Friday, September 23, 2011

Interview tips from Gunnary Sergeant Hartman....Full Metal Jacket Recruiting

A colleague got me going on this blog idea...and after a little research I love it!. For those of you who don’t know who Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is, he’s one of the main characters in Full Metal Jacket and is pretty much crazy. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d highly recommend it. Stanley Kubrick is a genius. Anyway, Hartman is the drill sergeant training new troops before the head to Vietnam and has a bunch of good lines...most of them pretty inappropriate. That being said, there are a bunch of funny/good recruiting and job search tips. Here are a few of my favorites:

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: “I'm Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and the last word out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir". Do you maggots understand that?”

Just to make sure we are all on the same page here, if you ever have a boss or interview with someone who even remotely sounds like this. Quit, walk out, start over...regardless, not a good place. Ok? Now onto the tips.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: “What's your name, scumbag?”

Be nice in your interviews. What’s funny is the smallest things can really ruin your candidate experience. Now, hopefully you’d never call your candidate a scumbag but you get the point. Even just showing up late to an interview, talking short or expressing frustration makes your candidates uncomfortable. If you’re having a bad day, take a deep breath and clear your thoughts...then do the interview and do it well.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: “And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps.”

I love this one. Really, it’s good advice for anyone doing interviews. If you are conducting an interview, you’re the front lines of defending your corporate culture and employee brand. You have to your best to make sure that anyone you do recommend for good and fits into the organization. Take this responsibility seriously.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: “Do I make you nervous?”

Another tip about interview etiquette. The goal is to evaluate candidates and hire the good ones. Play nice, make people comfortable and learn as much as you can to determine if they are a great fit for your team.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: What's your excuse?
Private Cowboy: Sir, excuse for what, sir?
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: I'm asking the f#&king questions here private. Do you understand?

Final piece of interview etiquette. Make sure you leave time for the candidate to ask you questions and do your best to interview them in as much detail as you can. Changing jobs is a life decision for people, the more information you can share on why someone should join...the more likely they are to want to accept your offer.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy f#&king walrus-looking piece of sh#t!

Last tip and in my opinion one of the most important if you hope to have a long career. People will quit their jobs, people will leave for better opportunities and people will leave for reasons you don’t understand. It happens. No need to get angry about it. Wish them luck and keep in touch with them...remember, networking is your friend and former colleagues are some of the best people in your network.

Ok, that’s it this week. Kind of a different post which was a lot of fun but I hope you enjoyed it. Until next week, good luck out there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Update on where to find me

As many of you know, I'm guest blogging for the Google Students blog over the next several weeks. If you are interested in these posts you can find them here

I'll have some new content here in the next few days too so keep an eye out and let me know what you think of the Google Students posts!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why you should use Twitter to recruit

Twitter....that mysterious and intimidating social media platform that many people find totally confusing. If you haven’t seen it, this video is amazing will give you a good laugh about Twitter.

All joking aside, I use Twitter all the time and find it to be a great recruiting tool. Unfortunately, most recruiters I meet either tweet for fun (see above video) or don’t touch Twitter. I wanted to share a few tips/tricks on why I’m a recruiter who tweets.

1) Learning - That’s right, I’ve learned more from other recruiters sharing on Twitter than I even care to admit. There are literally hundreds of recruiters who are sharing info, blogging and networking on Twitter. If you are a recruiter who’s looking to learn/grow I can’t recommend Twitter enough. Go to a list like this one on “The Recruiters Lounge” and follow these me you’ll learn a ton.

2) Networking - Twitter networking is one of the coolest things for those of us who enjoy networking (even if you don’t enjoy networking, Twitter is still a tool for you). By following people on Twitter you get to see what they talk about and how they interact with their social community. Basically, you get to know them a little bit. Once you know’s really easy to find a connection and start networking (disclaimer, don’t talk people that’s just weird)

3) Random connections and opportunities- I think this is my favorite thing about Twitter. It makes the world smaller. One day a while back, I was cc’d on a tweet by someone asking “Does anyone know a recruiter at Google?”.....come to find out, someone who follows me connected me with this person and sent me their resume (for a job outside of my area of expertise). Now, they didn’t get hired but what was great is I sent their resume directly to the hiring team so they got reviewed ASAP by the proper team. Without Twitter....this person applies online and has one fewer connection in their network. (I actually told her to apply online too as you have to cover all your bases...see last weeks blog but whatever I digress). Being active and tweeting in your field introduces you to a huge cross-section of people and opportunities that you won’t find unless you join the party.

That’s it this week.....get out there, me, your career will thank me!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Google Students Blog - #googleoncampus

Hi Everyone,

Wanted to just do a quick update this week that for the next several weeks I'll be guest writing for the Official Google Students Blog helping New Grads prepare and navigate the college recruiting season.

You can find the first post here:

I'll still be doing updates here...they just might not be as frequent until we get through the fall!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Give me the job!

A tip you hear from a lot of recruiters is that at the end of the interview you should “Ask for the job!” You know, when the person interviewing you says “Any questions for me?” you say stuff like: “ Do you think I’m a good fit for this job?”, “Are there any concerns with my background relative to this role?”, “What would keep you from hiring me?” there are a million of them but you get the idea...ask for the job.

The real question I this a good idea? Should you “ask for the job”?

Honestly, it depends. Sometimes I like it and think it’s great. Other times, it’s obnoxious and totally out of line. I think “asking for the job” is a great tool to have in your interview toolbox but not something you want to do with every interview. If things are clearly going well, it’s great. You’ve killed it with the hiring manager and you ask for it....boom! you’ve got the job. Interviewing for a sales or recruiting role....again, feeling it.....rocking it....boom! you’ve got the job.

BUT! Wait a minute!! Interviewing for an engineering job and you ask the, I don’t know and won’t know until I talk the folks who did the technical evaluation. Interview going terrible (hopefully you realize it) and you, you’re obnoxious. True story - I interviewed a person one who had a lie on their resume. Obviously didn’t like the answer and ended the interview in about 15 minutes (it was supposed to last an hour). This person then “asked for the job”....I was shocked. Horrified even. And responded “um, no, I don’t think you’re a fit, not at all.” Not the answer this person was looking for to say the least. So, you’ve got to be careful if you’re going to be aggressive and ask for the might not get the answer you’re expecting.

So, like all things interviewing you have to use your judgement and if things are going well (and you are talking to the final decision maker) I don’t see any harm in asking for the job. But if you aren’t sure or you’re not talking to the final hiring manager....let it slide and follow up a few days later for feedback.

Enjoy the week and happy hunting!