Sunday, June 29, 2008


In the past I have talked about interviewing from the interviewee's perspective. Now I will talk about the interviewer-what does this person need to do in order to fairly and accurately determine if a candidate is a good fit for the job opening?

Many employees who interview candidates have never had any formal training in interviewing techniques. Therefore, they tend to do a below average job when they interview candidates.

What do you think is the biggest mistake that many interviewers make?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The coach in Jacksonville knew a coach in the Miami area that had just taken over a football program. Mark called him-they hit it off almost immediately. Mark flew down to Miami, interviewed, and was offered the job as Defensive Coordinator. He accepted, and he and his wife and 3 children are currently in the final stages of relocating to Florida. As an added bonus, this particular high school football program was one of the best in the entire country just a few short years ago.

From unemployment to the Defensive Coordinator of a premier high school football program that is on its way back to the top-all in a few short months. It simply took determination and a few phone calls. Networking can work wonders-just ask Mark.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I guess if I had given it some thought I would have known that this no-nonsense, ex-college linebacker would charge full-speed ahead with his job search. He got on the phone and started calling everyone he knew, just like I suggested. One of the guys he called was someone he had coached with in North Carolina. This individual didn't know of any openings;however, he gave Mark the phone number of his brother-in-law, who is a football coach who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. He encouraged Mark to call him, which Mark did. This is when the process got really interesting and kicked into high gear for Mark.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I suggested that Mark accomplish one task right away -write down the names of every single person he knew-football coaches, friends, family members, people from his church, neighbors, his wife's friends-this was the beginning of his networking list. I have coached a lot of people over the years re. their job search. Compiling their networking list is always the first assignment I give to them. It is one of the most effective job search techniques.

Mark followed my advice-he "dove head-first" into this assignment. Not everyone I have worked with approached this assignment with the determination that Mark showed me.

Monday, June 9, 2008


An excellent example of how powerful networking can be is to review Mark's journey. Mark is a friend of mine who happens to be a high school football coach. Last fall he became the head football coach at a local high school. Mark was given the impossible task of turning around a woeful program in just one year. It did not happen. (No one could have done any better than he did.) His contract was not renewed. This was his first head coaching job. Previously, he had been a highly successful defensive coordinator for several years at another high school in the area.

He sought my advice regarding his job search. Mark is married with 3 small children and a mortgage, so he had a sense of urgency. He had to find another coaching job ASAP.....

Friday, June 6, 2008


The US economic news from today is a bit scary-the biggest one month surge in unemployment in over (20) years, and crude oil prices rose sharply during the last 2 days. Why do I mention this bad economic news? Because it emphasizes that in good economic times, and especially in uncertain economic times, you should always be networking. There is no guarantee that your job will be there tomorrow. I hope that it will be, the chances are good that it will be, but no position is guaranteed!

So what is networking? defines it as "a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest." Networking should be a never-ending activity. For example, if you are in Human Resources, join the local SHRM Chapter. No matter what you do for a living, you should also consider getting involved with the local Chamber of Commerce. Volunteer to serve on a Chamber Committee. Help build houses for the poor via the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Contact the American Red Cross and ask how you can help. Let me be quick to add that when you volunteer in your community, your primary goal should be to help others. An added bonus is that when you volunteer, you get to know people in your local community that you would not otherwise ever meet. These folks then become part of your network.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


After the interview has concluded, go home and write a brief handwritten thank-you note to each person that you met, and mail them that same day. In addition, consider doing something that very few job seekers do-within 48 hours after the interview , e-mail your main contact at the company and outline a plan to help him/her with some of the company's challenges. For example, lets say you are interviewing for a position as Director of Human Resources. One of the company's biggest problems is high turnover in their Engineering Department . Create a basic plan that you would implement to begin to successfully deal with this challenge. This is so effective-it makes a huge positive impression, yet few candidates do it.

The next several posts will deal with how to network successfully. I will review an example of my friend Mark and how he recently used networking to land a great job. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Questions that you as the interviewee should be prepared to answer include: 1) "What do you know about our company?", 2) "Tell me a little about yourself?", "3) "Why did you choose (human resources/accounting/ electrical engineering/purchasing,etc. as a profession?"), 4) "Why should I hire you instead of the other finalists for this opening?"5) Example of a past behavior question-"Tell me about in time in your past when you had a disagreement with a co-worker and how you resolved it."6) "What would your basic plan be for the first month on the job?" 7) "What have been the main reasons for your success in your past jobs?" 8) "Please give me an example of a failure in a past position and how you overcame it?" 9) Please give me an example of a personal or professional goal that you accomplished in the past and what you did to achieve that goal." 10) "What are the main reasons you are interested in working for our company?"

In your opinion, which of the following is the most effective way to recognize an employee for a significant accomplishment at work?