Career Coach Office Hours: June 14, 2022 |

I answered questions about #jobsearch #hiringstaff #management #leadership #workplace issues. Join me at 1 PM Eastern on Tuesdays and Fridays for Career Coach Office Hours. You can also message me on Linkedin before the show and I will answer it, too. #careercoachofficehours #careercoaching #careercoach #jobsearchtips #jobsearchadvice #interviews #hiring #managingpeople #leadershipskills #linkedinlive #linkedinlivestreams

Recruiters Are Not Your Friends

[02:50] Is it advisable to visit a company’s office after interviews without an invitation?

[04:38] How do I ask about the salary after an interview?

[06:58] Is it cheaper for an employer to keep its old employees than to hire young people?

[08:27] Is it better to be interviewed first or last?

[10:20] How do I say no to a job interview?

[12:35] My interview went really amazing. After the interview, I honestly told my recruiter that I have a deadline of tomorrow for another offer, and a few minutes later he said they can’t offer me this time. What could be the reason for rejection?

[14:15] I have a new job for one year. Love the work, people and manager. Hate the commute, long work hours, stress. I’ve started looking at and gotten a lot of interested in interviews. Crazy to go?

[17:10] I’m currently a FTE, I’ve been approached by a recruiter for a 12 month contract position. I will be a W2 employee with benefits high possibility of extension and FTE with that company. What should I consider?

[21:21] How best can you show leadership skills in an interview?

[23:02] When applying for a job, why do employers/recruiters ask what you would like to be paid, and how do I answer this?

[25:02] If I applied for a job position and my recruiter also applied for the same position on my behalf, does it look bad? Should I withdraw or ask my recruiter to withdraw?

[27:48] What are the possible outcomes, if my current employer knows about my job interview and offer letter received?

[28:57] Does working through a recruiter have a better chance at an interview than applying directly?

[31:19] I was once told that once you get an interview, your resume becomes garbage. Do hiring managers make hiring decisions solely based on the interviews or a combination of interviews and resume?



Is it advisable to visit a company’s office after interviews without an invitation? And my short answer is no. Let me explain why. I believe that when you visit an office, you’re looking for the attention of people there. If you’re in a modern US office, you’re not going to get into the building. And any of the major firms that do this because they will have security. So if security calls up to say, ‘hey, we have so and so downstairs who wants to come up, ‘ now you’re interrupting people. It annoys them. I know I would have drop-ins when I did recruiting. We were not in a major office building. We were not a major firm. We have 40 or 50 people there. Not major in scope. And if someone was stopping by to see me out of the blue, it was interrupted my day. I may have been on with people I may have had interviews, I may have been trying to schedule people. I got annoyed. And I would very simply walk out front and say, ‘I can talk with you right now.’ And the floor was sealed, so I wouldn’t see them. I was very polite, of course. But it was an intrusion. If someone could actually get into the building. So I’ll just simply say no, it’s not a good idea. What do you hope to discover? You’re gonna discover people are loud or they’re soft, they’re annoyed with one another or they’re not, just like any other office workplace. There’s nothing you’re really going to pick up from the visit. But you can hurt yourself in the process. So I don’t encourage that. I frankly would discourage it. 



How do I ask about the salary after an interview? Well, when they’re start wanting to court you after the interview. . .  Well, let me back up for a second. I keep saying that negotiation starts during the first screening call, where they ask you how much you’re looking for or if you’re in certain parts of the country, where it’s still legal to ask what your current salary is, and what you’re looking for. That’s part of their negotiation process is to find out that data in terms of the salary. Well, at the point they’re ready to make an offer, they’re going to tell you, of course, but if you’re doing this after the screening round, not a good idea. I would say, the way you answer questions about compensation, what are you looking for? ‘Well, I think it’s a little too early for me to be specific. After all, I haven’t met my future boss, I’ve read a job description, but I haven’t met my future boss, I haven’t met the team,  don’t have a sense of what role, responsibilities, accomplishments or milestones, what the expectations are going to really be for me. So it’s hard for me to set a price.’ ‘But I need to know what you’re looking for.’ ‘I can give you a quote now, but I may change it to go up or down after I meet with he or she. So can we come back to that later on. I’ll give you a real feel for it after I’ve gone further.’ And that’s really the best way to handle salary. And as the progress as you move down the road, as people ask you, what are you looking for, you might deflect it and go “And what is the range for the position?” And that gives you an idea of what they’re prepared to pay. And sometimes they can go above it, because they know the game too. And they may quote you a little bit less so that they can come back and make the offer ‘And we were able to do is come in higher than what we told you about,’ so that you get all excited and happy and helps close the deal. But how do I ask about the salary after the interview? Just sit back follow my advice. That’s really going to be the best way to do it.



Is it cheaper for an employer to keep its old employees than to hire young people? From a base line dollars and cents standpoint, no, it isn’t. Because, you know, younger people are paid less money. However, there’s indirect costs associated with younger people. As a result, the cost of employing someone who’s younger, who’s less experienced, starts to shift. And they start becoming expensive, because they require attention from the more experienced people that teach them the culture, how to do things in that firm, et cetera. So I don’t think that’s really a useful question for anyone. I’ll just simply say no. With older professionals, they are more expensive, you know, salary, benefits, bonus, the benefits offered become more expensive as they age because they’re more likely to get sick. It’s complicated, but I don’t believe it’s something to really focus on. Again, I think, less experienced people are less costly than older employees.



Is it better to be interviewed first or last? I was thrilled when this question came in  because frankly, so many people have this notion that I want to be the last one. And some people would actually prefer the opening slot, because you set the benchmark, you set the baseline for which everyone else is judged. So I think there’s a place in the middle between the two that allows you to, allow someone else to set the marker for you to stand out. I’ve never really liked the last place. Even though I know that’s always been part of recruiter lore is to be the last one. I just think often the last one is affected by all the other ones who come in. And the employers kind of bored with interviewing by that point. So I’ve never been a fan of the last spot. I’ve always been more of a fan of a middle spot, rather than the first spot. First spot. They’re kind of they’re ironing out some of the details about how they’re going to evaluate and assess people. But somewhere in the middle is really ideal in my thinking.

How Do I Follow Up on an Application When I Haven’t Heard Back for 2 Weeks?


How do I say no to a job interview? I think courteously is the first place I’d start off with. And just very simply say, the way that to deal with it is by saying, ‘Yeah, it sounds like a good opportunity but I don’t think it’s for me.’ And if you know someone who’d be qualified for the role, recommend them. The question comes down to did you apply for this job? If you did, why are you not interested and you applied? If the rule, the idea is you only apply for jobs that you’re qualified, interested and available for? So if you’re not interested, why did you apply in the first place? Now, if you’re being recruited, that is, there’s a cold email or cold call or text that came in saying, ‘I’ve got a great opportunity with a terrific team of people I’d love to talk with you about it.’ That’s different. Then you can say,  ‘I’m not looking to make a change right now.’ ‘But why? It’s such a good opportunity.’ ‘I’m really quite happy where I am. They’ve been treating me great. And if I know someone, I’d be happy to get to you.’ And if you do know someone, by all means, refer them.  If you don’t, just very simply say, ‘Not for me. Not my time. Good luck.’ ‘But but but,’ and then you can hang up. You don’t have to be rude about it, but just simply say, ‘Yeah, I’ve answered the question. I’m not interested. Do you want me to go on the interview and not show up? Do you want that to happen? Because you’re trying to bully me into doing this?’ So that’s the way to say no. If it’s a job you applied to, you can tell them ‘I’m close to something else right now. It doesn’t seem wise of me to start a process. If you applied and you’re not interested and I have to ask you why did you apply? And if you’re being recruited, just be polite and courteous and said, ‘No, I’m not interested in this position. It sounds fine. But I’m happy where I am. And they’re treating me great.’ Really very simple.



My interview went really amazing. After the interview, I honestly told my recruiter, (they’re not your recruiter). I actually told the recruiter that I have a deadline of tomorrow for another offer. And a few minutes later, he said that he couldn’t offer me the job. Why was I rejected? Easy, they can’t meet your timeline. That’s the reason. They can’t meet your timeline. You’re getting an offer tomorrow. There, they may have five more interviews they want to schedule you for. They’re not going to follow up that fast. So just recognize that they’re just trying to be respectful of you and your situation. The simplest thing I would have done is, ‘could you give me an idea of what next steps might be.’ And that allows you to say to them, ‘you know, I’d like to proceed. I do have another offer. So if anything can be done to expedite this, I’d really appreciate it. If not, I’m going to go through the process. I may say yes to the other one, because it’s a good offer. I don’t want to lose it.’ Then they’ll probably dig in further to understand what they’re competing with. And they may tell you that, you know, they can’t match the money,’ and then you have a choice about proceeding. But that’s the way I would have handled.



I have a new job for one year. Love the work, people and manager. Hate the commute, long work hours, stress. I’ve started looking at and gotten a lot of interested in interviews. Crazy to go? No. Excuse me for using the metaphor of dating. All you’re doing is dating and you’re not married to this firm. After all, they could let you go in a heartbeat, right? So think of it from the standpoint of what serves you. What is best for you. And what’s best for you really comes down to a similar type of job where you don’t I have to deal with a long commute, stress, and all the other headaches that you have associated with it. Love the work, people manager but hate the commute, long work hours and stress. It’s not perfect. It’s good. You don’t have to leave if you don’t find something you think is superior to what you have. You’re just exploring other options. Nothing wrong with that. So do I think you’re crazy? Absolutely not. I speak from the perspective of, at one point, I lived in northeastern Pennsylvania, in a town called Milford and I got on a 6am bus that pulled in at the Port Authority, New York, two hours and 15 minutes later. Catch that one, two hours and 15 minutes later. The commute home was shorter. Two hours. Woohoo. But, you know, I know what it’s like to do a long commute. And I was able to work on the bus and had Wi Fi. I was able to continue my workday while commuting. But wears and tears on you. Now I’ve got a home office. I like it a lot more have a one minute commute to work in the morning. And as I walked downstairs to my office, it is pleasurable. You could be, if you get another offer, you could explore a work from home situation if your work is the kind that can be done remotely. You say you’ve been working for this firm for a year, it suggests to me that you got a job during COVID. Thus, is it possible to continue a work from home? Would hybrid make it more tolerable? And thus, at a point where you have another offer, it’s something to discuss with your employer to see if that’s viable. But again, going back to your question, Is it crazy to go? Absolutely not? Absolutely not. I hope that’s helpful to you.

Answering Behavioral Interview Questions The Right Way


I’m currently a full time employee, I’ve been approached by a recruiter for a 12 month contract. I’ll be a W-2 employee with benefits, a high possibility of extension and full time with that company. What should I consider? Now I’m assuming that you’re currently in a full time position with an employer, not a contracting agency. Now, here’s a couple of things to consider. There’s no stability, but the stability of a consulting contract is non existent. Now they spoke about a good possibility of it being extended. They can’t know that now. It’s a one year contract. The world changes. How do they know there’s a good possibility of it being extended? They don’t. There’s the manager who’s them in. They may quit. They may be promoted and not have responsibility for the function. You know, the economy’s kind of complicated right now. They may change their priorities and cancel the contract. As we’re recording this, it’s June 14 2022. They’ve got budget through the year. Do they have it budgeted for next year? You probably don’t know that. So number one, that’s one thing to consider. How do they know? It’s a high likelihood of it being extended. Listen to what they say and don’t say, Consulting firms can BS people. Also, you’re an employee of theirs versus an employee of a major firm. How many consultants do they have outright now? How many consultants out who do what you do? Know that gives you a sense of how large they are? A firm that employs 20 people is different than a firm that employs 200,000 people as quite a few do. So think of size of the organization as being an advantage because that means that they have people in large numbers who are out marketing to try and bring in new consulting assignments. What other work are they doing now that relate to what you do? Not that you’re looking for one or the other assignments. What you want to get a sense of is do they sell in your market area. I used to do work in technology nationally, technology recruiting nationally. And you know I worked with a couple of very large consulting firms. And one of the practices I worked with was one that focused on enterprise architecture. And the practice I dealt with had a lot of people within it. And they were constantly hiring because the practice was growing. That gave me a degree of confidence and the people I was representing to them that really have confidence that there’ll be more work that would follow once this particular engagement was done. So I’ve given you a couple of things to consider as part of the evaluation process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And if they’ve push back on your questions, there’s a message that they’re trying to intimidate you by bullying you to get you to back down, don’t fall for it. Don’t fall for it. And I must also say, if you’re open to a contract, and you’ve never worked under one before, talk to people who are working as consultants, for what it’s like. Do an informational conversation with a couple of them where you just talk about what it’s like to be an employee consultant. Because I suspect you don’t know that.



How best can you show leadership skills in an interview? The answer is by talking about your leadership in the course of your answering questions during the interview. So always think in terms of how you demonstrate in your stories that you assumed leadership. Even in the staff room, I was the most senior, I was the go to person. Use language like that to demonstrate that you were the person who was front and center, because that shows leadership to people. So that’s the simplest way to do it.



When applying for a job, why do employers/recruiters ask what you would like to be paid and how do I answer this? I think I addressed this question earlier. But let me do it again here in case you missed it. The reason they ask is they’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re in budget. After all, when you go to the store and you take a look at something to buy, they’ve got a price list there, right? You’re not gonna go to the register with something and only find out there that it’s more expensive than what you’re prepared to pay. Same thing with cars. Same thing with hiring someone. They want to know whether you’re in budget with your expectations. After that, they’ll try and persuade you to consider less, but you don’t have to do that. How do I answer this? If it’s being asked during the screening round, you answer as I mentioned earlier, you kind of defer and deflect, you know, I, I don’t know enough to really give you an adequate price. After all, I’ve read a job ad or you recruited me for this job. And you gave me about three sentences of information. And, you know, I haven’t spoken to the hiring manager I’d be reporting to, haven’t met with the team, don’t have a real sense of the role responsibilities and expectations. There’s a lot I don’t know in order to price this adequately. So can we talk about that later.’ That’s always the best way to answer it. And if they press you for a price, you have to respond by saying ‘look, I can give you a number now but after I talk with them, I may ask for more or less. So, again, let’s talk about that a little bit later. And I’d be very happy to answer, okay? And that’s really the best way to approach it.



If I applied for a position and my recruiter (they’re not your recruiter, you’re not paying them anything), also applied for the same position on my behalf does it look bad? Should I withdraw or ask my recruiter to withdraw? To answer the second question, don’t do anything. The company is going to make a decision as to who to treat the referral as having come from. They may say, tell the other recruiter that or they may tell the recruiter who represented you to them, that they received your resume directly and they’re not going to honor that referral. You don’t have to ask them to withdraw anything. If anything, that looks weird. It is going to open you up to an argument with them. And if the company picks you, you can always respond by saying ‘I didn’t know this is where you were to submit my resume at the time and I’d already applied. So sorry, but you didn’t tell me where you were referring me to. And if they did tell you and you said that after the fact, I’m going to beat you up here for a second because what you did was awful. You stole money out of someone’s mouth. And I say that because recruiters generally work for a commission. And if they were kind enough to share that information, and you took it, that’s thievery. Remember, they’ve got families and mortgages, apartments to pay for. They’ve got kids they’ve got to feed and clothe and families. Why would you steal from them? Because that’s really what you’re doing. A $100,000 person at a minimum, it’s a $20,000 fee, more likely 25 or 30? That’s a lot of money for people. Why would you take that from them? So I’ll just simply say do anything for now. And if you did steal that information, I would encourage you to back down and just simply say, you know, I realized that it didn’t hit me at the time but I realize that the agency referred me and I’d rather go in from them because they did mention your name to me and for some reason I wound up applying. I don’t think it’s right that I take something from them. So that’s an ethical way to back out if you did steal it. So I would just sit there and wait ujnder most circumstances, and then move on from there.

FEELING DEPRESSED About Your Search? Struggling? Feeling Fatigued?


What are the possible outcomes if my current employer knows about my job interview and offer letter received? If I’m understanding this question correctly, your current employer found that you’ve interviewed and gotten an offer. What are the possible outcomes? Well, you could accept the offer and give notice. But that’s easy. You could tell the employer ‘You know, I’ve received an offer. I did interview elsewhere, but I want to stay here. I’m not going to be interviewing elsewhere. I just want to give you an idea of why I went interviewing.’ And don’t be a jerk and tell them how much you hate the work, hate them, or any other immature answer that might come to mind. Be mature about this. Be smart about this. Don’t be insulting. Just deal with it directly so that this way they understand you now have a commitment to their organization.



Does working through a recruiter have a better chance at an interview than applying directly? Sometimes, and sometimes not. So recruiters have relationships with employers. The employer gave them a job to work on. That implies that there’s a professional relationship they have. I know for myself, there were a lot of clients I did a lot of work for for a lot of years, had a lot of success with. They trusted my judgment. That was fabulous. And thus people I represented were prepared better, got better results than people who just came in off the street. So this question is kind of linked with the previous one. There’s an advantage when you have a good recruiter. On the other hand, if it’s not a firm that has a good relationship, often you don’t get good enough preparation to perform well, that. . . I don’t say it disadvantages you, but there’s no benefit to the recruiter relationship. So the ideal is, if they do have a strong relationship. Thus, what you’re able to do is use the information that they give you, in order to be better prepared for interviews, perform better, and get offers. That’s really what it comes down to. You want to receive an offer, you want a good opportunity. They know the client well.  That gives you a leg up. If they have an ordinary relationship where they’re like a commodity provider, by that I don’t mean that you’re the commodity, but they’re just ordinary to this firm, there is no great benefit. Other than that they scheduled an interview, and they’re going to handle it like a valet. They’re going to handle the scheduling and rescheduling. Give you little tidbits of information, but nothing that’s really substantial.



I was once told that once you get an interview, your resume becomes garbage. Do hiring managers make hiring decisions solely based on the interviews, or a combination of the resume and the interview? Well, it’s like dating, I keep coming back to dating as a metaphor, because it’s really a great way to compare it. You don’t get a date, unless they have an idea that they’d be interested in you. In olden days, they might see a picture. Today they see a picture on a phone, or whatever device, you’re seeing them on whichever app it is. They’re reading a little bit about you. While resumes are like reading something about you without having to see a picture of you. And thus, that gets you the opportunity to be asked out on a date, scheduled for an interview. But ultimately, it’s what they learn about you in the interview that helps them make the decision whether or not to hire you. And thus, if you’re in a situation, you asked is it based upon the resume or the interview that then make the decision? The ultimate decision comes from the interview. But being asked on the date comes from the resume.

Branding and Your Career


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff 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 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, 

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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