Expanding JC2 Technologies

JC2 Technologies is in the process of expanding our business to include a division that will be focused solely on Executive and Sr. Level Retail Placement.


img_2934To help with this process we would like to welcome Sharon Pietruniak to the JC2 Technologies Team.

Sharon will be involved in the expansion process as she has over 15 years of experience in all facets of Retail Operations.

Sharon spent 15 years working as a Sr. level Information Technology Executive in the retail industry, this allowed her to gain vast knowledge

in all aspects of Retail Operations including but not limited to Merchandise Management, Store Operations, Sourcing and Procurement, Logistics

and Distribution, Supply Chain Strategy, Replenishment, E-Commerce/Omni-Channel Operations, etc.  Sharon has already shown a bright future

here with JC2 Technologies when it comes to client relations Sharon truly understands the meaning of JC2’s slogan “People First”.  Sharon works

hard to ensure 100 percent satisfaction with every client and continues to grow our knowledge here on retail operations.

What Recruiters Want

 What They Really Really Want…

Understanding how to best use a recruitment consultant as part of your job search will not only cut your paranoia and stress levels down a lot, but will also accelerate your journey to thatdream role.

So, let’s talk about recruiters. They’re often criticised and regularly despised by both job hunters and employers alike. For every candidate who tells you what great help they received from a recruiter, four others will foam at the mouth, punch a wall and burn furniture at the mere mention of the R word. For every hiring manager who swears by agency recruiters, several others would slaughter their first-born if it meant they’d never have to use another one.

So what’s wrong with recruiters? Well, I suggest they’re misunderstood and the problem is yours, not theirs.

Okay, I’m used to the hard stares and long silences at this point in the conversation. I’m also wearing a gum shield and a cricket box so I’m hoping you’ll bear with.

Recruitment. How hard can it be, really?

Agency recruiters are misunderstood for several reasons, but mainly because a lot can go wrong for them. Recruiters are often in competition with other firms, so if you fail to win a job, they get literally nothing after putting in a lot of hard work. Failing to understand that both you and the recruiter have skin in the game is often the point where it all starts to go wrong.

Employers can be mercurial. Hiring freezes, changes to the role or person specification and employers endlessly searching for that perfect person abound. Candidates themselves can be a minefield. Without warning, they can drop out of the running, refuse an offered role or fail to turn up for one, even after they’ve signed a contract. Factor in misleading CVs, exaggerated qualifications, dodgy references and a lack of work permits and you can wonder how recruiters ever manage to place anyone.

A recruiter is investing time and money and is therefore taking on a risk. For you, as a job hunter, the world is all about being seen as a low-risk, fast-win, high-gain choice.

Are you a good bet?

Let’s look at how you can build a positive relationship with your recruitment consultant and thereby encourage them to invest in you, rather than someone else on their books.

Do your preparation first

Figure out what makes you a good bet. Focus your CV, tidy up your online presence and get ready with a life-story that shows you are THE number one perfect choice for that next role.

Take responsibility for your search

Don’t abdicate responsibility and wait for others to deliver opportunities. It’s YOUR job search and a firm of recruiters should only be part of your strategy.

Take charge of the relationship

Don’t just register online and upload a CV to their site. Pick up the phone, find out who’ll be handling your interests and start building a relationship with them. Base that relationship on trust and nurture it.

Define your objective

Be specific about the job you’re looking for, the sectors you work in, locations you’ll consider, your capabilities and your needs and wants. If things change, let your recruiter know.

Talk to multiple recruiters

Different clients work with different recruiters so you’re not being a harlot or trying to set them against each other. After all, they have more than one candidate on their books.

Know where your CV is going

Be very explicit from the outset – you don’t want your CV blasted everywhere as it makes you look desperate, tired and unprofessional. Insist on knowing what they’re putting you forward for, and with which companies.

Agree a pattern of contact

Ask how they work and what’s reasonable for regular contact. Weekly works well to keep everyone on the ball without feeling hustled and also helps limit the time it takes to get feedback.

Use an agenda

When you call, in addition to any specific opportunities, some items to have on a regular list are: what’s happened since last week? What’s the plan this week? How’s the market looking? Any general thoughts or feedback?

Be positive

A recruiter is not your counsellor, nor are they there to keep you motivated. If you’re feeling down, don’t talk about it. Be strong, be positive and be optimistic. If they think you’re weak, you’re a bad bet and they’ll sideline you.

Be a friend

Since you’re not paying them, why not introduce a friend or colleague? Even better, why not introduce a company that may be able to put some work their way? If they feel obligated, you’ll get preferential treatment.

To summarise …

A recruiter is not your agent, so you need to respect the relationship and not run conversations as interrogations. By following the above you can maintain control and keep up the pressure, whilst still being able to develop a close and trusting relationship. Knowing you won’t be hassling them every day leaves recruiters the mental space to do their job properly, whilst knowing you’ll be calling on Friday keeps them on their toes.

About the author: Jon Gregory is an author, editor, blogger & trainer on all things job hunting, interview prep & career development.

10 Reasons Why Now is Still a Great Time to be a Recruiter

There may be times where one looks at the big picture and wonders, what is coming?  In our day and age in Staffing/Recruitment we are the pilot of our own destiny. A Pilot must train hard, and keep their skills sharp, in order to successfully fly.  As I went to the March Field Aviation Museum recently nothing was more readily apparent.  But now is still a GREAT time to be a recruiter because no profession challenges and builds you like recruiting does.

Some Trends to Watch:

1. How will Social Media affect change in recruitment now that LinkedIn has been acquired?

2. How will Job Boards affect our Recruiting efforts in the future now that Monster has been acquired?

3. How will Indeed.com continue to change the Recruiting Landscape?

4. Will Artificial Intelligence forever alter sourcing/recruitment?

5. What new approaches will need to be taken in the future as recruiting changes?

6. What approach will be needed to engage the millennial generation as they continue to rise in industry?

7. How will society embrace a Labor Shortage when multiple Baby Boomers suddenly retire?

8.  How will different generations come together in the workplace, and what type of leadership may be needed?

9.  What Macro and Micro Level environmental factors will be important in the coming years?

10. How will HR be transformed and in what manner will this take place?

Even in spite of all of this and the dialogue that is continuing about these very matters, is recruiting still a great place to be and can you make a solid career of it for the long haul?  Is there ambiguity? The answer is a resounding yes to both questions.  These environmental factors give us pause for a huge challenge, yet they are also the very reasons a career in Recruiting/Staffing is still powerful beyond measure.

10 Reasons Why Now is Still a Great Time to be a Recruiter:

1. Although changes persist – the human element will never fully go away.  If you fear for the future consider that robots, artificial intelligence, and other matters are not the end all be all of staffing.  A personal touch will always be needed.  I see tools perhaps embracing strengths of AI, but nothing more.  Worry not about this as human to human contact will always differentiate a business in the staffing scene.  Rather – look at AI as an opportunity to streamline your operation and see it is supplementing what you do.  Human Innovators and recruiting landscapes will need creativity and focused approaches of strong thought leaders.  You can make a difference and find success by being creative and innovative in how you “disrupt” your recruiting world.  Human beings can embrace change, and we need thoughtful and inspiring recruiters to lead the charge and lead the way.

2. You are Able To Help Build Careers. Helping professionals to build their careers is of vital importance to success.  There is no greater driver in this profession than that.  Day in and day out – you will be given moments of challenge, but the one motivator is being able to help a professional rise in their career.

3. You Build Relationships with All Kinds of Professionals. At times you will be exposed to all manner of professional backgrounds, experience skill sets, etc.  But nothing is more invigorating, exciting, and interesting then engaging someone who is a Thought Leader in their field.  You will meet professionals who are just getting started, and work with mid-level, managerial, executive candidates across the spectrum.  There is something very uplifting about seeing different professionals succeed.

4.  Innovation & Recruiting Reinvention Will Open Doors.  Reinvention and Innovation will drive new Recruiting Mantras and outcomes.  It is important to see that technology will continue to shift.  Career Opportunities will open for Staffing Professionals out of the traditional disciplines.  I can think of many Recruiting Professionals who go on to own their own business, who disrupt the whole industry by new ways of viewing the world, and create new products to help stream-line the staffing function.  Doors opening as a result of new technologies, and new tools will open new industries, and new opportunities to invent, re-define, and innovate are abounding in our space.

5. You Learn to Brand Yourself.  I can think of no other professional focus other than staffing that requires one to reinvent and rebrand themselves multiple times as changes come.  You learn as a staffing professional to brand yourself, to change your voice, you give yourself opportunity to shine and build partnerships across boundaries. You learn to find your voice, and stand out in a crowd.  You learn business discretion, and when to stand up firmly for a cause.

6. You are Taken Out of Your Comfort Zone. Recruiting takes you out of your comfort zone, and that is a good thing.  It is inspiring to find yourself finding success and building success after you learned to overcome areas you never thought possible.  Staffing allows you to do this.  Do you remember the first time you made a cold call to a candidate?  Do you remember your first intake session with a manager?  Over time you learn to reinvent and overcome your comfort areas, and as a recruiter grows so too does their confidence.  No other profession may challenge you as much, or give you a greater return on investment.

7.  You are The First To Learn New Technologies.  We are the first to learn new technologies and focus on new ways of doing business.  We engage candidates in new and innovative ways.  Video Conference interviews, Company Events, and many more steps allow you to be strategic in how you engage talent.

8.  You have a Built In Support System for your Career.  Regardless of what happens in industry you always have a built in network.  Recruiters/Staffing Professionals are some of the most supportive people I know.  It’s because of this I feel grateful to have this line of work because I know if something ever were to happen with layoffs, an economic shift, etc, I would always have a ready network to help me get back on my footing again.

9.  You Are in A Position to Give Back.  We all play the role of Career Coach at times, and that gives us power to help others success.  I don’t think anything is more rewarding than hearing a candidate say “Thank You” for giving them hope in their job search, or giving resume advice, or a hand up.  I greatly enjoy that.

10. You get to See Even the Toughest Managers Show Appreciation.  The most fulfilling of all outcomes is knowing that you made a difference for the toughest of hiring managers, resolving a search that tested your recruiting mettle and finally making a match that helps build confidence and removes the anxiety that manager felt.

That about sums it up.  You are indeed the pilot of your career and on the way can help others to “Fly”.  I think I am very blessed to be in this profession.  As I attended SourceCon last week I learned some valuable focus points that should help me continue to build my staffing “wings”.  But here we are in one of the GREATEST professions on earth.  Despite the changes that may come, staffing will always be there.  No amount of change in technology or in our tools will ever take away the human element of staffing.  I still firmly believe that.  And growing one’s success is what staffing is all about


Working with a Recruiter – 15 Tips for Success

Please read the following pointers on how to get the most out of working with the VET Recruiter and how to help us find the best job opportunity for YOU.

Send A Resume

When you contact or are contacted by a recruiter, send a resume and other requested information, even if you make it clear that you are not interested in a current opportunity. Having your resume on file will make it more likely that the recruiter will call you again. If there are special circumstances surrounding your job search, tell your recruiter. These professionals deal with hundreds of applicants and understand discretion. If you are seriously interested in getting a new job, you shouldn’t be afraid to send out your resume. After all, the whole point of using a recruiter is to gain access to opportunities you would miss on your own.

Tell the Truth

Don’t EVER pad information or lie on your resume, on the phone, or in an interview. All recruiters have a universal loathing of candidates who lie, and they all have friends in the recruiting business – you may need their help in the future. Don’t burn your bridges by purposely misleading or lying. Besides, you might be risking your career as well. It’s not worth it.

Make Up Your Mind

Be sure you have discussed your job search with your spouse, partner or significant other. Decide which areas of the country you would be willing to consider. Be open to change, and don’t limit yourself unnecessarily unless there are significant reasons restricting your relocation. Other factors such as pay expectations, job title/responsibilities, and industry type should also be firmed up. Nothing is more aggravating to a recruiter than to have a candidate back out of a position because they changed their mind on one or more of these crucial points at the last minute. Make up your mind and stick to it. If something changes with your situation, inform your recruiter right away-don’t wait!.

Keep it to Yourself

It is in your best interests to respect the confidentiality of information shared with you by a recruiter. Candidates and client companies depend on a recruiter’s ability to keep secrets. If a recruiter calls you, don’t expect to be told how they got your name. Don’t be offended if you are not told all of the details about a potential position. You will be given information on an as-needed basis, and you will be expected to keep it to yourself. Your friends and family may ask you about your job search, so please be careful what you tell them. It is especially important not to share details about compensation and other sensitive matters with anyone except your recruiter and your spouse, both of whom need to be informed and should respect your confidence.

Stay In Touch

Occasionally call and/or send resume updates so that the recruiter is aware of your continuing interest, current salary, etc. This does not mean daily calls and a flood of paper. Be polite and be reasonable. Your placement is important, but it takes time.

Help Your Recruiter

If a recruiter calls you about a position that is not right for you, be kind enough to pass along the names of potential candidates or individuals who might know potential candidates. Your participation will be kept confidential and you will be remembered when the appropriate opportunity for you comes along.


Don’t be afraid to share personal information with your recruiter. Knowing what is important to you helps us to find you a suitable combination of position, company, and location.

Call Promptly

When your interview or phone screen is over, call your recruiter as soon as possible to discuss the day’s events and your feelings about them while everything is fresh in your mind. A recruiter prefers to have your input before calling the client company to follow up the interview. Help your recruiter to help you. In fact, maintaining contact even after you have found a great job can be a good idea.

Don’t burn your bridges

Even if you didn’t like what the recruiter had to say or he/she didn’t give you as much attention as you would have liked, be professional and polite. That same recruiter might be the one to hand you your next job on a silver platter. Professional Recruiters look for the most qualified and successful people in their field. Usually those people are too busy to job search.

Don’t take it personally

Of 200 candidates uncovered in initial research, perhaps 50 will make the first cut, five will be finalists, and one will get the job. The search process aims for a perfect fit, and if you’re not chosen, it’s probably in your best interests anyway.

Be patient

Don’t burn your bridges with either the recruiter or your present employer. Recruiters may intend to get back to you, but in the recruiting world whatever is most pressing gets done first. If a recruiter doesn’t get back to a candidate, there’s nothing to talk about because the recruiter doesn’t have an appropriate position available.

Avoid unnecessary follow-up – it’s counterproductive

The recruiter will call you if he/she has a good reason. But do stay in touch with recruiters with periodic email updates to demonstrate your continued interest. After you speak with an employer, always call your recruiter immediately. Give the recruiter feedback after visits and telephone interviews so that she can aim more accurately the next time or perhaps work out any minor problems that may have come up. The recruiter will be “running interference” between you and the potential employer so don’t leave them out of the loop once the interview process begins. Use your recruiter’s skill in negotiations to express any concerns. This will help facilitate communication and allow some of the details to be handled at a more comfortable arm’s length.

Juggling more than one offer

If you have received more than one offer, it is generally best to let your recruiter and all potential employers know. Disclosing interest from other parties quite often has a snowball effect and if handled diplomatically, can certainly work to your advantage.

Don’t take too long to think about the offer

The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think you are not committed and that they have, perhaps, made a wrong decision. We have even seen cases where, due to inordinate delay, employers have retracted offers of employment.

Follow your recruiter’s instructions and listen

Listen to what your recruiter has to say and follow their directions. You will be more successful in your search as well as in an interview situation! Your recruiter often knows more than you do about the client, the hiring manager and the interview process and should prepare you for each interview. Be sure to listen closely to the recruiter’s interview tips and instructions. Also, it is important that you always do what you say you will do. When your recruiter asks you to call him/her after the interview, be sure that you do! Otherwise they may take it as a sign you are not interested or are unprofessional and they may not want to work with you in the future.


Source: http://thevetrecruiter.com/animal-health-and-veterinarian-career-planning-resources/working-with-a-recruiter-15-tips-to-help-you-succeed/


9 Most In-Demand Programming Languages

Breakdown of the 9 Most In-Demand Programming Languages

1.    SQL 

It’s no surprise SQL (pronounced ‘sequel’) tops the job list since it can be found far and wide in various flavors. Database technologies such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server power big businesses, small businesses, hospitals, banks, universities. Indeed, just about every computer and person with access to technology eventually touches something SQL. For instance, all Android phones and iPhones have access to a SQL database called SQLite and many mobile apps developed Google, Skype and DropBox use it directly.

2.    Java

The tech community recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Java. It’s one of the most widely adopted programming languages, used by some 9 million developers and running on 7 billion devices worldwide. It’s also the programming language used to develop all native Android apps. Java’s popularity with developers is due to the fact that the language is grounded in readability and simplicity. Java has staying power since it has long-term compatibility, which makes sure older applications continue to work now into the future. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon and is used to power company websites like LinkedIn.com, Netflix.com and Amazon.com.

3.    JavaScript

JavaScript – not to be confused with Java – is another one of the world’s most popular and powerful programming languages, and is used to spice up web pages by making them interactive. For example, JavaScript can be used to add effects to web pages, display pop-up messages or to create games with basic functionality. It’s also worth noting that JavaScript is the scripting language of the World Wide Web and is built right into all major web browsers including Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari. Almost every website incorporates some element of JavaScript to add to the user experience, adding to the demand for JavaScript developersIn recent years JavaScript has also gained use as the foundation of Node.js, a server technology that among other things enables real-time communication.  

4.    C#

Dating from 2000, C# (pronounced C-sharp) is a relatively new programming language designed by Microsoft for a wide range of enterprise applications that run on the .NET Framework. An evolution of C and  C++, the C# language is simple, modern, type safe and object oriented.

5.    C++ 

C++ (pronounced C-plus-plus) is a general purpose object-oriented programming language based on the earlier ‘C’ language. Developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs, C++ was first released in 1983. Stroustrup keeps an extensive list of applications written in C++. The list includes Adobe and Microsoft applications, MongoDB databases, large portions of Mac OS/X and is the best language to learn for performance-critical applications such as “twitch” game development or audio/video processing.

6.    Python

Python is a general purpose programming language that was named after the Monty Python (so you know it’s fun to work with)! Python is simple and incredibly readable since closely resembles the English language. It’s a great language for beginners, all the way up to seasoned professionals. Python recently bumped Java as the language of choice in introductory programming courses with eight of the top 10 computer science departments now using Python to teach coding, as well as 27 of the top 39 schools. Because of Python’s use in the educational realm, there are a lot of libraries created for Python related to mathematics, physics and natural processing. PBS, NASA and Reddit use Python for their websites.

7.     PHP

Created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, PHP was never actually intended to be a new programming language. Instead, it was created to be a set of tools to help Rasmus maintain his Personal Home Page (PHP). Today, PHP (Hypertext Pre-Processor) is a scripting language, running on the server, which can be used to create web pages written in HTML. PHP tends to be a popular languages since its easy-to use by new programmers, but also offers tons of advanced features for more experienced programmers.

8.    Ruby on Rails

Like Java or the C language, Ruby is a general purpose programming language, though it is best known for its use in web programming, and Rails serves as a framework for the Ruby Language. Ruby on Rails has many positive qualities including rapid development, you don’t need as much code, and there are a wide variety of 3rd party libraries available. It’s used from companies ranging from small start-ups to large enterprises and everything in-between. Hulu, Twitter, Github and Living Social are using Ruby on Rails for at least one of their web applications.

9.    iOS/Swift

In 2014, Apple decided to invent their own programming language. The result was Swift – a new programming language for iOS and OS X developers to create their next killer app. Developers will find that many parts of Swift are familiar from their experience of developing in C++ and Objective-C. Companies including American Airlines, LinkedIn, and Duolingo have been quick to adopt Swift, and we’ll see this language on the rise in the coming years.

Any great craftsman has a belt full of tools, each a perfect choice for certain situations. Similarly, there will never be just a single programming language, and each language will evolve and improve over time to keep pace with innovation.

This is why, if you’re interested in becoming a developer, it’s important to be well-versed in a number of programming languages so you can be versatile and adaptable – and then continue to learn/master languages throughout your career.

Coding Dojo teaches five of 2016’s most in-demand programming languages. Whether you’re interested in picking up a new language, or learning several, make sure to check out Coding Dojo’s online and onsite programs!

Questions to Ask During an Interview

14 Questions Job Candidates Should Ask to Impress Interviewers

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @


“Do you have any questions for me?”

We’ve all been on the receiving end of that question in an interview. If you’re prepared, you’ve probably got some good questions you usually cycle through.

But we want to be better than “good” in an interview. We want to be standout candidates that hiring managers are excited to extend an offer to.

One thing you can do to separate yourself from other applicants? Ask good questions. 

Download our free resume templates here to help you create a standout resume. 

“I’m always surprised at the lack of good questions candidates have, and I always respect the candidates that ask insightful questions during interviews,” says Andrew Quinn, VP of Learning and Development at HubSpot.

To help you prepare to stand out at your next interview, here are some questions that’ll make hiring managers’ ears perk up. Try them at your next interview and see how the conversation changes.

14 Questions Hiring Managers Wish You’d Ask During Job Interviews

1) How does this role contribute to larger company goals?

It’s not terribly difficult to find a candidate that can execute on a role. It is terribly difficult to find a candidate that can not only execute on their role, but also understand how it fits into larger goals. This includes being able to self-manage, prioritize high-value activities, and grow their role in a direction that aligns with the company’s growth.

How It Helps You

This information can be hard to come by if your company isn’t very communicative or transparent, so this is a good chance to get that information while the gettin’s good, and use it to guide your decisions if you land the role.

2) What do the most successful new hires do in their first month here?

This question shows that you’re the type of person who likes to hit the ground running, instead of spending a week filling out HR forms. It also shows that you recognize patterns of success and want to replicate only the most effective performers.

How It Helps You

Every company has its weird nuances, its own environment, and its own unspoken expectations. This helps you start with a little bit of the insider info so you don’t suffer a case of “if I knew then what I knew now” in six months.

3) What metrics would you use to measure success in this role?

Asking a question like this shows that you’re goal-oriented and aren’t afraid to be held accountable for those goals. You don’t shirk accountability. You welcome it — and will work hard to hit the goals you’re responsible for.

How It Helps You

It’s shocking how many people don’t actually know what they want from their employees beyond a vague idea of some work that needs to get done. Asking this question will force a hiring manager to figure it out — and then can communicate it to you, so you can execute on it.

4) What are some of the challenges or roadblocks one might come up against in this role?

A question like this indicates that you’re already envisioning yourself in the role and thinking through a plan of attack, should you land the gig. It’s also a sign that you’re well aware that no job comes free of roadblocks. It shows that not only are you not afraid to deal with those challenges, but you’re also prepared for them.

How It Helps You

The response you receive should help you better understand some of the less-than-ideal aspects of the job — difficult colleagues, bureaucratic processes, internal politics, and so on. You can use that information to decide that the role really isn’t a good fit for you … or that you’re up for the challenge.

5) What is the biggest challenge the team has faced in the past year?

While the interviewer might be trying to paint a pretty perfect picture of what working on the team might look like, asking this question will help you uncover some of the realities the team has been facing recently. If you end up joining, you’ll inevitably hear about these challenges — and you may have to help solve them, too. This is a question our senior sales recruiter Katie Donohue says she likes to get during interviews.

How It Helps You

It really helps to know what challenges you could find yourself or your team up against ahead of time. In some cases, it could affect whether you accept the role. Not only that, but learning about these challenges could give you some great insights into the steps the team has taken to overcome these challenges already.

6) Why did you decide to work at this company?

This question gives an interviewer a chance to do two self-serving things: talk about themselves and perform a no-holds-barred sales pitch on the company. For promising candidates, the sales opportunity is welcomed. And most people love any excuse to talk about themselves. ;)

How It Helps You

This gives you insight into what motivates your future colleague or manager, as well as insight into what the company offers its employees. If those all line up with what you’re looking for in a job, you’ve got yourself a good fit.

7) You’ve been at this company for while. What keeps you motivated?

If your interviewer has been at the company for several years, understanding why could give you some really interesting insight into the company, how it treats its employees, and a taste of what motivates the people who work there. Plus, it shows you’ve done your research on the interviewer, which is always an impressive sign.

How It Helps You

Depending on the interviewer’s answer, you might learn something about the company’s career training, leadership opportunities, workplace flexibility, internal job opportunities, and more. You might dig a little deeper by following up with related questions, like, “What do you enjoy most about working here?”

8) Where do people usually eat lunch?

Do they take the time to go out? Do people bring lunch but eat in groups? Do folks normally eat at their desks because they’re too busy to socialize? Asking this question serves as a great way to find out a little bit about the company culture. Plus, this is a more lighthearted question that might relax a stiffened atmosphere or lead to a conversation about shared interests.

How It Helps You

Along with learning about company culture, it doesn’t hurt to get a few good lunch suggestions for the future.

9) What is your company’s customer or client service philosophy?

This is an impressive question because it shows that you can make the connection between how the company thinks about its customers and the end result. In other words, how the customer is treated on a day-to-day basis, and in turn, how that shows up in the product.

How It Helps You

While you might be able to find a canned response to this question on the company’s website, it’ll be useful — and possibly eye-opening — for you to hear it more candidly from an employee. How the company treats its customers could end up informing your decision to join if you are offered the job, especially if you’re applying for a job where you’ll be communicating directly with customers.

10) What are some of the less tangible traits of successful people at this company? 

Ever work with people that just get it? That’s who hiring managers are looking for. This question demonstrates that you understand a job is about more than just going through the motions. Successful people have a specific frame of mind, approach, attitude, work ethic, communication style, and so on — and you want to know what that mix looks like at this company.

How It Helps You

Because these characteristics are often hard to pin down, this question forces a hiring manager to articulate that “it factor” they’re really looking for — even if it wasn’t written in the job description.

11) What behaviors does the most successful member of the team exhibit? Please give me an example.

Asking a question like this shows you’re interested in getting a practical example of what success looks like to the manager of the team you’d be joining. Plus, when you phrase the question in this way, “you leave no room for a hypothetical answer,” says Dave Fernandez, a recruiting team lead here at HubSpot. Instead, you’re pushing the hiring manager to think about their top performer.

How It Helps You

Because this question forces an example, the answer to this question will give you a strong idea of what success actually looks like. That way, you’ll learn what it takes to impress your colleagues and be a star candidate.

12) What behaviors does the member who struggles most on the team exhibit? Please give me an example.

Follow question #9 with this question, and you’ll show the hiring manager that you’re really trying to get a concrete idea of what to do and what not to do as an employee on the specific team you’re applying to join, says Fernandez. And while this question can make a manager uncomfortable, it’s impressive because it shows that the candidate is not afraid to ask tough questions.

How It Helps You

First, you’ll get an idea of what poor performance looks like, which will help you set expectations for the position. Second, you’ll learn how the hiring manager handles a tough question like this — which can teach you something about how office politics are handled in general.

13) How do you deliver negative feedback?

If you would be working with the person interviewing you, this is another tough question that can give you some insight into how the team works. It pushes the hiring manager to think about how he or she would handle an uneasy situation, while at the same time showing your level of maturity in that that you (realistically) expect to receive tough feedback sometimes.

How It Helps You

Just like different people take negative feedback differently, different people give negative feedback differently. Does this person tailor their feedback approach depending on whom they’re giving feedback to? Do they make feedback a two-way street? Their feedback style — especially when it comes to negative feedback — will help you understand how well you would be able to work with them.

14) Do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications?

This question shows that you’re not afraid of critical feedback — in fact, you welcome it. Interviewers tend to make note of red flags — whether it be something on your resume or something you said — to discuss with a colleague following the interview. This question gives them the green light to ask about any of the things that are holding them back from being 100% on board with hiring you.

How It Helps You

You get a chance to address concerns face-to-face without being too confrontational. This could be the difference between an offer and a rejection — or maybe even a higher opening offer.

Please share some other interview questions you like to hear as a hiring manager in the comments, and explain why it’s so helpful or encouraging to hear from a candidate.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

4 Things Employers Want From Job Candidates

Ace the interview by putting yourself on the other side of the table.

Hiring was underwhelming in March, according to a new ADP Employment Report.

When you describe your value, interviewers are listening for specific examples from your work history.

Have you ever wondered how hiring authorities go about the process of figuring out who to interview and what to ask when they meet candidates face to face? Leslie Gurka and Joel Brodsky can tell you. They have spent their professional careers as educational leaders in the New York Public School System. Now, they consult schools systems around the U.S. on a variety of issues, including how to effectively hire the best teachers and administrators, as part of the Executive Leadership Institute team.

While their focus is on the educational system, their concerns, methodology and insights apply broadly to almost any hiring situation. In order to whittle down a large group into a manageable pool of candidates, they initially screen out résumés missing key ingredients, like licensing credentials. They regularly eliminate candidates whose writing reveals poor grammar or punctuation, and they critically assess the overall look and format of one’s résumé and cover letter or writing sample.

Gurka and Brodsky recently discussed the whole hiring process with me. Below, they describe how they go about figuring out what to ask during interviews and how they ferret out winning from losing candidates:

1. Specifics. After you’ve been interviewing for any period of time, you can easily spot someone who is out of their depth by their vagueness. Gurka eschews people who are too general in their interviews, and she always wants to know why a candidate is interested in a specific job at a specific time.

She cites a general and unimpressive statement as something like: “This is a wonderful school, and I want to work here to help students.” Instead, she looks for what she calls a “business-specific” answer. For example: “I want to work at this school, because it services underprivileged students, it services a wide diversity of students, and it has a focus in the arts.”

Tip: Do your research, and be prepared to show that you know something about the employer and to relate that to your abilities and interests in a compelling fashion. Show why you belong in that environment.

2. Team acknowledgement. You might think of a teacher as independent in his or her classroom, just as with so many other roles in America’s workplaces. Yet, Gurka is careful to pay attention to the ways people project themselves into the roles they seek. For example, if someone continually says things like “I’m going to do this or that” or “in my last role I did A, B and C,” it shows the person is focused more on her own accomplishments than on how she fits into an overall team effort.

Gurka looks for people who give at least a nod to others. You might say: “as part of the faculty, I did …”, “along with my colleagues, I did …” or “If hired for this job, I’d look forward to contributing to the overall effort by doing …”

Tip: Of course, you need to identify your strengths, contributions and value. However, you should take pains not to take sole credit for shared accomplishments or for the role you have played in relationship to others.

3. Demonstrated value. “I’m looking for creativity,” Brodsky says. “I’m looking for someone who really loves kids and is excited about the job. And lastly, I’m looking for someone who is willing to learn.”

He continues: “But, if someone came in and said: ‘I love kids, I’m excited about this opportunity, and I’m willing to learn, I would assume its a prepared answer and I would not be impressed.” He prefers more creative responses that show the candidate’s value, he says, “by bringing up stories that really illustrated how they have these qualities and desires.”

Moreover, Gurka isn’t about to let someone off the hook by claiming he or she has a passion for something. She follows up by asking: “Tell me something about your past that illustrates the passion you are talking about.”

Tip: Spend some time thinking about the role you seek to fill, the values a successful candidate will need to demonstrate and how your past actions have shown you to be that kind of person. Put simply: Show, don’t just tell!

4. Unique contributions. “We know that every serious candidate has all the qualifications, so the question that often comes up is: Why should I select you for this particular position compared to the many other candidates?” Gurka says. “I’ve always asked candidates that question point blank.”

She continues: “People who knock that question out of the park are the ones who speak directly to accomplishments and experiences that they’ve had in the past.”

Tip: To be taken seriously, be prepared to authentically speak from your experience. Think about stories to share that demonstrate the value you bring to your next employer. And, most importantly, don’t hesitate to share why you want to make a contribution to the team you seek to join.

Arnie Fertig, MPA, is passionate about helping his Jobhuntercoach clients advance their careers by transforming frantic “I’ll apply to anything” searches into focused hunts for “great fit” opportunities. He brings to each client the extensive knowledge he gained when working in HR staffing and managing his boutique recruiting firm.

Why Recruiters May Want Active Candidates More Than Passive Candidates

In professional recruiting circles, a lot of attention is paid to so-called passive candidates. In theory, these are people who only get jobs when recruiters reach out and ask them. Happily employed and fully engaged in their current job, they are supposedly prized precisely because they aren’t looking.

This notion, which fuels much of the Recruiting Training industry, depends on a number of odd arguments.

Somehow, the thinking goes, a person who is happily engaged in their current job always makes a better employee. While it is true that the flattery associated with trying to poach someone from their employer is great for the potential employee’s ego, the costs associated with targeting and convincing a happy employee to leave their job drive all labor costs up. You certainly wouldn’t expect a poached employee to move for lower pay.

This is why the practice of targeting and recruiting passive candidates has the net effect of driving overall labor costs up. Once the incumbent team figures out that the new players are making better wages, the internal pressure to provide across the board salary increases grows quickly. It’s a genie that can’t be put back in the bottle.

Now, consider the motivational difference between someone who actively wants the job and someone who has been persuaded to take it. Which of the two has a deeper intrinsic motivation to over deliver? The active candidate has to prove merit while the passive recruit has no hurdle to jump. A critical component of managing employees who have been persuaded to take a job is the implicit sense of entitlement that distinguishes them from their active brethren.

Perhaps this is why, in spite of all of the hyperactive recruiting trainers, that 80% of all hires are active candidates.

According to a recent survey by the CareerXRoads team, over 80% of all new employees are hired from the ranks of active candidates. It’s sort of easy to understand. Active job hunters are easier to negotiate with, have a vested interest in trying harder and are easier to get started. There are no messy non-competes, end date negotiations, counter offers or last minute vacillations. The active job hunter lands a job and then has the opportunity to earn it.

One of the astonishing, self-serving fantasies that the proponents of the passive candidate foolishness seem to miss is the fact that almost everyone has had some time on the ‘bench’ in the past 20 years. Wicked economic downturns, disruption from new technologies, re-engineering, outsourcing and bank failures have all contributed to the realities of contemporary economic life. If you haven’t spent time looking for work, it’s most likely because you are one of those bottom kissing toadies who always navigate the layoffs. Political aptitude is more important in those cases than actual competence.

So, in spite of the realities, the folks who train recruiters continue to rely on the fantasy that their team is somehow so compelling that top flight players, deeply engaged in their work, will flee on a moment’s notice to come to work. According to these sages, the only real contributors are the ones who have managed to survive the ups and downs of the economy without ever spending time looking for work. It really isn’t like that in the real world.

People who actively seek their next opportunity come willing to learn, qualified and motivated. They are taking charge of their destinies and navigating forward.

Passive candidates are just that. Passive.

5 Ways to Keep Employers Interested After an Interview


Interview Shaking HandYou’ve just finished a phone interview with an employer. Although you’re feeling positive about the interview, the employer said they would only be in touch if they don’t find someone more experienced. Feels like a slap in the face, right?

If you find yourself in this situation after an interview, it’s easy to jump to conclusions. Your first thought after a bad job search experience might be the employer will never contact you. You could also make the decision to forget about the interview and move forward with the rest of your job search. Regardless of how you’re feeling about the interview, don’t give up hope just yet.

There’s a secret to getting noticed by employers after an interview; you need to keep them interested even if they don’t hire you for the position. If you can make a good first impression and catch an employer’s interest, they’re bound to keep you at the top of their list of potential candidates.

To keep an employer interested in your application, it’ll require some action on your part. Here are five ways you can keep your application at the forefront of an employer’s mind during their hiring process:

1. Take initiative. 

If the interview didn’t end as you had hoped, it’s up to you to keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Take initiative to follow up with the interviewer and establish a connection. Even if the employer cannot offer you a job, find out if they can keep you updated about future job opportunities. This way, the interview doesn’t go to waste and you have a new connection.

2. Read between the lines during communication.

Once the interview is over, take notes of the positive and negative feedback you received from the interviewer. For example, the employer said you’d be a stronger candidate if you had at least one year of experience. Instead of ignoring the interviewer’s feedback, inquire about internship opportunities. This shows your eagerness to learn and your interest in the company.

3. Gauge the employer’s attitude.

Paying close attention to how you receive feedback from the employer can be a good indicator of whether you should keep in touch. If the interviewer or hiring manager seemed very friendly and timely with your follow up emails, this could indicate you have the opportunity to continue your relationship with the employer.

4. Float around their chain of command.

Believe it or not, there are a number of ways you can get your foot into a door at a company. Let’s say your initial contact with the employer was through human resources. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, but it doesn’t get you to the people who make the final hiring decision.

Consider reaching out to professionals who work in the department you’re trying to land a job with. Connect with them on LinkedIn or email them with questions you have about the position and learn more about the company. If you make a good impression, this is a great way to move your name to the top of the list of candidates to consider.

5. Keep employers informed.

It’s always a good idea to keep employers informed about your job search, especially if they gave you serious consideration for the position. This shows employers you current interest in the position and whether they should consider you for future opportunities.

Employers pay attention to job seekers who put in extra effort to maintain a relationship after the interview. As you continue to keep employers interested in your application, remember to be professional, friendly, and considerate of their time.

Why IT Skills are the Backbone of a Strong Resume

Deciding which skill sets to add to your resume as you adapt it to various positions can be difficult. Do potential employers care about the many volunteer programs you have been a part of, or are they more interested in the numerous minor achievement awards that have been bestowed upon you? One thing is certain; no matter what career you are applying for employers are intent about seeing what IT skills you can bring to the table.

The idea might be somewhat surprising, but nearly every career-level position out there today requires some level of technical knowledge. The more you have, the more likely finding a job will be a breeze.

Here are just a few positions that value IT skills more than you would think.


Careers in the healthcare industry have sincere need for professionals with IT skills and capacities. Many major technological advances in the field have been slow to take effect because of the necessary time to retrain busy doctors and nurses that have been practicing for years. As these individuals reach retirement age and new positions open up, hiring managers are looking to hire people who are versed in current hospital tech, and are willing to take on new technical challenges as they arise.

And they are sure to arise; new technology is being implemented in healthcare every day to help doctors better understand their patients. For instance, researchers in University of Cincinnati’s Health Informatics program tested the advantages of implementing geographic information systems into medical research. They found the technology to be promising, but concluded that many facilities did not have the capacity to take advantage of it at this time, but likely would begin implementing it in the near future.

Library Science

When thinking of places where IT skills are highly valued, libraries may be one of the last places to come to mind. In reality though, librarians have adapted to the age of technology. They are often some of the most well-versed individuals in finding valuable research information through technical avenues and can be a massive asset in any project.

In fact, in many places it can be difficult to acquire a position at the local library without a considerable IT skill set. Librarians are expected to be able to help visitors from all over the world navigate their e-library, where many books in the collection have been scanned into the system and can be ‘checked out’ online. Librarians are often now considered the managers of massive databases of information.


Perhaps even more surprising than the need for IT skills in library positions, is the need for IT skills in career-level construction positions. Although a great deal of the work within the field is still very hands-on, computers have made a major impact on the industry. Computer-based programs have allowed for far greater accuracy in field and greater communication with architects and engineers off-site.

Because of this, many site managers must be proficient in the use of these programs to direct employees and complete their job. For many large projects, the use of computers for analysis of work processes has enabled contractors to both promote workplace safety and reduce the overall budget. Furthermore, the technology has allowed for greater project collaboration, which can keep everyone from plumbers to electricians on the same page.

The addition of IT skills to your resume is a huge advantage no matter the position you are applying for. Even in the most unlikely careers, this type of experience makes for a significant bonus to hiring managers. Clearly, IT skills have become the backbone of any strong resume out there today.

About the Author: Brittni Brown is a current Masters student at the University of Idaho. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and rafting.