Career Coach Office Hours: September 30 2022

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
I answered questions about job search, hiring staff, management, career transition, as well as workplace issues. Join me at 1 PM Eastern on Tuesdays and Fridays on LinkedIn or YouTube ( channel). You can also message me on Linkedin before the show and I will answer it, too.

Ask This Question After They Ask You About Your Weaknesses


Why do employers and in particular, employment agencies lie about jobs which they advertise and turn out not to exist or claim the post has been filled? Although the ad or the internet was only created in the last 24 hours? I worked in recruiting for a long time. So you may say I’m one of those employment agencies or was part of one of those employment agencies. And I tried hard to keep up to date on the jobs I had posted in one place or another but sometimes forgot to take them down. The reason it shows it was only posted in the last 24 hours is that the site itself may have reposted it and their systems, as happened on a couple of sites I was involved with, their system just displays the most recent posting because if they want it to look fresher. Now, yes, I’m sure there are some agencies that lie. But there’s not really a lot in it for them. After all, all they’ve got is your resume.  They’re not gonna make any money from it. You’re just another piece of data in their system. And, frankly, data these days is less important than the way it used to be. You see, everyone has this database of millions of people from around the world called LinkedIn. And with a LinkedIn recruiter account, they can search the entire database globally. They can message you through the system. They can find out a lot about you. They can call you on the phone. There really isn’t the same benefit tojob search doing that kind of stuff like you think there is. I tend to think of it most of the time as being a mistake. And every once in a while, I’m sure there’s some jerk that does it intentionally. I will also say, you make mistakes, don’t you? So it’s just not what it once was. And as a result, you know, these “claims,” that’s a charged word. They say the post has been filled, although the ad or the internet says it was only created in the last 24 hours . . .  I think I’ve addressed that already. And take out the word claim, you don’t know. You’re assuming nefarious intent on their part. But what do they get out of that ‘nefarious intent?’ Seriously, they’re not profiting from it. Again, you’re another piece of data in their system, and they have access to it already on LinkedIn. So what’s the point? So I don’t think it’s quite what you think it is, quite obviously.



I had a recent interview with a talent team at a firm. The opening ended up being for the level below me, but they have had zero applicants in four weeks. Should I apply for the position, even though it’s a lower level below? Now, with ‘lower level below,’ that also means the money is probably less. As a result, I wouldn’t necessarily apply right away without knowing what they’re paying for that position. So you may discover that the job is still open, but so what? It’s going to pay $20,000 less than what you’re making now. Would you take a job for $20,000. less? No.  I’m sure your name is not on the list of Fortune or Forbes wealthiest people in the world today and money has a meaning for you. So normally, when positions are for a level lower, they pay less. Verify that and you might just send a message to the person in HR or to the hiring manager, whoever it is who arranged for the last conversation, and say, ‘I saw the position was still open for what LinkedIn is reporting, no one’s applied. So I’m just curious. Is that true? Are you still looking for people? What’s the range for the position?’ And what you’ll get is the most important piece of information– the pay range– and thus be able to make an intelligent decision about whether you actually would be interested. 

The Missing Ingredient in Your Interviews (Branding, Resumes, Networking)


Why would an employer want to replace a manager? Hmm. Why would they want to replace a manager? Well, the manager isn’t getting results, the manager may be costing them too much money for the results that they’re getting. They may have had a complaint about the person and as a result, they need to replace that person because they’re going to get sued because of sexual harassment. A number of different things. So why would they want to replace a manager? Normally it’s about results or lack thereof. It’s not about complaints from staff because often, senior people like the fact that staff is complaining. It means in their thinking, not always true, of course, that this person is pushing hard for results. But that normally isn’t the case. Normally its they’re not getting results, and they need to replace this person or want to replace this person.



I feel bad for lying on a resume to get a job and I’m tempted to do it again. I can’t endorse that. And I will say, to me, the issue in my thinking is many firms do background checks, and they’re going to catch you in the lie. Now, I don’t know what industry you’re in. I don’t know the work that you do. There are some industries where no one really cares. You know, like, if you, if you were a waitress, for example, and you were applying for a job, and you lied on your resume, they’re not doing a reference check. They’re not doing background checks very often.  Every once in a while, a firm does, but not very often because they’re so desperate for staff. As a result, you know, you’re tempted to do it again, I can’t endorse it because if they catch you in the lie, it’s grounds for termination. And then you’re in the situation where you have to explain to people why you got fired. And it’s a horrible position to be in. You know, when I did recruiting, one of the worst situations I had to deal with, was getting the call from one of my clients saying, ‘We caught her, we caught him, lying on their application. They said they worked here. They never have. We’re going to let them go. And we want you to tell them.’ ”Why do I have to tell them? And it was part of my job. I’ll just simply say, try not to do that. Get yourself interviews. Go out there and network. You’ll get results.  You won’t have to have to make a regrettable mistake, lying on your resume  ‘to get in the door someplace, and risk being fired at any point that they discover the lie.



Why is marketing myself to employers so difficult? Well, for most people, they don’t know how to do it. Now they’re spamming resumes to the Western Hemisphere, the eastern hemisphere, ignore that. They’re just spamming resumes out gratuitously and they’re not getting results. And they know they’re frustrated. So I’ll just simply say, Why is it so hard? Well, because you’re not doing it the right way. What’s the right way? Marketing yourself to employers involves talking to people who you know, like, trust, and respect. And conversely, they know, like, trust, and respect you as well, looking for recommendations looking for introductions, and trying to get entree to organizations that you’d be interested in working for in roles that you’d like to work in. That’s a trick in and of itself. So you ideally want to know people in organizations who would be interested in the kind of work that you do in order to get those introductions so that you have a chance of being hired there. Good luck.



How soon would you introduce major changes as a newly employed manager in an organization? The question depends upon whether you’ve been hired to make changes, and you have a directive to make changes, and what you’ve been told the expectations are of your management for you to make those changes. Under most circumstances, where that’s not the case, where you’re observing problems with staff, poor performance, better ways to introduce ideas, indian woman I’d wait a little bit and observe and not do anything rash meaning ‘hey, it’s my first day here. Let me just shake things up.’ No. Notice what works and what doesn’t work. Meet with your people. Ask them about what they see works and doesn’t work as well. Get their input. And think about it for a little bit. Don’t just accept what your staff says at face value, because sometimes they’re wrong. And they think that what they think is important. It’s about you and your performance. You have people get to know you, like you, trust you, respect you. And then you can go out and make changes more readily than just instantly diving in day two. ‘This is where we’re going to do it. Now. I want you to put your right foot over your head behind your head, around your neck–” not going to happen. So I’ll just simply say, give it a little time unless management has directed you to make changes upon joining, in which case, I’d meet with everyone on day two, and let them know I’ve been brought on to shake things up. And, you know, this is not my decision. Management has brought me in to do this. And that’s what I’m going to do.

How to Answer “How Much Are You Looking For?”


How important is it for employers to see how much you want the job? I hate questions or situations like that. How important is it? I don’t know how to answer how important. It’s a tiebreaker for a lot of firms. If you’re not qualified, you’re not going to get hired. So let’s get that out of the way. Unless you have a close personal relationship with the hiring manager, in which case you’re being hired because of that relationship, not because of your ability to affect change. But how important is it for them to see that you want the job… I would just simply as the last thing I would say to the hiring manager before the conversation ended, whether in person over zoom, or by phone, and only if it’s true, ‘I just want you to know how interested I am in this role. And I look forward to hearing from you back next steps or maybe even or maybe even an offer.’ And what that does is signal your interest. You’re not acting desperate, because firms do not like desperate people any more than people who are dating, like desperate people. So um, put yourself in that position. Always be a little bit cool and a little hard to get, you know, like in dating in the US a little hard to get draws the other person. So try that instead of ‘I really want the job.’ No one likes people who are begging Seriously, no one likes them.



How long should an interview take for an experienced candidate? As long as necessary for them to evaluate and assess you and  determine you’re either qualified or not qualified. That’s what it comes down to. We don’t know what type of experience you have. An experienced candidate? Like are you a CFO, a CEO, a CTO? Are you the chairman of an organization? Trust me, those are going to be longer interviews than when you’re probably complaining about because they’re going to have you meet board members. They’re going to have you meet the president, the chairman, they’re going to have you meet a lot of different people. And how long should it take? As long as it takes for them to come to a decision to determine whether you’re qualified or not and whether you are a finalist contestant in this game show, and they want to bring you on board. So no, simple answer that question. I wish there was. But there is.



How many phone interviews are normal before one on one interviews for jobs? So if I’m understanding correctly, how many phone interviews are they going to give you before they invite you for an in-person interview? Well, a lot of firms try and do as much as possible by phone or by video to save everyone a lot of time. After all, if they decided in 10 minutes, you’re not qualified, they don’t feel committed to a half hour conversation with you. They can just send you on your merry way pretty quickly because they’ve determined you’re not qualified. How many phone interviews? As many as they need. If you’re an SVP level, they’re going to ‘date’ you a lot before they try and marry you. If you’re in the C suite, they’re gonna try dating you a lot before they decide to marry you. So the simple answer to your question? Typical is a screener, translated a recruiter, from their organization, you probably will have already spoken with a recruiter from an external organization. The internal recruiter will speak with someone within their organization to present a case for why they should meet you. If they’re not successful with that case, they’ll reject you. If they are successful, you’ll meet with them in person. And then from there, it’s up in the air because different organizations want to do different things before hiring someone. .



What do you think about reports that CEOs of companies are getting tougher on employees as the economy slows down? Well, I haven’t seen those reports. But some employers get scared and in getting scared, you know, they get a little crazy. And thus, in doing that, they’re acting out of their fear. So I’ll just simply say, you heard about reports that CEOs are getting tougher on employees. Well, if the board is getting tough on them, then they’re going to kind of play like … I don’t know if you ever heard the joke about the person who is yelled at by their boss at work. So they start taking the train home and they yell at the conductor. The conductor gets off the train, and they yell at someone at the supermarket where they’re shopping for dinner. They get home, they start yelling at their wife. They start yelling at their husband, they started yelling at their partner, they start yelling at everyone. And then that person turns around and kicks the cat and the cat looks up and goes ‘What do I do?’ Well, if you follow that situation, you’re the last one in the sequence there. As a result, you wind up bearing the brunt of everyone’s bad mood. So I don’t know anything that’s specifically about this. It may be the case. It may not be the case. Don’t believe everything korean man you read or hear about such things. It doesn’t really help you at all.

The Big Career Management Lessons from The Shawshank Redemption


Does marketing that you’re open to working with new employers on LinkedIn make you less desirable to them? So I’m laughing here, because many years ago, when firms would advertise in newspapers and magazines, there was no online market. That’s how back far back I go. Firms would run ads. And people like me could not afford the ads in the Sunday New York Times, which was one of the most expensive mediums for finding people imaginable. I forget what it was like and what it cost them in the 1980s. But it was not $5 a column inch online. It was a lot more than that. And the result was when you mark that you’re open for work, you’re sending a signal that you’re available. Now, when in the old days, as I was trying to say, with these firms that advertised, the impact upon you was there were people like me and I created a campaign that others picked up on, and it’s still used today. It’s the notion that, you know, I find the best person available. I don’t find the best person who reads the Sunday New York Times in the financial section, or the job listings in the city. I find the best person available, because I aggressively go out and find them. I’m not sitting around waiting for them to apply. Those people you can get on your own without me. All you have to do is advertise. They’re going to reply to everything. Not the way you want to present yourself. So from the standpoint of does it disadvantage you, with some firms? It will. With some firms it will. With some firms, they’re not bright enough to care. So I’ll just simply say, you’re signaling that you’re available for work. For some recruiters, that makes you less desirable. Absolutely true. The smart ones, it has no impact on. What they’re going to do is evaluate you for your knowledge and capabilities, and then make decisions.


Why Do They Want My Pay Stubs?


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, 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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