…excuses for your screw ups

if you have made a couple of screw ups in your career..(and who hasn’t) don’t try to make stupid excuses about why they happened…

just today, i interviewed a candidate who blamed everyone but himself for all of the mistakes he had made..it was always someone else’s fault that he or his situations failed…and this is over a 15 year history…give me a break!

hey, none of us haven’t made mistakes…accept the responsibility…don’t moan or groan about it…tell a perspective employer how much you learned from it..but admit to having made an error in judgment…make lemonade out of the lemons…

…”well, my severance is about to run out”

…hello! …wake up! what employer is going to want to hire a candidate that says that the reason he started looking for a job is that his severance is about to run out…

..on top of that, the candidate put off looking for a job for four months, and in the next two months his severance will end, and so he has decided to look for a job…

THINK THIS: “How does what I say appear to a perspective employer? Do I come across as a hard working, determined employee who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done?”


we know that sara palin kicked butt…but don’t you dare discuss it in an interview…

if there is even an hint of being drawn into a political conversation…don’t do it…YOU need a job…not get elected..

simply nod your head and say, “It’s all very interesting.” then s-h-u-t u-p!…bring the conversation back to the interview…what you can do for the company

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