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Job Applicants

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


We have an applicant for an administrative position who has the right skills and training, and his references are very positive. He said he has a degree from a local state university, but we found that he is actually two classes shy of receiving the degree. When we him asked him about this, he immediately admitted he was wrong and said he did this because he really wants the job. The position does not require a college degree. I'm not inclined to eliminate him because of this issue. What do you think?
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I was terminated from a buyer/planner position for making "too many mistakes," but my reviews were fine until a new manager was hired. I was then under fire all the time and I was let go. Now I would like to know what to say on a job application when asked about my reason for leaving. I feel like a loser every time I fill out a job application.
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I have every single qualification that a company required in its ad for a manager, and I sent them a cover letter and electronic resume, but I heard nothing. I sent a follow-up note and even left a voice-mail message for the person doing the search, but I cannot get a reply. I really think I would be a good match with this company. Is there anything else I should do?
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I was interviewing a very promising applicant, but she interrupted me several times. I tried to keep talking, but she did not let up. We really need to fill this position, and she has the skills. Do you think her interruptions are enough of an issue to eliminate her from consideration?
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I have written online about myself and some of my previous employers, and sometimes my language was harsh. I'm going to be changing jobs soon, and I know there's a lot of talk about companies checking applicants' online behaviors. Is that really happening now?
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I had a very good job interview a little over a week ago. My experience was a perfect match, and the interviewer and I got along real well. At the end, he said that he would contact me and set up the next step. Since then, I have heard nothing. I have sent a couple of e-mails, and I have called him, all with no response. What should I do?
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I am a 58 year-old woman with over 15 years in executive support and a great resume. Even though there is not supposed to be any age discrimination these days, do you feel there is? What are we mature people supposed to do? I am applying through agencies, newspaper ads, and the Internet. What other advice can you give?
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I just interviewed a male applicant who wore a wedding ring, but I am certain he is not married. He has jumped around in several jobs, and perhaps he thought that wearing a ring would make him look more stable and settled. I thought it was rather deceptive, and I am wondering if I should drop him as an applicant.
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I just interviewed a candidate with a good background for a telemarketing position in our company. The only problem was that he kept turning his answers into questions for me, and I don't feel I got enough information from him. I encouraged him to hold his questions, but that did not deter him. What should I do from here?
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We conduct group interviews, and we just finished up interviewing a good applicant for an accounting position. The only problem was that he was extremely negative in describing most of his previous employers. His comments were bitter, mean, and unnecessarily insulting. We are split on what to do. What do you think?
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I just interviewed an applicant for a sales position who talked for almost the entire interview. He was articulate and had plenty of stories, and he has the gift of gab. The other managers who interviewed him were impressed, but I was not because he did not know when to stop talking. What's your take on this?
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I just interviewed an applicant for a sales position, and I was not impressed. He talked almost the whole time and never knew when to stop. A few other people here also interviewed him, and they want to hire him. They say he has the gift of gab and that's exactly what is needed in a good salesperson. I don't think they are correct. Do you?
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I have been trying to fill a midlevel administrative position and received several resumes. I called the best candidates, briefly interviewed them by phone, and set appointments with three. When their interview date arrived, not one showed up. They did not call before or after, and when I then called them, I was only able to get their voicemail. This has happened before, and I wonder if I am doing something wrong.
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I went on a job interview and the interviewer said I was dressed inappropriately. I thought I looked just fine. I have been on many interviews and no one ever said this to me. Do you think his comment was appropriate?
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I have been trying to hire an administrative assistant, and I have received many resumes. I call the best candidates and make interview appointments, but many of these applicants donít show up, and they donít even call ahead to tell me. I am wondering how to prevent this.
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I am currently looking for a job, and one of my friends told me that he heard that putting a ďP.S.Ē at the end of a cover letter is a good way to get some extra attention. Is this a good idea, or is it something that might put an employer off?
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I just interviewed an applicant who looked perfect on paper. His interview went well, but I have one lingering doubt. He has a very weak handshake. On several occasions, I have heard that this is a sign of weak character, and that is the last thing we need here. This applicant did not have a hand injury or anything like that. Since I have this doubt, should I look at other applicants?
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I am new to management, and I am going to be hiring a couple of more people over the next few months. One of the other managers advised me to avoid hiring anyone with a tattoo. He claims that tattoos are signs of immaturity, impulsiveness, and questionable judgment. What do you make of his advice?
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Earlier this week, I interviewed an applicant who was well qualified for a marketing position that we are trying to fill. The interview was in the early afternoon, and since this applicant had bloodshot eyes, I wonder if he might have a drinking problem. Another manager who also interviewed him said I am making a mistake, but I have a real concern about this.
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We received a resume from an applicant whose background looks good for an entry level marketing position with our company. My concern is that she uses a very babyish nickname on her resume and cover letter. I think this is a sign of immaturity. Do you agree?
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We are screening applicants for a sales and marketing position, and we are impressed with one particular applicant. He has the experience and skills, and he came well-recommended. Our concern is that he does not wear socks. He wears standard types of shoes, but apparently never with socks. Weíre not sure how our customers will view this. Can you help?
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We have been having a hard time finding good applicants for an outbound sales position, and we disagree about one candidate. His work experience and training look good, and he presented himself well in the interview. The problem is that he has had seven jobs in the past five years. I say this should eliminate him from consideration, while other managers say this is not a problem. What do you think?
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At the end of a recent job interview, the interviewer asked me to write a summary of what we discussed. He said these summaries help him learn about applicants and make better hiring decisions. I thought my interview went well, and I summarized it as best as I could. I never heard back. Are these summaries a new trend?
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A year ago, one of our better employees quit, and now she wants to come back. We don't have a policy on this, and my belief is that if people quit, they are likely to do so again. I would prefer to take my chances on someone who truly wants a job here. Some of the other managers disagree with me. We have an open position that suits this employee's skills. What do you think?
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I have always been told that it is important to be persistent when looking for a job, so I usually send my resume several times for the same job. Some of my friends say itís a waste, but I think that my interest and tenacity might cause an employer to think twice about me. What do you think?
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When I go on a job interview, I like to know as much as possible about the company and the person who will be interviewing me. On a recent interview, I sensed that the interviewer was a little uncomfortable with all of the personal information I found out about her. I thought she would be impressed, but she wasnít. Did I cross a line of some sort?
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I'm in the processing of a job application with my main point of contact being a recruiter that the company hired. He was supposed to have contacted me earlier this week with a scheduled interview in which I thought would be an appropriate time to express my concerns and asked questions, but haven't. So I emailed him with concerns regarding my pay and benefits that we discussed over the phone previously, and he responded to me well, but he also wrote in his responses a line that included "think of this as an opportunity to work hard and impress," in which he underlined the word "opportunity." Am I being overly sensitive or does this seem like an arrogant attitude from his part that is telling me something like "you shouldn't be asking too much, you should be grateful we're already considering you?" Nevertheless I replied to him saying, "I apologize if I came across as expecting too much for someone of my inexperience. It is indeed an amazing opportunity and I will take your advice to heart." Do you think I handled it alright?
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