Monthly Archives: October 2011

Boo – Interview Horrors

Having been in the recruiting business for over 13 years, I have seen my share of interview horrors (both from the clients and the candidates).   In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it only fitting that I share my favorites with you, which can also be read as a What-Not-To-Do list:


  • A long-ago client asked a candidate to handwrite a paragraph.   They then proceeded to send it to a particular Rabbi in Israel to have him analyze it as their final interview step. If the Rabbi nixed the person, they were out. Not lying.
  • A candidate showed up to an interview on time, great suit, prepared with portfolio, resume and a list of great questions. And his wife and brother. I guess he needed moral support.
  • Then there was the story of the candidate who forgot to shower. For about a week from the smell of it..
  • One of my favorite voicemails from a female client after completing an interview – “He started off by calling me ‘babe”. There is only one way it can go from there. Down.
  • One of my hiring managers fell asleep during an interview. Like asleep, asleep. Head tilted back, drool and all.


Happy Job Haunting!

Broken Record

Recruiting is typically a roller coaster business, with ebbs and flows that follow market conditions. But the past couple of years have been like a long straight uphill train ride.   I feel like a broken record talking about the high intensity of the LA tech hiring market.   But, we continue to have a crazy amount of hiring going on, especially in the start-up arena.  Companies continue to all vie for the same handful of superstars – 110% of their wish list must be met. Candidates continue to be reticent about making a move in this market, and want 110% of their wish list met as well. Usually something gives after 3-6 months of recovery – companies become more willing to bend to get a great person with potential, and candidates start to gain confidence in the market as they see the high level of hiring continuing, so more become available, easing the lack of available A-players. But the crazy picky part is persisting, going on nearly 2 years now.  This can be attributed to the highly unusual nature of this particular recession/recovery. It normally follows a more predictable trajectory, but this recovery seems to be very fast for tech and very slow for other disciplines, so all parties are wary.     

Here is my advice to get hiring back to reasonable levels:

  • To all the great potential candidates out there, your local market is hopping!  If you have been considering making a move, now is a great time to explore your options.   The hiring frenzy has been going on for nearly two years.  It’s a trend, not a fluke. 
  • To all the great hiring companies out there, unless you have the luxury of keeping your jobs open for months on end, this is a great time to go for the person who meets 75% of your needs, and who brings enormous potential and brainpower to your team.