Career Coach Office Hours: December 7 2021 |

Career Coach Office Hours December7 2021

If you have a question about your #jobsearch #hiringstaff #management #leadership #workplace issues or anything work for that matter, join me at 9 AM 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

Career Coach Office Hours: December 7 2021 |

You may also find, “10 Signs You’re Wasting Your Time in Your Current Job ” helpful

Today’s questions are:

How can recruiters trust job candidates’ resumes now that it has become common practice for some, but not all people to exaggerate their accomplishments?

What are some interesting questions asked in an interview?

Does it raise suspicion during a job interview if you ask what their policy on trading shifts is?

What are some of the best responses to “sell me this pen/pencil” in a job interview?

Can people legally look for a new job while on a leave of absence from another job?

How do you improve an employee’s commitment?

What do you look for when building a team?

Will having a Yahoo email damage your chances of employment?

What job interview questions are applicants often too nervous to ask that would actually be helpful to both them and the interviewer?

What is so bad about a career break that employers are wary of hiring somebody with one?

Is it rational to reject a candidate just because s/he has a gap on his/her resume?

What might be the reason for the job being reposted after the interview went well?

In chat, someone asked if a recruiter had ever scammed anyone. They then clarified that they were asked for the last 4 digits of their Social Security number.


Read Full Transcript

hi it's jeff alvin the big game hunter
and welcome to another episode of career
coach office hours
last week on friday there was a
technical issue so i wasn't streaming to
if you had a question for me i apologize
i wasn't able to deal with it
we should be back normal today so
if you've got a question
for me about job search hiring more
effectively management leadership
dealing with some workplace problem you
have put it at the chat i'll try and
deal with it today and
if you have a question that comes up
later on
you can email it to me at the big game
hunter at i just asked in the
subject line put the phrase office hours
so this way i can organize the questions
respond to them in advance but then use
it as a subject
for a later show
so if you're on linkedin let me know
that you're here uh if you're on the
other platforms let me know that you're
here because i also stream to linkedin
facebook live youtube concurrently and
uh it's nice to know when people are
online so
again if you're on linkedin in
particular it just lets me know that the
streaming is working properly and i'd
really appreciate it
now with that
i've got a number of questions here
that were sent to me
some involved job search some of them
involve hiring or management
but the first one is a fun question
how can recruiters trust job candidates
resumes now has become common practice
for some but not all people to
exaggerate their accomplishments
you know i worked in search for a long
time like 40 years and
one thing you'll learn pretty quickly
is that everyone lies
job hunters are posturing for advantage
they want to get an interview they want
to get hired they shall we say embellish
the truth it also took me a while to
figure out institutional customers are
doing that too
and i'm not going to go with the details
now obviously many of you think
recruiters do as well
so the result is no one trusts any
if they did all you'd have to do is
apply for a job and you get hired
because they could trust what was there
instead the process involves interviews
that are designed to ascertain whether
what you claim to know is what in fact
you do know so this is no different than
it's existed at any point in human
history so don't make it seem like this
is a brand new occurrence this has been
going on for time immoral memorial
immemorial whatever the word is
i'll simply say
no one trusts anyone in the hiring
process nor should that
you need to confirm
that what it is someone claims to know
is something that they do know
no one
no one's completely forthright
so let me go on to the next question
which kind of builds on this one but
from the employer side
what are some interesting questions to
ask in an
interview now
i'll simply say
the prior the process of hiring has
become mechanical
you can go online and find any number of
questions that you can research and
prepare for and i've got a book out
called the right answers to tough
interview questions that can get you
prepared for a lot of the questions that
come online but from the employer
perspective you know they ask the same
stuff over and over again
you know part of your job as a job
hunter is to entertain
however from the employer perspective
you have to glean information to
determine whether or not this person
is qualified so i always encourage
people come up with a series of
standardized questions in advance of the
interview that allow you to determine
make sure they fit the job description
and not just some whimsical nonsense
that happened to pop into your mind it's
designed to ascertain whether someone is
qualified to do the job
but from there you have to try and get
to the human being
so there are four questions i talk about
that are designed to get people off the
and this is the one i would ask even
before the qualifying questions
what's most important to you in the next
job or organization
what will you need to see or hear to
believe it's a good choice that's
question number one before any sort of
about their skills or competency
and thus i believe you asking instead of
tell me about yourself
and the reason you do it is if you can't
give them what they want
why would you waste your time and theirs
if you can't provide it for them this is
the simplest screening question on the
the second question is why do you do
what you do which is a question that can
be asked later on
so yes you can start doing the screening
questions but then from there you switch
gears to try and get to the human being
why do you do what you do
is designed to have them tell you
what it is that keeps them interested in
the work
how they decide to work in this
profession and attain this level of
so for example you know they might say i
started off as a software engineer in
school now manage a team of engineers i
became a manager because
and then this question is going to take
them off the script
and have them start to open up to you
the third question is what did you want
to be when you were growing up
now this one fries people's circuits
because it's going to teach you about
their childhood dreams and give you an
opportunity to hear their passion
completely unfiltered
i want to be a pitcher for the yankees i
dreamed of being
a ballet dancer or a ballerina look for
the excitement and their embarrassment
because that's human
and then from there it's how did you get
from there wanted to be the pitcher
or the ballerina or ballet dancer see
here and it's not about judging the
answer it's just trying to get a sense
of their thought process their humanity
stuff along those lines
because ultimately you're going to have
to live with these people and if you
treat them like machines
like a machine eventually they're going
to break and what often breaks first is
their spirit desire and passion because
once you can identify and foster the
qualities in your people you can help to
keep them engaged and inspired
for as long as possible
and help them
instead of treat them like they're
so i do believe that there's a lot that
you can get from these kind of questions
that takes people off the script and
gets them to a human place that is far
again if you've got a question for me
put it into chat i'd love to
to respond to it
and in the future if you have a question
between episodes you can email it to me
at the big game hunter at and
in the subject line put the phrase
office hours and this way i'll respond
to it
next question
does it raise suspicion during a job
interview if you ask their policy on
trading shifts
my son works in restaurants and uh he's
waiting tables uh he's culinary trained
and um it's a common practice to trade
from an employer's perspective
they worry
they worry because what are we hiring
it gives them reason to
operate and feel
suspicious but i
want it gives them the idea that you may
not always be available and thus they're
going to have to help backfill slots
the interview process so i would wait
until i receive the offer before raising
this as a subject
you know if you work in a factory
again same thing shows up
so don't rush out to ask this question
it puts
up not suspicion but it gets them to
what are some of the best responses to
sell me this pen or pencil in a job
most people who are asked this question
are relatively inexperienced
when you're experienced excuse me for
one second
when you're experienced
they're not going to ask this question
but for rookies for people in sales
this is a pretty typical question
so the best way to answer it is by
asking questions so you start off with
let's say pen
um what are you going to use the pen for
like are the particular qualities about
the pen
do you have a price point that you're
looking at you're asking questions so
that in this way you can give them what
they want
and thus you can say you know we carry a
lot of pens
but i want to make sure we have one that
meets your needs is it the right price
and thus
let me just ask a few questions to
understand what you want from a pet you
have a preference to a color ink
do you want to create an impression when
you do something in front of a client
what are you going to use the pen for
and notice what i'm doing i'm doing
requirements gathering and then from
there you can say i've got a pen for you
let me just show it to you because it
meets all your needs
and have an excited look on your face as
you tantalize them with that statement
get them excited and wagging their tail
about this so that's the way i would
answer the
sell me this pen or pencil question
next one is
can people legally look for
can people legally look for a new job
while on a leave of absence
from another job of course
of course you can do that now if you're
in a country where there's some law
against this obviously you follow that
law but
of course you could look for a job on a
leave of absence from your current job
why couldn't you and certainly
although we currently have a government
that is looking for every opportunity to
legislate every situation
i don't think this is one that they've
covered yet so you should be pretty free
and clear
and thus be able to look for a job well
on a leave
this next question is great i love this
one when it came in
how do you improve an employee's
here's what you do
you look in the mirror and say i hired
the wrong person
what in my interview process
causes people
causes me to select people who are
disengaged from the work
now i pause for a second and i say
if they were engaged when they got there
and now are disengaged
there are two possibilities number one
is something in their personal life is
getting in the way
or number two something you've done or
that is going on at work is causing them
to become disengaged
no matter which of the these latter two
options there are
what you need to do is to have a
conversation with the employee
and say
is everything okay
because i noticed you're kind of you've
been off the game for a couple of weeks
now and i just want to make sure that
there was nothing in your personal life
or nothing i'd done that caused you to
turned off to the work
and by this what you're able to do is
draw them in
they say no nothing at all
then you made a mistake
and the mistake you made
was not qualifying
completely enough to determine whether
someone would be an engaged employee and
fit into your culture
i've been talking with someone recently
in the uk who administers a test called
lumina l-u-m-i-n-a
it seems to be a terrific test that a
hiring manager can administer to an
employee that measures people
in a variety of different ways and once
you take the test
your people take the test
and a potential hire takes the test you
can determine whether or not you want an
identical fit
or you want someone who would complement
existing team
and i think it's an interesting approach
again lumina take a look at this test
mention my name jeff altman
and stewart or one of the people on his
team i'm sure will treat you very well
so the idea is you may not be doing a
good enough job evaluating and assessing
people for your organization
a person has a personal problem or
you've done something to turn them off
whichever it is you need to have a
conversation with them so that in this
way it doesn't go on forever and
undermine your leadership in the firm
okay um
what do you look for when building a
i think
it's really the same answer
so i'm going to skip this question
will having a yahoo email address damage
your chances of employment
they have other things to worry about
than your yahoo email address you may
get a chuckle
from them you may get a mocking remark
in the office
about a yahoo or aol address
but it really doesn't matter if you're
qualified you're going to get hired if
you're not qualified you're not
so don't worry about your email address
focus on delivering the goods on the
interview learning how to interview like
an all-star so that in this way they
want to hire you instead of focusing on
your email address it's the most trivial
point you can imagine
what job interview questions are
are applicants often too nervous to ask
that would actually be helpful both to
and to the interviewer
i thought this was a
an interesting question
because i think of the questions i coach
people to ask
and there's one
you know most people make the mistake of
asking about the job at the end of the
and that's really too late to do
anything with that information so i
coach people they ask it about it at the
so the questions i encourage people to
ask at the end
first of all um let's say you hire me
and i come on board
what would your expectations of me be
for the first 30 60 90 days
then from there if we're listening to
that answer
let's say it's a year from now and i've
done a great job what will i have
accomplished during that year that'll
make you think that way
what follows is
a question that i think is terrific it
may actually fit the model for the for
the answering this one
and that is
tell me about next steps in the process
when might i hear about them
and thus
what you're able to do from their answer
and again people are too nervous to ask
this question because they're afraid of
hearing something they don't want to
you'll know the truth
about what they think about you
if they say yeah we expect to you know
we've got 27 more people to talk to
we'll be in touch with you when hell
freezes over or in a few weeks when
we're done if we're interested
then you've heard something that you may
not like to hear but it's useful to you
and it's useful to them because
it lets
you know they don't have to worry about
you following up all that much
if they say to you
you know i expect early part of next
week you can follow up by saying so if i
haven't heard from you by thursday or
you know is it okay if i message you and
find out where you stand
you know again
people are too nervous to ask us that
question and employers benefit from this
because it allows them to respond by
saying sure no problem
or wait
sit tight
we'll be in touch
when we're ready to be in touch
or they can say
you know early part of next week i
expect we'll be in touch with you to
schedule you back for another interview
you'll be meeting with so and so and the
more specific they are the more they're
communicating with you that they're
job hunters are often too nervous to ask
that kind of question because they're
afraid of what they're going to hear
employers don't mind answering it
because what they're able to do is to
communicate their interest or lack
thereof so that they're not being
bombarded with follow hey just follow it
up want to see what you thought about me
i need feedback
uh from the interview
and um you know
fundamentally they're not really
interested so they can kind of cue you
into that
you know with the conversation
what is so bad about a career break that
employers are wary of hiring somebody
with one
is it rational to reject the candidate
just because she or he has a gap in his
or her resume
two different questions although the
person doesn't recognize them so i'm
going to take the second one first
rejecting a candidate because they have
a gap in their resume
and the answer is
it depends on why they have the gap
you know there are economic
circumstances that cause gaps you know
firms aren't hiring we call that the
pandemic in 2020. so
intrinsically there's nothing bad about
a gap
but a career break makes it complicated
because their impression of you is
you're not work committed you're more
interested in playing and traveling and
or doing what you're doing
than in doing the work now if you were
taking care of a sick parent i would
include that in the resume
resign my position to care for my mom
or dad or whomever it was
my husband my wife
during a stage in their life where they
were terminally ill
people will understand that one and
they want to make sure you're not rusty
so you have to demonstrate relevant
once you get to the interview phase
and present the information in a way
that lets them want to trust you
again without trust that they worry
about whether or not they're hiring a
problem person who's lied to them
actually wasn't at home taking care of
an ill
they think of you as being a goof off a
something else that causes them to
question you
what might be the reason for a job being
after an interview went well
there are a lot of reasons why this
could have happened
you know maybe from the employer
standpoint they ran an ad and the job
job board offered them the ability to
order reposted it for an additional 30
days without any effort on their part
you know a lot of sites offer that and
that may be the case for this firm
another reason is that until someone
starts the job the position is still
open and just because you got past the
first interview or the second or the
third doesn't mean that you'll get past
you know the next group of interviewers
so they want to keep interviewing until
the thing is closed
you also want to make sure that
you know employers sometimes are ghosted
so until someone's on board for a little
they're they don't think the job is
they've gotten too many calls where they
say i've accepted account or offer or
the sentence that begins with i've been
thinking about it and
so until someone walks in the door and
for a week or two
in their mind the job is still open
and as well as you may think you've done
it maybe not be well enough for them
to bring you on board
let me just
do one last check
and see if anyone else has a question
for me
and the answer seems to be no
so let's close out by saying i'm jeff
altman the big game hunter i'll be back
at friday at 9 00 a.m with career coach
office hours if you've got a question
for me you can
email it to me at the big game hunter at put the phrase office hours in
the subject line i've also got a great
website at the big game hunter dot u s
emily i'll come back to you in a second
the big game hundred dot us with a lot
in the blog that can help you you can
also schedule time for free discovery
call or schedule time for coaching
last minute under the wire asks have you
heard of candidates getting scammed by a
recruitment agency
so the question comes down to what form
of scam
if you're asked for money
the answer is that's a scam because
almost every
employment agency in the united states
is a
employer paid fee so why are they asking
you for money
if they're looking for the last four
digits of your social security number
that's not a scam because they need all
the others but you need to understand
sometimes employers ask them for that as
part of their completing an application
form on your behalf
yep last four digits of the social
that's not a scam that's because an
employer wants to differentiate between
all the
uh emily jones's that might be in their
applicant tracking system or all the
ramesh patels or all the when shoes
in their system
the last four digits of the social
security number become the
differentiator between one
when ramesh
so don't worry about that one if they
ask you for the entire social security
hang up the phone get off the line that
one's a scam because they don't need the
full social just the last four i know
when i did recruiting and that started
as a practice i asked about it
because i was concerned about identity
theft for people i was representing
and thus it was explained to me it was
designed to separate all the people with
identical names
who might have worked at
you know using one company as an example
that's fairly large jp morgan chase
often there's more than one person who's
been employed there with the same name
so how do they differentiate last four
digits of social
hopefully that answered your question
and allayed any concerns you have if
anyone else has a question while i'm
doing this wrap up
i'll try and sneak you in
but the long and the short of it is
don't sweat that one if you're
interested in my coaching you you can
schedule time for a free discovery call
or schedule time for coaching
uh at my website which is the big
i'd love to help you also i've got a
great video course called the ultimate
job interview framework i have a number
of other courses you can find out about
on my website
if this isn't your time to go to the
site just put the address in your phone
again that's the big game hunter dot eus
and my name jeff altman this way you can
get back to me at a later point lastly
if we're not connected on linkedin send
the connection request to me at forward slash i n forward
slash the big game hunter have a
terrific day and most importantly
be great
take care


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 more than 2200 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website,

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