We Prepare a Personalized Submittal Note to Client On Your Behalf

Candidates often complain that their resume goes into a black hole when they submit their resume to a company website. Or they have sent an InMail to a manager on LinkedIn about an opening they had recently applied for. You don’t even get the courtesy of an InMail response. You wonder, did anybody read my resume?

If you’ve experienced either of those situations, you’ll understand why we prepare a personalize candidate submission along with your resume. We aim to sell the Hiring Authority that you are a very good fit for the position.

When we first discuss a job opening with a candidate, we ask them to review the company website and job requirements and send us back a paragraph detailing how they think their experience compares with the job requirements. It sets the stage for a more sustentative conversation about the opportunity as we compare their past performance to the requirements and objectives in the position.

In our submittal statement, we point out why we think the candidate is worthy of consideration. We give our impression of the candidate. We point out their strengths and weaknesses and their personal traits. We tell them why they impressed us. We even point out where the candidate falls short of the requirements. We want to whet their appetite to review to review your resume and set up a telephone interview or better yet, an in-person interview.

Our candidate submittal seeks to address:

· Our impression of the candidate

· Why we think they are a good cultural fit

· Relevant skills, experience, and education

· Reference comments

· Minimum salary considerations

· Availability for an interview

· Availability to start a new position

Example: Please review Mr. Jerry White for the Business Development Executive position with COMPANY. Jerry was highly recommended to us from one of our former placements who raved about his selling skills and warm personality. Jerry is currently selling successfully for COMPANY X, a European based company focused on digital transformation, Cloud Infrastructure, and custom architected solutions. COMPANY X is very much a newcomer in the United States, although it is a very well-regarded firm in Europe. They have been here in the US for the past 2 1/2 years.

Jerry has 10 years’ experience selling and marketing information technology solutions for a variety of financial industry firms - banking, brokerage, insurance, hedge funds, and private equity. He has sold in all the major financial centers in the US and Canada from his home office in NYC. He is a hunter by nature and has held both hunting and farming roles. His previous employment with COMPANY Y and COMPANY Z gave him a solid exposure and understanding of the financial industry and its challenges here in the US and around the world. COMPANY Y is a financial industry consulting firm. He was there from 2013-2018, which gave him a good understanding of consultative selling.

Inquisitive by nature, He enjoys doing his own research and sourcing. He often attends conventions and industry trade shows. He has an outstanding personality, very positive and engaging nature. He is bilingual (Spanish - English). He’s a competitive person and natural leader - former marine officer and long-distance runner.

He is looking for a minimum base of $150K with an opportunity to earn a commission. The ability to increase his earnings is attractive to him. Travel is a non-issue. We would have to increase his current base pay of $150K, but there is room for negotiation. Our expectation is that he would be able to target possible clients for COMPANY quickly. He is available later this week for an initial phone call and is available to start after submitting his two weeks’ notice.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Warm regards,


Candidate Submittal Note

Candidate Submittal Note

Employers Expand Benefits to Lure Talent

Employers Expand Benefits to Lure Talent:  Express Employment Professionals
Daily News, July 11, 2018
Businesses are expanding benefits as the competition for workers intensifies, according to an Express Employment Professionals survey of business leaders released today.
Respondents were asked, “What benefits, not including healthcare, does your company offer employees?”
Responses included the following: 
*Casual dress code:  16%
*Access to training/certification classes:  14%
*Flexible work schedule:  9.5%
*College tuition reimbursement:  8%
*Professional organization memberships:  8%
*Community service/volunteer opportunities:  7%
*Profit sharing/stock options:  7%
*Opportunities to work from home/remotely:  6%
*Cafeteria programs:  6%
*Company gym/membership discount at a local gym:  5.5%
*Generous/unlimited vacation time:  4%
*Opportunities to travel:  4%
*Child care:  0.5%
“It’s a job seeker’s economy, and that means employers have greater incentive to provide additional benefits, especially if they are already offering competitive wages,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said.  “Flexibility seems to be the priority for today’s employees, and benefits that help provide that flexibility — from days off and remote work to child care or continued learning — are likely to be well-received.”
The survey of business leaders was fielded in April and included 739 participants.


People Are Open to Considering a Job Change for a number of reasons; Benefits, Flexibility Among Them, according to Yoh Report April 2018

Only 15% of employed Americans said they would not leave their current job for any reason, indicating that a significant majority of people are open to a job change if the right offer came along, according to a survey released today by Yoh.  And when excluding a pay increase, employed Americans cited better benefits and a flexible work environment as the top reasons they would consider other job offers.
“As a specialized recruiting company, we see this first-hand every day,” Yoh President Emmett McGrath said.  “Those with top skills have choices, and these findings indicate that benefits and workplace flexibility offerings should be clear and compelling when speaking with a prospective candidate about a position.  It is absolutely critical that recruiters identify early in the process each job seeker’s desires when considering a new role, and pair them with opportunities that fit their specific career and lifestyle needs.”
Employed Americans may be more open to a job that’s further from home but offers remote work capabilities, the research found.  42% of the employed Americans surveyed said they would switch jobs for a flexible work environment, while only 24% would switch for a better commute. 
A few years ago, many companies began offering interesting perks like onsite gyms, daycare services, dry-cleaning, onsite baristas and more to keep employees engaged and content.  However, the survey found 73% of those surveyed would not leave their current job for a job that offers those types of perks, while 50% would leave for a job that offers better traditional benefits like retirement options, healthcare options, and vacation time.
Additional findings include:
*A larger proportion of employed women than men would consider leaving their current job for a flexible work environment, 44% vs. 39%, and a higher-level position may be more important for employed men as they are more likely to cite leaving for this reason than women at 40% vs. 30%.
*The least common reasons employed Americans said they would consider a job change were for a better commute, at 24%, and more perks such as onsite gyms, daycare, or dry cleaning, at 27%.
*Employed millennials ages 18 to 34 are more likely to report they would leave a current job for “a field of work I’m more interested in” than those aged 45-plus, at 43% vs. 24%.
*Of all age groups, those ages 35 to 44 had the highest proportion of employed Americans, 57%, indicate better benefits as a reason they would leave their current job for a new one.
The online survey of 816 employed US adults was conducted within the US by The Harris Poll on behalf of Braithwaite from March 27 to March 29, 2018.


Ground Hog Day

Today is February 2, better known as Ground Hog Day.  Tradition holds that when a groundhog emerges from its den and doesn't see its shadow, spring is not far away.  If it is sunny, the groundhog will see its shadow and return to its den, and winter weather will continue.  Since he didn't see his shadow today, we can begin to focus our attention on the upcoming warmer days.

Spring is great for road trips, bike rides, cleaning out clutter, etc., but it's also can be a time of renewal for your career.  It's a great time to take stock of where you are in your career.  Are things going the way you have planned?  Are you feeling valued and are you receiving training, support, and challenging opportunities?  Have those raises been rewarding?  Did you receive a bonus last year?  If not, spring is a great time to update your resume and your social profiles as there are many great opportunities out there for you to consider.

Even if things are okay in your present position, it’s a good practice to always have an updated copy of your resume on hand (you will be ready when opportunity knocks) If you are actively looking for a job, you really should prepare several versions of your resume ready to go for a variety of jobs that you are interested in. While there are many steps in getting a great job, it begins with a career assessment, a polished and prepared, and your first in-person interview. 

We are seeing a lot of new activity in the areas of sales and marketing, information technology, architecture/engineering, and management consulting.  Contact us today and let's discuss your next career move.

Honoring Those Who Served Our Country

Today is Veterans Day and we join in celebrating each and every one of you that have served this country. We are all free to go to our jobs and businesses today because of the sacrifices made by Veterans and their families.  The American military is our defender of freedom here in the US and around the world.  It's not just a collection of Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force branches, it's made up of the people that serve.  

Whether you were drafted many years ago or you volunteered, it was not an easy decision. Sacrifices were made not only by the one serving but from his or her family as well. We would not be the country we are today without those people and those sacrifices.

That is why in offices around the country today we should set aside time today to honor them.

For those who have served, thank you and enjoy your day with your families.


Technical Worker Numbers Continue to Grow

Lately, we have been noticing a growing trend.  Contract job orders are increasing.  Technical hiring managers are telling us that they are having trouble meeting project deadlines and they are reaching out to us for qualified technical professionals to meet short-term needs.  Temporary employees have historically been hired to assist employers to meet business demands yet allow the employer to avoid the cost of hiring a permanent employee. Often, it is the expectation of the employer that if the temporary employee is successful, the temporary employee will be hired.

Recently, the number of IT workers grew at a pace faster than the national jobs rate, and better than many other sectors, including healthcare.  Temp, however, grew faster than all but two other sectors tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT and engineering staffing industry, reports IT employment grew 3.2% from June 2013 to June 2014, adding 144,200 workers. The Alliance says there were 4,664,800 IT jobs as of last month.

Engineering jobs also increased, the Tech Alliance said, but at a slower pace. From June to June, engineering jobs increased 1.8% to 2,506,300.

Nationally, the economy added 2.495 million jobs since June 2013, a growth rate of 1.83% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Private sector jobs increased 2.13%.

On a percentage basis, temp employment was among the fastest growing sectors tracked by the BLS. Ranking third, temp workers increased 216,000 to 2.87 million in June 2014, for an 8.4% increase.

The fastest growing sector — and at 209,200 workers, one of the smallest — was the “Other information services” category. Composed mostly of news syndicates, libraries, archives, exclusive Internet publishing and/or broadcasting, and web search portals, according to the BLS, the subsector grew 8.45% on a year-over-year basis.

Residential construction, which went from 610,000 jobs in June 2013 to 660,600 in June 2014 grew at a 8.3% rate.

Spring is a Great Time to Update Your Skills

The dictionary says that Spring (when used as a verb) means to rise, leap, move, or act suddenly and swiftly, as by a sudden dart or thrust forward or outward, or being suddenly released from a coiled or constrained position: to spring into the air; a tiger about to spring.  As an adjective it says spring is a season pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable for the season of spring: spring flowers. We also consider spring a season.  It’s a season of growth and renewal.  Just as bulb or root grows from a seed or germ, they eventually grow into plants, flowers, or trees.


Have you recently been laid off or do you sense a layoff coming?  Are you a passive job seeker frustrated with the slow pace of your search?  If you've been out of work for a while and finding it tough getting back into the work force or just beginning your search, spring is a great time to sharpen or update our professional skills. How long has it been since you’ve finished school, taken a course, or attended a training class? What books have you read?  What seminars or online classes have you attended?  Have you considered attending a class at a local Community College?  College graduates earn on average more money than workers who only have a high school diploma and graduates with a Master’s degree earn many more times than high school graduates. Candidates that have additional coursework and professional certifications more desirable than those that just say they are interested in learning and advanced skills training.


Earning more money is reason enough to sharpen your skills but there are many other benefits to continuing your education. It is well worth the investment.  Approach your education as a sound business investment. Make that investment and you will soon see a return throughout your career. After all, it's important to ensure that your knowledge and skills are up-to-date with the changes affecting your industry so employers will continue to view you as a core asset. By continuing your education, you can acquire new skills and specializations that will allow you to become a more versatile employee and increase your long-term value.


Demonstrate to your boss that you are committed to your career by asking for additional training, webinars, or seminars that you can attend.  By investing time and money in continuing your education, you will send a powerful message to employers that you are serious about improving your education and applying new skills to your job. Employers are more likely to hire and retain professionals who show the desire and commitment for lifelong learning, and many even provide tuition reimbursement as added encouragement.


If you are considering switching careers, one of the best ways to learn more about a potential field is through a degree program or by taking related courses. By continuing your education, it can help you better understand what the new career would entail and how to apply your current skill set in the new position. It is best to “test the waters” before jumping into a new career to make sure you are making the right decision.  You can even pursue an online program if you’re working full-time and you need flexibility. 


So, take time out this spring to sharpen your skills.  The benefits gained by continuing education will help you to improve your skill sets, achieve career advancements and add enrichment to your life.

Do You Procrastinate Putting Your Resume Together?

Do You Procrastinate Putting Your Resume Together?


Putting a resume together or just updating an old one can be daunting for many candidates.  What is it about writing a resume that gets some of us apprehensive and uneasy?  Do you find it hard to put your resume together?  Do you start from scratch or do you go to your hard drive and pull up your old one?  Many candidates simply grab a file and write a paragraph about their most recent responsibilities.  A few weeks ago I called someone I knew about a job that I thought would be perfect for them but a week later I was still waiting for their resume.  Why the procrastination?  When it finally arrived, he said it wasn't very good and wanted to know what I thought of it.  After reviewing it, I could tell quickly that he slapped a paragraph in there and hadn't given it a lot of thought.  It did not make a strong impression and I told him so.

We hear from people all the time about how difficult resumes are to write.  When they finish, they are usually not satisfied with it.  Some good questions to ask: Are you satisfied with what it says about you and are your accomplishments highlighted?  Does it tell the reader what you are passionate about? Is it grammatically correct and have you spell-checked?   In this challenging job market you must have a resume that generates interest in having you in for an interview.

There are thousands of consultants, trainers, and paid websites out there to help you write a solid professional resume.  But, will it be targeted to the appropriate job?  While I'm all for seeking advice, an effective resume should be targeted to the job you are applying for.  I look at resumes every day.  Each is different and tells a personal story.  Whether it's one page or multiple pages, a good resume details employment history and highlights your past responsibilities and accomplishments.  In a sense, it sets the stage for a good conversation in an interview setting. 

With on-line applications and social media, candidates ask whether their resume will make a difference.  In a competitive job market like the one we're in, an interesting, well written resume can make the difference between one candidate getting an interview over another.  You want the resume chosen to be yours.  Hiring managers and recruiters look at so many resumes that they make interview decisions quickly.  Managers have told me that every once in a while, a resume jumps up and speaks directly to them.  When it does, they'll read it completely through to the end.

So, what is the number one reason to have a great resume?  It's to get an interview!  Your resume is your calling card.  It tells the hiring manager that if you hire me, you'll get these same contributions and accomplishments.  It convinces the hiring manager that your past performance is indicative of your future performance and success.

A great resume targeted to a particular position will help to set up a great interview.  The hiring manager will anticipate meeting you in person and learning more about you.

  • It should provide current and accurate contact information (no silly email addresses please!)

  • It should highlight your professional profile and highlight your excellent writing skills - based on the fact that the resume is so well written

  • To provide professional references and background information

  • To help you articulate your objective, professional qualifications, and accomplishments

Next time you think about dusting off that old resume, stop!  Set some time aside to put your thoughts together and write a really good resume that “sells you” and excites the person reading it.

Do your Managers prefer interviewing passive candidates over active candidates?

We are asked all the time about whether we source passive or active candidates and what tools and tactics we use in reaching those candidates.  A popular term for recruiters is Purple Squirrel when asked to describe the hardest candidate to find.  And BTW, I did see one in Indiana last fall!

When you find a very strong candidate who does not have his/her resume on a job board, you look good to your client.  After all, I'm told all the time, "We don't need you to find resumes that are on the job boards".  We can do that ourselves! 

Some hiring managers have decided that candidates found on the job boards are not good or they are damaged in some way.  When I hear that I think to myself, I hope that they don't find themselves a victim of a layoff or an outsourcing effort because their resume will be in a job board database whether they like it or not.  Somehow we have to fight the perception that active candidates aren't as strong as passive candidates.  It simply is not the case.

We recruit both active and passive candidates.  Why?

We strive to get the very best candidate interested in your opening.  Why miss anyone?  Whether the candidate is active or passive, they will talk freely with us and probably not as freely with you. Just because you have a great opportunity (a very pressing opening), the candidate has needs and wants also.  Candidates need to be ready and prepared to leave their current job. Starting out fresh and evaluating a job opportunity takes the average passive candidate a lot of time to process it all.  Candidates tell me all the time that they have built a reputation and a group of friends at one place and it’s very hard to cut ties and leave.  A new job is not just a career move, it’s also a new commute and a new office to sit in.  There are lots of things to think about; from a daily routine, to the relationships you’ve made to the summer picnics and parties.  It's scary to think about leaving and starting all over.

Active candidates want a new routine, a new group of friends and relationships, and a new challenge.   They desperately want a new challenge.  They are eager to hear about a company's job opening so that they can have the opportunity to earn a good paycheck and contribute to solving new problems.

We focus on recruiting both active and passive candidates and I urge you to also.  When you do reach out to passive candidates, find out what motivates them because that is what will attract them to your opportunity.  It's not the money or a shorter commute.  All candidates want the same thing.  They want to work with great people, to be challenged every day, and be seen as a person of value to the organization.

If you struggle with balancing recruiting both active and passive candidates, give us a call so we work with you to map a strategy to target both effectively.

If you want to be hired, you must 'close' the sale.

If you want to be hired, you must 'close' the sale.

As a job seeker, you may view an interview as an interrogation or exchange of information.   It's neither.  Interviews are sales calls.  And, as any sales pro knows, you only get the sale by asking for it.  You aren't begging for a handout when you ask for a job.  You're offering prospective employers your experience and ability to contribute to their goals.  If employers need your skills - or if you can create the need - you'll get the job.

It may surprise you to learn employers like to hear candidates say "I'd like to work here."  Dick Stone, a recruiter for Gemplus, a SmartCard manufacturer in Montgomeryville, PA, says, "I like it when [candidates] give me the feeling they like us.  A little flattery goes a long way.   Often the missing part in the interview is the commitment from the candidate to the firm."   Sounds easy, but for most job hunters, it isn't.  Asking for the job in lieu of silently waiting for an offer is the hardest part.  This step is what sales people call "closing" the sale.

Anyone can learn to apply the tricks of the sales trade to a job interview and close a sale.  Following these nine steps will help you ask for the job - and get it.

1.   Prepare for the interview.
Learn what your prospect needs.  Research the employer, formally and informally.   If you're answering an advertisement, go beyond its sparse facts to learn as much as you can about the organization.  Determine which of your skills, traits or experiences the employer needs.  Then you can tailor your credentials to your research findings.

Plan your interview and rehearse your message.  This means converting your skills and experience into terms employers will immediately recognize as useful.  If you're confused about your benefit to the organization, the interviewer also will be confused and there won't be a job for you.   Make your presentation persuasive and believable.

2.   Learn about the interviewer.
When you enter the interview, start by learning everything you can about the interviewer.   Forget labels and generalizations that categorize personality types.   Concentrate on that particular individual.  Put yourself in his or her shoes.   Fear and greed are usually at work.

A recruiter is taking a risk in recommending a candidate.  The hiring manager is taking a bigger chance in choosing a candidate.  If they make the wrong choice, at minimum, time and money are wasted.   At worst, a bad choice could jeopardize the recruiter's or manager's job or even the success of the organization.  So it's up to you, the candidate, to show the decision to hire you will be a good one.  If you turn out to be as terrific as you say, you bring success not only to yourself but to the people who hired you.  Be positive and present good news.  Help the interviewer relax and see you as someone who's going to solve his problems.

3.  Use "consultative selling."
The type of selling that works best is called "consultative selling."  This isn't high-pressure selling.  There's an old saying in sales: "Telling ain't selling, asking is."  By asking the right questions, you help the employer come to the inevitable conclusion you're the right choice.  You identify the problems and show you’re the person to solve them.  You learn the organization's weaknesses and demonstrate how you can provide the solution.  This technique can create demand.   Many times, it leads to the employer exclaiming, "That's just what we need here!"

4.   Motivate yourself.
The desire to close - to ask for and get the offer - is essential.  It can be scary to be so bold.  Most job hunters aren't used to it, but it can be done with practice.   You just have to psyche yourself up.  Sell yourself first.  Expect success and think lucky, and you'll create desire from within.  Get rid of negative thoughts and problems before you enter the interview.  Be confident and courageous.   It takes audacity to ask for the job.

When Judith Gexlb of Lambertville, N.J., was seeking a job in international sales, she sold herself on the idea she was a hot candidate.  Next, she lined up interviews.  "'The fact that I was in demand made me more appealing to employers and precipitated offers," she says.   "They can smell when you're being sought after."  When she had two offers pending, she was up front about it.  "I made it clear I had two other offers. The employers got worried about the risk of losing a high-potential candidate," says Ms. Gelb.  "They quickly made offers.  I controlled my destiny."

Many salespeople take comfort in knowing they can't win them all.  And you'll encounter many employers who don't need your talents at this moment.  (To put it in salesman's terms, for example: I don't need a car right now. But I do need a computer, so it'll be hard to convince me to buy a car now. Maybe later. Unless you have a really good deal for me now.)  There's a 98% chance of being told "no."  However, you have a 2% chance of being told "yes."  By following these steps, you'll boost your chance for success.   The best thing to do is take a chance and try to close the deal.  The probability you'll hear "yes" will be higher than if you don't ask.

5.   Know when to close.
When should you try to close?  All the time.  Keep trying throughout the interview in small ways.  These are called "trial closings."  For example, when you learn the employer has a problem you've solved in your previous job, explain how you solved it.  Then ask, "Would this help you here?"  The answer will likely be "yes."  Do this whenever the opportunity arises.   Hearing "yes" along the way makes it easier and less frightening to ask for a "yes" when the time is right for the big one.

Close whenever the interviewer is ready.   Listen for signs of interest, look for body language and sense when there's an opportunity to close.  Then ask for the offer.  Some candidates talk so much during interviews that they talk themselves out of a job they've already landed.  Or worse, they keep selling after they've made the sale.  Then they're dead.   Listen and give the interviewer a chance to hire you.

Silence is an amazingly powerful tool in closing.  If you don't say anything, the interviewer may feel compelled to fill the void and tell you something vital.  Do this discretely.  Too many silences can be awkward.  Pace yourself with the interviewer.

6.   Try these closes.
There are many so-called "closes."  Several of them work particularly well in job interviews.

The choice close - This technique is useful when you are setting up an appointment for an interview.  Ask, "Is 9:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. better for you?"  This presupposes the interviewer will see you.  Just asking, "May I come in to see you?" may result in a "no" answer.  It also works when you're asking for the job: "When do I start, Monday or Wednesday?"  This may seem aggressive, but it shows you're ready and eager to work for that employer.

Third-party endorsements - When explaining an accomplishment that will help the prospective employer, mention the employer you did it for.  "At XYZ company, I..."  This gives you credibility and adds the strength of that employer's name to the story.  Then ask, "Will this help you solve your problem here, too?"

Assumptive close - This is one of the best closes.  You simply talk and act as if you're already working for the interviewer's organization.  Use "we" and "us" in your conversation.  Describe the situations in which you can see yourself working and accomplishing goals.  Become part of the team even before you've been hired. Identify with the interviewer and the organization.  When you follow this strategy, the employer feels more comfortable with you than if he or she has to make a deliberate decision to extend an offer.  When you assume you'll get the job, the only question remaining is, "When do I start, Monday or Wednesday?"

A word of caution: Don't appear too eager.   You need to maintain your professionalism.

7.   Overcome objections.
One stumbling block for many candidates is the inevitable objection: You're over-/ under-qualified, too old/young, etc."  There are hundreds of reasons given why candidates aren’t right for the job.  Many are just excuses or stalls to avoid the risk of hiring someone.

Turn these objections into opportunities to strengthen your candidacy.  Acknowledge the objection. "You feel I'm overqualified.  That's possibly true."  Then turn the weakness into a strength: "However, that means I'll start being productive for you that much faster.   As I've mentioned, I solved this problem at XYZ company."  Make a list of standard objections that apply to you or that you encounter and work out the answers.

Overcoming objections is an art unto itself.  The key is to remember that patience and persistence pay off.  Don't take no for an answer. Try one more time.  The secret to closing is to keep trying.

8.   Sum up and ask for the job.
When appropriate, summarize.  Say what you have to offer based on your accomplishments.  Sales people call these "features."  Show how the features will benefit the employer.  Keep it simple and brief.  Stick to basics.   Prepare one dramatic sentence on why you're the person for the job.  Remind the interviewer how you've contributed at your previous employer and reiterate how you'll contribute to the success of the prospective one.

9.   Confirm the close.
Repeat the terms of the offer as you've discussed it. Ask for clarification of any terms not fully described or understood.  Each time you close, ask the interviewer, "Do you have any questions?"  When you've been completely clear about how you'll help the employer - then and only then - close.

Be sure to thank the interviewer at the end.  Write the words "thank you" in your follow-up letter, too, and repeat the statement of benefits you used to close.  Also add the other features and benefits you wished you'd expressed during the interview.  The thank-you packs a punch.  As Mr. Stone says, "You don't often get thank-you letters.  They mean a lot."

Asking for the job intimidates most of us.   Fortunately, these techniques can make it easier to close the deal and get the job.   Practice these tips and you'll soon grow comfortable with these methods and use them automatically.

Written by Niels H Nielsen
Reprinted from the:

Article provided by Galaxy Management Group, Inc. to assist our candidates.

Phone Interview Preparation

In today's world, the interview process is a multi-staged event. In the first stage, you put together a great resume that highlights your skills and experience. You apply to job postings and eagerly await a call. Your resume gets noticed and you get a call or email from the recruiter. Having convinced the recruiter that you are worthy of additional consideration, you are recommended for a phone interview. It used to be that most employment offers came down to a face-to-face interview. However, some times, especially when working with contracting situations or on a national basis, success is determined by the phone interview. Since your ability to manage this interview can be the make-or-break of getting you "in" or moving you "out", you need to maximize this short conversation opportunity so that it takes you to the next level. 

Here are the “Five A's" that will highlight yourself from the rest of the pack: 

1. Always be prepared.

Do this interview like it's the one chance you have to "shine".  It is.  Dress comfortably.  Set up in as "office-like" of a setting as you can.  Avoid noisy areas and places full of distractions.  Don't interview on your cell phone in the car if you can avoid it (it's amazing what all you can see and be distracted by when you are in a room surrounded by windows).  Use the restroom beforehand and have a drink close by to keep your voice fresh.  Have your TV and music turned off.  Be someplace quiet.  Have the kids someplace else, this is a business phone call.  Make sure to have a notepad and writing surface available, you’ll want to take notes.   Imagine this is a sales call where you are selling a very important service to a are!  If your recruiter sent you review material to look over before the interview, then be sure to read and study that.  The recruiter isn't here to waste your time; they are an experienced professional that knows what works in interview situations.  Have a plan for the interview.  Write it down and have it in front of you while the interview is going on.  Check things off as you carry out your plan.  Consider the plan to be a "cheat sheet" that nobody but you can see.  You can even anticipate certain questions and have prepared and rehearsed answers (but make sure you don't sound like you are reading).  Being prepared will make you come across confident and will set you apart from the crowd.

2. Always be patient.

Wait your turn.  Don't interrupt.  Don't let your excitement about the job cause you to try talking over the hiring manager when they are talking.  Consider this... the more the hiring manager is talking, the more comfortable they are with you.  I know this because they are on a schedule and the more they talk, the less time they leave to learn more about you.  So if they are doing the talking, that is a good sign indicating that they are feeling comfortable with what they already know about you.  Trust me; they will leave plenty of time for you to speak as well.  And never, ever, ever engage the hiring manager in an argument - now is not the time.  Remember though, conversations involve two people talking ...and listening.  "S-I-L-E-N-T" and "L-I-S-T-E-N" use the same letters.  Before you can do anything to help your new employer, you will need to listen to instructions telling you what it is that they want you to do.  Use the time that your interviewer is speaking to demonstrate that you are a good listener.  When you get a chance to answer, be responsive to the question.  Answer completely and also look for opportunity to use your answer to make another "selling" point as why you are the best candidate.  At the same time, don't bore them with rambling - stay concise and to the point.

3. Always be enthusiastic.

 Smile!  I don't know how many times I've said this to candidates..."Smile".  Your smile sets your attitude – and your attitude permeates through the phone.  You want your interview to come across as a conversational infomercial about yourself.  Be outgoing and friendly.  Pretend that you are speaking with someone who you've been waiting a lifetime to talk to.  Invest your energy into the phone call, letting the hiring manager know that you are excited about the opportunity and their company.  Let them know you see value in using and developing the skills that you bring to the job.

4. Always be proactive.

Anticipate their questions, but don't answer them before they are asked. Do your research on the company.  Impress them by knowing their product line, recent success, and corporate goals.  Once you know these things, you can relate your abilities in terms of how you can help them achieve their goals.  Have answers ready on your cheat sheet for questions such as:  "Why do you want to move to our area?" and "What do you like about us?".  Have two or three examples ready for "Tell me about a time when you did 'such and such'."  Know how to answer the follow-up questions such as, "What challenges did you face?", "What was your role?", "What did you accomplish?", and "Why was this example important to you?"  Think about the questions and write out the answers.  Read them through prior to the interview.  Read the answers out loud and try to make them sound conversational when practicing.  Being conversational allows you to appear likeable and personable ...the kind of person that others like to work with.

5. Always be ready.

Take notes during the interview.  Be ready for the "close". Take particular notes of items that the hiring manager brings up as goals that they (or their team) are trying to accomplish.  Ask for more detail about these goals if necessary, but what you are trying to find is three good, solid points of "where you can help".  Once you have these 3 points, show that you can 'think on your feet'.  By the end of the interview, you are ready to do what most candidates will never do ...a concise summary of why they need "you".  It goes something like this...  "So, if I heard right during our conversation, what you are really looking for is someone who can (a) _______; (b) _______; and (c) _______.  Is this correct?"  Now, wait and let them respond.  If they redirect one of your points, that's fine.  You will simply adjust one of your responses.  Once they have made sure that you are both on the same page, then continue... "Well, based upon my understanding of your needs, this would be my specific plan of action:  In order to take care of (a) ______, I would do ________.  In order to take care of (b) _______, I would do _______.  And finally, to really make life better, this is what I would do to take care of (c) ______.  Is this kind of what you are looking to accomplish?"  Again, give them time to respond. 

Finish it up with "I look forward to moving this process forward so that I can join the team and make these goals become reality!"  Usually this is the point where they will explain the next step of the process (if they haven't already).  If they don't, be sure to ask what you might expect their next step to be, and ask when to expect it. Always, be professional and remember to thank them for their time.

It's really that simple.  You have all the chips stacked in your favor.  You have a job description. You have your resume and knowledge of what you can do.  You prepared for their questions and answered with charisma.  You demonstrated that you can listen.  You have shown that you can plan.  They've experienced that you can think on your feet.  ...and you are now the one candidate who they can’t live without.

Galaxy's 10 Tips To Know Before Your Interview

An Interview is the best opportunity you will have to gather information and market yourself to a prospective employer. Invest a few minutes in reviewing these tips for a successful interview outcome.

1.       You're on stage from the moment you get in the parking lot. From this point on, anyone whom you run into, smile, look them in the eye, and be pleasant. Be nice to the receptionist/secretary and be courteous to everyone, even if you're in a rush. Don't be short'd be surprised how much influence they can have in the hiring process.

2.       You are interviewing them too. Not only do you want to identify 2 or 3 three qualifications in your background to bring forward, but you also need 2 or 3 things that are important to you about the potential working environment. Spend 15-20 minutes prior to the interview to plan your questions.

3.       Don't assume they have done a thorough review of your resume/background. Be sure to bring a copy of your resume with you. It's your job to convey your strengths. Choose 3 things that match up well with their environment and convey those on the interview. If things turn out to be different that you expected, you need to be flexible.

4.       You may be asked about your short and long term goals. Keep your goals realistic and along the lines of the things they're looking for. For example, if you want to own your own company, you might not want to mention that on the interview. Make your goals pertinent to the interview and the work environment.

5.       Try to draw comparisons to previous work experiences. A good way to answer questions is with real world experiences. For example, take a project you've recently completed and apply the experience to the company's current challenges.

6.       Think before you answer. Always be sure you understand the question before you begin to answer. If you're unsure about what they're trying to ask you - which happens a lot in technology because it's so complex - check for understanding by asking them to explain what they're looking for.

7.       Rating questions are tricky. When you are asked to rate yourself, don't give yourself the highest rating. Say "I feel good about my skills but there is always something new to learn - I'm sure I could learn something from you." Always qualify your example with real world experiences.

8.       Body language is vital to the interview and accounts for over 50% of the message. A firm handshake, positive body alignment, and good eye contact are vital for a successful interview. You've probably talked to someone who will not look you in the eye; they make you uncomfortable and you wonder what they are hiding. It also shows active interest.

9.       Personal questions - don't ask any! If they ask you (where you live, etc) is professional business etiquette to answer the question, as you will be building rapport, but always let the interviewer open the door first.

In closing, before you leave, ask them "Based upon our interview, is there anything lacking in my background that would prevent me from getting this position?"  This gives you one last chance to overcome any issues - no one can explain it better than you. Plus, it gives you a chance to turn a negative into a positive. Lastly, do not bring up salary! If they ask you what you are currently earning then tell them. If they ask you what you are looking in salary tell them that you are negotiable. Let your recruiter handle the salary negotiations for you.  Thank them for their time and if interested in the position…. Let them know it