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we can sympathize with him and understand…but the client didn’t…offer rescinded..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

know when to say “i don’t know…”

one of our candidates was doing pretty well on the interview…the hiring authority, just to test him, started asking more and more technical questions…like, “How does our product fit into the Oracle database application?”

well, the candidate was somewhat technical, but not that technical..instead of saying, “You know, i really don’t know…but i can get one of my technical friends to help me out,” he tried to b.s. his way through an answer..

it didn’t fly…the longer he talked, the more embarrassed he got and the more foolish he looked…by the time the interview was over, his relatively healthy ego had been diminished and he knew that he blew the interview..

if you don’t know…say that you don’t know…don’t try to b.s. your way through an answer…you will loose out on the job..

follow up…no matter how long and how many times it might take

my candidate kept following up with the hiring manger, even though they hired someone else…

the hiring authority and my candidate really hit it off, but my candidate just didn’t have anywhere near the experience they needed…but boy they hit it off..

my candidate asked the hiring authority if he could call him back from time to time…of course, the hiring authority agreed…

so at least once a month the candidate called the guy…heck, my candidate was still looking for a job and he figured until he got one he ought to call everyone that might eventually hire him…

seven months later, he got hired by the company..they liked him so well they “created” an opportunity for him

never quit following up…no matter how many times it might take