don’t play not to lose..play to win

our candidate made it to the finals…after four interviews, he made it to the last two interviews…

he is a dynamic guy…aggressive, assertive, bright, witty and really knew how to sell himself…he had a great track record..frankly, he was perfect for the job..

but as he got closer to the final interviews, he started thinking about how well he was doing in the process and then started thinking…”i’m doing so well…better not screw up!”

so, instead of interviewing the same way he did to get to the finals, he toned down, didn’t want to take any chances, quit being aggressive, assertive, bright, witty and, unfortunately quit selling himself….he was afraid to loose..

well, he didn’t get hired…

lesson…dance with what ‘brung ya…keep doing what you did to get where you are…don’t alter your interviewing style when you get to the finals…

“my business on the side..”

candidate thinks that he wants to communicate he is an entrepenure, so he tells the hiring authority that he has a business on the side…that is very successful, he adds…

now, if you are trying to hire someone to work really hard for you, whose money do you think the candidate is going to protect first…your’s and your company’s or his???

if the business is so successful, why would one look for a job?

pleeeeez…if you have a business on the side you will kill your chances of getting hired by telling an employer about it

…on top of that …you’ll look stupid!

don’t forget the four basic questions..

a job seeker can get so wrapped up in “strategizing” a job search or a particular interview that they forget the four basic questions that any employer is going to ask…no matter how many questions they ask or how difficult they are…the hiring authority wants to know:

1. Can you do my job?

2. Do i (we) like you?

3. Are you a risk?

4. Can we work the money out?

..next time…. the explanation of these questions…

goatees and beards

i know that many will say that i ain’t “with it” or an old fuddy-duddy…BUT…men (..women too, i guess) who grow or keep goatees and beards while job searching, should rethink the decision..

employers are prone to ..even subconsciously..question a candidate’s viability if the candidate is wearing a goatee or beard more than those that are clean shaven..

don’t ask me why…and you can claim all you want that it isn’t fair …but there is a tendency to think that people are covering up “something” when they grow at goatee or beard

and the truth is, they are…they are covering up…. their face..

studies have shown that there is a slightly subconscious, distrustful, negative feeling toward candidates with goatees or beards…it is very subtle, but nonetheless, there…and, as a candidate, you simply don’t need even a subtle negative feeling toward you

it doesn’t matter if your wife, girl friend, mother, etc. think you look great with a beard…unless they want to hire you, get rid of any facial hair during your interviewing process..

you can always grow it back after you find a job…

blind sided

our candidate got the offer…accepted the job…was told it was dependent on a credit check…

his credit was excellent…no problem!

wellllllll..one of the places that his credit report said that he had worked at wasn’t on his resume…he had been at that company for only 3 or 4 months and it showed up on his credit report…. but he thought it best not to put it on his resume..

we can sympathize with him and understand…but the client didn’t…offer rescinded..

the lesson here is obvious..think twice before keeping a job off your resume..

bluffing….no, no, no..

candidate goes into “negotiations” for the job offer…first thing she says is, “Just so you know, I have two other offers.”

hiring authority says, “Oh, great. With whom?”

she stammered and stuttered…she was obviously bluffing

she blew the “negotiation”…

lesson: don’t tell a hiring authority that you have another offer unless you really do…and if you do, tell them who it is with…don’t look stupid by bluffing..

…the funeral

my candidate’s wife’s grandmother died…rather suddenly..he and his wife have to explain to their small children ..4 and 5 years old about death, etc.

our client had scheduled a dinner with the candidate and the president of his company …a semi-final interview…and, wouldn’t you know, the evening right after the funeral…

so my candidate leaves his wife and kids at the family gathering after the funeral and goes to the dinner interview..

needless to say he was distracted and unfocused just enough to screw up the interview…

his mistake was that he should have explained that he had just come from a family funeral and he was a bit unfocused and emotionally depleted…

most people would have empathy for that kind of thing and take it into account …soooo, the lesson: if you are experiencing an emotionally stressful personal issue that is going to impact your being able to interview well…tell the interviewing authority at the beginning of the interview

he did not

worn out references quit helping you

our candidate gave the same references to every firm he was interviewing with…which, fortunately was quite a few..

he had three clients of ours checking his references at the same time…he came in second on every job opportunity..which isn’t bad…every company’s #2 is someone else’s #1

but by the time he got on “third base” with another company, they needed to check his references…

well, one of the guys he had given simply got tired of giving a reference and wouldn’t return the calls of the potential employer…he just ignored the request..

in fact, he wouldn’t return the candidate’s call to find out why he all of a sudden wouldn’t give a reference..

not only was it embarrassing for the candidate, but it really made him look less than what he said he was… he scrambled to get two others and we are awaiting them being contacted…

lesson: use a number of different references…keep them informed about who you are going to recommend them to… try to vary them…if you wear them out, they won’t help you

thoughts on references

lately..and these things come in streaks..we have had a “rash” of lessons as a result of references for our candidates that have caused problems or cost the candidate the job..

over the next few blogs, we are going to discuss them..

last week, one of our candidates gave a previous peer as a reference…when the hiring authority checked this reference, the reference giver said that he had not worked with the candidate in over a year…!!!

the candidate had told the hiring authority that he had left his last job last month…so the hiring authority jumped to the conclusion that the candidate was lying about when he left his last job…

we eventually cleared the misunderstanding up…it was true that the reference hadn’t worked with the candidate in more than a year…because the reference was moved to a different department of the company…the employer didn’t hear that, because the reference didn’t make it clear..

remember, hiring authorities are afraid of making a mistake…they will be fearful of the smallest issue or misunderstanding..

make sure your references are “reading from the same page”.,.it took a whole day of calls to other people that worked with our candidate to clear this up…

call your references before they are called by the hiring authority…share with them what the hiring authority is going to want to know…

too much “praising the Lord”

our candidate was well qualified, but when she got into the interview she quoted the bible too much…even spoke about her conversion…

it scared the employer..

now the employer professes Christianity…and, at least, from what we can tell by his actions, he is…however, he was afraid that if he hired the candidate she would try to convert the company and the people in it to her way of thinking…

so, the lesson is to let your convictions show by your actions..your words may frighten an employer

most everyone will respect religious faith, but overt reference to it in an interviewing situation won’t help you get hired