Career Coach Office Hours: November 16 2021 |

I answer questions about job search, hiring more effectively, managing, leadership, and resolving workplace issues. If you have a question for me, you can email it in advance toTheBigGameHunter(at) In the subject line, put the phrase “Office Hours.” During the show, you can put any question into chat for me to answer

Career Coach Office Hours: November 16 2021 |

These are a few of the questions I answered:

Why would an interviewer mention a second interview and then reject you?

What are the key things an interviewer looks for in an interviewee?

How do I catch a lie in an interview?

What do you do when you realized you hired someone who has a bad memory and below-average performance? It’s been only 2 months and he has already forgotten to attend meetings and doesn’t respond to all emails. Should we just fire him?

What should I do if I sent a resume with the wrong date on one of the positions? I just got back from an interview and the interviewers asked for references.

Is it easier for an employer to choose the best candidate for a job, when a team of interviewers screens them, or when a one-on-one interview is done, and why?

What are some reasons that a potential hiring manager would keep delaying their hiring decision?

How do you know you are on the right path to your purpose in life? What are some of your best interview tips?

I’ve been looking for a better job for some time now and something seems to fall short at the interview. I have no problem getting interviews and I receive compliments on my resume all the time!

Can an employer fire you for a background check after you have passed the probationary period?

How do you deal with it if you keep getting fired or let go due to office politics?

From chat:

How do you overcome cliques in a working environment?

How do you get past the ageism barrier in a job search?

What process do you recommend to dial your résumé into a particular job or job description?

I understand that because you are an employee at will you can be fired at any time for no reason. Correct?


Read Full Transcript

hi it's jeff altman the big game hunter
and welcome to another episode of career
coach office hours
i like to spend time right actually do
spend time
tuesdays at 9 15 eastern and fridays at
9 00 a.m eastern answering questions
about job search hiring more effectively
management leadership as well as dealing
with scenarios
shall we say workplace related issues
if you're watching me on linkedin
youtube or face facebook
you know i'm curious where you are who
you are where you're from
just put it into chat
so i know who's here
hi t how are you
and um
we'll be starting in a minute
but the long and the short of it is i
started this show because i realized
people need help
and in asking for help
well most people don't really ask for
help from people who really can help
they may ask a friend
a former manager a family member
for advice
but often these are individuals who know
as little as they do
and sometimes a little bit more but
not enough to be helpful so what i like
to do is to spend time
on these two occasions per week
answering questions from people i
receive them by email in advance of the
show uh so i've got a number of them
here and to work with
uh but if you're watching me on one of
the platforms
and you have a question put it into chat
and i'd be happy to respond to it
patricia welcome
and uh
greenbelt lss greenbelt fabulous and
you're in raleigh
i'm in asheville north carolina by the
and uh
welcome on patricia if you or anyone
else has a question feel free to put it
in the chat okay
let me just start with my first question
bear with me while i get to it
why would an interviewer mention a
second interview and then reject you
obnoxious yeah
but often there are factors outside of
their control that come into play
sometimes a wreck is pulled
they're afraid to tell you in the room
that you're going to get turned down
sometimes you know they just meet
someone who they think is stronger and
they fall head over heels for that
person it's like a romance
so they are romanced by this other
fall in love
you know decide that even though they've
mentioned that second interview to
someone they're ready to move forward
as i said sometimes a wreck is is pulled
sometimes they're told something about
the individual from someone who may know
you that's a really small possibility
but it sometimes happens
and thus understand
you know
we're all human beings we make mistakes
we don't always do things in the best
way possible
they shouldn't have mentioned the second
interview if they didn't plan on
following through with it but given that
they've done it
and they're pulling back
they've decided that you know it's not
going to go any further it's like a date
where you had a good first impression
and then thought about it so
i don't think so maybe there's a warning
sign or two here
they're being pushed into doing
something different by their boss
a lot of possibilities for this i can't
know which one it is
but the outcome is still the same
and it's not a good look for that
firm what are the key things an
interviewer looks for in an interviewee
i love that language
maybe a little bit of charisma because
charismatic people always do better than
that you care about what you do and you
wear it on your sleeve because they
interpret passion
in a positive way
all of which adds up to they trust you
they want to trust the person that they
hire because for many of you you're
going to be an absolute stranger to your
future boss
thus they're going to want to feel
something not just simply know something
after all there are a lot of very
competent people who do what you do
so why should they choose you
you've got to give them that feeling in
the interview that's incredible
believable and there's no knockout
factors for you so
that's not necessarily objective
knowledge that's an emotional response
to what you say
because they want to make a decision
where they feel like they can trust the
person that they're bringing on board
and they're going to be low maintenance
how do i catch a lie in an interview
you probably can't
and i say this from both the employer
and employee perspective because this
ample data to suggest that neither side
really is good at catching the other
why do i say that
most job hunters when they join an
well once they're on board and they're a
month or two in
they feel like they made a mistake
there's always that moment where they go
oh my god i don't think i made the right
choice and then you kind of settle in
and learn to tolerate
conversely on the employer side
many employers well the hiring manager
statistically within 18 months
for almost two-thirds of their staff
have buyer's remorse and again that's a
statistic i write a year or two ago
neither side is good in evaluating the
other because both sides are posturing
to one another
you know whether or not this is a great
opportunity and whether they're
qualified so
it's hard to really do it unless you
know more about the organization that
the job hunter is coming from
and the employer is delivering for
why do i say that
job hunters
you know
every bit of information you find out is
secondhand information from people who
may have worked there a while ago
and left they left because something
wasn't satisfactory about them
employers are checking references that
are provided to them by the employee
how are you going to get factually
accurate information from one another if
this is a setup
plus everyone's own good behavior as a
job hunter no one ever tells you what
happened to the last three or four
people who sat at the same desk you're
going to be sitting at
why it was that they left
and conversely for the employer how many
bad references have you ever found out
from people right
and the job hunter is putting on a good
show for you because they want to be
it's hard to really do it
you basically have to trust your gut
along the way and if you're talking to
members of a team as part of the
interview sometimes they'll give you
little signals that can cue you into
some of the problems there
but the simplest question that you can
ask was a job hunter is
what's wrong with this place everything
seems wonderful and lovely
but like what happened to the last three
people who sat at the desk i'm gonna be
sitting in why did they leave they left
for a better opportunity
right what made a better opportunity
how long were they here what did they do
well what didn't they do well if they
give you a lot of venom about what they
didn't do well
that gives you a sense of what those
people are like and what their attitudes
critical nature is like
again it's hard to really know if you're
stepping in into something worthwhile
so catching them in a lie is really hard
what do you do when you realize
you hired
someone there's a specific title here
and i can skip over that
who has a bad memory and below average
performance it's been only two months
and they have already forgotten to
attend meetings and don't respond to all
me emails
should we just fire them
you hired them for a reason
i think a frank conversation with them
is in order
and the conversation could be very
you can say
something along the lines of you know
there's a couple of places that
i'm disappointed about
and i want to see whether you have
issues with me within with the
because maybe your behavior is
indicative of you having a problem and
not feeling comfortable coming to me
so the idea is you open up the
conversation with them first to talk
with them about
their disappointment
your disappointment and see if you can
come to some sort of mediation about
this kind of stuff
the result will wind up being the frank
and honest exchange allows you to come
to agreements about what they need to do
next and what you need to do next
and if they don't follow up on it what
you're able to do is to turn around and
you know i've got to put you on a pip a
performance improvement plan because i'm
not seeing the results that we agreed to
i've done my part
but i'm not saying you're doing your
so i want to see these results in the
next 30 days because you're going to be
and get your management's approval to
give that sort of blunt message
no i wouldn't let them go now as a
your job is to lead
as not
thinking that people are disposable
maybe the mistake is on your side and
you've lost them maybe you
misrepresented the job to them and
you're losing them
you're losing them emotionally and it's
a question the reason they're not
showing up for meetings is that finding
it hard to look you square in the eye
having been lost
i don't know what your circumstances are
sometimes it can be as simple as as
these sometimes
there are many possibilities for why it
question from chat thank you patricia
how do you overcome is it clicks you
meant to say
in a working environment
um i don't know if it has it existed
has formed since you've been there
so that's that's a factor in the answer
so i'll start by saying
teasing is always a good way
uh with a big smile on your face
and that could be done in meetings it
could be done by phone
uh and
it's about breaking down the barriers
and saying
does someone have an issue with me i
just get the idea that i'm on the
outside looking in
you know
can i can i get in with the sorority
here or the fraternity or whatever it is
and uh become one of the girls one of
the guys and
you know what do i have to do to rush
the sorority
sorry someone put up another chat
and i'll simply say
you've got to play with them a little
bit instead of sulk
i know in situations where i joined
organizations and i worked in sales as a
and these people are brutal
they grew to like me
and that takes a little that takes some
patience teasing
um uh delivery because you've got to do
a good job along the way
my son told me of a situation
he's worked in front of the house at a
uh in new jersey
you know he said right before dinner
service on sunday
kitchen staff walked out
and you know suddenly there's chef and
no one else in the kitchen
and they've got a full dining room
coming of a couple hundred people
and two private parties
uh and the result uh he
was he said we got through it and he
told me what he did in the kitchen
because he was culinary trained uh and
worked with chef to deliver meals
you know he said and i think it's true
when there's a hard experience people
come together it's a bonding time so i
would say look for situations where you
can bond
thank you for your question how do you
get past the ageism barrier in job
search i'm so glad you've raised this
because i forgot to talk about something
at the beginning here
and i'm going to first answer your
question then i'm going to go to
something i forgot to tackle right away
the answer is
how do you present yourself
do you present yourself for all your
experience or do you present yourself
for mental agility acuity and
so often
older professionals kind of waltz into
and they recite a bunch of facts they
look across the table at someone who's
20 years their junior and they say to
themselves oh my daughter is sitting
oh my son is sitting there
and they give up right away because the
fact of the matter is they project onto
this person pure rejection
there are cues along the way that a
hiring manager might give
that will suggest that they're turned
off because of age
and you've got to listen to those cues
and basically deal with them right then
and there not by saying are you being
biased about my age
but it's i get the idea you have a
concern about
and you put it on the table for them and
then you answer what you believe the
concern is sometimes they'll say no no
i'm not concerned about that but you
just mentioned such and such so i just
want to address that and usually the
question is
number one the person doesn't project
and thus
the individual doesn't look like they
fit in number two is they don't dress
particularly well they dress 15 years
behind the times
and it's a younger staff and the manager
it's a bunch of nonsense but it all
starts off with understanding what firms
look for i'm going to go back to my
previous answer they ultimately want to
trust the person that they hire to can
so ageism takes a lot of forms and this
is where i was going to start off this
show and to say
if you think ageism is only
an issue related to people our age and
i'm not exactly 24 anymore
22 year olds 24 year olds younger
professionals experience even more than
older ones
don't believe me american psychological
association collected data
younger professionals deal with ageism
far more than older professionals
younger professionals are more likely to
get hired
and having been lied to about
opportunities but older professionals
don't get hired that's the concern
the reason you don't get hired is you
don't make a connection with the person
who's interviewing you so that has to be
your focus not just simply reciting
connecting with the person
and if they say something that smacks of
concern about whether you fit in
whether you whether you will usurp them
they're a 35 year old manager and you're
in my case 70 year old interviewing for
a job
you got to put it on the table and say
look i've been in your seat i understand
what it's like
the emotional pressures i don't want
your job
i'm willing to be a resource for you and
i'm wanting to do this staff level job
because this is your time not mine
i want to support you being successful
blah blah blah blah blah and that's your
best way to do it is to talk with them
which leads to the question that the
subject i want to deal with earlier and
that is as older professionals
one of your jobs
is to coach and mentor younger
professionals you're not going to be in
the workforce much longer
whether it's through retirement the
death you've got a shelf life to you
what you know
and who you are
has a much longer shelf life to it
and the more you open up to people
the more you
give of yourself
not by telling people what to do
but by sharing stories and say hey look
it's your decision
not mine this is what happened to me
some years ago
circumstances may be different right now
offer advice if asked for it
offer to give advice when asked for
and develop the relationship
with younger professionals that they
crave and they do crave it
one of the things that annoys younger
professionals is that folks like us
putting myself in the older realm
are in the way of their success so they
but if you can support them in being
successful you will help them a lot
and you are more likely to be valued
institutionally and less likely to get
pushed out the door
work with the younger pros to help them
learn and grow so that you're not pushed
out that you have a value beyond simply
delivering on the job
that you can do things beyond that to
coach and mentor
so that in this way
well they like you and they want to keep
you around and that becomes another way
you get through the clicks in
organizations because often
people are generationally siloed
younger workers stay with younger
workers older workers stay with older
workers the twain doesn't meet
be the bridge
be the conduit for information being
passed between older and younger and
younger and older
what should i do if i sent a resume with
the wrong date on one of the positions i
just got back from an interviewer an
interview and the interviewers asked for
you message them back
and you say to them this
i just reviewed dates i made a mistake i
just want you to notice before anything
happens you think i did did this
it's a long time ago i put the wrong
dates in or i had a brain cramp
and put the wrong date in and i want to
correct it it wasn't may it was february
i joined that organization or conversely
or i left in in february it wasn't may
well what did you do between february
and may and then you tell them
and if there's a gap there's a gap
but your job is to be forthcoming
because unfortunately if they find out
post employment
that you lied on an application
because that's always the critical thing
the application
where you worked and when you work there
it's grounds for termination so you got
to bring this to the table uh so that
you can do it by email or phone makes no
difference or you can send them a text
that that's the way you've been
communicating with them
don't let it sit
because you'll wind up getting hurt
is it easier for an employer to choose
the best candidate for a job when a team
of interviewers screens them
or when one-on-one
when a one-on-one interviewer the
interview is done and why
i can't tell
whether or not you're asking about
staff interviews here
or whether you're asking whether the
manager is going to do a one on one
so i'm going to deal with this on the
basis of
team interviews versus
individual staff members doing
one-on-one interviews
none of them work
they are not told what it is you're
really looking for
and how you'd like them to evaluate for
them for it
usually what happens is a lot of
interviews are done on the basis of a
uh it feels like this is a good question
i should ask they ask the question
and the result winds up being that
you know there's no standard
questions asked
no way of objectively comparing one
person to another at least for basic
information so unless you address the
what i want you to screen for questions
maybe review what it is
you want them to ask
neither format makes a difference
because ultimately
the staff is going to evaluate on the
basis of whim i think they're a little
too light well how did you come to that
decision well i asked them about this
obscure fact in the textbook and they
didn't know the answer but this person
well they're 15 years younger they just
read the textbook
that happens way too often
standardized questioning is the baseline
to confirm that someone has a background
that's appropriate for the role is the
launch point to everything
then from there what you want to do
have them take it a level deeper whether
it's one-on-one or group makes no
you want the interviewers to not just
evaluate for competence
you want them to trust that this is a
person that they're willing to go into
the bunker with uh if times got tough
that they would trust them
to do a great job if suddenly there was
a crisis
that would take place
what are some reasons that a potential
hiring manager would keep delaying their
hiring decision
well the basic one is
they're not ready to make a decision
because they haven't fully bought into
i remember
a friend of mine who wrote a
relationship book
and he's a guy talking to women
and the women were wondering why it is
they don't hear back
they've been going out for a while
and i'm not hearing back from him and
his answer was he's just not that into
well that's part of it here too you
haven't made them fully fall in love and
thus they're not willing to drop down on
one knee and propose marriage
so you've got to understand
your job is to connect with people so
that they trust you
and thus they're delaying the decision
because they don't fully trust that
you're the solution to their problem
they don't like you personally or
they've gotten negative feedback that
they're not ready to resolve yet there
may be budgetary concerns
they may be busy you know it's that's
the simplest one
they may be too busy to make a choice
and they're going to get to it when they
get to it and there are a couple of
other things but ultimately it comes
down to
they're delaying because they're not
just like in marriage
when you're not ready
there's no marriage proposal right
when you're ready there is one
they're just not ready to get married to
how do you know you're on the right path
to your purpose in life
well the answer starts off with number
one is if you're answering the question
you're not
doing purposeful work
you're not on the right path
let's just concede that point if you
don't know
you're not on that path
because when you know
you know when you're on that path
so there are things that you can be
doing that will help you
i just did an interview and released it
earlier today
with ken coleman
and he talks about from paycheck to
purpose that's the title of his new book
and you can watch the interview
on my youtube channel
i've released it into linkedin
it's a 30 some odd minute interview so
it's not
uploaded but if you come to my profile
on linkedin forward slash i
n forward slash the big game
look at my activity i'm sure you'll find
it there as something that i've
shared a link to on youtube
but i've got a lot of content on youtube
and in my website the big game
that can help you identify some of the
things that would feel purposeful to you
you may have to get qualified for it so
that in this way
you know you can't just decide oh i
would like to be a poet and you've never
written a line of poetry before perhaps
there are things you need to learn about
being a poet before you fully commit
yourself to it
so again
once you ask the question you're telling
me you don't know
and you may know but are afraid to take
start taking action start looking at
things start investigating
research like i said at the big game
hundred us there's stuff there about
changing careers on linkedin you can get
my interview with ken coleman
on my
profile page
which is forward slash i n
forward slash the big game hunter then
scroll down to activity you'll be able
to locate it there
so that in this way you can start
exploring some things
um i've been looking for a better job
for some time now and something seems to
fall short at the interview i have no
problem getting interviews i receive
compliments on my resume all the time
but i'm not getting hired
what am i doing wrong as the implied
question and the answer may start off
with well you know you don't interview
as well as you hope you do
and thus
start off with learning how to interview
i have a course called the ultimate job
interview framework
you can
go to the link for it at
forward slash interviews
and order the course udemy has it very
inexpensively priced there
and i would order that course and learn
how to interview better
but ultimately you're not inspiring
confidence that you're the solution to a
problem that they have
you need to get better
and i know my course will help you a lot
in getting better
but that's going to require work on your
part in order to get to that point
you've got to practice
how to interview well
and not just walking into the interview
and winging it
can an employer fire you for a
background check after you pass the
probationary period
because there's something wrong that
they found out
maybe you lied about your dates
there's something else they found out an
arrest the conviction prison time that
you didn't reveal
yes they can fire you especially in at
will states so that in
you know yes they can do that
lon welcome
what process do you recommend to dial
your resume into a particular job or job
thank you i love that question
this is really very easy to me
so number one
what you do excuse me my my fingers are
a little stiff here
the first thing you do is job
description resume
do you have the right background for
this job for real or is this
aspirational so i'm going to assume you
have the right background
look at how the job is described what
terms that they do they use to reflect
responsibilities use their language and
tweak your resume to use their language
in your cover letter and i don't i want
to make sure when you hear a cover
letter you don't think about a separate
in your cover letter you might just
simply write you know i'm forwarding my
resume to you for the position i saw
advertised or based upon the
recommendation that jeff gave me for the
let me walk through my background and
show you how i match up from what i
understand now if you have the job
description it's always easier
flush left you put the skill that
they're looking for in the functionality
flush right how long and how recently
you perform that function
or use that skill
this way
they can see at a glance and make it the
body of your email with the resume
attached so they can see at a glance how
you fit if this is uploading it to an
ats and by the way try to avoid doing
that and networking to someone who can
introduce you to the hiring manager but
if you can't pull it off
make it page one of your resume because
what that does is make the cover letter
page one on the resume page two page one
of the resume has all the terms in it
that they're looking for in the job
the earlier you place these terms in
your resume
the more the applicant tracking system
believes that you have the background
after all if it's on page four the
system goes
it becomes an issue for them
remember stuff the resume with their
language i'm not talking about repeating
it stupidly
but use it well so that they get that
you fit the job and make sure it's
loaded in earlier in the
resume sam says i understand that
because you're an employee at will you
can be fired at any time for no reason
well you know
you can't be fired for discriminatory
that is an obvious exception
if you can prove bias
if you can prove harassment
and other things like that
they can fire
they can't legally fire you and you have
a reason to take legal action
there are other factors that come into
play i always say
you know consult with an attorney who
knows something in this area so that in
this way
you know i'm not an attorney i just
worked in search for what felt like a
hundred years
so at will translates into they can do
it whenever they like
there are other provisions so if it's a
mass layoff
there are laws in effect about how an
organization conducts a mass layoff so
they have to provide notice to the
federal government and the employees
i've i want to say 60 days in advance
but again i don't remember
what it is you can probably do a search
about mass layoff
mass layoffs and
notice period they have to notice notify
the federal government as well there's
other provisions in there that i don't
know anymore
so sam you've got some work to do
around that and it's all locatable on
the web
two more questions
how do you deal with it if you keep
getting fired or let go due to office
i think you're using office politics as
an excuse
because i can accept this one time
but i can't accept it
as keep getting fired
as though it's on multiple occasions
there's something that you're doing
that's causing you to get rejected
maybe you don't do work as well as you
think you do
maybe you're behaviorally obnoxious to
the other people there
when i hear keep getting fired there's
something more than just simply office
politics office politics to me is two
people have a disagreement about how
something should be done and they choose
the other person's
not that people get fired
because of office politics
time to look in the mirror folk
male female i don't know if it's guy gal
but time to look in the mirror for your
part of this and stop pointing a finger
in others
i answered this one can an employer fire
you for a background check after you
pass the probationary period
uh i thought i answered this earlier and
the answer is yes they could fire you
and i'm not going to repeat by ah yes i
did answer
two questions before my apologies for
the repetition
uh i'll simply say if you have a
question for me
email me before friday
at the big game hunter at in
the subject line put the phrase office
hours this way i know what it's about
and i have a way of preparing in advance
of the show
visit my website
i've got a ton of free information on
the blog that will help you with your
job search with hiring better management
leadership resolving workplace issues
while you're at the site i also have
courses that are available that you can
that will help you in a variety of ways
there's a drop down to the courses
follow that
it will help a lot of you with
answering interview questions and so
much more as well as starting a new job
there's information there about how to
how to start into a new role effectively
and if this isn't your time to do it if
you're not ready just put the website
address in your phone again that's and my name jeff
altman this way you can circle back to
it at a time when you need it
lastly connect with me on linkedin at forward slash i n forward
slash the big game hunter mention that
you saw career coach office hours some
of my content on youtube which is
you know takes you to my youtube
channel or you can listen to my podcast
no bs job search advice radio number one
in apple podcast for job search more
than 2200 episodes that will help you
with your search
saturday where i normally don't do a
show i think i'm going to bring
something out for what is my 11th
anniversary 11 years of podcasting no bs
job search advice radio
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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Connect with me on LinkedIn Mention you listen to the podcast or watch my YouTube channel.

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Watch my videos on YouTube at, the Job Search TV app for Roku, fireTV or a firestick or for Apple TV, and 90+ smart tv’s.

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