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Perceptive Recruiting Featured in GSA Business Report

How to "Crush" your Phone Interview


So you have followed all the best resume tips and land yourself a job interview. You’re prepared to interview, you’re just not prepared to do it on the phone.

Here are nine ways to adapt your interviewing strategy to the phone format, without losing your cool.

1. Be ready
Sometimes you’ll be notified to schedule. Sometimes the call will come straight out of the blue. If you’re not somewhere where it would be convenient or possible for you to chat, ask the interviewer if it would be possible to fin! d a mutually suitable time. If not, don’t panic: You can do it. Once you’ve applied for a job — any job, make sure you start mentally preparing for the interview in case you find yourself thrown into one just by picking up the phone.

2. Be organized
Have a copy of the job description and whatever information you’ve gathered about the company at your fingertips before the call begins. While you’re at it, make sure to also have a copy of your resume and your application materials as well. Otherwise, the interviewer will be able to hear that frantic stalling and rustling around.

3. Be prepared
The phone interview is just like any other interview. You should be well versed in your answers to common interview questions, or questions you think will b! e likely to come up for that particular position.

The only difference is you’ll have to be charming without your knockout smile and friendly face. Try compensating with more vivid answers.
And cut the rambling and verbal fillers like "um," which will stand out more over the phone.

4. Smile
Seriously. Not only can people hear the difference when someone is smiling over the phone, smiling will have a massive effect on your demeanor. You’ll sound much more upbeat and confident.
Keep a mirror by the phone if you need reminding.

5. Use the Internet
If it would be too compli cated to explain something, or you want to be able to provide a visual! , try directing your interviewer to your website, portfolio or LinkedIn page.
That way, you can talk them through it during your actual interview, narrating each accomplishment for them.

6. Be easygoing
Initial interviews, par ticularly over the phone, are not the time to start making demands or asking very particular questions about personal time off, benefits packages or job duties. Make them want to talk to you again; hopefully that will score you a proper faceto-face interview where you can proceed with your usual interview protocol.

7. Be smooth
Just like in any other conversation, try and match the tone and speed and volume of your interviewer. Ask a friend to assess your telephone voice for you in a! dvance and give you feedback.

8. Be firm
Don’t let your interviewer off the phone without scheduling another interview. Or the name and contact information of someone you can be in touch with at the company to follow up.

9. Say thank you
Even though it’s a phone interview, the normal rules apply. That means a written thank-you, emailed or handwritten. Don’t be too pushy, but it’s always OK to subtly remind them of your strengths in your thank-you note.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

Thought Leaders in Executive Recruiting

Our fearless leader Jill Rose was recently asked to participate in a roundtable discussion of executive recruiting trends and challenges:

Whether you  are a company seeking an executive or an executive looking for a new work environment, it is important to find the right match.  To do that, you can trust your instinct or you can find a professional firm that specializes in making that connection.  Here, we get insights on the world of executive recruiting from four industry experts in the Upstate. Their insight includes the challenges to executive recruiting in the Upstate as well as company trends when seeking the right fit.

Pick up a copy of the June 12th issue of GSA Business Report for the "rest of the story"!

Join a Talent Network!

I saw this article by Deanna Hartley of CareerBuilder in the Greenville News over the weekend, and found it a worthwhile read...

If you want to work for a company but can’t find open positions, or have been rejected for a position at your dream company, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. You may be the right candidate for the company you’re applying to, but not the best fit for any open positions right now. That means the right fit for you is still out there — and you can get closer to it by joining a talent network.

Talent networks are automated platforms where job seekers can enter their information into a company’s database with the goal of being notified of new job opportunities. It’s beneficial for the company because it allows employer! s to create a talent pipeline, and there are many ways job hunters can benefit from talent networks as well.

Here are a few:

1. It will give you a chance to understand the company better.

Companies today are increasingly leaning toward building and nurturing relationships with job seekers over time versus just looking to fill positions that may be open right now. Subscribing to a talent network opens the door to enabling employers to engage with you — and other candidates who have opted in to a talent network — more so than they would with other job seekers who don’t opt in. It will give you an opportunity to get to know the company, its culture and the expectations that are set for employees.

And you can leverage this additional insight when applying for future positions at the company.

2. It will save you time.

One pet peeve many job seekers complain about is that they’re forced to re-enter or resubmit the same information over and over again. With a talent network, you won’t need to re-enter your information because it already lives in the database.

Also, since you will be alerted to new relevant opportunities that will open up down the road, you won’t have to keep checking back in.

3. It will keep you top of mind for employers.

Even if your dream employer or employers don’t have any job openings at the moment, you don’t need to feel like you have to sit on the sidelines and wait. You can take a proactive step that could get you closer to landing that dream job when i! t becomes available. You’ll have a better chance of remaining on a company’s radar if you’re in their pipeline.

"It can’t hurt if it’s a company you’ve always wanted to work at," says Christy Hopkins, a human resources consultant and writer at Fit Small Business who also maintains an HR consulting and recruiting firm with small business clients. "If there are no open roles we are looking for that fit you, you can still submit your résumé to the general database. This is useful for us in that when a client comes to us for an urgent need — we can search our database and see if anyone fits their criteria by setting parameters around keywords and locations."

4. The talent network can do some of the work for you. 

We get it — you’re a motivated job seeker and you want to get out there and do the hard work of! finding the right job. But don’t be afraid to get a little help from! your friends — and in this case, a company’s talent network can be your best friend.

Some companies will go so far as to send you personalized alerts with jobs that best match your experience and interests. You will be able to make the most of tailored job recommendations and customized messages coming directly from the company itself.

Deanna Hartley is a writer for the Advice & Resources section on
She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

You Gotta Sell It!

I came across a salient commentary on the state of hiring by Paul Davidson in USA Today.  One that business owners and managers should at least peruse...

The Good, a small e-commerce firm based in Portland, Ore., has been besieged by an armada of Silicon Valley tech giants including and Airbnb that have invaded the region in the past year or two and are cherry-picking skilled job candidates.

As a result, it’s taking the company — with seven full-time workers and another seven part-timers — about three months to fill openings, up from two months a year ago, company President Jon MacDonald says.

"There are lots of people just looking to move to higher-paying employers," he says.  At 4.7%, the unemployment rate was near its 10-year low in February, down from 4.9% a year ago, supplying employers a smaller pool of available workers. The tight labor market is making hiring a struggle for most companies, but small businesses face an especially daunting task. While some add or sweeten benefits and salaries, they typically can’t compete with packages offered by larger firms.

Thirty-two percent of small businesses had openings they weren’t able to fill in February, the largest share since 2001, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ monthly survey, which mostly covers companies with fewer than 50 employees. Seventeen percent of firms cited "quality of labor" as their biggest problem, a 10-year high. And 85% of those seeking workers said there were no, or few, qualified applicants.

"The big firms skim the better-skilled people," says William Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist. That, he says, can contribute to more modest sales growth as key positions stay vacant longer.  The Good, which helps e-commerce companies optimize sales, vies for analysts, strategists and software developers against Salesforce, Airbnb and Ebay. All have opened satellite offices in Portland. In response, The Good has increased starting salaries by 5% to 10% over the past year and plans to offer paid maternity leave this year, MacDonald says.

Thornhill and Associates, a Los Angeles-based insurance firm, also trumpets its less tangible worker benefits. But company President Neal Thornhill says his best drawing card is that he lets employees work at home and set their own hours.

"We may not have benefit packages as competitive as the larger companies, but we provide a better quality of life," he says.

Why it’s crucial to use keywords in your résumé

I recently came across this article by Deanna Hartley of CareerBuilder.  It's worth a read...
When it comes to finding a new job, there’s a crucial step in the résumé-writing process you may not have heard about to improve your chances of making it past the initial round of screening.
“With … more and more recruitment services transitioning to being solely online, HR departments are using different computer programs to scan through résumés and pull out documents based on the frequency of certain words and acronyms,” says Valerie Streif, senior advisor at Mentat, an organization that hires, manages and mentors prospective job candidates.
While you painstakingly perfect your résumé, remember that a hiring manager potentially has to sift through dozens of other résumés and use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to cut through the clutter.
“An ATS scores résumés based on how well their content matches the keywords input by a hiring manager — this is why it’s imperative to incorporate relevant keywords and phrases throughout your résumé,” says Andrew Pearl, partner at Precision Resumes, Inc., a career management services firm. “Without those keywords, you won’t make it past the first gatekeeper in the hiring process. You can have the best qualifications, but if you’re not framing them right and using the most relevant keywords, you’ll miss out on opportunities.”
Keep these tips in mind when writing your résumé to help you get your foot in the door.
Research and identify other keywords to highlight.
Don’t be afraid to borrow language from the job description.
“Recruiters are comparing you against the job description, and often times they’re looking for buzzwords,” says Cristina Lara, manager of global diversity programs at Amazon, and a former national diversity manager for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “It’s still a good best practice to reframe your work experiences using the language of the job description. This will make it easier for recruiters to mentally align your background with the job, and you’ll increase your chances of having your résumé sent up to the hiring manager.”
Examples of keywords you’ll want to integrate include job title, technical skills and academic requirements, according to Pearl. “Evaluate the posting you’re applying to, line by line, and highlight what appear to be the most fundamental terms,” he says.
“If the job posting is sparse, find other similar job descriptions online and use those as a guide for determining keywords and phrases. Focus particularly on similar jobs in similar industries to make sure the jargon you incorporate in your résumé is on track.”
Master the art of sprinkling keywords throughout your résumé.
Cheryl E. Palmer, owner of executive career coaching firm Call to Career, recommends including a section at the top titled “Core Competencies” where the keywords could be highlighted prominently.
“That way, the keywords are at the top of the résumé and are easily found, [and] you can also judiciously sprinkle keywords in the ‘Professional Experience’ section,” she says.
Remember that context is key.
“Keywords should also be in context with the content — plugging in a list of skill sets in a bulleted list and not actually relaying how you know the skill, or what you did with it, is useless,” says Dawn D.
Boyer, résumé writer and CEO of D. Boyer Consulting.
For example, instead of merely listing “business development,” “marketing,” or “sales,” Boyer advises that you say “Responsible for business development and marketing to 25 Fortune 500 clients, with contract sales resulting in $500 million in revenue within six months of hire.”
Palmer agrees it is more effective to show rather than to tell. “For soft skills, I recommend demonstrating a result rather than simply listing these types of skills,” Palmer says. “Instead of saying: ‘good people skills,’ it’s more impactful to say, ‘Improved staff relations through regular meetings where staff members could clearly define expectations for upcoming projects.’”
Deanna Hartley is a writer for the Advice & Resources section on researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Happy Birthday Jill Rose!!

Looking to break into a new role?

Sarah Sipek of CareerBuilder published an excellent column in last Sunday's Greenville News (check it out).  I gleaned several nuggets of wisdom, one of which I thought I'd mention here.

One of the "search hacks" Sarah points out is building a relationship with select recruitment companies.  Here's her take:

"Recruiters are the gatekeepers to many jobs.  Karla Jobling, director at London-based recruiting firm Beecher-Madden, recommends reaching out and making a personal connection.  "Build relationships with one or two select recruitment companies that specialize in the area you work in," Jobling says.  "Take the time to meet with them.  They will approach you with suitable roles when they come up.  Many of these aren't even advertised, and you don't have to do anything - just wait for the calls to come in.""

Our "favorite candidates" are ones who have taken the time to come by our offices, introduced themselves and described their desired career paths.  So, come by and see us.  We'd love to get to know you.

Having "THAT" Conversation...Drama Free Advice!

How do you handle conflict or a challenging relationship in the workplace?  Dealing with a difficult person’s behavior can really feel like a waste of time and zap your energy.  However, conflicts are an inevitable aspect of people working together. 

When conflict surfaces, you need to know how to identify and deal with it so that it doesn’t drain your energy, infect your whole life, and sabotage your effectiveness at work or in life In short, you need to know how to have THATconversation. 

Amy L. Robinson presented her "Learn how to communicate with an accountable and drama free message" to the UWIT group today at City Range restaurant.  Amy, headquartered in Greenville, is an executive coach and organizational consultant for high performing individuals, teams, and organizations. She is founder of Aspire Higher, women’s leadership development group coaching program for female talent in the workplace. Aspire Higher prepares participants for leadership and career development by accessing each women’s authentic strengths and hone essential leadership skills including negotiating, communicating, creating vision and strategy, and influencing. In addition to individual and group coaching, Amy is a facilitator and keynote speaker on professional development topics. She is passionate about creating gender-partnered leadership cultures within organizations. For more information about Amy and her services, visit

UWIT President Jill Rose (l) with Amy L. Robinson

UWIT is held monthly at City Range on Haywood Road.  Networking starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:00.  Please register online  for future gatherings at   Walks-ins welcomed with cash or check payment of $20.  Contact Jill Rose at 864-908-0105 or for more information. 

Interview Tips

By asking only a few questions an interviewer can get a good idea of whether or not you are suitable for the position.

The information you receive from us about the company and the work will help you to understand the background of the position for which you are being considered. Even more important is knowing yourself and being able to present that information to the client, your past achievements and your present strengths. The interviewer wants to understand these areas so he can determine how you will fit into the orginganization. Your manners, social sense, and ability to speak clearly and directly count. In interviewing in person, you should dress appropriately and neatly, and pay attention to grooming.

Above all, listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and take your time in answering. Don't feel you have to be talking constantly. From time to time ask questions yourself to clarify the meaning of a question or to show appropriate interest.

Here are some basic questions that might be asked of you. The interviewer wants to get a sense not only of what you CAN do, but also what you WILL do. In answering any questions, look for ways to giving a correct but positive impression of yourself.

Read more »

Business Uses for INTERNET PRODUCTS!

The UWIT group received a fascinating presentation today at City Range.  Robert Neely and Micah Brandenburg of Worthwhile company featured The Internet of Things (also known as IoT), one of the fastest growing spaces in technology today.  In their talk, they explained what IoT can mean to your business, and what your business needs to do now to thrive in a connected world.

Read more »

What's new in Greenville on the Economic Development Front?

The UWIT group today heard the latest from the City of Greenville!  Over lunch at City Range, Mary Douglas Hirsch, Downtown Manager/Economic Development, provided an update on development, what's happening and what's on the horizon. 

Read more »

Great Habits, Regardless of your Goals...

Compliments of Nathan Bash

Automational - What's the Hype all About!?

Patrick Foy and Nate Kristy, from the Automational team in Atlanta, joined UWIT to share an overview of Automational's capabilities and best practices of how small businesses can leverage automation to turn more leads into sales.

You’ve heard of Salesforce and MS Dynamics, right? What about a sales and marketing product that is 100% tailored for small business? The UWIT group met with the Automational team today for their monthly gathering at City Range.

Read more »

Let a recruiter help you pinpoint the right role

For job seekers who are frustrated with the search, working with a recruiter can give them the boost they need.

Good recruiters will work with you to find the right position at the right company.
However, they can do only so much on their own. They need you to guide them along and ensure they are meeting your goals.

What can you do to help recruiters help you in your job search? Expert Allison Penning, a branch manager for national staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network, shares best practices for building relationships with recruiters and getting the most out of the collaboration

Read more »

Tableau, Qlik, Cognos or Microsoft Power BI?

Today we are surrounded by data visualizations. They impact what we buy, where we spend our time, how we interact with society, and, ultimately, influencing businesses decisions and even nations. We will be discussing some basic principles in data presentation and showing some of the tools available today.

Read more »

"Hands down, No. 1, not even a close second, workforce""

Top executives at four chambers of commerce in the Upstate said their advocacy and lobbying for business interests are regional and they are rarely competitors. They agree that with thousands of vacant jobs in the Upstate, workforce development is a major challenge.

Read more »

Yeah, that Greenville!

Climbing the Ladder in Stilletos!

Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT) met today at City Range to hear ladder climbing stories from Elizabeth Austin, CIO with Systems Maintenance Services.  Elizabeth is responsible for leading the global Information Technology team at Systems Maintenance Services as it continues to develop infrastructure, applications and scalable tools within our rapidly growing base of global operations. In addition to development, her team is charged with implementation and ongoing management of all client-driven and mission critical information systems as the company continues to grow and expand its operational base.

Prior to joining SMS, Elizabeth was VP, IT Application Services at Family Dollar where she was responsible for applications support, technology deployments, and customer care support throughout 11 distribution centers and 8,100 stores. She holds a BA in Business Administration from UNC, Charlotte and has held several community service positions, including SIM Society of Information Management, Charlotte CIO Forum Advisory Council and UNCC College of Computing & Informatics Advisory Board.
UWIT President Jill Rose (right) with Elizabeth Austin

Jill Rose is President of UWIT and has been an IT Recruiter for over 18 years. You can contact her at 864-908-0105, or at

Field Trip to Denny's!

Their old pancakes were fine, but America deserved better. So, the Denny's team reworked their recipe. Added good stuff like fresh buttermilk, real eggs, flour and a hint of vanilla. The result? Their 50% fluffier pancakes just might be better than home.

So, the Perceptive Recruiting Team decided to take a field trip to see if they succeeded in reaching their goal.  It's all true.  In a word, they are delicious.  We enjoyed 3 styles, and all were polished off in minutes.

Well done Denny's!

UWIT hosts Women's Leadership Series, Part 2

Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT), led by president Jill Rose hosted Pamela Westbrooks at their monthly luncheon last week.  Pamela is Vice President of Administration at Upward Sports in Spartanburg.  She has 20 years experience in corporate leadership in not-for-profit and for profit organizations. She is responsible for strategic planning for Accounting/Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Corporate Project Management.

Pamela led an interactive presentation on how humility and boldness go hand-in-hand, AND how to win in your organization and how to respond when your organization isn’t winning. Big lessons learned!

Pamela B. Westbrooks has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and is also a Certified Public Accountant. She joined the Upward Sports team in 2002 after having a career in manufacturing. On a day-today basis, she collaborates with multiple divisions on strategy development and implementation. She's a problem solver, collaborator, supporter, and communicator. Pamela is married to John and has one son, Mason, who is almost 5!

Pamela Westbrooks with board members Laura Bell (left) and Jill Rose

UWIT meets the fourth Thursday each month at City Range.  Goto for more information.

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Jill Rose's Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT) group met last week to discuss emotional IQ.  

Daniel Radovic, SHRM-SCP, CPC - Executive and Leadership Coach at Nexus Consulting Group, Inc.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) vs Emotional Quotient (EQ) - What is more important to your success? We all recognize the value of a high IQ; it is often what will get you hired. Yet IQ alone is not a good predictor of a person’s career success. EQ, on the other hand ISa powerful predictor of success, especially when coupled with identifiable technical ability.

What is EQ?  How is it measured?  What can one do if they have “Low EQ”?
If you are not familiar with EQ, you will take away some new insight how EQ can play an important role in your personal success.  If you are familiar with EQ, we hope you will find new ideas to implement into your own personal development plan.

More information about UWIT is available at 

Dan Radovic with UWIT President Jill Rose

Funny, but Effective!

I can't help but giggle at this.  However, it is effective emphasizing the importance of finding the right fit for candidate AND client!

How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (Part 4 of a series)

There are 3 principles the PR team adheres to in order to be an effective recruiting partner to our clients:
     1.  Sweat the small stuff​
     2.  Sweat the small stuff
     3.  Sweat the small stuff
One of the many ways we sweat the small stuff is by thoroughly vetting candidates against stated requirements before presenting them to our client hiring managers.  It probably goes without saying, but imagine how much time (=$$$) we save our clients by doing this!
I conducted an unscientific survey with several clients recently.  The survey compared the number of hires over a 6 month period to the number of candidates my team submitted for consideration over the same period for the same list of job openings.  Yep, you guessed it - PR had (by far!) the highest ratio of hires to submitted candidates.
We'll keep sweating the small stuff so you don't have to!

What's the Latest in Banking Technologies?

​​The Upstate Women in Technology​​ (UWIT) group is hosting ​Kara Bradley next week to hear about the latest innovations in banking technology.  Technological innovations in banking are fundamentally changing the way that clients can interact with financial institutions, merchants, and even other individuals, while also increasing data security to minimize risk of fraud.

Want to learn more about this event?  Goto 

Archived Posts

09/15/2017 03:45:00 PM
Perceptive Recruiting Featured in GSA Business Report

09/05/2017 11:15:00 AM
How to "Crush" your Phone Interview

06/14/2017 10:32:00 AM
Thought Leaders in Executive Recruiting

05/08/2017 08:58:00 AM
Join a Talent Network!

03/31/2017 08:25:00 AM
You Gotta Sell It!

03/20/2017 10:10:00 AM
Why it’s crucial to use keywords in your résumé

03/14/2017 11:02:00 AM
Happy Birthday Jill Rose!!

03/09/2017 08:26:00 AM
Looking to break into a new role?

02/24/2017 01:38:00 PM
Having "THAT" Conversation...Drama Free Advice!

02/16/2017 11:05:00 AM
Interview Tips

01/26/2017 04:13:00 PM
Business Uses for INTERNET PRODUCTS!

11/10/2016 03:46:00 PM
What's new in Greenville on the Economic Development Front?

11/01/2016 10:50:00 AM
Great Habits, Regardless of your Goals...

10/27/2016 02:54:00 PM
Automational - What's the Hype all About!?

10/03/2016 09:12:00 AM
Let a recruiter help you pinpoint the right role

09/22/2016 03:54:00 PM
Tableau, Qlik, Cognos or Microsoft Power BI?

09/21/2016 11:15:00 AM
"Hands down, No. 1, not even a close second, workforce""

09/15/2016 08:29:00 AM
Yeah, that Greenville!

08/25/2016 02:46:00 PM
Climbing the Ladder in Stilletos!

07/26/2016 01:29:00 PM
Field Trip to Denny's!

06/27/2016 09:18:00 AM
UWIT hosts Women's Leadership Series, Part 2

05/31/2016 09:30:00 AM
Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

05/18/2016 10:37:00 AM
Funny, but Effective!

05/17/2016 08:38:00 AM
How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (Part 4 of a series)

05/17/2016 08:37:00 AM
What's the Latest in Banking Technologies?