Questions and Answers with Career Expert Michael Kaplan
Please note: On a somewhat infrequent basis, Quintessential Careers asks noted career experts five questions related to their expertise and publishes the interview in the current issue of QuintZine, our career e-newsletter. Those interviews are archived here for your convenience.
Michael Kaplan is a marketing and management veteran who operates MichaelTrains.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||When you have been in the role of hiring manager, what has been your No. 1 pet peeve when you’ve interviewed candidates? What’s the interview behavior or mistake that most turns you off?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| This will sound like a minor little thing, but I have a huge pet peeve when someone responds to a job posting with a cover letter that begins “To whom it may concern” or some such thing when my name is clearly stated as the person to whom resumes should be sent. Related to this issue is when I receive a letter addressed to “Mr. Trains” (the name of my company is MichaelTrains) instead of “Mr. Kaplan” (my name, which is made clear on all job postings).
The usual other things make a big difference to me:
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||Your background is in sales and marketing management. How can job candidates bring sales and marketing techniques into their interview preparation?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the biggest mistake job-seekers make that your advice could correct or prevent?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||I do not see enough passion during the interview. I know job searching tends to be an emotionally draining experience, but the job-seeker needs to convince me of his or her sincere interest in the job I am offering (not just the need for a job). For the positions in which I hire (sales and marketing related), showing passion and excitement is just as important and specific experience. The job-seeker needs to remember that I am using the interview to judge how he or she will do in front of my clients. When candidates mumble, appear bored, and send communication with spelling errors, they are showing me they do not have the passion and desire I want to see. I can train on specific skills and provide product knowledge; but I cannot train someone to be passionate.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the best way to uncover job leads — or do you advise multiple methods? What’s the best combination of methods and what percentage of a job-seeker’s time should be spent on each?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| There is not one guaranteed method. I advise a combination of the following:
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||From your observations and experience, just how tough is the job market today? How can job-seekers achieve success and stand out from the crowd in such a competitive market?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| The market is as bad as it has ever been. Jobs are out there, but the number of people applying for each one can be staggering. There is not a guaranteed method of standing out, but I suggest two things:
Marketing and management veteran Michael Kaplan has more than 18 years of career experience, most as a hiring manager. He has served in various sales-management and executive positions in everything from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Using his experience and outstanding relationship building talents, Kaplan organized MichaelTrains to bring a unique perspective to the resume-writing and business-communication process. Based in Eastern Iowa, near Cedar Rapids, MichaelTrains enjoys an outstanding professional reputation in the community and beyond. Kaplan can be contacted at this e-mail.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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