Friday, December 14, 2012


The job interview might be the only thing between you and the position of your dreams. Even when you're the most qualified candidate with references galore, a poor interview performance can leave a lousy impression on a potential employer. 
Yet, you can avoid nearly all interview mishaps if you prepare the right way for your interview. This means always knowing which talking points to bring up — and why these points are important in determining if the position is a good fit for you.
Here is a checklist of 10 things to always bring up in an interview:
1. The work
The most fundamental goal of the interview is to determine whether you have the skills to do the job. Still, your interviewer may not even know how to figure out if you have what it takes. You must be ready to do it for them. Be prepared with a list of your top selling points so the interviewer is completely aware of your advantages over others.
2. The company
In a 2011 survey by AccountTemps, 38 percent of managers said the number one interview mistake they encountered was little or no knowledge about the hiring organization. Don’t let that happen to you. Do your homework ahead of time so you are ready to say why you want to work at that job and for that company.
3. The culture
The work environment can determine whether you love your job or hate it. Address the work culture with your interviewer to make sure your values align. There’s nothing worse than landing a job only to realize the organization is not a place where you would feel comfortable working.
4. Industry knowledge
Want to “wow” the interviewer? Show off your knowledge of the industry. Talk about recent newsworthy events or the company’s newest products. Thoroughly understanding your industry proves your passion for the field. In addition, having this knowledge suggests you have a deeper level of expertise than the average candidate.
5. Past experiences
Your past experiences demonstrate how you would perform if you landed the job. So, you want to be prepared to describe past experiences where you had a big impact. If you have numbers to back up your claims, that’s even more persuasive.
6. Portfolio
A portfolio is a visual representation of your past work. It not only shows off your accomplishments, it also gives you added value. While a portfolio may not be essential for many positions, having physical representations off your work that you can share upon request will make you look good because you went that extra mile.
7. Your plan for the position
Your interview needs to show the company what you can do for them. Lay out what you’d do, should you get the job. This plan doesn’t need to be detailed–it just needs to illustrate how you would positively contribute to the position. For instance, presenting how you would reduce customer turnover is an easy, yet beneficial way to show an employer why you would do well.
8. Your referral (if you have one)
There’s nothing wrong with name-dropping if the person helped you land the interview. If you were referred to the position, be sure to remind the interviewer. This connection may put some legitimacy behind your candidacy, as well as spark a positive conversation between you and the interviewer.
9. Thought-out questions
Always make sure you have questions at the end of the interview. From queries about the interviewer’s role to thoughts on the history of the position, questions show your desire for the job. They can also give you more insight into the role, which may not have been addressed during the more formal portion of the interview.
10. Next steps
Understanding the next steps in the interview process is essential. Always ensure you’re aware of what these are. It may be a second interview. It may be giving the company a list of references. It may mean you won’t know the outcome for a few weeks. By asking about these next steps, you’ll know what to expect and gain some peace of mind. You’ll also show your enthusiasm for this position.
As you can see, job interviews can be a much smoother process if you use this checklist. Do your research, emphasize why you are the best candidate for the job, and always leave on a good note. You’ll find the outcome of the interview will be much more positive if you do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Art of the Telephone Interview

While we have seen an increase in the use of Skype and other video based technology it would seem that the use of the Telephone Interview is back on the rise. It is an inexpensive method for judging cultural and or behavioral fit and is often the first stage in recruitment processes; Forming the backbone of a labor intensive campaign or quite simply an ‘informal chat’ for a senior executive. It is however, full of pitfalls for candidates. Here are ten easy to follow tips that will ensure you create the best impression possible.
1) Get the Environment right:
Try to avoid conducting the interview in a busy, noisy environment or indeed in your car. A private office where you will not be disturbed is perfect. Too many telephone interviews are interrupted by questions from colleagues, or the barista behind the counter at Starbucks! Ensure you allow enough time for the interview and do not assume it will be a ‘quick ten minutes.’  Use a landline for receiving the call. Poor mobile phone reception is the single biggest reason why many telephone interviews fail to take place. While they are technological wonders, our mobile phones are surprisingly unreliable at the worst possible time when it comes to their most fundamental function; making and receiving calls.
2) Prepare.
This is a fantastic opportunity to have your notes and CV in front of you during the interview. Make sure you summaries your notes focusing on key points to avoid scripted answers.
3) Sit in front of the mirror.
This may seem a little odd but quite simply it will give you an indication of how you are coming across. Do you look animated? Is your head up? Perhaps most importantly are you smiling? If not then try to focus on doing so, this may translate in you feeling more confident and therefore sounding more positive!  Alternatively you could try standing up and walking around. If you are more comfortable walking and talking then ensure you are in the right environment to do this. Many people feel they are more animated when upright and this allows for a greater level of focus.
4) DO NOT actively listen when asked questions.
A common mistake to make, however actively listening in a telephone interview can disrupt flow as you will find the interviewer may stop talking. This can lead to a disjointed and awkward conversation.
5) Ask the interviewer to rephrase or repeat back the question.
If you are slightly uncertain about the question either ask the interviewer to rephrase or indeed paraphrase this back. You should try to avoid doing this repeatedly but it is better to get your answer right first time.
6) Use regular pauses.
Leave healthy pauses after every two or three sentences to allow the interviewer to either drill further down or confirm they have heard enough.
7) Vary your pace, pitch and tone.
It is very difficult to convey energy and empathy over the phone so it is important that you vary your speech. The monotone interview is the bane of all interviewers!
8) Practice a CV run through.
The structure of telephone interviews will often vary but a standard format will be CV based. If you are asked to run through your career history you should qualify how long this should last. Do they want a 30 second elevator pitch or a detailed 30 minute conversation? Either way, plan ahead!
9) Build rapport early on but avoid too many jokes!
As with all interviews first impressions count. Good interviewers will try to break the ice early on. Reciprocate and avoid coming across as ‘cold.’
10) Ask Questions.
Like most interviews you will get a chance to ask questions. If an interviewer has a solid day of telephone interviews you will probably stand out more if you ask an insightful question about the business/role and more importantly about them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creating Disruptions in Business Prospects

To bring about prospect change we have to create disruptions.

In other words, good sales people are agents of disruption who should be trying to break organizational routine, release mental locks and create a climate of change within their prospects in order to encourage the prospect’s breakthrough thinking. 

Try to train your sales people to make breakthrough thinking a core competency of their sales regimen through soft and mindful change management disruption!

When times are good and an organization or sales person is successful, they often “sit on a lead” (athletic metaphor).  Actually, they should do the opposite and continue to prospect (even harder) for future good times. 

In the “Art of War for Managers”, Sun Tzu stated … “When you are at peace. prepare for war”.   In other words, when times are good, prepare for the bad times, and vice versa.   

How many of us actually do that?

If sales reps would become “agents of disruption” within their prospect organizations and work even harder during the good times, chances are you will always have a very strong and well compensated sales team!

Hope these thoughts help for 2013!

Art Floro

Friday, November 2, 2012

Of Storms and Redemption

As I sit here in the suburbs of New York City composing this entry, a record in time on a blog that ordinarily would be featuring news of today’s job market, or perhaps staffing opportunities currently offered by some of our clients, I have to remind myself that we are, still, only hours and days removed from experiencing the full brutal impact of Superstorm Sandy. 

Even now, with only the soft flickers of candles to break the darkness, my family has no power, no water, no phones, or computers or televisions. No cell phones chirping; refrigerators humming; dishwashers churning, washing machines swishing. It is peaceful. It is serene.

It is……quiet.

In moments like this, when the noise of the day is silenced into submission, and we sit huddled together as families have done for hundreds and hundreds of years, we take solace in the idea that we are still here to share our stories, and offer support to those in need. We think about those in less fortunate circumstances, who have lost homes, and cars, and livelihoods, and for some, who have lost loved ones in harrowing ways. Unlike throwing our daily routines into tumult for a few weeks, the lives of those families have been altered forever. For so many of us, these sorts of miseries have until now been confined to far away shores. Tsunamis in Japan. Hurricanes in New Orleans. Wildfires on our left coast. Always, just a click away with our remotes, but a world away from personal impact.

No longer. We here in the NY tri-state area have now, unfortunately, gained access to the semi-exclusive club of catastrophe on a grand scale. It’s not something that I relish. But in this case, our membership was not by choice, but by design; the design of the forces of nature, reminding us, yet again, of just who is in charge of things around here.

As a professional recruiter for almost 20 years, my primary function has always been to assist my clients by providing the type of top shelf talent that will help them sustain their growth over the long haul.  Similarly, my function is also to work ever-so-closely with dynamic candidates who share a common desire to simply better their lives with meaningful opportunities.  And when these two parallels are lined up just so, and I have helped to make an impact on people’s lives, it feels good.

But now.… after a national tragedy such as Sandy, one that has impacted millions, I sit here by candlelight realizing that even while the lights and water will eventually come back on, creating “normalcy” again, there is nothing normal about moving forward. Things have changed.

For example, in our business, I often hear our industry refer to potential candidates as human capital, leveraging the living, breathing, soul-searching people who simply desire to better themselves with new and lucrative opportunities into generic corporate capital categories shared by office equipment, and corporate assets, and computer technologies. Rather than accepting that term (though usually not using it), you can be sure I will be making a point of gently changing that acceptance going forward, wherever it is encountered.

Living simply, by candlelight, has an amazing way of illuminating things.

And in a broader sense, I have come to realize the analogous nature of this calamity as it relates to the difficult job market our country has been experiencing for some time. An historic occurrence like Sandy, to be sure, is painful. And yet, as with the passing of all storms, there will be a better day. A day when we will rebuild our homes, and our lives. We are always reminded that it is the positive nature and the eternal fortitude of Americans that will see us through difficult times. And it’s true.

So when we speak of the difficult job market that we have experienced together as a nation, the great circle continues. THIS storm will pass, as well. Yes, in this case, we might need to rebuild our personal capabilities with further education. We might need to rethink how we view our professional selves, and how that view is projected both on resumes and in person. We might even need to relocate for better opportunities.

But if we retain the same sort of courage; of keeping our eyes wide open rather than shielding us from the pain; of a stubborn refusal to accept defeat and from that dig down to rebuild ourselves not into human capital, but living breathing people who WILL make a difference unto others in our personal and professional worlds, then there is more than hope to keep alive.

There is the great American Dream.  If we all stay together, dreams can come true.

Scott Bandremer

Monday, October 15, 2012

A New Day for Porter Consulting Recruitment

Welcome to Porter Consulting Inc., one of the nation's leading recruitment firms for over 40 years! We are pleased to introduce this blog as one of the features of our new website. Here we hope to provide timely articles, opinions and analysis of today's job market in a manner that is direct and supportive.

We look forward to having you visit our blog, and our website ( on a regular basis!