Posts tagged ‘2010’

How NOT to Get a Job: Be a Jerk!

This blog has quoted Evil HR Lady Susan Lucas a few times. Recently, she posted more great wisdom about the job searching process. She has observed that some people are (dare we say it?) less than polite:

I got an e-mail today asking a generic question about why the writer could get interviews, but was unable to land the job. When you send me an e-mail, you get an auto response:

Thanks for your e-mail. Unfortunately, I cannot answer all of the questions I receive.  If I do answer your question, I will send you an e-mail.

Everyone, including the Nigerian Princesses and the people from the British Lottery gets this e-mail.  Most people, I presume, think, “Oh, that makes sense.  I hope she answers my question.”

But, not this person.  Instead I got the following response (from the candidate):


Ahh, to be screamed at by someone who wants me to do her a favor.  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Doesn’t it have that same effect on  you?  In fact, I suspect my e-mail inbox will soon be overflowing with requests for this woman’s contact information so you can offer her a job.  Just think, she can do sales for you.  “I WANT YOU TO BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!!! MAKE IT A PRIORITY!”  Your clients will love her.

But, because I’m nice, I’ll answer the original question:  You’re not getting the job because you’re a self-entitled jerk.

Now, there are lots of people who are able to get the interview, but not able to land a job who are not jerks.  They either need to work on their interview skills or have just been having a run of bad luck.  But, I suspect that if you’re willing to be pushy and obnoxious to me, you’re willing to do the same to other people.

EXACTLY! (Pardon the caps!)

Time to consider the First Law of NotJobs: Interview behavior is best behavior.

One of the first questions we ask as hiring managers and recruiters is, “Can I work with you?” If that question is answered satisfactorily, we’re happy to invite you participate further in the hiring process. If you are rude, or if you act like a jerk, you kill your chance of having a successful job search.

The Evil HR Lady goes on to list seven tips about How Not to be a Jerk. The first one should be familiar to longtime NotJobs readers:

  • Be rude or dismissive to the front desk person.

This is something I’ve mentioned before: Beware the Receptionist Test.

So – the lessons here are many. If you don’t want to get a job, be a jerk.

Find the Evil HR Lady here: The full article is Check out the whole article, and the comments.

7 November 2010 at 1:41AM Leave a comment

Try and Try Again

For all of us who have tried, and tried again:

22 September 2010 at 11:02PM Leave a comment

Baumann: “Be Prepared: Is It YOUR Motto?”

One of the secrets of writing is developing a good hook. Kirk Baumann has a great post with a great hook, and some pretty good advice for the job seeker. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s the Boy Scouts motto. It’s what your teachers, your mom and dad have been telling you all your life. But, are you really prepared? Prepared for anything?? Are you prepared to take on the career search, pass the screenings, ace the interview and land the job?

In the job search and life in general, preparedness can put a person ahead of the game. Here are a few tips on you can prepare for whatever may come your way in your search for employment:

  • Do your homework.
  • Know them better than they know themselves.
  • Wow them.
  • Follow up, follow up, FOLLOW UP!

See the whole article here:

Thanks, Kirk!

8 September 2010 at 12:16AM Leave a comment

When Bad Interviews Happen to Good Candidates

On Execunet, Robyn Greenspan has a great article about the NotHire side: what happens when the company takes action to blow up the interview. Not every interview is a professional, and not every professional is an interviewer. Greenspan shares three of the worst:

At a dinner meeting with the CEO and other key company executives, this candidate said the questions were unusual: “What did my watch cost? Why did I buy such an expensive watch? Why did I come in a suit to dinner? How much did my suit cost? Did I know the job was in Raleigh?

“The next morning I arrived at the reception area; and after waiting 30 minutes I was escorted to a phone so an HR person in another city could tell me that there would be no interviews, and I would be free to catch a cab back to the airport,” recalled the candidate.

In the comments, several folks shared some of their worst interview experiences. Here’s Dani’s vote for the worst:

My last position was a CIO. Been in the field for 30 years. I applied for a consultancy position by a consulting firm for one of their larger customers, I worked for before, and have intimate knowledge of the position and need.I was interviewed by a junior 22 year old HR rep. She had no idea what the position was about, nor the customer or his need, had no clue what are the abilities and qualities needed for the position. She asked superficial questions right out of a stenciled page, and did not understand the answers.

I knew for a fact that they could not hope for a better suited candidate, they should have grabbed me, but “there was nobody home”. Their loss. So the moral is – Assign an appropriate interviewer for each candidate or position.

Good point.

JoeG recalled an experience that has given hives to some recruiters, with a natural disaster layered on top:

I did have an interview situation where two people from the same company were interviewing in our offices at the same time. One knew about the other, but not vice versa. We carefully arranged to keep them in different parts of the small office and to avoid one seeing the other.

Except, a tornado happened to come along. We evacuated everyone into a central conference room to wait for further instructions. The two candidates got to laugh at their predicament much like two Baptists running into each other in the liquor store. No one died in the making of this anecdote, however.

Dave mentions his experience:

During the interview the hiring manager mentioned FIVE times she had an IQ over 200. Plus, she said “Well, you probably don’t.” Really??After the fifth mention, I told her the interview was over since I was interviewing her, just as much as she was interviewing me. She was shocked!

HR was horrified when I mentioned this at the post-interview wrap up. This company was one of the financial firms that went defunct in the last few years. Go figure.

There’s more, and some good sharing in the comments, on the original posting. Check it out here:

8 September 2010 at 12:04AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: Little Bear, Big Sky

Clare Cady at Little Bear, Big Sky has post about How Not to Get a Job. First, she lists her hiring credentials:

i can’t put a number on the amount of interviews i’ve done in these 9 years, but i’d wager its well into the high hundreds.

Cady then lists some wisdom based on some of her interview encounters. Here are a few of them (capitalization per the original):

  • though its nice that you have hobbies, i don’t think that ‘adult magazine collector’ is something you want to advertise to your future employer – unless you are applying to work for larry flint. i am not larry flint – i am less lecherous and female.
  • i also don’t recommend including history about your past lives in your cover letter. it’s great that you were a medicine woman two lives ago, but i think things have changed a bit since then.
  • bursting into tears in a phone interview because i gave you some constructive feedback does not bode well for your ability to take direction.
  • i do not recommend printing your resume and cover letter in rainbow font. it does not make you look creative and outside the box. it makes you look like a crazed LSD freak.
  • please do not include the names of your kids in your cover letter. its nice you are a parent, but jimmy, joey, johnny, joshie and susan are not coming to work with me. i can learn about them later as i am sure you are going to come in with three cardboard boxes filled with pictures, art projects, and their baby scrapbooks.
  • coming to an interview stoned and smelling of pot is a great way to get a job at a head shop. btw – i would never work at a head shop.
  • punctuation, is nice only, when; put in the right – places.
  • when i interview you on the phone, i don’t appreciate it if you ask me what i am wearing. though in this situation the person was not trying to come on to me, it was still creepy.
  • when writing a cover letter please AVOID highlighting things using ALL CAPS. i don’t like it when people shout at me even in print.
  • if you must put a picture on your resume please do not make it one of you in a bathing suit.

See the whole article here:

2 September 2010 at 8:54PM Leave a comment

Do You Be Hiring?

The folks at the Do You Be Hiring? blog offer some tips based on a recent encounter with an applicant:

Tip #1: When filling out your application and you get to the the math section, do not use the restaurant’s table as your scratch paper.

Tip #2: If you do, don’t use permanent marker.

Tip #3: 22+17+19 does not equal 28.

See their blog post for the image.

1 September 2010 at 10:21PM Leave a comment

1972 Computer Merit Badge Requirements

The Scout Handbook in use when I joined was the eighth edition from 1972. I think this is the infamous “rat bite” book from the seventies. Not much was good in the seventies. I shared the requirements for the Computer Merit Badge with a excellent software engineer who holds a MS in Computer Science, and who also happens to be my wife. “That’s a lot for 1972!”, she said. She was impressed.

Here what a Scout had to do:

1. Do the following:

(a) Give a short history of computers. Describe the major parts of a computer system. Give four different uses of computers.

(b) Describe the differences between analog and digital computers. Tell the use of each.

(c) Explain some differences between special- and general-purpose machines.

2. Do the following:

(a) Tell what a program is, and how it is developed.

(b) Explain the difference between an assembler and a compiler. Tell where each might be used. Describe a source and an object program.

(c) Use a flowchart diagram to show the steps needed to set up a camp.

3. Do ONE of the following:

(a) Prepare flowcharts to find out the average attendance and dues paid at the last five troop meetings.

(b) Prepare flowcharts to work out a simple arithmetic problem. Explain to your counselor how this program could be stored in a computer. Tell how it could be used again.

4. Do the following:

(a) Name four input/output devices for computers. Explain the use of two of them in a system.

(b) Explain the Hollerith code. Show how your name and address would be punched on a card.

5. Tell the meaning of six of the following:
a. memory
b. bits
c. on-line
d. bytes
e. microsecond
f. address
g. channel
h. interrupt
i. register
j. console
k. central processing unit

6. Tell the meaning and use of 12 of the following:

a. business data processing
b. information retrieval
c. simulation
d. scientific processing
e. floating point
f. truncation
g. fixed point
h. accuracy
i. input
j. record
k. output
l. file
m. software
n. instruction
o. hardware
p. indexing
q. loop
r. subroutine
s. real time
t. time sharing
u. cybernetics

7. Visit a computer installation. Study how it works.

8. Explain what each of the following does:

a. design engineer, customer engineer, programmer, analyst, operator, salesman
b. Read two pieces of information about computers. Describe what you read.
c. Describe jobs in the computer field.

Could you earn this merit badge today?

Other events from 1972 include:

  • Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs invented the C programming language
  • Intel developed their first processor, the 4004.
  • Atari releases the first commercial video game, Pong 11/29/72
  • The compact disc is invented in the United States.
  • Cray Research Inc. is founded.

The 2006 version of the Computer Merit Badge requirements can be found on the US Scouting Service Project.

25 August 2010 at 8:22PM Leave a comment

Older Posts

My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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