Posts tagged ‘Interview prep’

How not to answer tricky interview questions

Interviewer: Tell me about a time when you didn’t get on with your colleagues.
Interviewee: Time? How long have you got? I’ve got plenty of stories where that’s concerned.

Over on, Alasdair Murray shared a post about “20 tricky interview questions…and how NOT to answer them!” His point is to showcase the flip answers that some people give during an interview.

Interviewer: Are you prepared to relocate?
Interviewee: Certainly. Where would you like me to sit?

While some of Murray’s examples are over the top, anyone who’s been in recruiting for any length of time has heard at least one of these. Murray’s insight is good, and his examples are stellar.  Check it out!

Interviewer: How do you cope with change?
Interviewee: I put it in a piggy bank and buy myself something nice with it at Christmas

22 June 2012 at 12:47AM 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

How not to get a job…or then ridiculousness ensued

Last summer Natalie at the caution: human being blog was looking to pay good money to someone to help her. Ridiculousness ensued. She documented her frustrations with the applicants in general, and one applicant named Bacon in particular. Here are a few snippets of the conversation:

A couple months ago, I was swamped with freelance work and looking for someone to help me out by doing some work – mostly HTML and CSS. I posted an ad on Craig’s List being pretty specific about what I was looking for. I got a number of responses, most of them with truly awful web portfolios full of web sites built with table-based layouts when I had specifically asked for someone proficient in table-less layouts. Anyway, there were two or three promising prospects in the bunch, so I set about scheduling interviews with them.

Natalie tried to be reasonable with Bacon.  She asked multiple times for code samples, and after much torture, she got him to send a template which Bacon claimed he wrote on his own. When she tried to clarify, Bacon went to a bad place and copped an ego:

Bacon was apparently offended.

by the way, the spacing in the left nav is different reflecting rather or not there are sub items, so there. There is nothing wrong with it. good luck with your “company”.

“So there”?

More ridiculousness ensued. The applicant blocked her e-mails.  She gave up on him.

But then, Natalie received this e-mail:


Should I expect a phone conversation sometime this evening? Please keep me updated.

– Bacon

I swear I could not make this up if I tried. Now he was still expecting me to conduct the phone interview? I was so angry. I vented to a friend who pointed out that if I kept it going Bacon was just crazy enough to continue escalating the situation and driving me mad. At my wise friend’s advice I wrote Bacon:

I’ve selected the person for the position. Thank you for your interest, and good luck to you in the future.

It the hardest email I ever wrote. I typed “So there!” at the end of it, then deleted it at least twenty times before finally hitting the Send button.

See the whole thing here: How not to get a job…or then ridiculousness ensued

14 February 2009 at 1:44PM Leave a comment

Tip: First Steps in your Colorado Job Search

This week, two people whom I have hired at previous employers have pinged me with a request for help in starting their job search. Both got caught in a layoff, and I don’t have a current requisition that matches their skills. Here’s the advice I’ve shared with them.

Sorry to hear about your change. I’m happy to do what I can to help. Here are a few suggested steps to accelerating your job search (you may have done some of these already). This isn’t meant to be an exclusive list, but a few ideas of things to do to get started:

  1. Update your resume.
  2. Start networking – let everyone know you’re looking. My last three jobs have come through networking. It does work.
  3. Create, amplify or build up your LinkedIn network <>.
    • Put your resume into your profile. List all the companies you’ve worked for (this makes is easier to find collegues). Make sure you have some keywords in your summary.
    • Use the Find Colleagues tool to locate people you know, and send out a customized invitation to them.
    • Change your profile address from numeric string to something more reachable like The first name+lastname style is standard.
    • Make sure your profile says you’re interested in new jobs.
    • Get recommendations! We recruiters look for those.
    • Make sure your e-mail address from your current company’s is in your preferences. Once you leave, you can’t add it.
  4. Sign up for a job aggregator like Indeed <>. An aggregator is a search engine for jobs. You can set up and save key word searches, and every night Indeed will e-mail you a list of openings that match. Indeed spiders HotJobs, Monster, CareerBuilder, Jobing and a bunch of other job boards. There are a bunch of other aggregators out there, but not all are good. I recommend avoiding Jobster (long story).
  5. Get on the jobs mailing list for the Rocky Mountain Internet Users Group <>.
  6. Check out your local user’s groups. Most disciplines have them – groups like CTRN, BAHRA, RMIUG, APICS, SWE, ASTD and BWA, among others.
  7. Take advantage of all the outplacement help that your employer is giving you. The average participation in these programs is usually around 50%.
  8. Stay current – read a few blogs to keep up. Industry blogs are good, as is that NotJobs blog. That guy’s Tips section is pretty good, if I do say so myself.
  9. Work. Be prepared to devote some serious time to your job search.

19 July 2007 at 6:36PM 2 comments

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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