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6 Interview Killing Mistakes

25 Sep

Business Cat |Search Solution Group

Lets face it, at some point in your life you were just a little bit imperfect. We at Search Solution Group have never experienced an ounce of imperfection, but we hear it’s a common occurrence for other folk. One of those awkward or imperfect moments was most likely career search or interview related. While there are some people who seem to be natural-born interviewers who can land a job like nothing, it actually is a combination of Practice, Conscious Effort, and Experience that give these people immense power to land any job.

From the mouths of top Recruiters at Search Solution Group, here are 6 ways to kill any chance of acing an interview:

  • A Terrible Personality: It should go without saying that you want to be perceived as a team player, a people enthusiast, and someone who won’t drag down the environment of the office. Being outgoing and personable during your interview goes a long way towards success. No matter how skillful or intelligent you are, a recruiter has a really hard time approving of a candidate who is lacking in the personality department.
  • Focusing on Your Needs: When you go in for an initial interview, your main goal should be to make a good impression, find out more about the position, and decide whether or not you think you’d be a good fit with the company. While you may be thinking about the salary and benefits, DON’T ask about it. When a candidate is initially interviewing, the recruiter wants to see interest in the position and not perks of the job. Wait until further interviews when the recruiter or interviewer brings up compensation.
  • Um, Like, You Know! : These words are fillers and they make you sound dumb in an interview. If you need time to think of a response to an answer, do just that! Don’t open your mouth to answer until you have a complete answer. This will avoid those filler words and your interviewers won’t mind the pause. In fact, showing that you carefully formulate answers will be a good sign of intelligence
  • Dressing Like a Slob: It doesn’t matter if you are interviewing to be a Barrista or the Creative Director at Starbucks, always dress nicer than you think is necessary. It is better to look professional than run the risk of being judged on your low appearance. If your shirt wrinkles easily just from wearing it, it probably isn’t the best thing to wear to an interview. Gentlemen, wear a nice tie and a suit jacket, shave your face, and shine your shoes. Ladies, wear a nice and simple suit either of the pant or skirt variety, wear minimal makeup/perfume, and wear shoes with a reasonable heel.
  • Disorganization: When asked about specifics on your resumé, and you can’t answer the question, that is a HUGE red flag to recruiters. Why would we take you seriously as a candidate if you can’t explain your past experiences. Additionally, when dates and positions with past companies don’t match up, you are either labeled as sketchy or sloppy.
  • Unprofessionalism: First and foremost, not being early to an interview is being late. Additionally, when you have terrible eye-contact or a weak handshake, you didn’t  bring multiple copies of your resumé, all label you as a lame candidate and can potentially devastatingly kill your chances at landing that job. However, luckily for you, all it takes is some practice and conscious effort to not make these mistakes.

Lame Handshakes Ruin Interviews|SSG

As a candidate, our recruiters at Search Solution Group work to make your interview process as smooth as possible. We act like a coach with our candidates and are looking for a huge win for you!

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The Worst Job in America

27 Apr

For the last two years I have been receiving calls from a sales rep for the Charlotte Bobcats. Every time she calls I remind her that she has the worst job in America. I think she finds it amusing but I’m telling her this because it’s the truth. She is trying to sell me tickets to the Bobcats…who wants tickets to the Bobcats? Come on. This product she is selling is broken, it does not work, there is not interest in the product locally or Nationally! “Hi this is Jenn calling on behalf of the worst basketball team that ever existed can I interest you in some tickets?”

Imagine the great Steve Jobs selling iPods that didn’t work. His sales pitch would have went something like “This is going to be a great product right now you can buy it and in a few years you can play music from it, eventually it will work and get better I promise.” That’s the biggest joke ever, that is what every sales person who works for the Charlotte Bobcats has faced everyday for the past few years and will face for the near future. As I wake up in California this morning staring out my hotel window, I can’t imagine how low morale must be over there.

Here is my PLEDGE…I will interview any SALES person who works for the Bobcats. I want nothing more than to hire a sales rep from the Bobcats. Even better if you play on the team, I’ll interview you and consider hiring you. In fact any HR, accountant or professional staff who can’t take it anymore call us. We will do anything we can to find you a better job with a winning company. 704-332-8702

You think your employer treats you good? 21 reason why we’re the best!

13 Apr

ImageSometimes in the hustle and bustle of day to day life we miss things. Rumor has it that one year my Dad forgot his Anniversary with my Mom. Now I am pretty confident my Dad will deny this with a smile on his face but my point is that we forget about things from time to time. I forgot that this is the 10TH Anniversary of Search Solution Group. That means that we have beat all the statistics out there about new businesses failing.

I tell my teammates all the time that without bad employees and failed business we would struggle. Search Solution Group was started shortly after 9/11 when a ton of businesses were laying people off, but I personally was not left with a lot of options so I gave it a shot. I will forever be thankful to my parents, my friends who let me use their Monster accounts, friends who hired from me and gave me my first placements and a friend who helped me come up with my business name and everything else that comes along with starting a new business. I was not to proud then nor am I today to ask for help and tell people that I just don’t know what to do. Which leads me to the next phase of Search Solution Group……What to do next??

We have started the process of being better. For me at this time it means why you should work with Search Solution Group and be a part of our team. So here goes my list for 2012 that we are offering to our current employees and future employees that make us better than your employer.

 1. Dog friendly environment. Yes we have water bowls and dog hair on the floor. If you leave food on your desk watch out..ha

2. Flex hours, especially when the sun stays out later.

3. Free lunches 5 days a week

4. Improving benefits

5. A soon to be announced awesome 401K plan

6. Free water, energy drinks, flavored water (my favorite), and POP (I am from NY)

7. FREE snacks and candy galore!!!

8. Free car wash

9. Lots of coffee and espresso shots

10. The best commission structure

11. A base salary because we want you to be happy and secure

12. As much vacation time as you need within reason also known as the “Stella Vacation Policy” SVP (just email her and ask stella@ssgresume.com)

13. An annual SSG week long beach vacation. This is fun!!

14. I will also accompany you to 1 emergency room visit per year and make you smile

15. Free parking

16. We have a couch and have NAP TIMES

17. Ice cream cake birthday celebrations

18. Lots of sarcasm

19. Finally NO ONE will yell at you

20. Entrepreneurial cnvironment in which you can be creative and generate as much money as you want.

21. Happy hour fridays which can be drinks, golfing, food or whatever makes you happy

 We are always looking for hard working talent to join our Search Solution Group Family!

A Job, A Candidate, & the Wife

4 Nov

The joys of being a recruiter never end. Meeting smart and interesting people, helping companies find great talent and ultimately helping good people find better career opportunities. But then we have stuff like this that happens about once a year…..this is a real email that I received.  (Jeremy Gnozzo)

 Dear Mr. Knozzo: (Please spell my name correctly)

I didn’t realize that my email address would be hidden from you, the blogger.  It’s not my practice to make anonymous comments, and I’m glad to respond.  The person to whom I was referring was not me; rather it was my husband ________   __________.

To say he is busy with his work is an understatement.  He’s only been able to take three vacation days this year. Generally his work day begins at 6am so he can communicate with his boss, colleagues, and support staff in Europe.  His work days usually end at 6-6:30pm.  In addition he travels approximately 30% of the time.  Because he simply doesn’t have the time to scour the job boards and recruiting agencies, I’ve been helping him with his search for a new position.  If I find a job for which he is qualified, I obtain his approval to send his resume and cover letter.  (I realize your husband works longs hours but most of us work the same or more)

I sent his resume and cover for the position of ___________ in Buffalo/Niagara Frontier area to you last weekend.  You called our home at 8:15 Monday morning.  I explained to you that he was at work, and that he had told me before leaving the house he would be tied up in conference calls.  I asked if he could return your call that afternoon.  He wasn’t able to return your call Monday afternoon because the conference calls took all day.  (Please replace your home number on his resume with his cell phone number.  Recruiters can then reach him directly, which is pretty common practice these days.)

He called you back Tuesday morning, but got your voice mail.  He left a message apologizing for Monday, left his number, and asked you to return his call.  Well, you didn’t call back.  So Wednesday, he fired off an email to you telling you he was still interested in discussing the position.  You didn’t respond. (It has been one day since I received his message. I apologize for not returning his call right away, however I have many other candidates I am also trying to help.)

He took it in stride, but I was and am angry because I was over the top at the prospect of moving to the Buffalo area. I grew up and spent most of my life in Erie, PA.  My entire family including my 85 year-old mother lives in Erie.  We are able to move anywhere in the US, but I really want to live somewhere close to home like Western New York.  If you hadn’t responded at all to his resume, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, but you did place that call Monday morning.  You got my hopes up, not my husbands.
( Western New York is a beautiful place to live )

Because you responded, I feel the least you could have done is to give him a quick call or shoot him an email stating the company wasn’t interested.  As an aside, the company should be interested because frankly, I don’t think anyone would do a better job than my husband.  He’s highly regarded by everyone he comes into contact with at ___________. The only reason he’s looking for a new job is because for him to advance his career, we would have to relocate to England.  ________ is ________ and has been in the United States since 1996.  He became a US citizen in 2008, and he does not want to move back to the UK. (Along with his email he sent me the next day, I alone had received 143 emails. 85 of  those emails  were applicants.  So please don’t assume that the company isn’t interested.  As busy as your husband is at his job – I am also very busy, helping people find better careers, and companies find great talent)

I apologize for my comment on your blog. I was unprofessional and rude to post it in the first place.  I lost my temper, and my husband would be furious with me if he knew I’d just behaved in a manner befitting Lady MacBeth. I guess I just want you and other recruiters to remember you’re dealing with people. (I accept your apology)

Sincerely,
___________ (aka the wife)

Applicants…Recruiters…please share your stories with me.  The good, the bad, or the ugly.   I’d love to hear from you.

Are you ready for some…….HR??‏

26 Aug
Fantasy american football

Image via Wikipedia

YES, it is that time again for most of us. Fantasy Football.

 A bunch of years ago I would have laughed at you and thought you were more nerdy than me for wanting to participate in such a thing. BUT WOW IS IT FUN. Right now I am engaged in a dispute of how much money I owe my father and his best friend for losing to them last year. I was hoping old age would kick in and they would think that they owed me money but that isn’t the case. Another league we are starting has 10 people. Some of us know each other, others don’t. I happen to know everyone, but yet I am not the commissioner.  This one is interesting, we have no rules, no scoring system and I’m not even sure what kind of league we are having.  All of this was being battled out yesterday between some friendly hazing and a few hundred suggestions. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION, and my inbox showed every email that was sent…agggggghhhhh

 This all reminded me of so many HR/Recruiting experiences I have had with clients over the years. The lack of organization, the lack of communication, everyone sticking in their opinions and causing more headaches than necessary. Deals not getting done on time, losing great candidates because someone else thought they were interviewing at 2pm instead of 3pm. Or I thought the offer letter was in the mail. Or, sure you can have 4 weeks of vacation, nope we only give 2 weeks. Where is the communication? Where is the leadership? Where is the process? Come on HR, you have to be better than that. You are the unofficial commissioner for your company and how it is perceived by people.

 Those 3 questions are so important, not for Fantasy Football so much, but for life and business. If you and your organization have those 3 skills locked in you are off to a good start. Get them implemented sooner than later and you have a  shot of surviving. Good recruiters and candidates can recognize a company that has all three components working together. It makes the recruiting process so much better not just for the recruiter but our mutual goal of attracting good talent.  A well run HR Group or “Fantasy Football League” has to be communicating with each other. Coordinating time, dates and what we want to get out of our interview so we can hire the best candidate for the job. It sounds easier than it really is. On a daily basis I see the good the bad and the ugly from HR.  The best ones are fun to work with and make waking up earlier than usual exciting and rewarding. The ugly and bad are not lost, they just need to recognize that things can be improved and make those changes. Search Solution Group can HELP!! Call us

 As for Fantasy Football. I predict my friends will cry at the humiliation my teams will cause them this year. I can only apologize and offer some comfort that next year is right around the corner for them. As far as my Dad and his best friend are concerned. I promise I will have the last laugh.

Lesson From the Diamond Part 3‏

12 Aug
Repetitive overhead throwing motions, like tho...

Image via Wikipedia

Being really good at something can be a curse. Look at A-ROD, he can’t even play poker or hang out with Madonna without causing a stir. I remember playing in a different little league with the same coaches and some of the same teammates (lifelong friends even today). We were dominating the league when we ended up playing the last place team, an easy win with an ace pitcher on the mound. What we did not realize at the time is that the opposing coach (a family friend) had his oldest son umpiring the game. Well, to make a long story short we could not buy a strike and completely got robbed. THIS IS ACTUALLY A REALLY AMUSING STORY IF YOU EVER HAVE TIME, I WILL GLADLY RE-TELL IT. It was really embarrassing and to this day, the opposing coach and son, feel bad about what they did.  Why did this happen?

We played with the same number of guys, used the same bats, the same balls and played on the same field. All we had been doing all season that was different was playing harder, practicing more and we were coached better.  We used our skills to win!  Was it fair to cheat and knowingly be deceitful? Where do you draw the line when it comes to playing fair and being honest?

How do you handle it when the “corporate police” of your company are the rule breakers and are setting a bad example by lying and trying to steal. By the way if you Google this famous restaurant Chain, you will see ALL THE LAWSUITS that have made the news. So, I guess this is my fault for attempting to work with an organization like this. Here is what happened, any advice?

About 3 months ago, I knew this company had a Director of Compensation and Benefits job open, One of my favorite searches, we are really good at this! After a few calls, I got a return call suggesting that we present a candidate if we had someone. So I presented an A+ candidate from a similar company in the same industry, a dead on match. The Corp recruiter at this company ( we all know how I feel about incompetent corp recruiter) made an excuse that his title was too much (what does that mean?). Now for the thousands of people who are unemployed, I AM SORRY. This is just one of the many rejects who are preventing good people from getting hired. Now, if we fast forward to the present few weeks, I find out that the Corp recruiter is phone interviewing this very candidate. This candidate and I maintained a good relationship so he called me to tell me. Well, since I cannot keep my mouth shut, I called her!  After listening to her for a few minutes trying to defend her dishonesty and stupidity, I had to chime in with a few comments .

The conversation did not end well, but I just don’t get why she had to try and steal the candidate. I have all the emails saved of our previous conversations and everything documented. Why not do the right thing and change the way you are perceived just not locally but also Nationally with all the lawsuits. It was a great opportunity to  build a relationship and maybe even get the job filled which has been vacant for a very long time. We did everything we were asked and did it with a smile. Just like the dirty umpire from little league, this Corp recruiter tried to play dirty.

The kicker to this story is that the only other Compensation person in that group left because she was so unhappy and not challenged. How did she leave….courtesy of SEARCH SOLUTION GROUP.

So work hard and play fair just like in little league and good things will happen!!

A Chance Encounter

28 Jul

I want to take a break from the Baseball field and pay some respect to two friends who are walking down the aisle this weekend and about to take the “plunge” together.

It was about 3 years or so ago when I was at a Bobcats game here in Charlotte. At that time the Bobcats were bad, not nearly as bad as they were last year or as bad as they will probably be this year. I was having a good time with a client in the bar area when we were approached by a pretty blonde ladycat cheerleader in a nice black evening dress. After my client had a long and fairly obnoxious conversation with her about her dating status, I tried to smooth things over by talking about her boyfriend who she continued to bring up. As it turns out he was from the Buffalo, NY area,  played hockey and was an attorney. I CAN ALWAYS USE AN ATTORNEY ON MY SIDE!

So, I passed my business card off to the very nice ladycat in hopes that her boyfriend would call and join our lack luster hockey team here in Charlotte.  Sure enough 2 weeks later he called, and we laughed about the business card incident.

HR and recruiting is so much like that story.  Every day I make calls introducing myself to complete strangers, who I hope to build a relationship with and everyday my phone rings with new candidates hoping that we will find them a fit for a job based on a quick conversation and then an interview. The game of life and succeeding is such a tricky road. That story reminds me every day to give everyone who calls a chance and the benefit of the doubt.  I am so grateful not just to my two friends in that story but the hundreds of people who have given me a chance. I am not sure if I am going to be able to tie this into work this week, but maybe just life. Maybe the next time someone asks you to pass a business card along or say HI to someone for you, you will do it. All of us in HR  are forced to be and gathers of info and sometime it is just plain exhausting. But when something good comes out of it and you were part of it, there is no better feeling!!!

You never know what is going to happen by just saying HI or taking a chance on a complete stranger.  That was one of the best days of my life. I made two amazing friends, who I continue to learn with, laugh with and grow a wee bit older with.