on earth”…nothing…nada…even after they say, “we’ll be in touch”…(i have had employers tell my candidates that they were going to call them with a job offer, then never do it)

we shouldn’t excuse rude behavior, but your getting mad or upset about this kind of treatment simply won’t help you get  a job…

it is almost impossible for hiring or interviewing authorities to get back to every candidate whose resume they review or they interview…simply impossible

lesson: pray for them…they are covered up with work..maybe they are rude…maybe even mean…maybe insensative…we could go on and on…but it won’t do any good… they have tons of candidates to choose from and to speak with…and besides, they are running a business too

they are, as Teilhard de Chardin stated, “spiritual beings acting human”…forgive and dismiss …spend your energy finding another interview

…another career coach advice..”don’t act like you are looking for a job”

…i read ’bout every book on finding a job i can find…new one on the market “Get the Job You Want Even When No One’s Hiring”

now, being an author and wanting people to like my books, i am real flexible and forgving about most errant stuff about finding a job..

but this guy actually tells you to act like you aren’t looking for a job when you interview

go ahead, do that…other candidates, especially mine, will eat your lunch…that is the biggest piece of terrible advice you will ever get…it is clear that this guy never found anyone a job, or if he did it was an accident..

…”I never expected it would be this hard”

We hear this daily…candidates that are finding out that it is sooooo much harder to find a job than it was in the past…

A recent survey I read stated that the average professional thinks it takes 60 days to find a job when they are out of one…try an average of 180 to 220…They found jobs in the mid 2000’s or mid ’90’s…it was easier then…

We placed a sales candidate today who accepted a base salary of $85,000…she told us four months ago that  she wouldn’t take less than $100,000 base…since her last base was $135,000 in spite of the fact that she was on maternity leave for one year and had taken the last year off to be with her baby…

Times have changed…it was no where as easy as she thought it was going to be…and she was lucky that we could find her a job…It is a very rough job market…take nothing for granted…

…”Do you have any questions?”

One of our candidates was eliminated because he was asked this question…in a phone interview, no less…He said, “I guess I don’t …you have told me everything I need to know.”

 

Oh, my…not good…first of all, always have decent, intelligent questions about an opportunity…if you can’t really think of any…and you can if you try…ask the interviewing authority about themselves…”tell me, why do you like it here at ABC Corp.?”…” I have heard a lot about you and your success here, how have you done it?” If you can’t think of any business questions…ask them about their favorite subject….themselves!

 

Secondly, an interviewing authority doesn’t care about what you need to know…they care about what they need to know…so keep that phrase out of the conversation…So you say, “Damn that is really picky!”…you are right…it is…even unfair…what is even more sad about this particular situation, is that our candidate was exceptionally qualified…a top performer…

 

In this market, where companies and the hiring authorities in them think that there are hoards of quality candidates available… (There are hoards…but not necessarily qualified)… you have to interview almost perfectly…Every interview guide and coach teaches you to have one or two questions to ask…our candidate had been one of our client’s top competitors…he could have had a dozen questions…He thought he had done so well on the interview that he didn’t have to ask any questions…very sad

…Mangled metaphors & misapplied analogies

Can’t tell you the number of very educated candidates over the years that in their speaking become fond of metaphors…which is OK . Except they mangle the metaphor…
They say things like “pass mustard” instead of “pass muster”…”took off like haywire”…instead of “wildfire”…”preaching to the congregation “…instead of “preaching to the choir”…In the last week I have had four different candidates tell me they wanted to “hit the ball running,” “give their best foot forward,” or said, “I’m living fat on the hog” and “the cream will rise to the crop”. I could go on, but you get the message…we have all heard folks do this at times…we are amused and kind of laugh But in the interviewing situation, they can be disastrous…especially if they are repeated…repeatedly…they are distracting and, in most cases, don’t reflect well on the person being interviewed. Soooo, practice interviewing…if you have a tendency to mangle your metaphors or misapply your analogies, have someone help you or get yourself some broadband and google a few…if you are going to lose a deal, don’t let it be over something so simple to correct.. So, keep your “nose to the ground” and your “ear to the grindstone”…practice interviewing…watch the pictures you describe…

…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…