Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Archive for January, 2012

Should You Like the Company You Work For? Cultural Fit IS Important!

Should You Like the Company You Work For?  Cultural Fit IS Important!

Finding the right company to work for is just as significant as your starting salary.  It’s important, for job satisfaction, that you like the organization. It has to be a good fit for you.  There is a lot more to liking the company that you work for than just the amount on your paycheck!

“Organizational culture is dictated by the values, behaviors, beliefs and norms that permeate the group.  Culture is expressed through the words and behaviors of each employee… You should be sure the culture works from your standpoint.  Rarely will you find a work environment totally aligned with your values, but you should be able to find organizations where the culture and your values coexist.”  (Neece, Career Advice).

If your values, behaviors, beliefs, etc. are vastly different than that of the company that you work for – there is a big chance that you may come to the realization that you don’t really like working for the organization.  You then may become victim to decreased work performance, low morale, poor attendance – you get the picture.  It’s a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning and give 110% when you actually like the organization that you work for.  Say you are in the process of interviewing with Company Q.  How do you find out if you are the right fit for the company’s organizational culture?  ASK QUESTIONS!  Do your homework.

I work in a company that is a good cultural fit for me.  I value education and career advancement opportunities as does Eat’n Park.  I was fortunate to be able to take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program and get my Master’s degree.  I’ve also had the opportunity to try something new, and build my career, when I went from being a restaurant manager to the recruiter.  I really do like the organization that I work for and when I am at work – I give a 110% and I’m happy to do it and my performance reflects that.  I worked for an organization that wasn’t Eat’n Park, through high school and college, and our values were not in sync.  I was unhappy and dreaded going to work each day.  Since most of us need to work – might as well like the company that you are doing it for!

Until next time…



Neece, M.  (n.d.).  Assess Company Culture to Find the Best Fit [Blog Post].  Retrieved from Career Advice

What’s that? You don’t want to go to your interview?

As an organization – we get it.  Things change.  What you wanted yesterday isn’t always what you want today.  You either have decided to take another job; decided that you don’t want that specific job with that specific company or decided that you just don’t want to go to the trouble of going though the interview/selection process.

For whatever reason you just decide you are not going to go to your scheduled interview. You are thinking about just not showing up. “What would it hurt?” you say to yourself. You just don’t have the time to call or send an email to the recruiter to cancel your interview. You don’t know the recruiter, personally anyway, so what could possibly happen? They’re probably used to it.  Right?

Think about it again.

Besides the fact that’s its just plain rude and inconsiderate of someone else’s time to just not to show up for a scheduled appointment – here is the top reason why it’s not a great idea to become a “no call no show” statistic:

You never know when you will meet someone again. Yes. That’s right. Folks seem to turn up at different times in the most unexpected places. In the future, you may need to interview with the same recruiter for the job that you REALLY want. Let me tell you something about recruiters.  Recruiters remember everything. They take great notes and can easily recall when someone wastes their time.  They also use an applicant tracking system that allows them to have a mind like an elephant… you know the saying ‘an elephant never forgets.’ If you wasted a recruiter’s time in the past they may just give you bad marks when you meet again.  Maybe your new job fell through, maybe your new job wasn’t all that you thought it would be, etc. and you need to start the job hunt all over again.  Don’t burn your bridges with Company X before they are even built.

Also keep this in mind.  If you were scheduled for that interview time slot – it means that someone else, who may really want to work for that organization, wasn’t.

The 5 Year Question… and What the Recruiter DOESN’T Want to Hear

Hi everyone!  I’m guest blogging today for Jana.  My name is Crystal and I am the Recruiter for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s Restaurant division.  I started my relationship with Eat’n Park while I was still in college, pursuing my Bachelors in Hospitality Management, after I became a recipient of the organization’s John Vichie Memorial Scholarship.  Isn’t it pretty cool that the company invested in me before I was even a team member, right?!  I was treated so well before I was even on the company’s payroll – that I just HAD to join the company.

I started off as a Manager Trainee, fresh out of college with ZERO management experience, and was promoted to Assistant Manager and then Manager.  I was working on learning and developing my skills towards becoming a GM when the opportunity to take on the Recruiter role was presented to me.  What great developmental opportunities I’ve had for only being with Eat’n Park for 5 years and I’ve even managed to obtain my Masters degree in Organizational Leadership too!

Outside of work – I enjoy spending time with my friends, reading and being creative & making things out of paper.  Currently, my creative projects are focused on handmade greeting cards.

Like Jana – I hope that you will learn something from my insights and experiences that will help you take control of your future.


The 5 Year Question… and What the Recruiter DOESN’T Want to Hear

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

“What are your 5 year goals?” 

We’ve all been asked some variation of the ‘5 year’ question.    It can be a tough one to answer if you haven’t really sat down and thought about where you would like to see your career advance to – especially when the recruiter is sitting across the table from you waiting for your answer.

Why do we recruiters ask this question?  I like to ask this question because it helps me determine two things.  The first is whether or not you see yourself progressing within our organizationCan our organization build long term plans around you and the skill set that you bring to the table?  Or is this just a short term gig for you?  The second is whether you want the job career path that I am interviewing you for.  Are you the right candidate for this position?

Simply, I want to know that what you have to offer will provide solutions to our organizations needs.

This question gives me insight to things that I might not otherwise ‘see’ during the course of the interview because it allows you to reflect.  If I am interviewing you for a Restaurant Management position – it may not be in your best interest to tell me your dreams about wanting to become a college history professor.  I might view that response as that you are only interviewing for the job that I have to offer out of desperation – the minute that you find something in your preferred field you’ll drop us faster than a hot potato.

I think it’s great that you want to own a home, have a family, retire to the beaches of Hawaii and own your own bowling alley.  But it’s not what I want to hear when I ask you this question.  I want to hear something that is realistic towards the position that I am interviewing you for.  “In 5 years I see myself progressing in the ranks of management.  I see myself at the Manager level working towards developing my skills to become a General Manager.  However, I am open to whatever opportunity that may arise within the organization.”

In the end I want to hear a realistic, truthful, response that shows you have career ambition and want to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to offer – because we offer a lot.

You got the job!

You were amazing through the interviewing process. You were prepared, dressed in the most effective manner and demonstrated that you were the best fit for the job. Yea for you! Now, you want to make sure you make a great first impression with all of your new work colleagues.

Here are some broad guiding principles as you start your new job:

  1. Be on time. I really mean it. Be. On. Time. You have zero credibility in the company. You have no reputation to fall back on. Everyone will think you’re not serious about your new job. And they will be like, “Oh… the NEW person/guy… well, they’re not really serious about this place…”
  2. Dress appropriately. You should have learned through the interviewing process, and the research you performed on the company, the company’s expectations. Follow them. I know it’s hard not always having things your own way… but, conforming isn’t all that bad.
  3. Be friendly and look friendly. This means smile and look approachable. Remember you WANT  to make new friends. Smile and say “hi.” If you look scary none of your new co-workers will want to step up to help you.
  4. Don’t over do the talk about how you did things at your last job. If the knowledge is pertinent to a conversation or if you are asked, by all means, bring the subject up.
  5. Ask questions. If you want to know something ask. Remember there isn’t such a thing as a stupid question. Just remember to ask your question(s) appropriately. It’s not what you ask is it’s HOW you ask it. “Hey this is stupid. Why do we do this, this way?” Asking a question that way won’t make you any friends. Try instead “I don’t understand this.  Could you explain it to me in a     little more detail?”
  6. Pay attention to what is going on around you. This is the only way you’re going to figure out how the work place functions. You will find out the formal work process and the informal work process. Be aware of the grapevine group but don’t take part in it.
  7. Network. It’s the only way for you to find out what all of your work colleagues are like. Some folks take politics to the piranha level. You need to find out who to trust and who not to trust. Don’t be a  trusting lamb that will be led to the slaughter house. There are lots of  great books on networking and office politics. If you’re not good at networking build your skills.


You got the interview?!

You worked really hard and finally got a face to face interview. Great job! You don’t want to blow it now by doing or saying something silly. Because I like you so much I’ll share my own 10 MOST interviewing pet peeves.

  1. Being late – Whatever you do DON’T. BE. LATE! But, don’t be      super early either. If you are not sure were you are going for your      interview take a test drive earlier in the week. Time yourself and notice      how difficult finding a parking space will be. If you are taking a bus      find out when the buses are running and where you will be dropped off.      Plan to arrive for your interview early then find somewhere in the area to      kill some time. You want to walk into the interviewer’s office about 5      minutes earlier than your appointment time.
  2. Appearance – Yes. Appearance counts. You      want to look clean, neat and crisp. But, remember, you are not going on a      date. Dress for the position and the company where you want to work.  Check out the company’s website to find      out their appearance standards. Yes, that may mean you may have to wear a      suit and maybe a tie. This may also mean that you need to tone down your      hair. Your appearance is your first impression. You never get a second chance      to give a first impression.
  3. No questions – Research the company you are      interviewing with. You don’t want to ask a ridiculous question like what      do you produce? Big mistake there. You want to show that you are engaged      and want to work there so have at least two questions.
  4. No examples – You know some of the questions      that the interviewer is going to ask you. Have some well worded answers      prepared to the following questions. What is your biggest strength? What      is your biggest weakest? How did you impact… in your last position. Why      are you applying to this position?       What are your goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years? One word      and vague answers will only get you shown the door.
  5. Bad mouthing a former      boss – Even if      your last boss was a crazy, manic, lazy, bully – don’t bad mouth them in an interview. Don’t make      yourself a victim.
  6. No eye contact – Look at the interviewer when      answering their questions, but don’t stare at them like a crazed goat. Or      talk to their wall or plant for that matter.
  7. Being the walking      dead – If you      want the job show that you do. Be engaged in the interview. Acting and      looking like a zombie won’t get you the job.
  8. Chewing gum – No drinking, smoking or gum      chewing period. Why even talk about it.
  9. Not being realistic      – What job are      you applying for? Is the going market really a million dollars a      year?  Get real. Don’t ask for      something everyone knows is impossible.
  10. Not asking for the      job – Ask the      interviewer how you did. Let them know your really want this job. If you      don’t ask you’ll never receive.