Friday, March 25, 2011

Candidate Tip - Part 10

I started the ‘Candidate Tip Series’ on this blog with the intent to answer recruitment related questions from readers. The series was also introduced in an attempt to avoid redundancy in replies. I tweet these tips on my twitter account too, and use the hash-tag #candidatetip.

If you are a candidate, hope this helps. If not, you can help send this post to people searching for answers. I’ll continue to take questions and should you have one, you can send it to

Looking for the earlier posts on candidate tips? You can read them here

  1. Putting your spouse's contact number on your resume isn't a great idea. Recruiter's would want to talk to the candidate.

  2. Not a good idea to place an interviewer 'on-hold' during an interview. And not return to the call even after 5 mins! Enough reason to reject.

  3. Words like 'hyper-active' don't sound great on your cover letter. You may want to rephrase.
  4. Using wi-fi connectivity during interviews is fine. Just don’t get hooked to it and forget the very reason for being there.

  5. Use your name as the file/doc name for your CV. Eg: .doc/.pdf. Names like 'Cool Boy', 'HR Bull', 'Chosen One' sound insane!

  6. If you're referred by a friend for a job at the company he works, let him know you'll meet him after the interview. Stay focused.

  7. Avoid using acronyms in interviews. Else, first give context and then use it. Saying BRX, MNJ, XYZ means nothing to anyone outside your current company. Explain it.

  8. It's ok to follow-up with the recruiter/hiring manager on the status of your interview. A couple of mails should be fine. Don’t go over-board. If they still don’t reply, you wouldn’t want to work for them
  9. .

  10. It's not a good sign when you want re-negotiate the job offer after you’ve accepted it. Think.

  11. Take time. Read. Re-read. Ask questions. And only then say ‘Yes’.

  12. It's ok to ask the hiring manager a few questions on his/her style of management. You'll know if it works for you or not.

  13. Try to not change your contact number(s) in the middle of an interview process. If you really have to change it, keep the recruiter informed.

  14. It's not a great idea to take another interview on phone, while you wait in the lobby for the present one to start! Not. A. Good. Idea.

  15. Coming from a competitor definitely gives you an edge, but you still need to ace the interviews. Take nothing for granted!

  16. Aggressiveness is an asset. Don't demonstrate by hitting the discussion table, to make ur point! It's not the same trait.

  17. Getting a presentation to an interview is fine. Just don't force it on the interviewer; unless it was asked of you.

  18. If you're invited for an interview outside the employer's office, it's your call whether to want to take it there or not.

  19. Good hiring managers look for two must-have things in managerial candidates: (1) Emotional Quotient (2) Intelligence Quotient. Go prepared.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things to do in your notice period...

  • Plan, document and share a list with things that you will to complete during your notice period.
  • Prepare a manual that captures everything that your team or manager might require in your absence.
  • Documentation would help your colleagues to deal with things in your absence or at least till they identify your successor.
  • If you have some time to spare, volunteer to help out colleagues with their work.
  • Help your manager with the process of identifying your successor. Even helping with interviews would suffice.
  • Be ready to take calls or mails (for atleast a week) from your manager/team member asking for your help while your successor/manager works through the transition period.
Take a minute and re-read the points above. To be honest, you would want your team member or peer or even your manager to do these things during their notice period! It’s always good to leave on good terms with an employer. Getting good references are one part of the deal. The other part, and the important part, will be if you cross paths with your manager/peer in the future, they’ll be more than happy to recommend you to be hired.

  • Walk in late to work everyday.
  • Don’t care a damn about the remaining work in the project. Someone else will clean your mess. No?
  • Delay sending your reports and don’t get on any conference call(s).
  • Don’t agree to take on more work, after all you’ve resigned. How can they allot new/more work to you? Absolutely crazy, no?
  • Spend a ton of time on social networking sites.
  • Delete everything from your mailbox. Everything.
  • Send a farewell mail ranting about everything from the a/c, cafeteria, and size of your cubicle and color of the walls!
And before you actually exit the company; you can be rest assured that you’ve burnt enough bridges to last a lifetime. Even worse, you could be at the receiving end of such treatment at a later stage in your career. Ever thought about that? Maybe, it’s time.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Last weekend, my wife & I had been to Pizza Hut for dinner. Oh yes, Pizza is considered dinner when you don’t have too many options. We got to our table and were given the menu card to place an order. All along the guy serving us was doing everything that was expected of his job; attentive, polite, courte, well-mannered and multi-tasking. All along he was a good listener and kept up with the pace in the place. We got served some tasty pizza and then came the surprise of the evening! Time for the check/bill. No, I’m not going to complain about the cost or taxes or any such thing…go ahead and have a look at the bill.

Wow! Just. Wow. This was absolutely wonderful and it’s got a personal touch. To be honest, this happened the second time around (last time was a few months back). Hence, it deserves this time and space on the blog!

Are you a manager wondering how to identify top talent within your team?

This display of ‘wow’ right here should act as an example. There were at least 8 other people serving tables at the place. Among them this was a stand-out performance. He didn’t need to do anything different, rather was not required of his role to do anything different. Yet, he chose to go the extra mile, take the extra step and deliver awesome customer experience.