Tips for a winning marketing interview with Houston Marketing Recruiter
“Job security, no matter what market you’re in, is always going to be a concern for people.”

 

Welcome back to another episode of Summit! In this chat, Kyle sits down with Kara Rice who runs her own talent acquisition agency- Innov8 Talent. With years of experience as a recruiter, learning the ins and outs of the industry, Kara has worked with a wide array of clients and candidates to foster optimal connections for both sides. By interacting with and receiving feedback from hiring managers, large corporations, and talented candidates, Kara has seen the process from all angles and is revealing insider knowledge based on real experience.
Here, she walks us through the right way to prepare for an interview, talks about common mistakes that both entry and senior level candidates make, and dispels a common myth surrounding the job search conversation. Listen in as Kyle and Kara discuss the tools you need to nail a job interview from start to finish.

Transcript

Kyle: (00:02)
Welcome to the summit. My name is Kyle Hamer. I’m your host and I’m here with Kara Rice. Kara, how are you today?

Kara: (00:10)
Hey Kyle. I’m doing great. I’m happy to be here.

Kyle: (00:13)
Oh man, we’re super excited to have you on the show. For those who don’t know, we’re going to cover aceing the interview marketing style with Kara. Uh, Kara, owns her own agency. Actually, you know what, I’ll let Kara tell us about herself cause it’s pretty stellar. So Kara, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kara: (00:32)
Hey, you know, not sure exactly where to start, but I’ll, I’ll kind of take it back to the beginning. You know, I started, um, with my education in communications with a minor in marketing. Definitely wanted to work in the agency space, um, which is highly competitive here in town. Um, so I started at an agency, being an intern. Um, I had some marketing positions previous to that agency and then kind of moved my career, uh, more into a sales and marketing, um, direction and ended up being recruited into the staffing and recruiting industry. Um, which was great because I still got to utilize my skill sets because of the type of talent that we were placing. Um, I worked at a couple of large agencies, one here in Houston, uh, based in La. And then another one where I worked remotely for a San Francisco Firm.

Kara: (01:29)
And after working at these organizations and, and really honing my skill sets, I saw a lot of things that I could improve on, um, things to where I wanted to lead more into a relationship based sells and consulting, um, area and really wanted to run my own business. You know, I just got tired of working for others and wanted to, to do it my way. And so I took all of the best things from those, um, you know, former employers and, and they’re great training and I really just kind of molded it into too, my own approach to working with clients and working with candidates. And here I am independent now I’m going on about 11 months.

Kyle: (02:13)
Oh Wow. So one year anniversary is coming up right around the corner. Congratulations.

Kara: (02:18)
Yes, thank you. Hi, I’m excited. It’s been a great one so far. It’s really picking up speed and I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

Kyle: (02:26)
No, I would imagine over the course of your career in recruiting as well as in sales and marketing, you’ve seen quite a variety of of talented individuals. Both those that thought they were great and then those that actually were great for, for those that are listening today, what are the things when they, when they think about, hey, maybe I need to make a transition, this, this company doesn’t fit me. Or, uh, hey, through unfortunate events they were reduction in force. What, where do they begin as it, as it relates, getting in contact or getting started with their job search? Should they use somebody like you right away or how does that work?

Kara: (03:08)
I mean, absolutely. I mean there’s, you know, we’re just another avenue for them. Um, you know, we, we can’t guarantee employment. No agency can, but you want to have as many irons in the fire as possible. You’d definitely want to reach out to recruiters in your area to, you know, well known agencies in your space, especially ones that specialize in your area. So if you’re a marketer, you’re creative, you want to be reaching out to those agencies and he wanted determine if you want to consider, um, taking on longterm contract roles. If you only want to do direct hire, there are agencies that specialize in many different areas. Um, so those are some of the thoughts that you could use, should start putting into place and start reaching out to those people. You also want to do, you know, your network as well. So people that you’ve know, people that you respect, um, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know that that does ring true. Um, utilizing your network, utilizing Linkedin, um, and then just traditional applying through websites, through company sites and, and their portals as well. So I always like to, um, tell people, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Really, definitely utilize every avenue that you can because you just never know where your next opportunity will come from.

Kyle: (04:28)
You know, the thing that, that a thing that I find interesting about, about what you said, it’s not what, you know, it’s who you know, that is, um, interesting is the fact that what we see is I think sometimes a lot of fear in folks who are afraid of letting people around them that they know, uh, understand that they’re, they’re ready to move on, ready to make a change. Why is it you think a lot of, uh, talented individuals in a hot market like today are concerned about letting people know that they’re on the, on the lookout for a new opportunity?

Kara: (05:03)
I mean, I think job security, no matter what market you’re in, is always going to be a concern for people. Um, you know, people are always afraid that it might get back to their employer. Um, you know, they’re always afraid that it could somehow disrupt what they’re currently doing with their employer or maybe, um, you know, other people that they’re talking to. But honestly, I think you can do it in a discrete way. Um, and I think you can do it effectively. Um, but you’re still reaching out to close people in your network. You know, your network should be as many trusted people as possible. And I think that if you’re reaching out to trusted individuals within your network that you’ve worked with in some capacity or no, uh, you know, on a level that’s more than just a connection on Linkedin, I think those people are going to, um, to help you and be willing to help you. And I think that there’ll be willing to keep it discreet.

Speaker 3: (06:01)
Hmm.

Kyle: (06:02)
Well, I think that’s really sound advice. You know, I think about my own personal journey through the, through the job market that that led me to a similar place where starting my own thing. And that’s not for everybody, right? But in today’s hot market for for jobs, once you find something that you’re interested in, you know, you touched on a few things, you know, whether it’s working with a recruiter or a staffing agency or even just submitting resumes directly, what are kind of the basics of getting the ball rolling? If you’re in a passive search versus say an active search where you’re, you’re working at it like it is a full time job.

Kara: (06:46)
I mean versus so an active search versus a passive search. The differences,

Kyle: (06:51)
how do you get, how do you get started doing passive?

Kara: (06:55)
Yeah, I mean passive to me would be reaching out to recruiters and staffing agencies. I think that’s the first part of doing that. You know, you want to connect with them. You want to get on their radar, you want to send them a resume. I mean first things first you, but you need to update your resume. Your resume needs to be updated. Likely. If you’ve been in a position for several years, you’re going to want to revamp that resume, you know, fully format it. Make sure it looks great. Make sure it has all your pertinent information and if you’re a marketer or you are a creative, you need to be having a linkedin profile and you also need to be having a portfolio or at least at the ready samples of your work. Um, so I think starting off with that, um, and getting your resume nice and tight and ready to go and then sending it out to the, uh, you know, different staffing and recruiting firms or recruiters that you know, that that’s the key number one for passive.

Kara: (07:57)
You don’t want to be putting, looking for new opportunities on your linkedin. If you’re looking for passive, uh, if you’re looking passively, you know, you don’t want to make the announcements. Um, you know, versus if you are active and you are out of the job, you find yourself out of the job for whatever reason you do want to make that linkedin profile as robust as possible. It’s really become a part of my, um, submissions to clients when I send over a candidate. It’s now like a digital business card or a digital version of your resume. Um, it really needs to be fully filled out, um, and have all the pertinent information and needs to match and align with your resume. I send that to clients all the time and it’s pretty much become a standard. So utilizing social media actively is a great way to start with an ask, you know, a more active, proactive approach where you’re out of work and it’s fine if people know about it. Um, I think social media is going to be one of your best bets. And of course networking, you know, industry networking events, wherever you can go, wherever you can put yourself in front of potential hiring managers or agencies or marketing firms. Um, and then just reaching out, you know, reaching out directly to hiring managers. I, I always tell people that, you know, don’t be afraid to do that, you know, I really feel it’s important.

Kyle: (09:21)
Yeah. I think sometimes they can be intimidating for people who are, are probably more on the creative or the, the marketing side of the, the gamut versus say the sales salespeople, I would imagine have no, no qualms of, of reaching out. But if I was a marketing person or I was a, a person who does graphic design or say even a, I’m just a fantastic print artist, that that can be really intimidating. How do we, how do you, what are things you, you give guidance to or tips to help folks get over that fear of reaching out directly to a hiring manager? Yeah,

Kara: (09:58)
I mean, I think one thing you have to get the mindset that you are selling yourself, you know, in a way your selling and promoting yourself just like a creative promotes their work and feels very strongly about their portfolio and the pieces that they’ve made. They need to feel equally strongly about the skills that they bring to the table and a marketer as well. Um, you know, I think, you know, really just getting in that mindset that you have something to offer and that you need to connect with the right individuals to get noticed. It’s a really competitive market right now. There are plenty of jobs and there are not as much talent, you know, as, as there are jobs. And so it’s, it’s very, um, important that you’re putting your best foot forward, um, both on your resume as well as Linkedin. And there’s a lot of things that you can do to prep for that job search.

Kara: (10:58)
But I think really the key thing is getting over the whole, you know, I’m scared, I’m nervous. I mean you really just kind of have to get past it. I think practicing, I know it sounds silly, but honestly practicing in front of the mirror, coming up with a pitch, just the way that I did an intro to myself with you coming up with some sort of pitch to pitch yourself like an elevator pitch that highlights your career and, and your, um, experience. I think that’s a really great way to do it. Video Yourself, um, you know, practice with friends and family for interviewing. I think those are all great. Um, get out and go to networking events, you know, volunteer to do some sort of public speaking. You can get involved in organizations that are, you know, either near and dear to your heart or related to the in some way. I think those are techniques and tactics that help you get over that kind of thing. Um, but really you just have to get out there and do it. And I hope that answered.

Kyle: (12:03)
Yeah, look, I know that it is interesting and I think some of the, uh, some of the individuals who are listening May, may find that this is true is that even in the hot job market that we have, the criteria that it takes to be interviewed or be accepted for a job is, is really much more strenuous than maybe we’ve seen in the past. W would you agree with that?

Kara: (12:29)
I agree that at the same time, I think, you know, when I put forward candidates all the time for jobs, it is, majority of the time the person who wins out and gets the job is not always the most experienced. They don’t always have all of the skillsets. What they do end up having is they’ve mastered the art of interviewing. So they have mastered, um, you know, how to prepare for an interview, how to showcase their best skillset, how to, uh, you know, shine and then interview with their personality and bring up those great personality traits. So again, even though it’s a really, you know, a competitive market in a hot job market, you have people that are winning your dream job every day, that are not as skilled as, you know, other candidates, but they have mastered the art of interviewing. Um, and I hear it all the time.

Kara: (13:25)
I hear it in hiring managers feedback that they give me. Um, I hear it in, um, you know, feedback that the candidates give me. Um, I can sometimes see the entire pool of candidates or clients share with me other candidates that they are interviewing that they found on their own. And so ultimately when those searches are over, I have a really good indication of what the pool looks like and what candidates went out. And it’s, you know, it’s not always the most experienced, you know, so there’s definitely things that you can do to tip the scales in your favor. Um, you know, outside of increasing your skill sets and experience.

Kyle: (14:06)
Sure. Well, and you know, I think having said on the other side and done interviews, I think you’re, you’re hitting on some very valuable points in what a, a potential hiring manager would be looking for somebody who knows what they want, they can articulate it and they’re nailing the interview. What are the, what are the baseline pieces that, uh, somebody needs to understand in order for a [inaudible] interview? And do you have any examples of people that you’re like, wow, the first time I talked to this person, no chance they were getting the job that they wanted and they worked at it. And here’s what happened.

Kara: (14:43)
Yeah, I definitely, um, you know, recently, I mean that happens time and time again, but I’d say the, one of my searches with one of my clients who is a very large corporation and, uh, they definitely have a very stringent and restrictive, uh, people on who they will consider no matter what position. Um, I put up a candidate who, um, was probably the least experience. It was for a content, uh, writer least experienced person, probably legit one to two years, former attorney. Um, but he out shined them in so many ways, um, by being thoroughly prepared for the interview, doing his research, um, you know, speaking eloquently in the interview and really nailing down what he could offer them. Um, even with one to two years of experience, he out shined people with 10 plus years of experience.

Kyle: (15:44)
Well, sure. He came down to, he’s a former attorney. Yes. Used to speak in front of judges. Right. I mean, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like he was an introverted, uh, you know, graphic artist who was like, well, I don’t really like talking to people in general, let alone trying to do an interview. Yeah. What are some of the things, I mean, you mentioned research. What are the things that, yeah, if I’m looking for a new job, what are the things that employers are looking for me to really, that I should know from a research standpoint? What are the things I gotta have on line?

Kara: (16:15)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you would think that it’s a really basic information and something that everyone’s doing. But honestly, Kyle, not everyone is doing this. You know, and I’ve heard it before from hiring managers. You would be surprised at how many applicants go into the interview without even having done this. So I think the key things that you really should understand are what the company does. You know, who are they? How are they making money? How did they start? Like, what’s their story? I have a lot of clients that have great stories. You know, I had a big client that started in the garage. Now they’re a multibillion dollar company. Um, you know, I think, um, knowing who their customers are, you know, especially for a marketer, right? Who are their customers? Who’s your target market? Um, any news or exciting announcements that you can find out about them?

Kara: (17:07)
I think that’s always great. You know, look at, um, do you Google searches, make sure you’re looking at press and any kind of press releases they’ve put out themselves, anything on social media that they’re really trying to, to roll out, that’s all going to give you great upstate information about this company. And it really doesn’t take that much time to prep. So I think those are basics. You can find out a whole lot more. But I think those are basics and a lot of people are ignoring some of the very basic things and really knowing that position. Right. What’s the job description? What, no, that position inside and out before you go in there. So those are the basics of research.

Kyle: (17:44)
You mean there are people out there who have applied for a position and have accepted an interview and they even know what the, anything about the company or the position they’re applying for,

Kara: (17:53)
then they’ll know like the most basic thing about the company. Yep. So it, it’s kind of shocking, but it happens. Um, it happens all the time.

Kyle: (18:03)
Why do you think that happens? I mean, what, what’s the mistake that we’re making as a potential hire that makes us believe that we don’t need to know anything about the company or the position we’re walking into? What, what’s the, is it an overconfidence thing? Is it a lack of time thing? Is it that we’re really not serious witness? Why would, why would somebody not do that?

Kara: (18:23)
I mean for me, I feel like with junior candidates sometimes it’s, they really don’t know how in depth they should go or take the time. I think with more senior candidates, yeah. They let the week get away from them and it’s, you know, a couple of hours before their interview and they’re just not prepared. Maybe they’re not as serious as they thought they were. Whatever it is, it’s probably likely procrastination. That’s what I see on my mind. Um, you know, I ha I still have you still run into applicants who are late for interviews, you know, to, to me it’s not acceptable. You know, some people will let it skirt by, but you don’t want to jeopardize it over. Little things like that. Right. So basic research literally takes 10 to 30 minutes tops and you feel really confident and good about going in there with at least that, you know.

Kyle: (19:14)
Yeah. We’ll look in you, you’ve recently published an article for the PR HSA. Is it the public relations? Houston?

Kara: (19:22)
It’s prs. A, yeah. PRS Say Houston.

Kyle: (19:25)
There you go. Thank you. Um, and, and one of the things that I think is probably the most interesting in the article that you published is you talk about, uh, being able to articulate why you’re interested in making a move. Are there people who are incapable of telling a good story around why they would like this position or why they would like to move into a company and if so, what are the things that you should weave into that narrative?

Kara: (19:52)
Yeah, I mean, I do think that people struggle with, um, you know, especially if they’ve been terminated, especially if they’re wanting to make a lead because they feel like layoffs are coming. They struggle with how to put it in a positive light. And so I think that it’s, it’s really important to be clear and concise with that. Um, you want to prepare for this question because it’s going to come, I get asked this question all the time when I submit a candidate, hey, why do they, why they want to make a move from so-and-so? You know, why are they wanting to come over here? Um, so it’s, I give general examples on in the article. Um, but I definitely think it’s something that you need to practice. It’s something that you need to do clearly and concisely and it’s something that you need to learn how to do without sounding negative about your current employer.

Kara: (20:46)
You want to paint it in as positive light as possible. Most people I find want to move on for just a few reasons, um, but it’s illustrating those reasons and, and a clear and concise manner that really makes the difference between getting over that question and, and moving onto the next or a hiring manager, doubling back and digging in on it, you know? Um, so some general examples include things like you feel you have accomplished all you can in your current position and you’re looking for a new challenge. Um, you would like career growth and feel that that would be best with a new organization. Um, a lot of times growth requests, you know, wanting to move on for growth is typically wanting more money or wanting new opportunities. Maybe they’re in a very flat organization and they can’t move further up and progressed their career. So those are all really important things. You definitely want to prepare for that question because it’s almost always going to be asked.

Speaker 3: (21:48)
Okay.

Kyle: (21:52)
It sounds like that’s probably one of the, the most critical questions to be able to articulate well inside of the, the interview. What are several others that are not necessarily gotchas but are very telling to, to the, uh, to the hiring manager and to the interviewee or the interviewer?

Kara: (22:12)
Um, you mean telling as far as what you do,

Kyle: (22:15)
he thinks things are like, for me, things they’re looking for. So, hey, we want to know why you’re leaving or why you’re interested in this position. Well, if you don’t know anything about the company, you don’t anything about the position, maybe you’re not that interested. And, and if you can’t articulate well why you’re interested in leaving your current position, there may be some, maybe some reservation. What are the other questions that will be kind of, I would say staples in how a hiring manager might assess you. So, Hey, I need to know these four questions pack.

Speaker 3: (22:49)
Right?

Kara: (22:50)
Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things is, you know, you know, other than why are you looking to make a move? You know, why do you want to work here? So I think thinking about, um, why you want to work there, I think you should have a, you know, a couple of of reasons, um, for why you’re interested in the position and why you’re interested in the company. That goes back to preparation. You know, there’s, um,

Kyle: (23:20)
okay.

Kara: (23:21)
Typically there’s a list of common questions, you know, um, that anyone can search on the Internet. Uh, you know, I always suggest looking at 10 to 20 of the most common interview questions and really getting down clear and concise answers for that so that you can avoid fumbling in an interview or maybe going blank. I guess other common questions are, you know, um, a lot of people ask like, what, what’s been your greatest achievement? You know, and you’re in your professional life. What has been, what is consistent? What do you consider a weakness you have? You know, I hate that question, but it still gets asked. Um, I’ve even been personally asked that. Um, and so I think just finding those, you know, common interview questions because I think most interviews are going to go in a, in a, in a path, right? Um, if you have a good strong interviewer, it’s going to have a clear and concise path and it typically starts, um, you know, in steps. It starts with your background and then they’re going to ask you some questions and, um, find out what you know about them. But I think just researching common questions is really the best. The thing that I can, I can, um, tell you to,

Kyle: (24:34)
so, okay. I’ve, I’ve researched, I’ve prepared, I’m ready to go. I completed at my interview, I leave with confidence. Am I done? I wait for the call. Like, hey, why isn’t my phone ringing? What, what, what are, what are some great strategies or techniques for Aceing the interview when you’re not sitting in front of the interviewer?

Kara: (24:57)
Yeah, I mean, at the end of an interview, I mean, all interviews should end kind of in the same way. So you’ve left kind of a crumb with them, right? So an interview’s ended, you’ve reached a stopping point, you know, all of your questions have been answered that you have and definitely come prepared with questions. By the way, for your interviewer, um, you want to end in the same way. So I don’t like a lot of people have given, um, kind of the, the advice to kind of close it like a deal. And I think that’s very awkward. And even coming from myself background, I don’t like that method. Um, we, what you want to do is you want to let them know that you’re excited, that you have, you know, you’re excited about what you’ve heard. You’re interested in moving through the process and then let them know that you’re looking to hear back from them regarding next steps.

Kara: (25:50)
Whether you’re working with a recruiter or you’re working on your own. I think that’s a super important. Additionally, try to get their business card. If you’re not working with their preferred or you want their contact information, you want to send a followup thank you email, those are still valued today. It’s an important last step. And then when everything’s done and you’re waiting, I suggest you always follow up. You know, you follow up. There are so many things that get in the way of a manager schedule so many, um, things that they’re prioritizing, you know, they think searches are going to move fast and then things slow it down. You know, vacations are taken, especially right now we’re in the middle of summer. Um, that in no way means that you’re not a contender any longer. If feedback is taking a while or it’s taking a while to hear from someone, do not think that you’re out. I would continue to follow up every, you know, few days, um, or you know, follow up a couple of days after your interview if you don’t hear anything, maybe push it out a week and just continue to follow up. I mean, until it’s a no, it’s not a no

Kyle: (26:58)
fair. I think one of the, you know, with the, a Fomo is what they call, right. Fear of missing out. People who have a lot riding on the line. Sometimes that anxiety can just be torture to deal with. And you know, hearing back from job searches can at times take three, four, or five months, which I think is ludicrous. But sometimes organizations can’t move faster than that. Right. And that’s, there’s not much that we can do to help facilitate that going quicker.

Kara: (27:27)
I agree. But the one thing that by working with a recruiter, they can help be that buffer for you. You know, they can help facilitate it. They are checking in with their clients. I push my clients to make a shorter processes I for from, you know, first interview to hire, I am checking in with them every day, at least every other day and I at least have some piece of information for why there’s a stall. Um, and until I know it’s to know and have gotten feedback, um, it’s not a no, you know, the person is still a contender. They’re still in the mix of candidates being considered. And there could be reasons. I mean obviously I as a recruiter get to kind of pick and choose clients I work with and I want to work with responsive, you know, organizations and hiring managers who move through the process, you know, fairly quickly. So it’s a little, a little better when you work with a recruiter for the most part, um, because they can be that buffer for you and check in and bug them and it’s not you, the job applicants that’s bugging them. Um, it’s a little harder on your own. And I definitely remember what that’s like. So it’s, it can be very frustrating.

Kyle: (28:36)
You know, one of the things that I heard that I thought was really, really interesting and uh, you know, you, you as a recruiter can probably provide insight on it is, is by the time a job has been posted, a recruiter and, or a hiring manager is potentially already determined who they are going to hire for a position. Is that true?

Kara: (29:01)
I mean, sometimes there’s, you know, internal referrals and, and candidates, but sometimes I’m getting jobs, I know about jobs even before they are posted and the current manager does not know. They do not have anyone. It’s a new, a new requisition. It’s something that’s coming up. I mean, I’ve heard that. I don’t feel like that is the majority of cases. I’m sure. Are there organizations that just have to post them because they, that’s the rule and they need to post it, but they’ve already identified a candidate. But anything can happen at the last minute. I mean, I’ve had clients tell me to pause search, we found a candidate internally, it looks really great. Two days later they’re like, nope, it’s not working. Jump back on it. You know? So it just, it really ebbs and flows and I just don’t think that that’s the case with most jobs. That might be the case with some jobs. Um, but, but not the ones that I’m typically seeing.

Speaker 4: (30:03)
Yeah.

Kyle: (30:04)
So in,

Kara: (30:05)
I mean, you tell me your hiring minutes, you tell me you are a hiring manager or did you, I mean, was that the case with you because that hasn’t really been my been my experience.

Kyle: (30:15)
No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t our case, but I, you know, I think even is as a person who is in hiring positions or, or looking for positions in the past that was a urban myth or an urban legend that sometimes felt really, really convenient and very easy to buy into because there were, there were moments of radio silence or there were moments of, you know, I check all the boxes that are necessary to this company. I’ve reached out to the, to the hiring manager and crickets and those crickets are scary. Especially if you’re somebody, like most marketing people, right? We don’t typically lack for confidence. Sales and marketing people do not lack for confidence. Right. Um, so you, you submit yourself, you put it out there and it’s on a, on a resume. You think you’ve tweaked the, the cover letter. You’ve, you’ve built the resume and then all of a sudden you get this just antiquated silence and maybe three or four weeks later you get a message back that says hi, thank you. While your credentials are impressive, we’ve decided to go in another direction. You’re like, but I didn’t even talk to anybody. So how do you know Ryan better or not than somebody else’s? I think, I think that’s one of the things, at least for me, um,

Speaker 4: (31:27)
um,

Kyle: (31:28)
a candidate perspective that can be really, really frustrating and very, very isolating and see it. It does take a toll on your psyche.

Kara: (31:36)
Absolutely. And you know, I experienced things way back, you know, after college for several years after gaining from marketing experience, you know, I started, I started thinking, well, what can I do with marketing that makes me feel like I’m working for like a mission driven place. So I started exploring health care and hospitals and like, wouldn’t that be great to be a marketer? In a huge place like a memorial Hermann or you know, any of these other big, um, hospital systems that we have, but it’s a beast. You know, I would send my stuff and it would go into a black hole. And then you find out later, you know, as I’m working in the industry that all of these big companies are potentially working with staffing and recruiting firms, you know, so I feel like there’s a better way for companies internally to get ahold of these systems and these, you know, applicants, but for the most part, a lot of these big organizations are working with staffing and recruiting firms and that’s kind of the advantage of working with.

Kara: (32:39)
And it made me realize why my stuff was going into a black hole, even though I’m well qualified at that point for some of the things that I was applying to. I think marketing coordinator and marketing, administrative assistant, whatever, um, you know, junior level staff, um, I was never getting called back so it was never getting looked at. And I found out very few candidates going through certain companies. Portals are getting that. Um, because the organization is working with someone like me or they’re working with a large firm, you know, or they have a vms system that they’re working with that controls that process. It’s, it’s very, um, you know, it’s frustrating, right? It’s frustrating to see that. Um, you know, but that definitely comes from an internal process that they have to, you know, get a better hold on. I think a lot of companies have made initiatives where they’re really trying to do a better job at that by hiring more robust recruit internal recruiters. Um, you know, and having, or at least having sourcing specialists go through their systems and really looking at those, those candidates, you know, and, and in a tighter and better way. Um, but I feel you, it’s, it can be totally frustrating. You know,

Kyle: (33:52)
Oh man, in, in, for, you know, of a first generation of college students stepping out into the workforce for the first time. Not really having had that junior experience enough yet to, to even get into some of those next level jobs. I can imagine that it’s really, really difficult to, to keep your mind and your head straight to go from while I thought I wasn’t going to be the next chief marketing officer at Google and what turns out to be is I feel like I’m only going to be ever reached it at Starbucks. And that’s, you know, those are, those jobs are short lived. Um, yeah, but it doesn’t mean that, that, that despair doesn’t set in well if somebody was to go ahead. Yeah,

Kara: (34:35)
go ahead. Oh, and you know what I was going to tell you is that something that really surprises me today, that back when I was graduating, you know, you, most people did an internship as part of their degree program or, or maybe another internship, you know, after graduating. But now it’s so common to see people doing two and three and four longterm internships. I mean, it’s just gotten that competitive. I mean it gives them great real world experience, but most people are doing multiple internships now. You know, this, there is no longer just I’m going to get out, get out of school and graduate and I’m going to get to go work for Google. You know what I mean?

Kyle: (35:17)
No, yeah, absolutely. I have a couple of people on my team that are, um, they’re working multiple internships, right? And, and as an employer you create that level of flexibility because it gives a, uh, it gives a developing talent, upper a opportunity to sample multiple things going on to see where they, their interests lie and things that they can be skilled at. But it also allows the, um,

Speaker 3: (35:47)
okay,

Kyle: (35:47)
the skills to be developed really, really rapidly. So I think we’re putting out a, uh, be coming through the internships. I think that the candidates coming into the field are a lot more qualified to do a lot wider range of things than maybe what we came out doing. Just doing advertising or communication or,

Kara: (36:05)
oh, for sure. For sure.

Kyle: (36:07)
There’s, there’s just a diversity things needed. Yeah.

Kara: (36:10)
Yeah. And some of I, you know, most recently I was speaking to a candidate out in San Francisco. I worked that market as well as, as this local market. But um, you know, he was part of a program and, and he was being paid, but it’s a rotational program. So it’s, they come in and they might spend some of their time and marketing analytics and some of their time and um, business development or demand generation and some of their time, it’s really an awesome way. It’s like they choose the rotations they want to do and then hopefully they, they’ve narrowed it down what they want to do and at the company has a place for them and that spot or they make a place for them. And I’m not sure how it works, but I just thought it was a really cool program because it’s like they’re being paid a salary. It’s not really an internship, but it’s not full fledged working because I mean, they’re working for them, but they’re rotating through different departments and getting exposure

Kyle: (37:08)
sounds like really cool. It is cool. It sounds like med school.

Kara: (37:12)
Yeah, pretty much. Figure out where your specialty lies.

Kyle: (37:17)
Well, Cara, I really appreciate your time on the show today. A very, very insightful and always a pleasure to speak with you. If somebody wants to get in contact or start their search looking for great qualified candidates in marketing, how should they get ahold of you?

Kara: (37:33)
Yeah, absolutely. So there are a variety of ways to reach out to me, but you can always email me Kara at uh, innovate. That’s I n n O v, the number eight talent.com. You can hit me up on Linkedin, you can hit me up on Facebook. If you go directly to our careers page on our website that has opportunities and look through there and apply. I get all of those in my inbox. I’m really [inaudible] the myriad of ways or you can pick up the phone and call me. I love to chat with, with new talent. That’s awesome.

Kyle: (38:10)
Well, again, care. Thank you for, for being on the show today and helping us understand how to ace the interview and get the inside track to the job of our dreams.

Kara: (38:19)
Yeah, absolutely. It was fine. We’ll have to do it again down the road.

Kyle: (38:22)
That’s right. For All who are listening. Make sure that you take the opportunity to subscribe or follow and check us out at summit podcast. Now, on all of your major podcasting favorites, this is your host, Kyle Hammer. We’ll talk to you next week.

Kara Rice
Kara RiceMarketing Recruiter
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Want a summary of the tips and tricks that you can screenshot and keep for reference? Visit: https://prsahouston.org/blog/id/32 for Kara’s guide.

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Want a summary of the tips and tricks that you can screenshot and keep for reference? Visit: https://prsahouston.org/blog/id/32 for Kara’s guide.

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Kyle: (00:02)Welcome to the summit. My name is Kyle Hamer. I’m your host and I’m here with Kara Rice. Kara, how are you today?
Kara: (00:10)Hey Kyle. I’m doing great. I’m happy to be here.
Kyle: (00:13)Oh man, we’re super excited to have you on the show. For those who don’t know, we’re going to cover aceing the interview marketing style with Kara. Uh, Kara, owns her own agency. Actually, you know what, I’ll let Kara tell us about herself cause it’s pretty stellar. So Kara, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kara: (00:32) Hey, you know, not sure exactly where to start, but I’ll kind of take it back to the beginning. You know, I started, um, with my education in communications with a minor in marketing. Definitely wanted to work in the agency space, um, which is highly competitive here in town. Um, so I started at an agency, being an intern. I had some marketing positions previous to that agency and then kind of moved my career more into a sales and marketing, um, direction and ended up being recruited into the staffing and recruiting industry. Which was great because I still got to utilize my skill sets because of the type of talent that we were placing. I worked at a couple of large agencies, one here in Houston, based in LA. And then another one where I worked remotely for a San Francisco firm.
Kara: (01:29)And after working at these organizations and, and really honing my skill sets, I saw a lot of things that I could improve on, um, things to where I wanted to lead more into relationship based sales and consulting area and really wanted to run my own business. You know, I just got tired of working for others and wanted to, to do it my way. And so I took all of the best things from those, you know, former employers and their great training and I really just kind of molded it into my own approach to working with clients and working with candidates. And here I am independent now I’m going on about 11 months.
Kyle: (02:13)Oh Wow. So one year anniversary is coming up right around the corner. Congratulations.
Kara: (02:18)Yes, thank you! I’m excited. It’s been a great one so far. It’s really picking up speed and I’m enjoying what I’m doing.
Kyle: (02:26)Now, I would imagine over the course of your career in recruiting as well as in sales and marketing, you’ve seen quite a variety of of talented individuals. Both those that thought they were great and then those that actually were great. For those that are listening today, what are the things when they, when they think about, hey, maybe I need to make a transition, this, this company doesn’t fit me. Or, uh, hey, through unfortunate events there were reductions in force. Where do they begin as it, as it relates, getting in contact or getting started with their job search? Should they use somebody like you right away or how does that work?
Kara: (03:08)I mean, absolutely. I mean you know, we’re just another avenue for them. You know, we, we can’t guarantee employment. No agency can, but you want to have as many irons in the fire as possible. You definitely want to reach out to recruiters in your area to, you know, well known agencies in your space, especially ones that specialize in your area. So if you’re a marketer, you’re a creative, you want to be reaching out to those agencies and you want to determine if you want to consider, um, taking on longterm contract roles. If you only want to do direct hire, there are agencies that specialize in many different areas. Um, so those are some of the thoughts that you could use, should start putting into place and start reaching out to those people. You also want to use, you know, your network as well. So people that you’ve know, people that you respect, um, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know that does ring true. Um, utilizing your network, utilizing Linkedin, and then just traditional applying through websites, through company sites, and their portals as well. So I always like to, um, tell people, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Really, definitely utilize every avenue that you can because you just never know where your next opportunity will come from.
Kyle: (04:28)You know, the thing that, that a thing that I find interesting about, about what you said, it’s not what, you know, it’s who you know, that is interesting, is the fact that what we see is I think sometimes a lot of fear in folks who are afraid of letting people around them that they know, uh, understand that they’re, they’re ready to move on, ready to make a change. Why is it you think a lot of, uh, talented individuals in a hot market like today are concerned about letting people know that they’re on the, on the lookout for a new opportunity?
Kara: (05:03)I mean, I think job security, no matter what market you’re in, is always going to be a concern for people. Um, you know, people are always afraid that it might get back to their employer. You know, they’re always afraid that it could somehow disrupt what they’re currently doing with their employer or maybe other people that they’re talking to. But honestly, I think you can do it in a discrete way. And I think you can do it effectively. But you’re still reaching out to close people in your network. You know, your network should be as many trusted people as possible. And I think that if you’re reaching out to trusted individuals within your network that you’ve worked with in some capacity or no, uh, you know, on a level that’s more than just a connection on Linkedin, I think those people are going to, um, to help you and be willing to help you. And I think that there’ll be willing to keep it discreet.
Kyle: (06:01)Hmm.
Kyle: (06:02)Well, I think that’s really sound advice. You know, I think about my own personal journey through the job market that that led me to a similar place of starting my own thing. And that’s not for everybody, right? But in today’s hot market for jobs, once you find something that you’re interested in, you know, you touched on a few things, you know, whether it’s working with a recruiter or a staffing agency or even just submitting resumes directly, what are kind of the basics of getting the ball rolling? If you’re in a passive search versus say an active search where you’re, you’re working at it like it is a full time job.
Kara: (06:46)I mean versus so an active search versus a passive search- The differences?
Kyle: (06:51)Right. How do you get, how do you get started doing passive?
Kara: (06:55)Yeah, I mean passive to me would be reaching out to recruiters and staffing agencies. I think that’s the first part of doing that. You know, you want to connect with them. You want to get on their radar, you want to send them a resume. I mean first things first you, you need to update your resume. Your resume needs to be updated. Likely, if you’ve been in a position for several years, you’re going to want to revamp that resume, you know, fully format it. Make sure it looks great. Make sure it has all your pertinent information and if you’re a marketer or you are a creative, you need to be having a Linkedin profile and you also need to be having a portfolio or at least at the ready samples of your work. So I think starting off with that, um, and getting your resume nice and tight and ready to go and then sending it out to the, you know, different staffing and recruiting firms or recruiters that you know, that that’s the key number one for passive.
Kara: (07:57)You don’t want to be putting, looking for new opportunities on your Linkedin. If you’re looking for passive, uh, if you’re looking passively, you know, you don’t want to make the announcements. Um, you know, versus if you are active and you are out of the job, you find yourself out of the job for whatever reason, you do want to make that Linkedin profile as robust as possible. It’s really become a part of my, um, submissions to clients when I send over a candidate. It’s now like a digital business card or a digital version of your resume. It really needs to be fully filled out, um, and have all the pertinent information and needs to match and align with your resume. I send that to clients all the time and it’s pretty much become a standard. So utilizing social media actively is a great way to start with, you know, a more active, proactive approach where you’re out of work and it’s fine if people know about it.I think social media is going to be one of your best bets. And of course networking, you know, industry networking events, wherever you can go, wherever you can put yourself in front of potential hiring managers or agencies or marketing firms. And then just reaching out, directly to hiring managers. I always tell people that, don’t be afraid to do that, you know, I really feel it’s important.
Kyle: (09:21)Yeah. I think sometimes they can be intimidating for people who are, are probably more on the creative or the, the marketing side of the, the gamut versus say the sales salespeople, I would imagine have no, no qualms of reaching out. But if I was a marketing person or I was a person who does graphic design or say even a, I’m just a fantastic print artist, that that can be really intimidating. How do we- what are things you, you give guidance to or tips to help folks get over that fear of reaching out directly to a hiring manager?
Kara: (09:58)Yeah, I mean, I think one thing you have to get the mindset that you are selling yourself, you know, in a way your selling and promoting yourself just like a creative promotes their work and feels very strongly about their portfolio and the pieces that they’ve made. They need to feel equally strongly about the skills that they bring to the table and a marketer as well. You know, I think, you know, really just getting in that mindset that you have something to offer and that you need to connect with the right individuals to get noticed. It’s a really competitive market right now. There are plenty of jobs and there is not as much talent, you know, as there are jobs. And so it’s, it’s very important that you’re putting your best foot forward, um, both on your resume as well as Linkedin. And there’s a lot of things that you can do to prep for that job search.
Kara: (10:58)But I think really the key thing is getting over the whole, you know, I’m scared, I’m nervous. I mean you really just kind of have to get past it. I think practicing, I know it sounds silly, but honestly practicing in front of the mirror, coming up with a pitch, just the way that I did an intro to myself with you coming up with some sort of pitch to pitch yourself like an elevator pitch that highlights your career and, and your experience. I think that’s a really great way to do it. Video yourself, you know, practice with friends and family for interviewing. I think those are all great. Get out and go to networking events, you know, volunteer to do some sort of public speaking. You can get involved in organizations that are either near and dear to your heart or related to the industry some way. I think those are techniques and tactics that help you get over that kind of thing. But really you just have to get out there and do it. And I hope that answered your question.
Kyle: (12:03)Yeah, look, I know that it is interesting and I think some of the, uh, some of the individuals who are listening may find that this is true is that even in the hot job market that we have, the criteria that it takes to be interviewed or be accepted for a job is really much more strenuous than maybe we’ve seen in the past. Would you agree with that?
Kara: (12:29)I agree but at the same time, I think, you know, when I put forward candidates all the time for jobs, it is, majority of the time the person who wins out and gets the job is not always the most experienced. They don’t always have all of the skillsets. What they do end up having is they’ve mastered the art of interviewing. So they have mastered, you know, how to prepare for an interview, how to showcase their best skillset, how to shine in an interview with their personality and bring up those great personality traits. So again, even though it’s a really, you know, a competitive market in a hot job market, you have people that are winning your dream job every day, that are not as skilled as, you know, other candidates, but they have mastered the art of interviewing. And I hear it all the time.
Kara: (13:25)I hear it in hiring managers feedback that they give me. I hear it in, you know, feedback that the candidates give me. I can sometimes see the entire pool of candidates or clients share with me other candidates that they are interviewing that they found on their own. And so ultimately when those searches are over, I have a really good indication of what the pool looks like and what candidates went out. And it’s, you know, it’s not always the most experienced. So there’s definitely things that you can do to tip the scales in your favor outside of increasing your skill sets and experience.
Kyle: (14:06)Sure. Well, and you know, I think having sat on the other side and done interviews, I think you’re hitting on some very valuable points in what a potential hiring manager would be looking for somebody who knows what they want, they can articulate it and they’re nailing the interview. What are the baseline pieces that somebody needs to understand in order for aceing the interview? And do you have any examples of people that you’re like, wow, the first time I talked to this person, no chance they were getting the job that they wanted and they worked at it. And here’s what happened.
Kara: (14:43)Yeah, I definitely, you know, recently, I mean that happens time and time again, but I’d say the, one of my searches with one of my clients who is a very large corporation and, they definitely have a very stringent and restrictive people on who they will consider no matter what position. Um, I put up a candidate who was probably the least experienced. It was for a content writer. Least experienced person, probably legit one to two years, former attorney. But he out shined them in so many ways, by being thoroughly prepared for the interview, doing his research, you know, speaking eloquently in the interview and really nailing down what he could offer them. Even with one to two years of experience, he out shined people with 10 plus years of experience.
Kyle: (15:44)Well, sure. He’s a former attorney. Yes. Used to speak in front of judges. Right. I mean, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like he was an introverted, uh, you know, graphic artist who was like, well, I don’t really like talking to people in general, let alone trying to do an interview. What are some of the things, I mean, you mentioned research. What are the things that, if I’m looking for a new job, what are the things that employers are looking for me to really, that I should know from a research standpoint? What are the things I gotta have on lockdown?
Kara: (16:15)Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you would think that it’s a really basic information and something that everyone’s doing. But honestly, Kyle, not everyone is doing this. You know, and I’ve heard it before from hiring managers. You would be surprised at how many applicants go into the interview without even having done this. So I think the key things that you really should understand are what the company does. You know, who are they? How are they making money? How did they start? Like, what’s their story? I have a lot of clients that have great stories. You know, I had a big client that started in the garage. Now they’re a multibillion dollar company. You know, I think, knowing who their customers are, you know, especially for a marketer, right? Who are their customers? Who’s your target market? Any news or exciting announcements that you can find out about them?
Kara: (17:07)I think that’s always great. You know, look at, do you Google searches, make sure you’re looking at press and any kind of press releases they’ve put out themselves, anything on social media that they’re really trying to roll out, that’s all going to give you great up to date information about this company. And it really doesn’t take that much time to prep. So I think those are basics. You can find out a whole lot more. But I think those are basics and a lot of people are ignoring some of the very basic things. And really knowing that position. Right. What’s the job description? Know that position inside and out before you go in there. So those are the basics of research.
Kyle: (17:44)You mean there are people out there who have applied for a position and have accepted an interview and they even know anything about the company or the position they’re applying for,
Kara: (17:53)then they’ll know like the most basic thing about the company. Yep. So it, it’s kind of shocking, but it happens. It happens all the time.
Kyle: (18:03)Why do you think that happens? I mean, what, what’s the mistake that we’re making as a potential hire that makes us believe that we don’t need to know anything about the company or the position we’re walking into? What, is it an overconfidence thing? Is it a lack of time thing? Is it that we’re really not serious? Why would, why would somebody not do that?
Kara: (18:23)I mean for me, I feel like with junior candidates sometimes it’s, they really don’t know how in depth they should go or take the time. I think with more senior candidates, yeah. They let the week get away from them and it’s, you know, a couple of hours before their interview and they’re just not prepared. Maybe they’re not as serious as they thought they were. Whatever it is, it’s likely procrastination. That’s what I see on my mind. You know, I still have you still run into applicants who are late for interviews, you know, to, to me it’s not acceptable. You know, some people will let it skirt by, but you don’t want to jeopardize it over little things like that. Right? So basic research literally takes 10 to 30 minutes tops and you feel really confident and good about going in there with at least that, you know.
Kyle: (19:14)Yeah. We’ll look and you, you’ve recently published an article for the PR HSA. Is it the public relations Houston?
Kara: (19:22)It’s PRSA, yeah. PRSA Houston.
Kyle: (19:25)There you go. Thank you. And, and one of the things that I think is probably the most interesting in the article that you published is you talk about, uh, being able to articulate why you’re interested in making a move. Are there people who are incapable of telling a good story around why they would like this position or why they would like to move into a company and if so, what are the things that you should weave into that narrative?
Kara: (19:52)Yeah, I mean, I do think that people struggle with, you know, especially if they’ve been terminated, especially if they’re wanting to make a leap because they feel like layoffs are coming. They struggle with how to put it in a positive light. And so I think that it’s really important to be clear and concise with that. You want to prepare for this question because it’s going to come, I get asked this question all the time when I submit a candidate, hey, why do they, why they want to make a move from so-and-so? You know, why are they wanting to come over here? So it’s, I give general examples on in the article. But I definitely think it’s something that you need to practice. It’s something that you need to do clearly and concisely and it’s something that you need to learn how to do without sounding negative about your current employer.
Kara: (20:46)You want to paint it in as positive light as possible. Most people, I find, want to move on for just a few reasons, um, but it’s illustrating those reasons in a clear and concise manner that really makes the difference between getting over that question and moving onto the next or a hiring manager, doubling back and digging in on it, you know? So some general examples include things like you feel you have accomplished all you can in your current position and you’re looking for a new challenge. You would like career growth and feel that that would be best with a new organization. A lot of times growth requests, you know, wanting to move on for growth is typically wanting more money or wanting new opportunities. Maybe they’re in a very flat organization and they can’t move further up and progressed their career. So those are all really important things. You definitely want to prepare for that question because it’s almost always going to be asked.
Kyle: (21:52)
It sounds like that’s probably one of the, the most critical questions to be able to articulate well inside of the, the interview. What are several others that are not necessarily gotchas but are very telling to the hiring manager and to the interviewee or the interviewer?
Kara: (22:11)Um, you mean telling as far as what? Clarify that for me.
Kyle: (22:14)Things they’re looking for. So, hey, we want to know why you’re leaving or why you’re interested in this position. Well, if you don’t know anything about the company, you don’t anything about the position, maybe you’re not that interested. And, if you can’t articulate well why you’re interested in leaving your current position, there may be some, maybe some reservation. What are the other questions that will be kind of, I would say staples in how a hiring manager might assess you. So, hey, I need to know these four questions pack.
Kara: (22:50)Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things is, you know, other than why are you looking to make a move? You know, why do you want to work here? So I think thinking about why you want to work there, I think you should have a couple of of reasons for why you’re interested in the position and why you’re interested in the company. That goes back to preparation. You know, there’s,
Kara: (23:21)Typically there’s a list of common questions, you know, um, that anyone can search on the Internet. You know, I always suggest looking at 10 to 20 of the most common interview questions and really getting down clear and concise answers for that so that you can avoid fumbling in an interview or maybe going blank. I guess other common questions are, you know, a lot of people ask like, what, what’s been your greatest achievement? You know, in your professional life. What has been, what is consistent? What do you consider a weakness you have? You know, I hate that question, but it still gets asked. Um, I’ve even been personally asked that. Um, and so I think just finding those, you know, common interview questions because I think most interviews are going to go in a path, right? Um, if you have a good strong interviewer, it’s going to have a clear and concise path and it typically starts, you know, in steps. It starts with your background and then they’re going to ask you some questions and, um, find out what you know about them. But I think just researching common questions is really the best thing that I can tell you to do.
Kyle: (24:34)so, okay. I’ve, I’ve researched, I’ve prepared, I’m ready to go. I completed at my interview, I leave with confidence. Am I done? I wait for the call. Like, hey, why isn’t my phone ringing? What, are some great strategies or techniques for aceing the interview when you’re not sitting in front of the interviewer?
Kara: (24:57)Yeah, I mean, at the end of an interview, I mean, all interviews should end kind of in the same way. So you’ve left kind of a crumb with them, right? So an interview’s ended, you’ve reached a stopping point, you know, all of your questions have been answered that you have and definitely come prepared with questions. By the way, for your interviewer, um, you want to end in the same way. So I don’t like- a lot of people have given, um, kind of the, the advice to kind of close it like a deal. And I think that’s very awkward. And even coming from my background, I don’t like that method. We, what you want to do is you want to let them know that you’re excited, that you have, you’re excited about what you’ve heard. You’re interested in moving through the process and then let them know that you’re looking to hear back from them regarding next steps.
Kara: (25:50)Whether you’re working with a recruiter or you’re working on your own, I think that’s a super important. Additionally, try to get their business card. If you’re not working with a recruiter, you want their contact information, you want to send a followup thank you email, those are still valued today. It’s an important last step. And then when everything’s done and you’re waiting, I suggest you always follow up. You know, you follow up. There are so many things that get in the way of a manager’s schedule so many things that they’re prioritizing, you know, they think searches are going to move fast and then things slow it down. You know, vacations are taken, especially right now- we’re in the middle of summer. That in no way means that you’re not a contender any longer. If feedback is taking a while or it’s taking a while to hear from someone, do not think that you’re out. I would continue to follow up every, you know, few days, um, or you know, follow up a couple of days after your interview if you don’t hear anything, maybe push it out a week and just continue to follow up. I mean, until it’s a no, it’s not a no.
Kyle: (26:58)Fair. I think one of the, you know, with the, a Fomo is what they call, right. Fear of missing out. People who have a lot riding on the line. Sometimes that anxiety can just be torture to deal with. And you know, hearing back from job searches can at times take three, four, or five months, which I think is ludicrous. But sometimes organizations can’t move faster than that. Right. And that’s, there’s not much that we can do to help facilitate that going quicker.
Kara: (27:27)I agree. But the one thing that by working with a recruiter, they can help be that buffer for you. You know, they can help facilitate it. They are checking in with their clients. I push my clients to make a shorter processes from, you know, first interview to hire. I am checking in with them every day, at least every other day and I at least have some piece of information for why there’s a stall. And until I know it’s to know and have gotten feedback, um, it’s not a no, you know, the person is still a contender. They’re still in the mix of candidates being considered. And there could be reasons. I mean obviously I, as a recruiter, get to kind of pick and choose clients I work with and I want to work with responsive organizations and hiring managers who move through the process, you know, fairly quickly. So it’s a little better when you work with a recruiter for the most part, um, because they can be that buffer for you and check in and bug them and it’s not you, the job applicant that’s bugging them. Um, it’s a little harder on your own. And I definitely remember what that’s like. So it can be very frustrating.
Kyle: (28:36)You know, one of the things that I heard that I thought was really, really interesting and uh, you know, you as a recruiter can probably provide insight on it is by the time a job has been posted, a recruiter and, or a hiring manager is potentially already determined who they are going to hire for a position. Is that true?
Kara: (29:01)I mean, sometimes there’s, you know, internal referrals and, and candidates, but sometimes I’m getting jobs, I know about jobs even before they are posted and the current manager does not know. They do not have anyone. It’s a new, a new requisition. It’s something that’s coming up. I mean, I’ve heard that. I don’t feel like that is the majority of cases. I’m sure. Are their organizations that just have to post them because they, that’s the rule and they need to post it, but they’ve already identified a candidate. But anything can happen at the last minute. I mean, I’ve had clients tell me to pause search, we found a candidate internally, it looks really great. Two days later they’re like, nope, it’s not working. Jump back on it. You know? So it just, it really ebbs and flows and I just don’t think that that’s the case with most jobs. That might be the case with some jobs. But, but not the ones that I’m typically seeing.
Kyle: (30:04)So in-
Kara: (30:05)I mean, you tell me. You were a hiring manager or did you, I mean, was that the case with you? Because that hasn’t really been my been my experience.
Kyle: (30:15)No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t our case, but I, you know, I think even is as a person who is in hiring positions or, or looking for positions in the past that was a urban myth or an urban legend that sometimes felt really, really convenient and very easy to buy into because there were, there were moments of radio silence or there were moments of, you know, I check all the boxes that are necessary to this company. I’ve reached out to the, to the hiring manager and crickets and those crickets are scary. Especially if you’re somebody, like most marketing people, right? We don’t typically lack for confidence. Sales and marketing people do not lack for confidence. So you, you submit yourself, you put it out there and it’s on a, on a resume. You think you’ve tweaked the, the cover letter. You’ve built the resume and then all of a sudden you get this just antiquated silence and maybe three or four weeks later you get a message back that says hi, thank you. While your credentials are impressive, we’ve decided to go in another direction. You’re like, but I didn’t even talk to anybody. So how do you know whether I’m better or not than somebody else’s? I think, I think that’s one of the things, at least for me, um,
Kyle: (31:28)a candidate perspective that can be really, really frustrating and very, very isolating. It does take a toll on your psyche.
Kara: (31:36)Absolutely. And you know, I experienced things way back, you know, after college for several years after gaining from marketing experience, you know, I started, I started thinking, well, what can I do with marketing that makes me feel like I’m working for like a mission driven place. So I started exploring health care and hospitals and like, wouldn’t that be great to be a marketer in a huge place like a memorial Hermann or you know, any of these other big, um, hospital systems that we have, but it’s a beast. You know, I would send my stuff and it would go into a black hole. And then you find out later, you know, as I’m working in the industry that all of these big companies are potentially working with staffing and recruiting firms. So I feel like there’s a better way for companies internally to get ahold of these systems and these, you know, applicants, but for the most part, a lot of these big organizations are working with staffing and recruiting firms and that’s kind of the advantage of working with them.
Kara: (32:39)And it made me realize why my stuff was going into a black hole, even though I’m well qualified at that point for some of the things that I was applying to. I think marketing coordinator and marketing administrative assistant, whatever, you know, junior level stuff, um, I was never getting called back so it was never getting looked at. And I found out very few candidates going through certain companies’ portals are getting that. Because the organization is working with someone like me or they’re working with a large firm, you know, or they have a VMS system that they’re working with that controls that process. It’s, it’s very, um, you know, it’s frustrating, right? It’s frustrating to see that.You know, but that definitely comes from an internal process that they have to, you know, get a better hold on. I think a lot of companies have made initiatives where they’re really trying to do a better job at that by hiring more robust recruit internal recruiters. And having, or at least having sourcing specialists go through their systems and really looking at those, those candidates, you know, in a tighter and better way. But I feel you, it’s, it can be totally frustrating.
Kyle: (33:52)Oh man and for, you know, of a first generation of college students stepping out into the workforce for the first time. Not really having had that junior experience enough yet to, to even get into some of those next level jobs, I can imagine that it’s really, really difficult to, keep your mind and your head straight to go from well I thought I wasn’t going to be the next chief marketing officer at Google and what turns out to be is I feel like I’m only going to be a barista at Starbucks. And that’s, you know, those are, those jobs are short lived. Um, yeah, but it doesn’t mean that the despair doesn’t set in well if somebody was to go ahead. Yeah, go ahead.
Kara: (34:35)Oh, and you know what I was going to tell you is that something that really surprises me today, that back when I was graduating, you know, you, most people did an internship as part of their degree program or maybe another internship, you know, after graduating. But now it’s so common to see people doing two and three and four longterm internships. I mean, it’s just gotten that competitive. I mean it gives them great real world experience, but most people are doing multiple internships now. You know, this, there is no longer just I’m going to get out, get out of school and graduate and I’m going to get to go work for Google. You know what I mean?
Kyle: (35:17)No, yeah, absolutely. I have a couple of people on my team that are, um, they’re working multiple internships, right? And, and as an employer you create that level of flexibility because it gives, it gives a developing talent opportunity to sample multiple things going on to see where they, their interests lie and things that they can be skilled at. But it also allows the, um,
Kyle: (35:47)the skills to be developed really, really rapidly. So I think we’re putting out a, coming through the internships. I think that the candidates coming into the field are a lot more qualified to do a lot wider range of things than maybe what we came out doing. Just doing advertising or communication or,
Kara: (36:05)Oh, for sure. For sure.
Kyle: (36:07)There’s, there’s just a diversity things needed.
Kara: (36:10)Yeah. And some of I, you know, most recently I was speaking to a candidate out in San Francisco. I work that market as well as, as this local market. But um, you know, he was part of a program and, and he was being paid, but it’s a rotational program. So it’s, they come in and they might spend some of their time in marketing analytics and some of their time in business development or demand generation and some of their time, it’s really an awesome way. It’s like they choose the rotations they want to do and then hopefully they’ve narrowed it down what they want to do and if the company has a place for them and that spot or they make a place for them. And I’m not sure how it works, but I just thought it was a really cool program because it’s like they’re being paid a salary. It’s not really an internship, but it’s not full fledged working because I mean, they’re working for them, but they’re rotating through different departments and getting exposure.
Kyle: (37:08)Sounds like really cool. It is cool. It sounds like med school.
Kara: (37:12)Yeah, pretty much. Figure out where your specialty lies.
Kyle: (37:17)Well, Kara, I really appreciate your time on the show today. A very, very insightful and always a pleasure to speak with you. If somebody wants to get in contact or start their search looking for great qualified candidates in marketing, how should they get ahold of you?
Kara: (37:33)Yeah, absolutely. So there are a variety of ways to reach out to me, but you can always email me Kara at uh, Innov8. That’s Innov8talent.com You can hit me up on Linkedin, you can hit me up on Facebook. If you go directly to our careers page on our website, that has opportunities and look through there and apply. I get all of those in my inbox. There’s really a myriad of ways or you can pick up the phone and call me. I love to chat with, with new talent.
Kyle: (38:10)That’s awesome. Well, again, Kara, thank you for, for being on the show today and helping us understand how to ace the interview and get the inside track to the job of our dreams.
Kara: (38:19)Yeah, absolutely. It was fine. We’ll have to do it again down the road.
Kyle: (38:22)That’s right. For all who are listening. Make sure that you take the opportunity to subscribe or follow and check us out at Summit podcast. Now, on all of your major podcasting favorites. This is your host, Kyle Hammer. We’ll talk to you next week.