Posts tagged ‘hubris’

How Not to Get a Job as a First Round NFL Draft Pick

CareerBuilder asked hiring managers about frequent mistakes that will destroy a candidate’s chance at employment, and 60% cited answering a call or texting during an interview as one of the biggest deal breakers. Sixty-two percent said one of the most detrimental mistakes a candidate can make is appearing uninterested.

— Forbes: The 13 Most Outrageous Job Interview Mistakes

wvu HelmetEugene Cyril “Geno” Smith III had leveraged his experience with the West Virginia Mountaineers football team into a shot as a first round pick in the 2013 National Football League Draft. However, Geno Smith did not get picked in the first round. During his visits to potential employers, he ensured that he would not get the job.

helmet1-jetsMuch of the pre-draft buzz was around how Smith would be the first quarterback taken in the first round. Smith was drafted in the second round by the New York Jets, the 39th pick overall. The first quarterback in the draft was E.J. Manuel, taken 23 picks earlier by the Buffalo Bills as the 16th pick in Round 1.

On YahooSports, Jason Cole describes what might have changed the front office’s perceptions of Smith:

Two sources indicated that when Smith went on some visits to teams, rather than interact with coaches and front-office people, he would spend much of his time on his cell phone. Instead of being engaged with team officials, he would be texting friends or reading Twitter or a number of other distracting activities.

“All these other players who were in there were talking to the coaches, trying to get to know people and he was over there by himself,” one of the sources said. “That’s not what you want out of your quarterback.”

One must wonder if any text message is worth losing a millions of dollars to read. First round picks get salary/bonus contracts that average around $12M. Contracts for second round picks average between $2M and $800K.

Smith is a member of the Millennial generation – the most technologically connected generation on Earth. However, both Careerbuilder and Jason Cole show us that some Millennials have trouble knowing when to connect through social media, and knowing when to focus on the real live people in the room.

Is it smart to let your smart phone cost you the job?

3 May 2013 at 7:55AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: When you make an unforgetable first impression

Yes – I know recruiters who have had to get restraining orders on candidates.

24 April 2013 at 12:10AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: Hack Marriott computers, extort company for job

Over on the NetworkWorld site, cybercrime reporter Michael Cooney provides details on How Not to Get a Job with a major international hotel chain: hack into their computers, then extort HR for a job:

The Department of Justice today said a man who sent malicious code to Marriott International Corporation, threatening to reveal confidential information taken from the company’s computers if Marriott did not offer him a job, has been sent to prison for his criminal endeavor.

Attila Nemeth, 26, a Hungarian citizen, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

According to the DOJ, court documents show on Nov. 11, 2010, Nemeth emailed Marriott personnel, telling them he had been accessing Marriott’s computers for months and had obtained proprietary information. Nemeth threatened to reveal this information if Marriott did not give him a job maintaining the company’s computers.

Of course, one can see that this is going to end badly. The candidate (Nemeth) continued to think he was the smartest one in the process. The Greeks had a word for that: hubris.

Nemeth was not the smartest one in the process:

Without Nemeth’s knowledge on Nov. 18, 2010, Marriott created a fictitious Marriott employee that it then let the U.S. Secret Service use in an undercover operation to communicate with Nemeth. Nemeth, believing he was communicating with Marriott human resources personnel, continued to call and email the undercover agent, and demanded a job with Marriott in order to prevent the public release of the Marriott documents. Nemeth emailed a copy of his Hungarian passport as identification and offered to travel to the United States, the DOJ stated.

We can picture Nemeth’s messages to the fake HR rep, “Have the decision-makers seen my proposal? Are they going to talk to me? Can I provide any more information? When will they make their decision? Why is this taking so long? You Human Resources types are all incompetent!”

The complete story is here:

1 September 2012 at 1:38AM Leave a comment

How Not to Get a Job in PR (or other fields)

PR Expert Harry Hoover has some feedback for job seekers based on the submissions he’s been seeing:

If the resumes and emails I receive are any indication, neither your parents nor your teachers taught you how to properly look for a job. I frequently receive notes to my email address that are addressed “To Whom It May Concern”, or “Hiring Manager”, or even “Please pass this along to the appropriate person.” I guess since YOU are the one looking for a job, that I am supposed to help YOU find it. Because YOU are special. Your Baby Boomer parents have been telling YOU this all of your life, so it must be true.

It’s not. Welcome to the real world.

If you are looking for a PR job, it’s YOUR JOB to find it. You should have had intro to journalism at some point in your college career. Unless, of course, liberal educators have removed all job-related courses from the curriculum. But that is another posting.

From your journalism courses, you should know how to do a modicum of research to find out the proper person responsible for hiring. In 20 seconds on my website, my eight-year-old grandson could discover the name of a real person and also determine that My Creative Team doesn’t have employees, only freelancers.

And if you are going to be working with journalists, you need to know how to customize your story pitches. “To Whom It May Concern” sure gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I’m sure a reporter would love to receive that in an email pitch.

Nowadays, tools like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo make the research much easier than back in the early ‘Oughts, when all we had was Google.

Hoover closes with specific suggestions:

Now, here’s a little more unsolicited advice. If you want to stand out from the crowd of job seekers, it is not hard. Send a letter and resume via snail mail. Address it to a real person that you have done a little research on. Include some references about the person’s history or career in your letter. If you really want a job, show why you should have it. Trust me, it is easy to separate yourself from the crowd. At least, based on my experience.

Sound advice from someone who sees a lot of paper.

See the full article from Mr. Hoover here:

28 August 2012 at 1:42AM Leave a comment

Faking College Degrees Never Works

Thinking of making up a college degree? In a word: DON’T. Web technology has made it very easy for employers to check credentials at most institutes of higher education. The most common lie regarding a degree is graduation when a candidate only attended the school. The correct way to list attendance without suggesting a degree is:

University of Colorado, School of Business. Attended 1999-2002

If you don’t have a diploma proving you have a bachelors or masters, don’t say that you do. Your future employer will rescind your offer.

10 August 2012 at 12:41AM Leave a comment

The Job Interview From Hell

“I wasn’t throwing you out the door before, but now I am.”

That phrase, spoken at the end of an interview, is not a message that indicates a successful conversation. But – that phrase was part of a real interview that happened in a high-tech company. The details came out when author David Zax of FastCompany talked with CEO Matthew Bellows of Yesware about the worst job interview he ever conducted. (The quotes herein are taken directly from the article.)

“The last thing I wanted to do was waste any more time with this guy who couldn’t be bothered to spend five minutes of his time [doing research] before the interview.”

Bellows is a 21st century CEO dealing with a shortage of critical talent. When the candidate approached him about a job, Bellows invited him in. (Bellows gets high marks for sourcing the candidate, but none for screening.)

“For me, though, the final straw was when he started talking about another company. He’s going on and on about how great they are and how much money they’ve raised.”

Face-to-face interviewing may have problems, but it can help identify applicants with bad attitudes that can could ruin the project.

What are the lessons learned?

For applicants, the obvious one is: Do your homework.

Yep. The  key is to be prepared.

On the interviewer’s side, maybe I could have detected the arrogance earlier, if I hadn’t really been hoping it would work out.

Hoping for a good turnout instead of trusting what you see generally doesn’t work out well.

See the whole article here:

2 August 2012 at 12:21AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: I’m Clearly the Best Candidate!

Suzanna Lucas, The Evil HR Lady, is one of my favorites. Earlier, she wrote the perfect takedown of an applicant with an entitlement attitude: I’m Clearly the Best Candidate–So Why Am I Not Getting the Job?

To start the discussion, the applicant ponders:

I heard that 85% of the time it’s not the most qualified candidate that gets the job.  I’m still searching for that 15% job.

I’m doing something wrong in the interviews.  I’ve been a finalist a few times now but not gotten the job.  Sadly, I used to be good at interviewing.

Anyways, if nothing else you could tell me a couple of great subject lines to use.

The Evil HR Lady responds:

A great couple of lines will not get you a job.  Neither will the idea that you’re not getting the job because hiring managers hire the less qualified person 85% of the time.  And, if there’s ever been a made up statistic, that’s one of them.

To be honest, as long as no one is lying on their resume (and that is a big caveat), that by the time you’ve made it through the resume screen and the phone screen, all candidates being interviewed could do the job and are qualified.  It’s doubtful any recruiter or hiring manager is saying, “Gee I need an accountant who is experienced in Hedge funds.  So, let’s bring in this guy who has experience and 3 other people who don’t have a clue about that area!”  Nope.  All the people interviewing will have the necessary experience.

You said you used to be good at interviewing, but now you are not.  May I gently suggest that you probably have never been spectacularly good at interviewing, but have been in situations where there were fewer qualified candidates to choose from.

It’s the market…

See the Evil HR Lady’s article here:

4 May 2011 at 12:10AM 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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