Career Coach Office Hours: April 1 2022 |

Career Coach Office Hours: April 1 2022 |

I answered questions about your #jobsearch #hiringstaff #management #leadership #workplace issues or anything work. Join me at 1 PM Eastern, Tuesdays and Fridays and put your question into chat. You can also email questions to TheBigGameHunter(at) and put the phrase “Office Hours” into the subject line and I will answer it on my next show. #careercoachofficehours #careercoaching #careercoach #jobsearchtips #jobsearchadvice #interviews #hiring #managingpeople #leadershipskills #linkedinlive #linkedinlivestreams

Today’s questions are:

How do you assess cultural fit as a job candidate?

[07:02] If someone isn’t hired, how can they know if there was something wrong with his resume or if it was a personal issue that prevented him from getting hired?

What should I do. I had two job interviews and I got a job offer immediately contingent background check I accepted, but hours later the other job requested a background check? Should I decline since I already accepted the other offer?

Being a recruiter, how can I improve my sourcing skills?

Are there employers recruiting candidates without requiring an online job application and questionnaires?

How should a leader deal with poor performance in the team?

It seems like a job interview is a way to find a reason not to hire rather than to evaluate the person? Is this true.

Is there anything you can do to a prospective employee who asked for an extension on their job offer, took the job, and then decided to take another job two months later, i.e. too late to make the job offer to the next candidate?

How do you answer the question “how do you deal with pressure or stressful situations” in an interview?

When a hiring manager is on the way out of the interview room asks the next interviewer to go easy on the software engineering candidate, what does it mean?

What is the most common way people get off to a bad start with their resumes?

As a software engineering interviewer, would you request the candidate to turn on the camera if they haven’t turned on their camera during a remote interview?

As a software engineering manager, when you see that an engineer is quiet in meetings, would you encourage them to share their opinions during our 1 on 1 meetings with them?

How to Discuss Gaps in Your Resume During a Job Search

How do you assess cultural fit as a job candidate? Okay. Now, I start off by telling employers that it’s impossible for them to assess for fit, because everyone’s on good behavior. You see, Job Hunters, shall we say, they don’t want to put on a good show are they overstate the qualifications, and they’ve got a happy face. And they present very nicely. But employers do the same thing. So when I used to do recruiting, I will teach new recruiters, the three jokes of the recruiting business, how can you tell an applicant is lying to you? Answer the lips are moving. How can you tell an institutional customer’s lying to you? Their lips are moving. And the third one, of course, is happy tell third party recruiter might be lying to you. Yes, their lips are moving. The hard thing about assessing for cultural fit is because everyone’s on good behavior. And that includes the hiring manager or recruiter corporate, and the people on staff that you meet. You’ve got to understand, they’re not presenting themselves, honestly. So a couple of things you might ask. Number one is what happened to the last person who was doing this job, then moved on to something else, they found a better opportunity. What made it a better opportunity, paid more money, better work? How long were they here? That six months. Now, what that’s going to tell you is they they didn’t like the job. Six months, they’re out the door better opportunity. Maybe they were paid more. That’s another message they accepted an offer for too less, too little money and went elsewhere where they were paid fairly. Maybe just maybe the work wasn’t to their satisfaction. It was misrepresented jeez, and as often happens, statistically, employers within 18 months of hiring someone have buyer’s remorse 60% of the time with Job Hunters within six months 30% because the work is misrepresented. cultural fit is just one of those terms that involves how you interact with other people in the firm. What’s the tone and tenor of the organization? Is it a workaholic culture? So I’ll come back to the idea of cultural fit is, what’s a typical workday? Like? What time do people get in? What time do people leave? Now, at the end of an interview, I’ll have people ask a number of questions about expectations. And sometimes they’ll hear unreasonable things that make people go, thank God, I’m not gonna wind up going to work for those people, because they’re crazy with what they want. So it comes back to they’re putting on an act, and so are you and you have to get them to be a little bit more forthright and get them off the script for the hiring manager. You know, they’re gonna lie to you, for the people on the team. Now, you can always ask them, How long have you been here? And what keeps you here? And it’s not just what they say that matters, is how they say it is well, a little hesitation in their answer about what keeps them there. Or there’s just something behaviorally that suggests that maybe they’re not being forthright. Pay attention to it. All this comes into play, because, again, people’s words will speak lives, their body language, may tell them something and tell you something different about what it’s really like to be there. So there’s no one answer. You have to use your instincts to break through. Hope that was helpful. overshare.


If someone isn’t hired, how can they know if there was something wrong with their resume? Or was it a personal issue that prevented them from getting hired? Something wrong with their resume or a personal issue? And those are two different points in the interview. So when there’s something wrong with the resume that suggests you didn’t get interviewed, when there’s a personal injury issue? Well, it’s suggested maybe you were interviewed. But they’re not going to compare his if he if he got the interview, your resume was good enough or didn’t turn them off? So I don’t think this is a valid question. If you’re not qualified, you know, if you didn’t perform well on the interview, you’re going to be rejected. If your resume stinks, then you’re not even going to get the interview. So I’ll just simply say something broke down for them. It’s not personal, it’s business and move on to the next thing.

Why Is My Job Search Taking So Long?

What should I do? I’ve had two interviews, and I got an offer immediately contingent upon a background check. I accepted, but hours later, the other job requested a background check. Should I decline since I already accepted the first offer? Well, since you accepted the offer, but it’s contingent upon the background check. They haven’t actually made an offer until the background check is completed. So you can say to the other firm, since they haven’t told you about the money, you can say, give me a sense of what the dollar amount is that you’re thinking. Right? Here, my references is contact the references and say, you know, I’m having two firms contact you to check my background. Don’t mention that there are two firms doing this. And I’ve appreciated if you said wonderful things about me and my work. The whole thing is because it’s contingent, it’s not a real offer until the check is complete. Now, the first firm may be the one that you prefer. Right? You can take that one and once the offer, the background check has been completed, you have a valid offer. However, if the other firm is offering you $20,000 more, you’ve got a choice to make, don’t you? So have the second firm also check references. It doesn’t hurt like my mother used to say.


Being a recruiter, how can I improve my sourcing skills? Well, I’ll just start by saying do a Google search, look for videos, forcing no YouTube directly, but there was search that says how to source candidates, you’re going to get a lot of great information in response, some of you may already know, because again, I don’t know where you are in learning how to be a better recruiter or how to source better. But, you know, start off with how to source candidates as a search term on Google and on YouTube, and start learning from other people about what to do and what not to do. So, you know, lots of different things that you can do. But, you know, I’m out of recruiting now, I did for a lot of years. And I want you to want to make sure that you get best information. So I there were things I did, but they may not work to the same degree as they used to talk to different people. Also, I know there’s a Facebook group of recruiters that you can try joining. And I’m just going to try and go to Facebook quickly, the spot the name of the group. Recruiters Online, I believe it is asked to join that group. And there’s a few 1000 people on there. And then ask a question about sourcing. I’m sure someone will be able to answer your questions. But don’t ask dumb questions, do your own work and don’t expect others to do it all for you.


Are there employers recruiting candidates without requiring an online job application and questionnaire? Of course. There are millions of employers around the world who are hiring people, and they don’t require an application or completion of a questionnaire? That should be obvious. Why do they ask for this as a time saver is one thing number two is an application is a legal document. So if you’re in the United States, if you rely on an application post employment, if it’s grounds for termination, so please be as accurate as you can about dates and wages. Same thing with questionnaires as a time saver, he’s going back to my time doing recruiting. You know, I would get hundreds of resumes in the course of a day. And I used questionnaires to save time. Because very simply, if I called everyone I would leave a voice message, wait for them to call me. Maybe I was on a call with someone at that particular time. I couldn’t take their call that I’d have to call them back. And we’re doing that back and forth. A questionnaire is designed to save everyone’s time. If you’re not qualified, if your compensation level, or desired compensation is too high. Why are we interviewing? You can respectively, respectfully as I used to do message back saying, you know, the job I’m recruiting for is not paying as much as you’re currently at, or is not paying as much as you’re currently looking for. So respecting your time, I’m going to get back in touch with you to time or have something more suitable. And thus be respectful of you. So I’m not sure what the issue is with applications like say I am sure it’s tedious. And not all applicant tracking systems have parsing capabilities that allow you to input resume into their system, just by uploading it or scanning it. But it is what it is. There are firms that don’t work with applications, they don’t work with questionnaires, and you’re going to waste a lot more time doing that as well.

From Paycheck to Purpose

How should a leader deal with poor performance in the team? So poor performance can get caused by a couple of different things. And one is not really understanding the work, why it’s important how to do the work or not really caring about the work. Sometimes you have to retrain people in the work. Sometimes you have to retrain people into caring again, but not caring is an issue around employee engagement. What causes them to become disengaged? Is it corporate friction? Is it you who sometimes you’re the problem, so talking to people about what the issues are, you can stress to them the importance of the work, you can cover in regular meetings, talk about accurate KPIs and rank them in some way, so that they see their progress concretely. So fundamentally, there’s lots of things that you can do, including fire people. When I did search, one of the things I would do is with less experienced people, I would take them into an office and sit down with them and ask, are you okay?  Because I get the idea that recently, something shifted for you. And you’re not into the work like you once were, I just want to make sure, are you okay? And often what you’ll get in response is, oh, I’m, I’m fine. I couldn’t really tell because the quality of your work hasn’t been as strong as it once was. So I’m not worried about you and thought I would ask real simple approach is non-threatening, and not saying to them, your job is in jeopardy? You know, we’re not, you know, unless you kick things up, we’re gonna fire you know, it’s a human concern between you and them, that you notice something is different. You want to make sure they’re okay. It’s really that simple.


It seems like interviews are a way to find a reason not to hire rent, rather than to evaluate the person. Is this true? Of course! It’s designed to evaluate people. But evaluation takes a variety of forms. For example, doctors, when you go there, and you talk with a doctor, the first thing they’re trying to do is to rule things out that the illness is not. So they start off with a rule out. And then from there start to narrow possibilities. Interviews are much the same way. Now us talk about, you know, a way to disqualify people. Well, you disqualify yourself because you’re not capable of doing the job. You’re not capable of answering the questions. What do you think you’re supposed to walk into an interview, sit down in a chair and someone looks at you and goes, very handsome. We want to make you an offer. Very good looking woman. We want to make you a job offer doesn’t work that way. So the idea just becomes, yes, they’re going to rule people out and narrow down the scope. Going deeper, narrower and narrower and narrower until they have the person they believe is right so that it’s an imperfect approach. It really is. But no one’s come up with something different than works.


Is there anything you can do to a prospective employee who asked for an extension on their job offer, accepted the job and then decided to take another job two months later, which made it too late to make the offer to the next candidate? So what do you think you want to do? Do you want to string them up? Or just take them out back and stab them to death? What do you think you can do? Seriously? What do you think you should do to this person? You’re under the circumstances. Remember, maybe the problem was you and how you represented the work? Why does that become their fault? Most of the time, I’ve got to tell you. Let me re-state that. A lot of the time, it is about you. It is about how you promoted yourself and the opportunity. And they came on board and discovered you were deceptive. You lied. So let’s not put it on the candidate. Let’s not put it on the fact that they left within two months, maybe they did the wrong thing. Absolutely. I want to concede that one. And there’s nothing you can do, unless you run into them at the next job?

Salary Negotiations. Negotiating the Package.

How do you answer the question on an interview, “How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?” So they don’t care about your gym membership. They don’t care about your exercise routine, whether you meditate, something, anything along those lines, what they care about is, how do you deal with tension at work? How do you avoid blowing up? What do you do? This pressure on stress? What do you how do you handle it? What do you do? That’s it. So focus on giving them those answers? And if you have the pausing, uh huh. Great question. Is there a lot of pressure and stress on this job? And you’re gonna flip it back at them. Some but not a lot. Well, it was a red herring question. If they go, oh, yeah, a lot of pressure, a lot of tension, a lot of stress. I haven’t slept a full night in three years since I joined here. Okay, you’ll listen, and now you’ve learned something about them from them. So back to that question about cultural fit that resists by machine at the beginning of the interview. Very simply, avoid getting trapped in answering questions that are going to put you in an awkward situation and causes you to shoot yourself in the foot.


Next question, when a hiring manager on the way out of the interview room, asks the next interviewer to go easy on the software engineering candidate, what does that mean? Well, it can mean a number of different things, including don’t waste your time. This person sucks. And I apologize for passing them on to you via someplace else to go to. So that’s one possibility. It could also mean I liked you very much. I think it’d be a great hire. We don’t want the next person to disqualify you from consideration. So go easy on him go easy on her. I want to bring her on. It could be one of those signals beyond that. Can’t tell there’s not enough information.


What is the most common way people get off to a bad start with their resumes? Answer, flipping the same resume. Like it’s a burger at a fast food restaurant thing. Every employer every job they see as though it’s going to fit People who don’t tailor their resume, make a huge mistake. Because the broken watch is right twice a day, right? Well, your resume is going to work sometimes,but not all the time. If you care enough to apply, you should care enough to demonstrate your fit for the role in the resume. Period. If you don’t fit, don’t be a spammer. And when people ask questions like this, I think of someone who spams their resume to every job they see that might vaguely fit. “Vaguely” is the key word there, fit this role. You know that. So, get often get out of this situation, extricate yourself move on? The answer might be the resume doesn’t make a case for their candidacy. And thus, it was a nonsense admission, you submit your resume, you’re not going to get the interview. There’s nothing there that demonstrates how you fit what you saw on the job description.

Finding a Job in 90 Days or Less Even If You’re a Foreign Student With No Money

As A Software Engineering interviewer, would you request the candidate to turn on the camera if they haven’t turned it on  during a remote interview? Yes, I would. I would do it because I want to know if they have notes in front of them, that causes them to have cheat sheets. And they really don’t know the subject. So, for example, if you’re someone who’s interviewing someone for a position, and I have to say it’s not just for software engineering jobs, it’s really for any position, and the cameras off, “were you planning on keeping the camera off the entire time and keeping me from seeing how handsome you are or how lovely your appearance is? Boy, I’m very disappointed.” So that’s designed to flush it out so this way, you can see what they look like and don’t allow them to hide that they’re looking at notes, or having someone else answer the question. If the cameras off, one person could be being interviewed. And you actually are hiring someone else. Catch that one. They’re interviewing one person thinking they’re the potential employee, but they aren’t. And thus, someone else is being evaluated and assessed, and not the real person. Make sure you’re talking to the real person that you want to be talking to.


As A Software Engineering Manager, when you see that an engineer is quiet in meetings, would you encourage them to share their opinions during a one on one meetings with them? Yes, I would. I’ll tell you, people hide. And you can say to them, I noticed that you really don’t contribute during the meetings. Are you feeling intimidated and Chairman, they are not me. Bored, maybe. So very simply, you want to be in a situation where you’re communicating to them. That could be what they’re doing is not what you want to see. What you what you want them to be doing is being an active participant in the meetings, and not hiding behind the fact that their cameras and so on, get people to know like trust and respect you. So then this way, you get better work, better opportunities, better assignments.

Answering Either/Or Questions



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.

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