Cancelling an Interview by Tyler Pearl

Getting an interview can be tough. Typically less than 30% of candidates who are submitted or apply for a position make it to the interview stage. It comes as a shock to the hiring manager and recruiter when they invite a great candidate to interview and he or she doesn’t show up or cancels 20 minutes before. As a candidate, maybe not every interview is the one, but there are ways to cancel and be professional at the same time.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

The interview is the best time to fully understand the job opportunity and feel out the relationship with the company. The hiring manager saw something in your resume that peeked interest and has set aside time in their busy day to meet with you. Your recruiter has also put a lot of work into setting up the interview for you and preparing you. You took the time to talk with the recruiter and learn about the job. So why would you cancel now?

I understand that things come up. Maybe a more appealing opportunity has presented itself. Maybe you aren’t feeling well. Or perhaps you had forgotten your schedule. If canceling even starts to cross your mind, consider what you and the others involved have put into the process. Respecting your commitment to the interview and the manager’s time is important. You risk burning a bridge with your recruiter, the hiring manager and the company. If you really must cancel, give adequate notice of at least 24-48 hours.

Every interview is an opportunity. Even if the job seems like it may not be your dream job, it is a chance to connect with a manager who shares your passion for the field. Show up on time, be prepared, and you might just leave with the perfect job.

Article by Tyler Pearl

4 Reasons You Should Never Burn a Bridge with an Employer | Off The Cuff


“You never know if you will have to cross that bridge again”

Have you ever had one of those work days where you feel under-appreciated, overworked, miserable or all of the above?  Maybe you took a job only to find out your manager was unethical or possibly even crazy!  Whatever category you fall under, you may have jumped to the solution of walking out with no warning or notice – just up and leave.

I’m sure that instant feeling of freedom is wonderful at first, but what happens next?  Do you have interviews lined up or other opportunities to pursue?  My guess is that this decision was in the moment and not a lot of thought went into the aftermath.

Having seen this situation unfold before, here are a few reasons why you should never burn your bridges.

  1. “Why did you leave your last position?”  Don’t be surprised if this question comes up during a phone screen or interview.  Hiring managers don’t typically offer jobs to candidates who bash their previous employer during an interview (regardless of the reason).  While you can answer professionally without badmouthing your old boss, it will be hard to prove you are a reliable candidate when you left your last job with no notice.
  2. References.  Many hiring managers ask for 2-3 professional references before making a formal offer.  Of the 2-3 they prefer at least one to be from your most recent hiring manager.  Even if you were completely professional in your reason for leaving, telling a hiring manager “Sorry, I won’t be able to get a reference from my last manager because I left without notice” probably won’t get you an offer.
  3. Networking.  Many job seekers put “references available upon request” at the bottom of their resumes, but some managers don’t always need to request one.  It is very possible that they have connections at a company you have previously worked for (especially if it is a direct competitor). Before they even decide to interview you, they will call their connection and get the scoop.  If you left on a bad note, I wouldn’t expect an interview.
  4. The Job Market.  Freedom feels great until you realize you have been unemployed for 2 months.  The job market has been tight these last few years and many have struggled to find the job they want.  While your reasons for leaving may be justifiable, leaving a job with nothing to fall back on is extremely risky.

As bad as your job may seem, try to stick it out until you can line up some interviews. Use your spare time outside of work to find new employment.  At the very least, you have a job with a paycheck and can leave on a good note.  Every situation is different, but in any case it is better to try to build a bridge, not burn it. You never know if you will have to cross that bridge again one day!

5 Common Interview Questions and How To Answer Them


Ever been on an interview and the interviewer asks you a question and you draw a blank??

Unfortunately, the only way to handle this sticky situation is to go into the interview prepared. Check out these common but tough interview questions and some suggested responses in order to avoid an interview disaster:

So, tell me about yourself?

This is usually the first question in an interview so don’t start it off wrong by telling your whole life history! Your answers should be a brief summary of your qualifications and experience. Talk about your education, work history, recent career experience and future goals.

How would your best friend describe you?

Always keep your answers positive and maybe have a few specific examples in mind. “They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “Hilary Smith has always said I was the most dynamic, team player she’d ever met.”

What would you say are your  greatest weaknesses?

This question reveals your ability to identify the need for personal improvement. The best responses include turning your weakness into a positive or a presenting a plan on how you’re addressing the weakness. For example, wanting to double-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a positive or address your weakness by saying “Being organized wasn’t my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really improved my organization skills.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Most importantly, the interviewer wants to know that you’re stable and you want to be with their company for the long haul. Keep your aspirations to take over the firm to yourself and answer something more like this “I want to secure a recruiting role with a national firm that concentrates on Engineering placements. I want to grow with the company and one day, manage my own recruitment team.”

Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.  

Give solid examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work – then talk about what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive and be specific “Even though it was a difficult time when Ben quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.”

Now that you’re acquainted with these common but difficult questions, you can walk into that interview feeling confident! Good luck!

Posted on by Katie Davis |



I applied to the job I wanted… Why didn’t I hear back?

Posted on  by Tyler Pearl |



Applying for jobs can be extremely frustrating. You fill out the extensive form, attach a resume, hit submit… and then what? Wait, pray, apply again? Here are some reasons to answer the question “Why hasn’t anyone called me?”

1.  Too many people applied for the same job posting.

Lots of people apply
for every job posting out there. Sometimes there just are not enough hours in the day to review and call every applicant. Resumes can easily fall into the “black hole” and never be reviewed. One of our recently-posted jobs received 213 applicants. The position moved fast, and we did not get to call every applicant. On the bright side, the next time there is a similar opening, we now have your resume on file and are looking out for you.

2.  Your resume sucks.

Sorry, but if your resume is not well-organized, c
ontains misspellings, or is just too vague, the person reviewing your application may quickly pass. Other red flags are major gaps in employment, job hopping, or strange pieces of personal information. The job market is tight right now, and employers are looking for the best candidate. Finding the company that fits you best will be key.

For more advice on resume writing check out our blogger Galen’s advice.

3.  The job is no longer open.

Jobs close or stop accepting new applicants, but postings often stay up on Career pages for much longer. Other times, company policy dictates that every job is posted, but there is an internal promotion or inside candidate already taking an offer while you are just hitting submit.

My advice: Check when the job was posted. If it was 3 months ago, it might not be worth applying anymore. Subscribe to saved searches or watch your target job postings closely so you can beat the rush.

4.  It just might not be the right fit.

Look closely at the job description and title. Does it align well with your background and current position? Recruiters, HR representatives, and hiring managers don’t look at every resume for very long, so if you don’t quickly jump of the page and make them think, “This could be the one!”, you may not be getting the call.

5.  You live too far away.

Location is an important factor. One client recently lost a long-term employee because the commute finally became too much for him. They were worried that applicants who lived too far away may feel the same. Other times, we get applications from candidates all over the world. If you aren’t seriously planning to move and could not get to an interview within a few days, it probably isn’t the right job to apply for.

So what’s the best way to get a call from your application?

Talk with your recruiter and learn the best path to the job you want. We can be your best advocate during your search. We will work with you to optimize your resume and discuss how closely it fits. From inside information on company culture to the reason for the opening and the salary, we are here to help you. Developing a relationship with a recruiter over time will ensure that we think of you before we even post the job. A recent job we posted attracted 60 applicants, but the candidate who got the job had been talking to me since September and was the first call I made when the job came out.

As the saying goes, “It’s who you know, not what you know,” and in the job search, leverage who you know. Use LinkedIn and Networking groups. Meeting people in the company you want to work for is often the fastest way in the front door.

Lastly, don’t get frustrated. If you are applying to the right jobs and have the right strategy, you will find that dream job!

How To Stay Off Our Blacklist (AKA “Do Not Assign”) | Staffing Talk


Written by Scott Morefield February 19, 2014 – See more at:

Whether you’re between jobs, looking for a better job, or just starting out in this wild, wacky adventure we call work, staffing firms can be an excellent tool to have at your disposal. Since our business model demands that we actually put people to work in order to keep our doors open, if we see even a little effort and promise on your end we’ll often go the extra mile on ours to land you a job.

We don’t think we’re asking for much – just a polite, friendly demeanor, neat appearance, decent work history, reachable references, a can-do spirit, and maybe a nice handshake and a look in the eye to top it all off (OK, we’ll even make the handshake and eye contact optional!). When you step through our doors, we WANT to put you to work and, once employed, we want to keep working you until you land a full-time gig, hopefully at one of our clients. In the business world, that’s what I call a win-win.

That is, as long as you manage to stay off of our DNA list.

What sort of nefarious list is this, you ask?

Well, in the staffing world, DNA doesn’t have anything to do with your genes (calm down, Legal Beagle, we know the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act prohibits us from asking those questions!). Rather, DNA stands for ‘do not assign.’ Other staffing companies might use different abbreviations and terminologies, but they all have some sort of ‘blacklist’ in the form of a system designation to mark those to whom the privilege of job offers will no longer be extended. Once your name makes it there, you might as well ditch your phone and change your address to some kulak in Siberia, because as far as we’re concerned you’re banished and we aren’t calling you again, ever.

So, how do you avoid landing on this awful list? I’m glad you asked! How about a list of five surefire ways to land ON the DNA list? Avoid doing these, and your chances of avoiding ‘the list’ are pretty good.

1.) Violence – You’d think this should go without saying, but in today’s climate one can never be too cautious. That’s why not only the actual act of violence (or harassment, or intimidation, or bullying, or anything that could possibly be related to those things!), but even the vaguest, most remote threat of violence of any sort will not only get you released from your assignment, but will get you permanently and irrevocably DNA’d. It’s just not worth the risk.

2.) No call, no show – If you’re going to take the time to register, interview, drug test, watch orientation videos, and fill out the seemingly endless reams of paperwork required to work with us, one would think that actually physically showing up for the job you accepted on day one would be just a formality, right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case. When we tell our client you’re going to be there, and you aren’t there… unless you’ve called us with a really good reason, consider yourself DNA’d.

3.) ‘Walk off’ a job – No matter how well we try to explain the job to you, nothing can quite equal actually DOING the job. Maybe packing corn chips in cardboard boxes all day sounded more glamorous than it actually turned out to be. Maybe you thought we said ‘tasting pies’ when we actually said ‘tool & die.’ I don’t know, but I do know that if you walk off a job before your shift is complete we will never, ever place you again.

4.) Violate a safety rule – This was an important piece of my article entitled, ‘How To Get Fired On Your First Day As A Temp.’ For the same reasons listed there, violating a safety rule will also land you on our DNA list, from which no further placements will ever, ever ensue.

5.) Lie to us – Whether it’s fudging your resume, failing to disclose a criminal past, or using your THIRD dead grandmother as an excuse for calling out of work, we have a really hard time placing people who we can’t trust. Can you blame us?

There are certainly more, but these are probably the worst offenders. No big deal, you might think. List or no list, you’ll just land a job on your own. Maybe so, but keep in mind that when you are on a staffing company’s DNA list you’ve often barred yourself not just from that staffing company, but from the dozens of clients that staffing company does business with. And although these days sharing references, especially bad ones, is taboo among the HR world, you’re deceiving yourself if you don’t think people who know and network with each other will talk ‘off the record.’ Trust me, other than the ‘Busted’ section of the newspaper or maybe the ‘bad check’ wall at Shoney’s, the DNA list of any staffing company is the worst place your name can appear.

– See more at: