Interviewing Pitfalls, Part 1: Handling Tough Questions About Your Past

The old adage of “you are what you are” is really very true. What happens in the past is written into history in ink and cannot be erased. We remember fondly the great times, and tend to flush away the painful memories. There is nothing wrong with that necessarily, it’s just that, a first interview is typically a screening out process, and certain questions are posed in order to aid this process. Answering technical questions is likely going to be the easy part of an interview. It’s the stuff about our imperfect selves that is really hard answer for most of us. Here are some common landmines to step around.

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The Dating Game of Job Hunting

Searching for a new job opportunity can be a lot like dating. The candidate is “playing the field,” trying to determine what opportunity is going to be the best match. The hiring manager is trying to “woo” the candidate by showing all the perceived benefits of stepping into this position and joining their team. Both parties often conduct research on one another, trying to gather insights on what it would really be like to engage in a full-blown working relationship.

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The Power of Fear in Making Career Decisions

Nothing plays so strongly as the element of fear in any important decision. This is really evident when making any kind of expensive purchase. I had a guy in my house recently hawking a machine that is guaranteed to remove all allergenic and pollutant particles from the air in my home.

I was intrigued with the product, but the only reason he made it in the door was the free mp3 player. What can I say? Mine recently broke and I needed a new one. That being said, I do suffer from allergies, and the product seemed to be a good one. So, I watched in feigned amazement as this self anointed “best in-home sales professional in the U.S.” worked his way through his schtick. All the way asking me questions like, “How important is the health of you and your family?” And, “If you could improve the health of your children, would you?”

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Temporary Work on the Rise

One of my clients recently asked me for a helpdesk person for a 6-8 week contract. Since I place people in temporary as well as full-time positions all the time, I was confident I could fill this position for my client. Several of my helpdesk candidates are currently unemployed so I left a few voicemails and awaited some positive responses. To my surprise, of the five people I called I received not one, not two… but FOUR rejections from unemployed candidates. “Did you find a new position?” I asked them. “No, but I don’t want to lose my Unemployment.” Is that really the purpose of Unemployment? To discourage people from working?

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New Year, New Job?

Have you ever thought about changing jobs? With all the economic doom and gloom the past couple years; it is easy to see why people might be afraid to make a move. Too many people lost their jobs due to the recession, leaving those who managed to stay in one of three categories:

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Aureus Group Brings Holiday Cheer to Cooper Village

As part of C&A’s annual holiday volunteer campaign called AurElves, Aureus Group once again decided to sponsor a holiday party and gifts for the young men at Cooper Village. Our group has been fortunate to do this for the past several years. Cooper Village provides a highly structured academic and residential psychiatric treatment for boys aged 12 to 18. The program is designed to “bridge the gap” for those kids who no longer need psychiatric care yet aren’t quite ready to make that transition back into their communities. The goal of the program is to help these youth return to their communities with improved ability to cope and succeed. Ideally, each young man returns home or to an alternate home such as a relative’s home.

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Smart Job Searching

Thinking of applying for a job opening? Whether in between jobs or gainfully employed, people in all stages of their careers are responding to job postings. Hiring managers are pleased to see their inboxes filled with new resumes and eager to find the perfect candidate among them.

In a perfect world all of these resumes would come from highly qualified candidates who are genuinely interested in the position and 100% ready to accept an offer. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Many are either over or under qualified. Others look great on paper but turn out to have misrepresented themselves. Then there are those applicants who are emailing their resumes to every company and every job opening they can find just to see what happens. Instead of an inbox filled with strong candidates, hiring managers waste too much time sorting through a stack of resumes that ultimately will not result in a new hire.

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