Questions Recruiters Ask

You applied for a new job, and you’ve been called in for an interview. During the interview process, there are three main questions that need to be answered to help the HR person determine if you’re the right fit for the job:

  • Can this person do the job?
  • Will he do the job?
  • Will he fit in with the company culture?

By asking what I call “the question behind the question,” hiring managers have a better chance to making the right hiring decision. As job seekers, your task is to answer them honestly and fully. Here are 10 top questions that the interviewer might ask, along with the hidden agenda behind each one. Tread carefully — the way you approach the answer might tell more than what you actually say.

1. As you reflect back at your last position, what was missing that you are looking for in your next role?

This question gets at the heart of why you’re leaving the current job or, in the case of a reduction in workforce, it helps the interviewer understand what was missing. If you answer with, “I didn’t have access to my boss, which made it difficult to get questions answered,” then the interviewer might follow up with, “Can you give me a specific example where you had to make a decision on your own because your boss was not available?” This follow-up question will help the interviewer determine your level of decision making and how much access to the manager you’ll need.

2. What qualities of your last boss did you admire, and what qualities did you dislike?

This is precarious territory because your answer needs to have a balance of positive and negative feedback. It will show if you are tactful in answering a tricky question and if your leadership style is congruent with the admired or disliked ones. If you name a trait the interviewer… (read more)

Jane Mattson 

Jayne Mattson is Senior Vice President at Keystone Associates, a leading career management and transition services consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Mattson specializes in helping mid-to-senior level individuals in new career exploration, networking strategies and career decisions based on corporate culture fit.

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Life Tools Health, Wealth and Productivity

Life Tools Health, Wealth and Productivity

Optimizing your life can help free up time to enjoy more activities. One of the best ways to start is by figuring out exactly how you spend your time. Self-tracking has become something of a craze thanks to movements such as the Quantified Self, which allow you to track everything in your life and, in some cases, take action.

Here is a list of the top 20 resources for monitoring the most salient aspects of your life. What you do with the information is only limited by your imagination.

20 Life-Tracking Tools for Better Health, Wealth and Productivity.

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Double-Dip Recession Fears Overblown

Cash-flow Report Shows Revenues Rising, Fears of Double-Dip Recession Overblown.

Rather than reflecting concerns about a return to an economic recession, corporations sported a sales surge of 15% and a rise in median cash flow of 4% between the first and second quarters of this year, according to a new quarterly report on cash-flow trends issued by the Georgia Tech Financial Analysis Lab.

“We’re seeing a continuation of investments in inventory and capital assets, an improvement in operating cushion, and generally the first signs of robust revenue growth that we’ve seen in many quarters,” says Charles Mulford, a Georgia Tech accounting professor who directs the lab. (Operating cushion is operating profit exclusive of noncash expenses, depreciation, and amortization.) (…more)


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8 Tips for Skype Interviews

By Alina Dizik,

Skype Interviews More Common

( — With video / Skype interviews becoming more common during hiring, not being prepared can easily keep you out of the running. While meeting via video is time saver, getting past the technological barriers of not speaking  face-to-face can be difficult.

Be sure you’re prepared and use Skype to your advantage, experts say. For one, use your computer screen to refer hiring managers to your achievements or provide explanations.

“Prepare a digital portfolio that you can link to during the interview or show the interviewer your screen, which has a sample of your work,” says social media expert Marian Schembari, who adds that you can also send relevant links through the chat function.

Looking for more ways to impress? Here’s how to handle a Skype or video interview:

1. Look at the camera, not the screen

It can be confusing, but when you’re looking at your monitor it actually makes the interviewer feel as if you’re looking away. Instead, look directly at the video camera you’re using for your interview. And although you’re not making eye contact in the traditional sense, this is the way that the interviewer perceives that you’re looking straight ahead.

2. Be aware of interruptions

Since you’re used to living in the house, it can be easy to forget to  turn off a phone or not warn family members to give you some privacy, Schembari says. Have a plan for whatever distractions you have in your house, including children and dogs. “Too many people don’t take [Skype interviews] as seriously as in-person interviews, but you need to be
just as professional here,” she says.

3. Practice in front of a mirror

During the interview, you can see yourself in the video camera, which can be startling if you’ve never seen yourself speak. “It’s important to get familiar with your own facial expressions when you talk,” says Colleen Aylward, chief executive of InterviewStudio Inc., a company that offers video interview capabilities. “It also gets rid of some of the camera shyness.”

4. Mind the background

Your surroundings can say a lot about how you’ve prepared for the interview, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. “Shoot your video against a blank wall or a warm one-color background,” Aylward suggests. “Clear off your desk, or have only awards and certificates in the background.”  (TCHG note…if you must shoot in your bedroom…make your bed and pickup clothes laying around)

5. Avoid patterned clothing

Wear a  shirt that’s business casual and complimentary to your skin tone. Avoid  patterns that come across as too loud on screen, such as anything floral or bright stripes. Clothing can distract the interviewer from the  information conveyed during the conversation, so it’s important to plan your outfit carefully.

6. Conduct a mock interview

Being comfortable with the technology prevents the added stress from a tech malfunction. Find a person you trust and use Skype or other video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. You’re bound to make mistakes, so it’s best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.

7. Test audio and video

Just because your  laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone doesn’t mean the quality is up to par. Instead, test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera. Before the interview, some companies may send their own video devices to applicants.

8. Add extra enthusiasm

Any news announcer will tell that your reactions translate differently when on-screen, so it’s important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers. Additionally, speak succinctly and remember that speed is important, Aylward says. “Practice speaking more quickly than you normally do,” she says.


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Candidates: How to select a recruiting firm

How to Select Recruiting Firm

When you’re unemployed or looking for a career change, it’s tempting to think that a professional can help you land the perfect job. A recruiter’s role is to help match your experience and interests up with a similar open position. A good recruiter can provide you with helpful job leads and advice on how to best position yourself to land a job. Here is a check list of items to consider:

Recruiters Know Where the Jobs Are

Administrative assistants, IT professionals, doctors, lawyers, CFOs, and construction workers, to name a few, have found careers through the recruiting profession. Recruiting firms in the United States have jobs in virtually all occupations, including some that might be considered out of the ordinary, such as restaurant maître des, teachers, business managers, dentists and dental hygienists.

Businesses of all sizes and specialties turn to recruiting firms for access to talent. They know that recruiting/staffing companies are experts in recruiting and matching employees.

Recruiters Are Specialists

It’s important to find a recruiter or recruiting firm that specializes in your field. Use the NAPS directory to find a specialist. Ask friends and former colleagues if they have anyone they would recommend. Interview a potential recruiter to find out exactly what they promise to deliver. Ask for references and their success rate of placing people within your field of interest. Ask them to evaluate your resume and let you know, upfront, what they think of their potential to place you. Develop the relationship with the recruiter that you choose. If you have a good relationship with a recruiter, they might keep you in mind when another job opens up.

Know Whose Paying Their Bill

Recruiters either receive a placement fee from a firm or they charge job seekers a flat fee for identifying job leads and securing interviews. In this day and age, most recruiters will receive their fee from the hiring or client company, and, for the most part, only when the fire is made. The incentive is for the recruiter to perform. If you’re paying a recruiter to find you job openings, then they work for you. Recognize up front whom your recruiter is working for. (Read More)

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C2C Webcam Interviews

“C2C Webcam Interviews” or cam-to-cam is just another tool utilized by TCHG in our effort to do our part at “Recession Busting”.  Since our inception, we have promoted our tag line “…All the services of a retained firm, at lower total placement cost“….similar to what you expect to pay for a contingent search.

As we begin to emerge from the worst economic event since the Great Depression, we look back to a vast array of cost containment measures undertaken by companies just to survive. Most notably, layoffs or “RIF’s”…reductions in force and extreme cash conservation tactics to reduce controllable expenses related to office supplies, unnecessary business travel, etc.

In support of our clients  and in reinforcement of our commitment and desire to “become a valued, long-term strategic partner” with our client companies, TCHG has implemented “C2C” or webcam interviews into our Search Methodology when a local face-to-face meeting is not possible. Embracing today’s technology, virtually every laptop comes equipped with a webcam (…or a $20 purchase at a local retailer) and utilizing a free subscription to Skype…we are breaking through expensive geographic boundaries….saving clients HUGE amounts on passed through search related travel expenses in an effort to qualify candidates. While we note exceptions to every rule…our initial experience with “C2C” interviewing is the next best thing to face-to-face…allowing us to get up close and personal while passing the savings along to our clients.

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