Career Coach Office Hours: May 24 2022 |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Join me at 1 PM Eastern on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’ll answer your questions about #jobsearch #hiringstaff #management #leadership #workplace issues. 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


Let me talk about the economy first. And let me say to you that it is slowing down and it’s understandable. First quarter GDP was negative. I’m not sure if the second quarter is going to be negative. Inflation may jigger the numbers to make it positive because inflation is so high. If it is a negative growth quarter, that will be shocking, because every number is escalated by eight and a half percent the current rate of inflation. All costs of goods and materials are up. So it’ll be pretty damning. If there’s a second straight quarter of negative GDP, which is the definition of a recession. I would expect firms are going to start slowing down their hiring during the third quarter. Now, they may bring on consultants during that time. But they’re going to watch the numbers as they come in. Because in the fourth quarter, in October, the companies that are calendar year corporations set their budget for the next year. So they’ll know what their spending for 2023 is going to be like no later than October. As such, if you’ve been out of work, you’ve been out of work for any length of time, or you’ve been job hopping, now’s the time to accelerate your efforts, so that you can land before the new budget. If you know people who are in positions where they can write you into a budget, do it. Get in touch with them now, while they’re formulating the budget, so that you have a chance of being written in, and even if it’s a temporary thing as a consultant, maybe the budget can be written in a way that you’re brought on as a consultant now, and it’s 2023, when a new budget goes into effect, they convert you to full time staff. It’s an approach that’s worked for years. And for those of you who are losing your jobs now, it makes sense for you to try and hustle now to try and get written into a budget while it’s being formulated. So, again, I’m seeing a shift. I would expect no later than the middle of the third quarter, firms are going to really ease up on hiring while they wait to see what numbers look like. Whether there’s any churn in the economy and, in a positive way. Inflation is hurting every firm that I talk to. The retail stories about Walmart and Kohl’s were brutal about their costs going up and their sales going down. So just be aware. This is the time that if it’s going to be the last time for a period of time where it’s going to be easier to find work, but it’s going to come to a crashing halt fairly soon. That’s my opinion. It’s an editorial comment from me, I hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I am. There are a lot of us out there who are speaking the same lines. And I’ll also give one other example and that is when all the press is one way, it’s time to look at the exact opposite. It’s like an investing. I remember years ago when gold was in a run, and I bought some gold at a local bank. And I saw the headline on the local newspaper about, you know, gold sales exploding as a front page story, I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s a sucker move.’ And I ran back to the bank and sold it back at a loss, which was fine, because I would have lost much more had I held on to it at that point. So I’ll just simply say, the headlines are all talking a positive note. Those of us who are in the trenches are recognizing something negative.

The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Higher Salary for Yourself


Should I list on my resume that I still work part time while looking for a new full time job? Or should I not put that I only work from my current full time job? The question’s a little confusing. So I get the idea that you have a part time job. And the full time job is what I’m getting here. And if you have a full time job, focus on that unless the job that you’re trying to get relates to your part time job. If you’re not working and you only have a part time job, then the question comes back to how long have you been out of work? Number one. Number two is does the part time job in any way relate to what you want to be doing? If not, don’t emphasize it. You can have one line that says I’ve been working part time doing something non whatever it is related, just to make ends meet. But I’m looking for a full time position where I can continue my career doing such and such. One line. You don’t have to make a big production. Okay?



What does it mean when a recruiter says the position is already filled, but he still wants to meet you. Should I prepare for this meeting as it was an interview for this said position or as a more casual meeting? The answer is yes! Yes, prepare for the interview. It might be casual. They might have an idea of something else. Opening up fairly soon, that they want to evaluate you for. Don’t walk in so casually, that you’re going to be a dope. So the result winds up being you don’t want to hurt yourself, right? You always want to present yourself in the best possible light. So walk in, if it’s an in person, well dressed for the field that you’re in. If it’s being done online, we’re only talking about from here up anyway. But, you know, be prepared for it to be an interview, and you can just start off the conversation with a ‘thanks so much for reaching out to me. I understand the position’s filled. What’s our agenda today?’ And have a fun time with the question with a smile on your face  so that this way you understand what the purpose of the meeting is, before it starts. Otherwise you may wind up at a disadvantage. And they know what they’re looking for and you don’t. So just have that opening to the conversation with a smile on your face and work from there.



If you’re applying for a job, and your potential employer asks you ‘why he or she should hire you over the other applicants,’ what would be your response? Well, my response is the same. ‘I have no way of knowing.’ And I know that surprises people, because often when they asked this question, it’s the begging answer that they get.  ‘Oh, well, I’m a wonderful individual. I’m very talented. I know my stuff. You know.’ There’s all the obvious things that make you seem childlike and immature, because it’s a stupid question. Like you’re supposed to know who your competition is. So if you’re applying for a job, and a potential employer asks you why he or she should hire you have other over others, I’d respond by saying, ‘I don’t really know, I don’t know who my competition is here. And I could talk with you about all the things that make me an asset to your organization, I can certainly do that. But I don’t really know a lot about what you’re looking for. Could we talk about that and then maybe I can connect the dots between my background and what you’re looking for, and thus give you a chance to evaluate me for my knowledge and my experiences, and not based upon who my mythical competitors are.’ You will knock it out of the park with an answer like that.

The Right Way to Look at Career Planning


Must one be an expert in the field in order to manage people excellently in that field? There are a lot of politicians who demonstrate that they are not expert in much of anything and they are managing people. Maybe not excellently. Okay, let me try this. There are a lot of people who manage well, and they’re not experts in their field, but they understand management. Now the issue is, there are decisions you’ll be asked and making about how to do something and having business knowledge will help you. The absence of it is going to be a blind spot that will be hard to overcome. As a result, it is always preferable to have someone who has actual experience, product knowledge, knowledge of the business, et cetera because there are nuances to every field that differentiates one solution option from another. So the long and the short of it is it benefits you if you actually have business knowledge. Or you’re an expert in a field, and thus be able to manage people in it. But it’s often not a requirement. And if you’re applying to things, read the job description. It will tell you what they think. And frankly, that’s the only thing that matters.



I see all these places hiring but not responding to my applications. And, yeah, that’s pretty grouchy. Maybe your resume or application doesn’t demonstrate that you fit what they’re looking for. So if your background is working in a fast food restaurant, and you’re applying to things doing Java development, or accounting, what makes you qualified to do that? It’s not that they’re looking for bodies. They’re looking for people who can do specific things, who have experience doing specific things in order to hire them. And it’s likely that you’re not demonstrating enough of a fit in your resume. Maybe these are generic resumes that you’re sending that in no way shape or form fit the requirements as for what they’re looking for. So I would simply say, it’s most likely that you’re not making a case for your candidacy for this role that’s causing you the problem.



What should the candidate wear to an interview? Do the outfits acceptable colors depend on the industry that you’re in? You know, I’m a guy. If you’re a woman, I will always say, there are other women you should be going to and not me. For men, I think you should dress better than most of you tend to dress. And in doing so, look conservatively. Like normally, for the last six months, I’ve been wearing black shirts to Career Coach Office Hours, recording my videos and podcasts and I do that because it’s simple. And it works well against the backdrop. As a result, look conservatively, nothing that would cause someone to go, ‘what is he wearing’   that makes them makes you stand out in a bad way. For guys, if you have a wife or husband or partner who has taste, I would ask them for some advice. If you don’t have any, make them happy that you ask them for advice. They will love you that much more. It will help the relationship. And generally, you have an idea of what’s acceptable. Run it by them. Make sure that they feel good about you and you feel good about you. And in terms of colors, my favorite colors story is about someone I represented many years ago, when I did recruiting. The woman was blonde, very attractive and she wore a gold suit to an interview. As such, she was very bright to the person interviewing her. And the result was after the interview, I got a call from the hiring manager who described her as being ‘the light bulb’ which I thought was ridiculous. But people act that way. More conservative, rather than brash. Gold, yellow for men and women can be problematic. Simple, simple attire for most firms. And there are exceptions. If you’re looking at Entertainment, there are sections of entertainment, where it makes sense to be a little rambunctious. Age is a factor. God! So many older individuals don’t dress appropriately for their age. They try and dress like they’re 20 and they can’t pull it off. So I’ll just say folks, you really know how you should dress by now. You really do know. If you’re not sure, ask someone else for advice.

4 Things to Consider When Changing Careers


How can a person find a job with a resume that has career gaps less than 12 months of work experience and current unemployed status? And I hope that 12 months of work experience is not over 12 years because that’s a factor too. How long did you work for these firms before they let you go? Were you a temporary worker where you contract for? Under what conditions were you working there? The best way to find something for you is to be referred. Someone who knows you, recommends you to someone who they know who you don’t know. And thus, what I would say to you is, flip it back to them. I’m sorry, not wrong answer my apologies. What I would say is, networking will be your best way to find work because most of the applicant tracking systems may reject you because of all the gaps that you have. No one likes gaps. You have to be prepared to explain the gaps in your resume. And that one year of experience, like how long are the gaps that you have? As you said, they’re multiples that you’ve had, and frequent industry changes? And you’re currently not working? Okay. Good luck to you.



What would you do if an interviewer tells you five minutes into the interview, ‘I don’t see why I should hire you?’ Well, I would answer that in this way–‘Why is that?’ And then shut up. Why is that? Shut up. And the reason I say that is, you don’t know what it is, that’s given them that opinion. So you want to make them talk and tell you what’s given them cause for pause. Thus, after they finished telling you, if it’s not accurate, you might simply say, ‘I’m surprised that after only a few minutes, you would feel compelled to reject me without investigating some of your opinions further,’ and then be quiet. Because what you’ve done is basically point out the problem that they have with the interview is that they never really dug in deep enough to find out about you. And they may flip it back to you and go, ‘So how does your background fit?’ And then you tell them. You speak with confidence and authority just like I’m doing with you right now. And thus, by looking at them square in the eye, as I’m doing with the camera now, and speaking about how my background relates to the role, or responsibilities, what accomplishments that you’ve had similarly. They’ll find it hard to say no to you. What should you say when five minutes in, ‘I don’t see why I should hire you.’ That’s really it. Why is that?



Why do companies pretend something at the time of the interview and do exactly the opposite after the candidate joins? They need someone who can bring in new ideas and fine tune existing work processes but after joining, the candidate isn’t allowed to do so? Okay. It’s kind of badly worded. What I would say the reason why this happens is? That firms are desperate. They need to hire someone, maybe they’re afraid of losing headcount. Maybe they just really need someone quickly because of a work commitment, a project commitment, something. Thus, why do they do it? Because they have a need for a person right now and they’re trying to get someone on board to solve their problem. Also, and this is giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe from the time they started interviewing you until the time you started working there  things have changed and suddenly it’s a little bit different. And thus, what they needed you for initially isn’t the same as what they need now. A lot of possibilities. Those are two obvious ones.

Your Professional Inheritance


Is it wrong to apply for a job when you’re not totally serious about leaving the job? You’re in now? Well apply is interesting, I have to ask the question, why are you applying for jobs? I would say it’s one thing to put yourself in the position of being recruited. That’s different. Someone reaches out to you about an opportunity. Not really sure. And thus, you know, you’re interviewing for something and you’re not completely committed to leaving to join a firm. That’s one thing. But you’re applying. You’re updating a resume. Why’re you doing that, if you’re not interested? And you have to answer that for yourself, and be honest with yourself, because maybe the issue is, you may not be completely interested in that opportunity. But you may also not be completely thrilled with your job. So you’re kind of exploring other options. And that’s okay. You may not be committed to leave, because maybe there’s something positive there that you really enjoy. But you’re looking to see if you can improve your circumstances, improve the money, improve the work, something, and that makes it fair for you to be exploring other options. So with that, it’s okay, don’t sweat it, it’s okay to apply.



I get all the way to the third round, and they dropped me I’ve had 75 interviews.  What’s wrong? I know what’s wrong. You don’t know how to interview. You know the subject matter, but you don’t know how to interview. And that’s the fact of it. If you knew how to interview, assuming your desired compensation is appropriate for the type of position you’re interviewing for, you would have been hired. So obviously, if you’re getting to the interview, you’re getting past the screener. Okay, and you’re getting through at least the first round that you mentioned, the third round, and then they drop you. So you’re not attentive to some of the, the signals that they’re giving that suggest, maybe you’re not doing that well. Maybe there’s a perceived skills deficiency that you’re not addressing in the interview. Or if you are and you’re doing it incorrectly. But the one thing I know is, if it’s breaking down during the interviews, you don’t interview that well. So get better. You can order my video course, you know, rent it, buy it. I think the I think for sale, it’s $25. The course for rental for 30 days is probably $15. Go to my website, You can order The Ultimate Job Interview Framework and it will help you interview better. If you’re at a final interview, I have a final interview course that can help you get over that finish line.

3 Things To Look For In An Employer If You’re Not Sure What You Want To Do For A Career


Why do recruiters disappear? Well, they disappear because there’s a magician who says Abracadabra. No, huh? They disappear, because they don’t want to tell you you’ve been rejected. They’ve determined that you’re not a fit for the role that they spoke with you about. Their client doesn’t want to meet you. That’s one possible reason. Or you’ve gone on the interview, and you’ve been rejected. And they figure that why should I call him or her? Why should I email him or her? You know, why should I message them at all? They’ll figure it out. And that’s true You will figure it out. Right? So they’re trying to avoid a confrontation. They’re trying to avoid getting into one of those discussions where you figure out that you’ve been turned down. The client made a mistake. You want them to fight for you They’re not going to do that very often. And thus, they’re just, you know, they’re going dark. They’re ghosting you now. And that’s why it happens.




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.

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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