Job Search SOS

Reputation, Perception, Behavior

May 13, 2021 Chris & Nancy Pinto Season 1 Episode 8
Job Search SOS
Reputation, Perception, Behavior
Chapters
Job Search SOS
Reputation, Perception, Behavior
May 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 8
Chris & Nancy Pinto

Today we’ll share some practical tips (with #funnynotfunny real-life examples) on behavior and communication during the job search and interview process - for job seekers, companies, and even recruiters such as ourselves.  

Special thanks to Mr. Rogers, and Carole & Paula from "The Magic Garden" for teaching us manners!

Pinto Employment Search LLC - Logistics & Supply Chain Recruiters
Chris & Nancy Pinto, Owners
Website: 
https://www.pintoemployment.com/

Show Notes Transcript

Today we’ll share some practical tips (with #funnynotfunny real-life examples) on behavior and communication during the job search and interview process - for job seekers, companies, and even recruiters such as ourselves.  

Special thanks to Mr. Rogers, and Carole & Paula from "The Magic Garden" for teaching us manners!

Pinto Employment Search LLC - Logistics & Supply Chain Recruiters
Chris & Nancy Pinto, Owners
Website: 
https://www.pintoemployment.com/

NANCY:   Whether you asked for a job transition or not, searching for a new position can be scary, frustrating and disheartening.  Times and technologies change quickly, and there’s a lot to organize!  But the journey can just as easily be exciting, fruitful and rewarding.  I’m Nancy Pinto.
CHRIS:  And I’m Chris Pinto.  Together we own Pinto Employment Search, an executive recruiting firm specializing in the supply chain and logistics industry.  Our combined experience in transportation jobs and recruiting is over 50 years!  We’re here to help you navigate the world of resume writing, job applications, interviews, negotiating compensation, and everything in between - to help you land the job you want! 
From time to time, we will also release an episode where we announce current job openings we’re working on. 
NANCY:  Welcome to the Job Search SOS Podcast!  Today we’re gonna dive into the choppy waters of behavior and how our actions can influence reputation and perception either immediately or down the line.  First, please note that Chris and I are not psychologists.  Everything we say is based on our personal opinions and experiences in the human resources universe.  Every case is unique, there are two sides to every story, and rules have their exceptions. 
CHRIS: Also, we’re not just gonna focus on job seekers.  We’re gonna pick on companies and even on ourselves!  Why?  Because we’re all human and can stand to self-reflect, understand, and learn from one another. 
NANCY:  Let’s start with the job seeker.  We’ll call him “Mr. JobSeeker.”  As he begins, he should get into the proper mindset, telling himself he is Confident, Excited and Open Minded!
CHRIS:  CEO!
Mr. JobSeeker has now gotten his meditation, mantras, and mindset preparation done, and is sitting at his computer, searching for a job he’d like.   Mechanically speaking, his behavior during this activity should consist of following the application instructions. 
NANCY:  Whatever site he’s on, whether it’s a general job search platform, the hiring company’s Career page, or a recruiting agency’s LinkedIn post, he should simply do what the job listing says to do. 
CHRIS: If it says “click this link to view the full job description and apply,” Mr. JobSeeker should do that.  He should NOT just post a comment saying he’s interested and would like further details.  He should NOT take it upon himself to email the job poster a resume.  He should NOT attach a LinkedIn profile if it asks for a resume.  Unfortunately, if Mr. JobSeeker cannot follow one simple instruction, how can he be trusted to follow the requirements of the position? 
NANCY: So now Mr. JobSeeker has successfully applied.  He should make a note of this in whichever way he has chosen to organize his job search - whether a spreadsheet, calendar, or other method to track the details - so that if a hiring authority or recruiter comes calling, he’ll be able to quickly jog his memory.  If there were notes regarding how and when he would hear back, he should jot those down also, as a guidance for following up.
CHRIS: Depending on how things go, Mr. JobSeeker may want to check on the status of his application if enough time has gone by and he hasn’t heard anything.  He shouldn’t take silence personally.  There could be any number of things going on.  The company might be swamped with applicants and it’s taking time to go through the review process (by the way, if you’re listening and you’re a hiring manager in the logistics industry, feel free to reach out to us so we can help you with this problem!). 
NANCY:  They may have determined that it’s not the right fit and just don’t have the time and resources to get back to each and every applicant that wasn’t in the pipeline.  Or, maybe they were waiting for another candidate to accept their offer of employment before taking down the job, and they got it at the same time as his application. 
CHRIS:  If Mr. JobSeeker applied through a recruiter, the agency may be waiting for their client - in this case the hiring company - to give them feedback (we recruiters also have to keep in mind that there are a million things going on with our clients that might delay the interview or hiring process). 
NANCY: In any case, he knows he fit the job requirements and would like an update, and he should again approach that with a positive mindset.  Mr. JobSeeker should be Courteous, Enthusiastic, and Optimistic.
CHRIS:  CEO!
So what exactly should he do?  Well, a polite email or even LinkedIn message will probably be more effective than an out-of-the-blue phone call or text.  Regardless of the communication method, it should be polite and understanding.  Mr. JobSeeker should be like Mr. Rogers and say Hello, Please and Thank you.  The sentences in the body of the message should contain subjects and predicates.  This would be well-received:
NANCY:  Dear Hiring Manager or Recruiter,  I hope this note finds you well.   On May 4th, I applied for the role of Customer Service Manager, and would like to know if my application is under consideration.  Realizing these things take time, I hope to be selected to move forward in the process.  Please let me know if more information is needed.   Respectfully, Mr. JobSeeker. 
CHRIS:  The following would NOT be well received:
I haven’t heard back from you.  Any update???  (you can’t see it here, but there are THREE question marks in the script)
Now, maybe Mr. JobSeeker wants to save time and get to the point.  Maybe he doesn’t see this way of communicating as disrespectful.  Sometimes, but thankfully not often, Mr. JobSeeker doesn’t really respect the gatekeeper and just wants to get past them and to the real decision maker.
NANCY:  Please rest assured that manners and professionalism will never, ever be wrong.  Whereas you can see how the second way looks boorish and puts the recipient on the defensive in so many ways.  Regardless of the intent, this is not a good transaction.  We all know by now that tone can easily be misconstrued in an email.  Mr. JobSeeker does not want to be known as an obnoxious candidate with poor communication skills!
CHRIS:  OK, so once the update is requested, Mr. JobSeeker should move on.  The truth is, if all the stars align, he will be contacted.  Hopefully he is not putting all his eggs in one basket, and has selectively applied to multiple jobs within the areas of his interest and expertise.  At the same time, perhaps he is networking within his chosen field to potentially create new opportunities for himself! 
NANCY:  On the other side of this coin, we have a few tips for hiring companies and fellow recruiters that we hope make your (and our) life easier:
CHRIS:  Be clear in how you want candidates to apply for job postings, whether it be through email, a particular website, or some other way. 
NANCY:  Enable an auto-reply message for job applications, so that when candidates submit their resumes, they receive a confirmation stating that the resume was received and is being reviewed, and that they will be contacted if they meet the requirements. 
CHRIS:  Take the high road and respond to less-than-professional applicants with facts and professionalism.  You don’t want anything in writing that reflects poorly on yourself or your organization.  Also, you don’t want to give someone a reason to write a negative review.
NANCY:  Provide status updates to candidates that are under serious consideration, especially if they’re going through the interview process.  Just like there are multiple applicants for one job, most job seekers are considering multiple companies, and maintaining communication keeps interest levels and spirits high. 
CHRIS:  And to candidates and companies both:  if a candidate is removed, or removes themselves, from consideration, please make sure all concerned parties are informed as soon as possible so everyone can move on.   DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE CHASE YOU.  AND DO NOT GHOST.  THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS UNPROFESSIONAL.  No hard feelings if all parties are open and honest, and who knows, there could be future opportunities to work together in some capacity!   
NANCY:  Now to the interview process.  There are - we don’t wanna say “rules” - but there are definitely some common sense guidelines for how to act during an interview, whether it’s on the phone, a video meeting, or in person.   
CHRIS:  Let’s pretend Mr. JobSeeker has secured a first interview with a recruiter or HR department.  His job is to convince the interviewer that not only does he have the technical requirements to do the job, but also that he’s a nice person who can play well with others. 
NANCY:  As usual, Mr. JobSeeker should adopt a positive mindset.  He must balance confidence with humility, friendliness with professionalism, and openness with tact.  If Mr. JobSeeker does any of the following (which are, unfortunately, actual examples), his candidacy may be in jeopardy.  And the interviewer might think he’s been drinking. 
CHRIS:  Number 1. Tells the interviewer it’s their lucky day for having found him. 
NANCY:  Number 2. Refers to a legitimate question as his quote, most hated question, and launches into a defensive tirade about why the basis of it is garbage.
CHRIS:  Number 3.  Speaks ill of his former employer.
NANCY:  Number 4. Admits that since his COVID-19-induced layoff he’s been doing, quote, f-ing nothing.
CHRIS:  Number 5. Belches and doesn’t even acknowledge it.
NANCY:  Oh yeah, recruiters hear it all!
CHRIS:  Instead, Mr. JobSeeker should thank the interviewer for reaching out; answer ALL questions politely; ask any questions he may have, also in a polite manner; tackle sensitive topics diplomatically; and maybe, just maybe, prior to the interview -  stay away from fiber.
NANCY:  We’re not looking to have our butts kissed, but a candidate should present themselves with a certain amount of professionalism so that the recruiter is not worried about putting them in front of their client.   We don’t ever want to get that phone call that says “What were you thinking???” and yes, that question has 3 question marks.
CHRIS:  Assuming all goes well, and Mr. JobSeeker makes it to the next round of interviews, he should continue in this vein.   
NANCY:  Flipping the mirror.  The company is also being evaluated, by the candidate:
CHRIS:  Do I want to work here?
NANCY...and also by the recruiters they work with:
CHRIS:  Do I want to represent this organization?
NANCY:  The questions and the tone of the hiring company should be considerate, ethical, and on-point!
CHRIS:  CEO!
We are in no way suggesting that anyone pretend to be someone they’re not, misrepresent a situation or an expectation, or downplay their opinions.  But let’s think about it.  If someone sets a negative or belligerent tone from the get-go, in what’s supposed to be a pleasant, professional setting, is that someone you would look forward to working with?  It’s a small world, and a reputation for being disrespectful, unreasonable, or for constantly bad-mouthing others, could spread like wildfire throughout the industry.
NANCY:  A few more thoughts on behavior for both parties during a video or in-person interview, based on actual experience and feedback we’ve received over the years.  And some common sense.  And some Psychology 101.   
CHRIS:  Mr. JobSeeker should plan to arrive at his appointment - alone, by the way - 15 minutes early.  This will allow time to deal with traffic, parking, restroom break, quick meditation, brow mopping, etcetera.
NANCY: The interviewer should make every effort to accommodate Mr. JobSeeker on time. 
CHRIS:  Body language is critical.  Mr. JobSeeker and the interviewer should maintain eye contact, and a relaxed, yet focused, confident posture.  But not too relaxed!  There will be no sprawling out, arm over the back of the chair, and crossing your legs as if we were all sitting in the living room watching the big game!
NANCY:  Everyone involved should enter the room with - you guessed it - a positive mindset, a smile, and a resolve to have a great conversation.  That’s all it is!
CHRIS:  Should Mr. JobSeeker be asked a redundant question (meaning, it’s on the resume, or he’s already been asked this in the first interview), he will graciously respond anyway, without pointing these things out.
NANCY:  Should Mr. JobSeeker be asked an illegal question, he can decide whether he feels it was an innocent mistake, an attempt at ice-breaking (like the “Where are you from?” question), if he’d like to ask why this question is relevant to the job and then decide what to do, or to end the interview and excuse himself right then and there.  The interviewer should know by now which questions are illegal, and should have prepared accordingly. 
CHRIS:  The interviewer should also not keep Mr. JobSeeker for more than an hour without offering a refreshment, lavatory break, and approximate ETD.  We’ve named this the “GO” clause, after the initials of an extremely patient candidate we once sent on a job interview.  Unbeknownst to us, the company decided to keep him for 4 hours without offering him so much as a granola bar.  This mortification cost us a peacemaking steak dinner (which, actually, we were more than happy about, since he also - luckily - happens to be a good friend with an amazing sense of humor). 
NANCY:  At the conclusion of the interview, assuming all went well - and really, most of the time it does - all parties should be on the same page regarding the next step in the process, then thank each other, and part ways.   
CHRIS:  As the next step would be a follow up of some sort, we’ve kinda come full circle on this one!   We hope these tips helped.  We would like to hear from you.  Let us hear YOUR job interview horror stories, whether you are the interviewER or the interviewEE!   Next time, we’ll talk about THE COUNTER OFFER.
NANCY:   We’ll also drop a bonus episode announcing the hottest logistics jobs we’re working on.  Our website and contact info will be in the show notes of every episode, so please feel free to share with anyone you know, and reach out with comments, questions, or just to say hello!
OUTRO MUSIC AND THEN WRAP-UP
CHRIS: Thank you for listening to the Job Search SOS Podcast! 
Please visit www.pintoemployment.com and feel free to reach out to us.  See you next time!
 
Pinto Employment Search LLC - Logistics & Supply Chain Recruiters
Chris & Nancy Pinto, Owners
https://www.pintoemployment.com/

Chris Pinto: 
Phone: 908-578-5814
Email:  [email protected]
www.linkedin.com/in/chrispintoemployment

Nancy Pinto
Phone: 201-988-2293
Email:  [email protected]  
www.linkedin.com/in/nancypinto