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Episode 26: Tips for Job Candidates

Special Guest: Michelle King


  • Always attach your resume to the applicant tracking system – don’t just fill out the job history information.
  • Make sure you have an email and phone number listed on your resume.
  • In North America, LinkedIn is a critical tool for getting noticed.
    • List more than your job and title – also list what you have accomplished.
    • Don’t use this platform for things beyond business. It’s not the place for political posts, etc.
  • Go beyond stating responsibilities on your resume (e.g.  Performs full cycle talent acquisition duties) and state accomplishments (e.g. Has placed job candidates in 40 days on average with a 95% retention rate at year 1) so you can demonstrate growth and value.
  • Do a spell and grammar check. Have someone take a look at it with fresh eyes. You won’t be best at editing your own document.
  • Be specific and tailor the resume for the job. Don’t make it difficult for the recruiter or hiring leader to find your relevant experience and expertise.
  • Highlight job competencies and skills in a summary section near the top of your resume.
  • Showing up early to an interview is key. “To be early is on time. To be on time is late.” 15 minutes early is a good rule of thumb.
  • Remember everyone you encounter onsite is important for making a good impression. Most hiring leaders and recruiters will ask the receptionists how they were treated by a candidate.
  • Focus on the question being asked and be as specific as possible versus a canned response that talks about the topic more generally. Don’t hesitate to ask “Did that give you enough detail?” to the interviewer if you think your answer might have been too vague.
  • Be authentic.
  • For video interviews…
    • Test your technology before. Most companies will provide a test opportunity for you.
    • Look in to the camera.
    • Look professional.
    • Be in a quiet space.
    • Alert family members and keep those distractions to a minimum.
  • When answering interview questions…
    • Practice with a friend so you don’t sound rehearsed but are increasingly comfortable with answering standard/expected question.
    • Work to keep your responses brief. Aim to tell each story in less than 1-2 minutes.
  • After the interview…
    • Follow up within 24 hours with a short thank you including sharing that you are still interested in the job and what value you think you’ll bring to it.
    • Don’t follow up excessively.
    • Consider a creative follow up, where applicable. Like a pizza box for a food-related job.
  • Top must do
    • Be kind to everyone you come in contact with
    • Candidly share your development areas and what you are doing about them
    • Talk to everyone in your network who knows someone who works there
  • Top don’t do
    • Don’t “cuss like a sailor”; carefully chose your words if you have a habit of using swear words. It might not be appropriate in this culture.
    • Fail to articulate a development area – not an overplayed strength
    • Venting about your current job or situation. Victim mentalities are off-putting.
  • Best advice you were ever given
    • Interview is a 2-way process. Take time to ask thoughtful questions of your interviewee to learn if this job and organization is a good fit.
    • Don’t be too humble. Find a balance between selling yourself and being honest about how you contributed to a project.
    • Run towards something…not from something. Otherwise you’ll risk settling for a new role that is not best long term just to get away from a current situation.
Hiring leader episode

Episode 25: Tips for Hiring Leaders

Special Guest: Michelle King


  • Aim to ask specific questions to candidates so you get a real-life example of what actually happened and not a theoretical reply to how the candidate might handle the situation
  • Use follow up questions to probe on responses that are too vague to give you the level of detail you need
  • Assessments can help sort out some cultural elements but should be factored as only one of many data points in selection
  • In order to have legally defensible assessments in selection, there are a couple things to consider:
    • You have to use questionnaires that have been validated for selection. Most personality assessments are not a fit for selection assessment.
    • You have to show the characteristics you are measuring are job-specific.
  • Talk to everyone who has had contact with the candidate during the process. You might learn a lot from how the candidate has treated the receptionist.
  • Consider flexibility and remote options for the open role. Today’s workforce and talent supply requires us to be more creative in our thinking.
  • It’s now illegal in many states (e.g. California, Colorado, Illinois, etc.) to ask what a person is currently making in order to form your offer. You can ask the candidate’s expectations, but you should have knowledge of what the position is worth in the market in order to make the best compensation and total rewards strategy.
  • Pay transparency is a new trend but needs a lot of consideration around your culture and legal implications. There are many factors that influence pay and most often people are not informed on them.
  • Market data is worth investing in. Some websites also have credible salary information for free, but you have to use judgement on which to use.
people celebrating winning culture

Episode 11: Culture


Show Notes:

Individuals each have a unique personality – beyond intelligence, appearance, etc. At Lead. Travel. Pray., we think about culture as the organization’s personality. It’s the collective way of “being” that makes it unique. It’s the “how we do things” layer to  “what we do”.

To better understand a culture during an interview or to diagnose a culture through employee/member focus groups, ask questions like…

  • How does work get done here?
  • How are decisions made? Who has the ultimate say?
  • What behaviors are rewarded?
  • What are characteristics or behaviors of people who do not fit?
  • What 3 words would you use to describe this place to friends and family?

From there you can work on what the employees want the organization to aspire to be and how to close the gaps.

There are also culture assessments that can assist in a more formal diagnosis. Here are some examples:

  1. Denison’s culture survey
  2. Organization Culture Inventory – Human Synergistics


Here are a few other resources we find handy for culture:


We’d enjoy hearing  what cultural attributes you find most rewarding at work, church, a volunteer organization or hobby group. Please comment below!