Monday, July 16, 2018


Over my soon to be 31 years as a recruiter I have planned my work and then worked my plan on a daily basis. That being said, there are always the emergencies and last minute changes to deal with; but I always have a plan to go back to!
Much has been written about how to ace an interview and get the job and part of my daily plan, when needed, is to set aside time to discuss interview preparation with candidates going out on interviews and preparing the client to meet the candidate. I cannot tell you how many times a client did not want to take the time to hear about a candidate, and ever more surprising was how many times I heard from a candidate that they had never blown an interview and did not need to have any information from me.
Needless to say, in both of these situations the interviews did not go well and Both the clients and candidates were looking to me for answers. My response was and is that preparation is the key to success.
By clicking on the link below you can check availability to have a short chat with me about how to prepare for an interview.
As in the past I am here to serve your needs, either as a client or a candidate.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The ten top things Candidates Love and Hate

The Top-10 Things Candidates Hate ( these are provided by an unknown source)
  1. Having no clue whom they are meeting with for an interview, how long they will interview for, and arriving somewhere on time in order to wait alone in a lobby, room, or restaurant (and feeling very conspicuous when they don't need a job!) while looking at their watch (every five seconds) for the late interviewer.
  1. Taking a personal day off on one, two, or three occasions to interview at XYZ Company, only to fall into the Black Hole of No Feedback and never to be spoken to again. Add that their wife continues to harp on the fact that they missed Johnny's recital by taking personal days to go interview for a new job when "You have a perfectly acceptable one right now." This is when your picture goes up on the dart board in their rec room.
  1. Learning after the fact that someone on the interview team thought that their resume showed too many positions when they actually worked for the same company for 10 years, but it changed names 10 times. This is the reality of never being able to address an objection, real or not, that comes up during the process that can be addressed.
  1. Navigating a ridiculous, invasive online application that does not save after each field, crashes unexpectedly, is hard to complete thoroughly, and yet is viewed as a negative if it is incomplete.
  1. Walking in to an interview with a person more junior than themselves to discover that said person is reading the resume for the first time and is asking impossibly inane questions such as, "So, why do you need a job with our company?" when they were recruited to the interview.
  1. Feeling like they really are the right person for the job but somehow can't get an interview. Whether that is because of a poor resume, undeveloped communications skills, or not connecting at the right level.
  1. Going through a more thorough interview process than a candidate for the Supreme Court. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have actually been involved in an interview process that has lasted longer than one year
  1. Enduring a background check that is conducted by hourly workers on a different continent who raise red flags on your background because your university verified your degree as a B.S. in Sociology and Anthropology instead of a B.S. in Women's Studies (which is no longer offered). Did I mention that the candidate has already resigned, given their start date, and had their goodbye party?
  1. Enduring a formal interview process, complete with a one-hour phone screen with HR, a call with a junior team member asking basic questions, and then getting the green light to attend a cattle call. All of this when the candidate has only agreed to being "open to talking" and is NOT looking for a job. In fact, they really only signed up to have a beer with a career-level counterpart on the inside.
  1. The number-one pet peeve of all candidates is talking to misinformed, condescending, and unoriginal interviewers who answer all questions with, "Because that's the way we do it here and we cannot do it differently." Or who answer every question with "I don't know."
We are all guilty of a few spineless process moments that cause our candidates pain and suffering. So what do they like? What wins every time with a candidate?
The Top-10 Things Candidates Love
  1. Talking to someone who is knowledgeable about their background, their company, what their potential career path may be, and who can have an unbiased conversation about options that exist.
  1. Entering an interview process that is transparent.
  1. Getting a courtesy telephone call to the effect of, "What we have is no for now, not forever. We value your time and are sorry about the outcome."
  1. Having someone help them go through the online application process or be on hand and be knowledgeable about the system.
  1. Getting a list of information that is needed to complete the online application such as W2s, phone numbers, references, and yes, even documentation to present in lieu of a real, live company that has since closed (Enron).
  1. Having an honest conversation about objections to their history and being allowed to counter.
  1. Getting help on resigning and also being granted some flexibility on start dates if they have real plans to travel, have surgeries, or a need to keep a schedule of their former employer.
  1. Being asked for feedback on the questions asked during the interview process or what they felt were high and low points of the interaction. Also, having the chance to weigh in on the overall candidate experience.
  1. Having flexibility in the process and a chance for their questions to be answered versus being interrogated without any real dialogue about their concerns.
  1. Being treated with respect at every level regardless of whether they are the right candidate.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why we do and do not Ask Questions

John Miller author of QBQ put togethet a list of why we do and donot ask questions.  I found this list to be an eye opener so here you are.

Asking questions is a skill required by people in all
roles, job functions, and professions.
Why exactly do we ask questions? Well, here are 15 reasons to do so!
1.  To acquire knowledge
2.  To eliminate confusion
3.  To cause someone else to feel special/important
4.  To guide a conversation in the direction we want it to go
5.  To demonstrate humility to another
6.  To enable a person to discover answers for themselves

7.              To gain empathy through better understanding another's view
8.              To influence/alter someone else's opinion/view
9.              To begin a relationship
10.         To strengthen a relationship
11.         To humbly show we have knowledge on a specific topic
12.         To stimulate creativity and idea generation
13.         To gain a person's attention
14.         To solve a problem
15.         To reach agreement or to "agree to disagree" with clarity 

But wait! To understand why we DO ask questions, it's good to explore the reasons why we DO NOT ask questions. Here are six:
1.              To find a culprit
2.              To embarrass and shame
3.              To appear superior
4.              To create fear
5.              To manipulate
6.              To play the victim, as in, "Why is this happening to
(See QBQ! book)

To get better clarity on these I suggest you read John Miller's book.

Monday, June 11, 2018

10 Common Mistakes People Make at Job Interviews
compliled by Dave Johnson CBS Money Watch

You can never be too prepared for a job interview -- you never know what minor element of your personality or presentation can make or break your chances. But while you may be polished to a luster for the usual interview questions and your resume is gleaming, what about some of the other intangibles involved in getting hired?

After all, for better or for worse about a third of hiring managers assess candidates and make a hiring decision within the first 90 seconds. Fair? Of course not. But it does mean that its critical to control those elements that aren't just about your previous job performance.
Recently, education research firm Classes and Careers published an interesting infographic that rolls up a slew of less obvious things that influence the hiring process.
For starters, there are a number of nonverbal cues that hiring managers consider mistakes that can cost you the job. The most egregious ones? Failure to make eye contact is at the top of the list. Other deal-breakers include failing to smile, bad posture and fidgeting.
In addition, your choice of clothing is important. More than half of hiring managers say that your choice of clothes can be the deciding factor when choosing among similar candidates. In particular, it can be a liability to dress too fashionably or trendy.
According to Classes and Careers, here are the 10 most common mistakes people make at job interviews:
10. Over-explaining why you lost your last job
9. Conveying that you're not over having lost your last job
8. Lacking humor, warmth or personality
7. Not showing enthusiasm or interest in the job
6. Inadequate research about the position or company
5. Concentrating on what you want rather than what the company needs
4. Trying to be all things to everyone
3. Winging the interview
2. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
1. Not asking for the job

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Self Discipline

If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me they don’t know how I work at home with “all those distractions”, Of course, we all know that working remotely with success takes  real discipline. The kind of discipline that keeps you at your desk when no one will know if you’re not. The kind of discipline that keeps the television off, and your brain switched on.
I’ve heard people say we’re born disciplined, or we’re not, but I don’t believe it. Anyone can learn to be disciplined in their work--even when working from home. If you’re looking to be more disciplined, here are some tactics that can help.

Note:  These are not original ideas and I do not have the source to give credit.

1. Plan your day.

If you don’t know what you need to do, or what’s coming up, it can be difficult to maintain your discipline, since there’s no pressure. A first step to being more disciplined is to set aside time in your calendar for every task you need to do. Some of the time slots and tasks may change, but this plan will at least set your expectations for what you need to achieve.

2. Plan your breaks.

Put your daily tasks into your daily schedule too, along with “legitimate” work breaks, like lunchtime. Build them into “break” time around your other tasks, or slot them in at lunch. If you plan those tasks, you’ll know you’ll get them done, too, which will get them off your mind and allow you to focus on your work.

3. Chunk tasks and set time goals.

Look at each work job you need to do today, and think about what’s involved.
By breaking those large tasks down into smaller chunks, and estimating a timeframe for the completion of each, you give yourself mini-goals that are easy to achieve, and give you a continuous sense of progress. You ‘ll probably also get a bit of a kick out of beating your estimate now and again.

4. Develop a reward strategy.

Your reward strategy is a way to pat yourself on the back for your achievements during the day.
It might involve a coffee break, an exercise break or five minutes to catch up on the news. Long-break rewards should be slotted into your schedule, so you can see them on the list and they can help motivate you to get through your tasks. But use your breaks strategically, so that you’re duly rewarded for your discipline at logical points through the day.

5. Make delivery promises, and stick to them.

To build that sense of external accountability, start making unprompted promises to deliver work to your colleagues. I’m not just talking about big-ticket deadlines; I’m talking about everyday tasks that contribute to your colleagues’ projects. Making a commitment to deliver to someone will almost certainly help you to be more disciplined about the way you work, and the way your prioritize what you have to do each day. Having someone else’s expectations to live up to is a great motivator.

6. Do something you enjoy.

I find that if I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I’m usually pretty disciplined about it.
Even if you’re having an off day, it’s much easier to be disciplined about your tasks if you believe in them. If you feel like the things you have to do are pointless, meaningless, or a waste of time, you’ll probably be more attracted to playing with the pooch or watching television than getting the job done.
What do you think supports a disciplined approach when you’re working from home?

Monday, May 21, 2018


 When prepping candidates for an interview I am asked what are 5 good questions that I can ask on 
an interview.  Well--Here they are.

 1. “How do you define success for this job?”

This question helps you get a clear understanding of what the job entails and the expectations the company will have for you in it, says John Crossman, president of real estate management firm Crossman & Company.

For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, an answer to this question might be that you acquire 10 new clients in the next 90 days. It may also be that you upsell current customers by 25 percent over 90 days. As a candidate, you’ll want to know whether you’ll be cold-calling prospects or focusing on existing customers before you make your decision.

2. Something specific about the organization

It’s always a great idea to ask a question that shows you did your research before the interview says Chris Delaney, author of “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview.” He recommends building rapport and showcasing your research skills with a technique he calls “share expertise, ask question.”

His example:  “I recently read that the organization is looking to break into Europe. What do you foresee as the main barrier with this project?”

3. “Can I have a quick tour?”

See also: “Can I meet some people I’d be working with?”

Both questions will get you out of the interview room and allow you to get a better look at the office. This will give you a chance to gauge co-worker interaction, workspace design (lighting, noise level, cleanliness) and the department as a whole, says Michelle Comer, practice area leader and vice president at the Messina Group, a staffing consulting firm.

Requesting a tour or a quick introduction to potential co-workers also “signals to the interviewer that a candidate is taking a vested interest in the position,” she says.

 4. “What is your favorite part about working here?”

“Companies, like job candidates, are putting their best foot forward during the interview process, often highlighting all of their corporate perks. By asking every person you interview with what they like best about working at the company you’ll get a better sense of the perks that people regularly experience versus the perks that live only on paper,” explains Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president at Adecco Staffing US.

“If the interviewer responds that they love how they can make their yoga class each night and log back onto work from home if needed, then you know the company takes work-life balance seriously,” she explains.

5. “Do you see any reason I might not be a good fit for this position?”

It may seem counterintuitive to inquire about your potential flaws during an interview, but it’s actually a great thing to bring up at the end of the interview says Morgan Nichols, managing partner at Chicago-based recruiting and staffing firm Torrey & Gray. “This gives you an opportunity to know that the interviewer is thinking about you and gives you a last chance to clarify any misconceptions they may have or elaborate further on something important.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What Not to Put on a Resume

The following 8 items are not my original ideas. Unfortunately, I do not have the source of the document to give proper credit to the author (s). I get anywhere from 25 to 50 resumes per week and 99% of them follow the format of what not to put on a resume. Resumes are loaded with duties and responsibilities without mention of accomplishments and/or results.
1. “Salary negotiable” Companies know that. If you’re wasting a precious line of your resume on this term, it looks as though you’ve run out of things to talk about. If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual. Don’t put that on your resume either.
2. “References available by request” See the preceding comment about unnecessary terms.
3. “Responsible for ______” Reading this term, the recruiter can almost picture an uninspired employee mechanically fulfilling his or her job requirements. Having been responsible for something isn’t something you did. It is something that happened to you. Use phrases like managed or led or other decisive action words.
4. “Experience working in ______” Experience is something that happens to you -- not something you achieve. Describe your background in terms of achievements, accomplishments or results. Those are the things that will sell your candidacy.
5. “Detail-oriented” Don’t you have something unique to tell the hiring manager? Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.
6. “Hardworking” Anyone can call himself a hard worker. It’s a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer. This is a good place to describe results.
7. “Team player” There are very few jobs that don’t involve working with someone else. If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume. Talk about the kinds of teams you worked on, and how you succeeded. Another opportunity to describe results.
8. “Objective” A resume objective is usually better replaced by a career summary describing your background, achievements and what you have to offer an employer. An exception might be if you haven’t applied for a specific job and don’t have a lot of experience that speaks to the position you’d like to achieve.
Please feel free to visit and go to the candidate section where you can get a complimentary resume evaluation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Taking action may seem risky, but doing nothing is a bigger risk
-John Miller

The above quote from the book QBQ written by John Miller goes back to my thoughts on mistakes.  Many managers do not like mistakes from subordinates as the mistakes might relfect negatively upon the manager.  As  a leader in the corporate world and in the non profit world I always felt that mistakes of commission were tools for leaning while mistakes of ommission meant that nothing had been done and therefore no leaning took place.

It is far better to make a mistake doing something than to make the mistake of doing nothing.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A winner is big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.  – John Maxwell

So many times I hear managers complain about a subordinate when he or she makes a mistake.  The manager immediately feels the mistake will reflect on himself and wants to berate the subordinate.

The quote above by John Maxwell tells us that  mistakes can be used as learning tools and it is possible to profit from those mistakes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Zig Ziglar was one of my favorite motivational speakers.  In addition to his quote below he tells the story about being in Kansas City airport and his flight is delayed.  His response was fantastic,  There are only 3 reasons why a flight is delayed.  There is something wrong with the plane, the crew or the weather.  In any of those cases he wanted to be on the ground.  When I was doing a lot of traveling it helped keep things in perspective.

Have a great day!!

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. - Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In order to be a good leader you must always have your people in front of you--

To lead the people, walk behind them.  - Lao Tzu

It has always amazed me that people who thought they were leaders were really managers posing as a leader.  Take a look at the comparisons and see where you fit in.