Top Ten Tips for Using Staffing Firms

1) How exactly does a staffing firm work for me, the job-seeker?2016_bs_threatread_final
With few exceptions, the staffing firm becomes your advocate and “represents you” – a relationship that starts whenever you apply for a job through an staffing firm listing and submit your resume. In most cases there is no fee to you as you are the applicant; employer is the client;. Your link is the headhunter or representative who contacts or helps you.

2) If there is no fee for me – then who pays the placement fee?
There is no fee for you – client pays the fee. Many staffing firms work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless they successfully fill the open position by submitting the best candidate. There are also retained searches, meaning that the staffing firm gets paid no matter how long it takes to fill the job, and there is no other competing agency involved. If the client finds a candidate on their own, they must go through the staffing firm and the firm gets paid.

3) Is it wrong for me to submit my resume to multiple staffing firms?
No, it isn’t wrong, but do limit yourself to a very few firms and let the staffing firm know that you have. When you submit your resume to an online service (i.e. Monster.com or CareerBuilder) you won’t get a chance to set up an appointment and talk to a recruiter and let them know. If your resume fits the bill — meaning of the keywords in your resume are picked up through the online services’ algorithms and an employer finds you, then you’ll get an email or a call from the prospective employer. Staffing Firms with real live recruiters would appreciate knowing you’ve submitted yourself elsewhere (you needn’t go into detail that’s your business) – and they would also like to know if you have submitted yourself for the position directly. If you have, they won’t submit you or represent you for that job because it is duplication of your efforts.

4) What can a recruiting firm/staffing firm do for me that I can’t do for myself?
A good staffing firm will get your resume and set up an interview to talk about your skills, your goals, and the job you are applying for. Resumes don’t always do a candidate justice, and a good recruiter is almost like a job therapist – and will draw out of you information relevant to the position that you may not have thought to mention in your resume. A good recruiter knows a lot about the job you are applying for too, which can be helpful. Job descriptions are notoriously bland and don’t really give you all of the useful inside scoop it would be useful to know before you actually interview. Recruiters also have jobs that aren’t posted, and after talking with you may recommend you for something you didn’t even know was out there.

5) I applied online to a recruiting firm and no one called me – what does that mean?
It can mean one of many things – you weren’t qualified for the job you applied for and they didn’t bother to let you know. Your resume wasn’t received – if you didn’t get a confirmation notice of some sort that might have happened. Email them and ask. It was received but they haven’t gotten back to you yet – sometimes these things don’t happen in “real time”. Our advice? Don’t be shy – write and ask!

Read the full article, originally published by generalemployment.com, here.

 

Please Don’t Do These 9 Things In An Interview

Looking for a job can be stressful and demoralizing.  I’d really like for you to succeed: it would be good for you, for the company that hires you, and for the overall economy.  In fact, I want you to get the best job you possibly can – one that you enjoy, and that challenges you and makes best use of your strengths.

In the service of that, there are some actions I want to steer you away from when you’re doing a job interview, things that – trust me – will not create the impression you want to create. Of course, some approaches are a matter of taste and style –  certain interviewers will like them while others won’t – but there are also ways of behaving that are pretty universally not a good idea. And, unfortunately, interviewees often get counseled to do some version of these things. So, having interviewed a great many people over the course of my career, and having spoken to hundreds of hiring managers about what they’ve liked and haven’t liked in those they’ve interviewed, here you go. If you want an interview to go well, don’t:

1. Freeze up – A few years ago, I interviewed a woman for an administrative position with our company.  Her resume looked excellent and appropriate, and she had been articulate, though very quiet, on the phone.  When we were actually sitting in a room together, though, she more or less disappeared: wouldn’t look at me; gave monosyllabic answers in a frightened mumble; seemed terrified when I asked her to tell me why she wanted to work for our company. If you can’t make it through an interview without crumbling, people are unlikely to believe you’ll be able to withstand the rigors of a normal job.  So if you find interviews particularly daunting, work on your self-talk beforehand. For example, if you find you’re saying things to yourself like, “I’m terrible in interviews, I know I’ll look like an idiot” – that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Instead, change your mental monologue to something more hopeful, yet still realistic, like “I get nervous during interviews, so I need to practice beforehand, and remember to look at the interviewer and keep breathing.” And do practice, too – that can really reduce your fear of the unknown.

2. Dominate – Then there’s  the opposite behavior. I was once interviewing a woman who swept into the room, flashed me a blinding smile, shook my hand as though it were a pump handle, sat down and just started talking.  The quality of what she said was actually good – she’d done her homework about our company, and had great insights into what the job might require. But there was no space for anything but her monologue – I wasn’t able to ask her a single question.  It was exhausting, and certainly not something I would have wanted to experience every day.  If you know you have a strong personality and tend to talk a lot, coach yourself before you go into an interview to get curious about the interviewer: what he or she might be interested in hearing from you, his or her view of the job and of the company.  If you’re in a curious mindset, you’ll be much more likely to listen, and the interview will be a dialogue, vs. a monologue.

3. Be sloppy – Some companies are very casual – people come to work in tee shirts and jeans – while others still have rigorous dress codes (someone told me yesterday that female employees at the Ritz-Carlton are still expected to wear hose every day).  Try to find out, before your interview, what’s standard dress at that particular company.  But no matter how casual the dress code – don’t be a slob. Having good personal hygiene – clean hair, showered, nails trimmed – and clean, unwrinkled clothing is much more  important than whether you’re a little over-dressed or under-dressed. When someone comes to an interview looking like he or she has just rolled out of bed, it communicates lack of respect for the interviewer, the job and the company.

Click here to read the full article. 

Top 10 Myths About Searching For A Job

1. Myth: You need connections in order to get a job.

Fact: Connections are helpful, but plenty of people get jobs by spotting an ad, sending in a resume, and interviewing. Sometimes it might not feel that way, because there are so many job-seekers competing for a limited number of jobs, which means most people are getting fewer interviews (and even fewer job offers). But plenty of jobs still go to people without connections at the company.

2. Myth: No one reads cover letters.

Fact: A well-written cover letter with personality can get you an interview when your resume alone wouldn’t have. Sure, there are some hiring managers out there who don’t bother with cover letters, but there are many who do, and you have no way of knowing which type you’re dealing with. With so many stories of cover letters opening doors that otherwise would have stayed shut, it would be foolish to pass up this incredibly effective way of standing out.

3. Myth: Employers will respond to you right away if they’re interested.

Fact: Some employers take weeks or even months to respond to candidates. Sometimes this is because they’re waiting until the end of the application period before they contact any candidates, and sometimes it’s because higher-priority work gets in the way. (Of course, sometimes it can also be because the company is disorganized.) Regardless of the reasons, job seekers shouldn’t jump to any conclusions if they don’t hear back right away.

4. Myth: In a crowded field, job seekers need to find creative ways to stand out.

Fact: If you want to stand out, write a great cover letter and build a resume that demonstrates a track record of success in the area the employer is hiring for. Fancy designs, having your resume delivered by overnight mail, video resumes, and other gimmicks don’t make up for a lack of qualifications.

5. Myth: Don’t bother job hunting around the holidays.

Fact: Lots of hiring gets done in December! In fact, some hiring managers are scrambling to fill positions before the new year. And you may even have less competition, since other job seekers may have slowed down their search at this time of year.

6. Myth: Your resume should only be one page.

Fact: At some point in the past, resumes were supposed to be limited to one page. But times have changed, and two-page resumes are common now. People with only a few years of experience should still stick to one page, but two pages are fine for everyone else.

7. Myth: Lowering your salary expectations will make you a more attractive candidate.

Fact: Employers are going to hire the best person for the job, within the limits of what they can afford. They aren’t likely to prefer someone else just because he or she comes cheaper.

8. Myth: Your interviewer knows what he or she is doing.

Fact: While interviewers should all be trained in how to interview effectively, the reality is that many are inexperienced, unskilled, or otherwise unable to conduct strong interviews. They may be unprepared, ask bad questions, or simply be rude.

9. Myth: If you want to stand out, you need to call to follow up on your application.

Fact: Most employers will tell you that these calls don’t help and sometimes hurt. These days, with hundreds of applicants for every opening, if every applicant called to follow up, employers would spend all day fielding these calls. Believe me, they don’t want to.

10. Myth: Employers will only call the references on the list you gave them.

Fact: Employers can call anyone you’ve worked for or who might know you, and good reference-checkers won’t limit themselves to the formal list of references you provide. They’ll call former managers, listed or not—and sometimes, especially those not listed, since they know the omission may have been intentional and thus notable. After all, the list you hand over is, of course, the people likely to present you in the most flattering light, and they want to see you in brighter lighting. The only thing typically considered off-limits in reference-checking is calling your current employer. Everyone else is fair game.

25 Fun Facts About Resumes, Interviews, & Social Recruitment

Think you know what the job search market looks like in 2016? These figures tell quite an intriguing story. Enjoy!

  • In the US, there are 3 million unfilled jobs and 11.8 million unemployed workers.
  • The average time spent by recruiters looking at a resume: 5 to 7 seconds.
  • 76% of resumes are discarded for an unprofessional email address.
  • 88% rejection rate when you include a photo on your resume.
  • In 2000, 22% of resumes were submitted via email or posted on the web. In 2015, over 90% of resumes are now posted online or sent via email.
  • Only 35% of applicants are actually qualified for the jobs they apply to.
  • Applicant Tracking Software, the robots that read your resume, are able to quickly eliminate 75% of the applicants.
  • 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.
  • 68% of employers will find you on Facebook.
  • There are 15 million brands and organizations on Facebook.
  • 18,400,000 applicants found their job on Facebook.
  • 10,200,000 applicants found their job on LinkedIn.
  • 89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn.
  • 8,000,000 applicants found their job on Twitter.
  • 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile.
  • 43% of job seekers have used their mobile device to engage in a job search with 7% of all job seekers conducting their job search online while in the restroom.
  • While the average length of an interview is 40 minutes, 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated they know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate.

How can they make such a decision in less than 2 minutes? In the same survey, respondents noted the following nonverbal mistakes as some of the reasons why you may be eliminated during the interview:

  • 70% indicated applicants were too fashionable or trendy.
  • 67% indicated failure to make eye contact.
  • 55% the way the candidate dressed, acted or walked through the door.
  • 47% of clients who had little or no knowledge of the company.
  • 38% was a tie – quality of voice and overall confidence; and lack of a smile.
  • 33% for bad posture.
  • 26% because the handshake was too weak.
  • 21% for crossing their arms over their chest during the interview.

Understand Recruitment Cycles to Give Your Job Search an Edge

When it comes to connecting with the right job opportunity, timing isn’t everything, but it’s certainly something. Tuning into industries’ and employers’ annual recruitment cycles just might give you a decisive edge.

That’s the consensus of recruiters and employers with fingers on the pulse of seasonal variations in hiring. Here’s a quarter-by-quarter summary of how these hiring dynamics play out.

First Quarter: A New Year’s Wave of Hiring

Sometimes peaks of hiring correspond with workplace factors that are only loosely related, like when people take vacation.

Major hiring initiatives may follow close on the heels of the holidays and summer.

Strong hiring periods like the first quarter, when demand for talent may outweigh the supply of qualified candidates, may be a good time to go for a job with more responsibility or higher pay.

Second Quarter: Gearing Up for Summer

For those whose livelihood depends substantially on fair weather, spring is when hiring peaks. In the construction industry, hiring in April, May and June proceeds at double the pace of December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Tourism and hospitality hiring is also very strong in the spring. And businesses looking to hire professional workers before fall often do so now, before key decision makers start rotating out for summer vacation.

Third Quarter: Recruiters Relax a Bit, and Vacation Plays a Role

Hiring slows down in July before picking up at the end of August. For those with nontraditional but impressive employment backgrounds, there’s an advantage to looking in relatively slow hiring months like July and December, says Smith.

For example, recruiters, less pressed for time than in peak months, may be willing to take a longer look at an experienced professional woman seeking to return to work after taking years off to care for children.

Fourth Quarter: A Rush, Then a Lull

The fourth quarter presents the most complex hiring dynamics of the year, with its mix of fall activity, holiday retail hiring, Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s slowdown, and end-of-year financial and budget maneuvering.

Although December hiring is at low levels in many industries, recruiters are determined to fill the year’s remaining openings by December 31, and the supply of applicants dwindles as Christmas and the new year approach.

Major industries classified as information, financial services, and professional and business services, having hired heavily in the second quarter, see their lowest level of hiring in December, says JOLTS.

But December isn’t as slow as it used to be, say some observers. And applications tend to slow down during the holiday season more than openings do — tipping the balance in favor of those who do apply.

BarryStaff’s Donation Makes Sale of Building Possible

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley has purchased the building at 22 S. Jefferson in downtown Dayton, to serve as its new headquarters. Staff will move in during the summer of 2015.

Board Chair Matt DiCicco remarked, “This is a huge step forward for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We have grown significantly in recent years and now we have a location which is highly visible and fitting for our vital mission to serve youth in need. We are particularly pleased to be moving into downtown Dayton at a time where there are so many signs of investment, building, and vibrant city life.”

The building has served as headquarters for Barry Staff. Doug Barry, CEO of Barry Staff, contributed a generous donation which helped make the sale possible. Barry Staff is in the process of building a new headquarters in downtown that will accommodate their significant growth. Doug Barry said, “It is a pleasure to be supporting such an outstanding organization as Big Brothers Big Sisters. 22 S. Jefferson has been a great home for us and we couldn’t be more pleased that Big Brothers Big Sisters will be the new owners. We wish them all the best.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley is a United Way agency founded in 1958 and covers Montgomery, Miami, Green and Preble Counties. After 15% growth in 2013, the agency is ending 2014 with a further 10% growth in the number of youth it serves through one-to-one mentoring. CEO Joe Radelet is retiring this summer and the search for the new CEO is underway. Joe remarked, “With the new building and with a new CEO coming in, there is certainly great cause for excitement for Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2015.”

 

10 Ways to Lose a Great Employee

If you’re a good (or even just halfway decent) manager or leader then you probably already know most of this, but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of them now and again. Enough with the preliminaries; here’s my list – what would you add or remove to this?

 1. Be dishonest.
Yes, #1 on the list is dishonesty. I don’t need a scientific study or a survey to tell me this so you will not see one cited by me, though I suspect it is out there somewhere. Integrity matters. Most good employees – and all great ones – have integrity. So, lying to them, to their coworkers, or to customers / suppliers is sure to turn them off. Over-billing a client, ripping off a supplier, bending the rules, cooking the books, and even just “little white lies” are all sure to catch the private ire of those employees who can best help you and your organization succeed. Don’t think they don’t notice; they DO.

 2. Don’t say “Thank you.”
It’s a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Even small gestures of appreciation, complements on good work, acknowledging that someone stayed late / came in early / went the extra mile help keep talented people motivated and engaged. A small gift card, permission to leave early for the day or work from home the day before a holiday (if work is getting completed), a kind word, an email, all of these things cost very little but go a long way. I suggest making a point of doing them. People care if someone notices when they are doing a good job. I occasionally cook a special hot lunch, personally, for my team when the team has achieved something significant or completed an important project; other folks around the office are jealous and my team seems to love it. They have even started asking what they will get for lunch when they finish an important team goal. (My team: If you read this, feel free to comment on this point especially.)

3. Forget the values that made your organization a success.
I’ve been part of organizations that truly lived their core values (and even years later can recite them by heart, because they were so prominent). We all knew what they were.We all agreed they were important, or at least accepted them as such. The leadership talked about them, and everything we did as a company HAD to align to them. I left an organization once after it forgot its values and stopped talking about them because it wasn’t long before the entity had lost its way. I have also been in companies that barely even mention their values – and really, what that says is, “Our core value is to make more money for our owners, whatever it takes.” Not exactly compelling, but that’s what is being conveyed.If that’s what you’re really all about, you may as well admit it, there is nothing wrong with making money. When I build a team, I am very explicit about my expectations and the team culture, and then we review the key elements of that together from time to time.

4. Don’t take time to listen (to their concerns).
Good people almost always actually want what is best for the organization. They may have differing opinions on what that is, but they can be passionate, even fiery about it.If you’re dismissive of their concerns, when raised, you’re headed down the road to losing top performing people. Even if you can’t change a policy or a decision, you may be able to adjust how it is implemented to optimize the situation based on the concerns that your talented people raise. Just what kind of weak, arrogant, incompetent, narcissistic leader doesn’t want to hear this, anyhow?

5. Ignore their personal and professional development.
Note that there are two dimensions to this – professional development (technical skills, industry knowledge, expertise, professional certifications, formal training, etc.) and personal development. I would include leadership skills, street-smarts, maturity, self-awareness, EQ, general health and well being all as part of this.Leaders only follow stronger leaders, so if you want to keep current or future leaders, be sure you are mentoring them. Let them learn from your own life experience; telling good stories from your experience can be a great way to do this. Help them become better professionals – and better people. They will appreciate this beyond measure. Additionally, don’t delude yourself into thinking that their career growth is their problem. It isn’t; it is your problem so make a point of investing in it and top notch people will likely repay you for this with good work.

6. Don’t be selective who you hire in the first place.
We all know that hiring people who really fit and are highly talented is tough. We know that the repercussions of a bad hire are awful for everyone. Make sure people really will fit into your organization. I have found that the recruiting process is often commensurate with the organization and role. The better (and more prestigious) the entity and higher profile the role, the tougher the recruiting process often seems – and it should be. Let’s face it, a half hour “get to know you”, or even an hour isn’t really enough to get to know a prospective employee well enough to make a truly informed decision. I am privileged to be part of a company that does a very thorough job of screening people before they get in the door, and it shows. Talented people often don’t mind a tough (within reason) selection process because they are usually competitive people who thrive on challenge. Invest the time needed to really explore what makes a person tick before you hire them. Oh, and by the way, talented people want to be around other talented people.

 7. Micromanage.
Do I really need to go here? Yes, unfortunately. Though we all know better than this, don’t we? Sadly, I’ve seen way too much of it. It’s not just classical micromanagement either. I’ve seen truly exceptional people who excelled in their role end up with their jobs “dumbed-down” to cater to the lowest common denominator, and to the point they were no longer challenged or motivated. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before they were looking for an opportunity somewhere else.

 8. Set the bar low.
Great people will get discouraged and either leave or adapt to mediocrity if that is what they perceive is deemed acceptable. I’ve seen mediocrity accepted, rewarded, applauded, and even promoted! The impact of this on team morale (and on the highest performing team members) was palpable. Set the bar high and then become a cheerleader – even if people don’t make it over the high bar, point out how high the bar was set and how high people did get, and celebrate the success they did have at the right level. They may just make it over that high bar the next time.

9. Be cold and uncaring (to them and to their coworkers).
People are human. Why do we seem to forget this so often? They have personal struggles, ambitions, families, crises, etc. One of my favorite bosses from the past was a gentleman who knew my wife’s name, my son’s name, my dog’s name, and more. I met both of his kids and I had met his wife before started working for him (they took my family out for dinner and I still remember the place). He didn’t go beyond appropriate boundaries, but I really knew he cared about me as an employee and as a person (note #5, above).He was personable and when I needed a friend, a true mentor, someone I could go to with a problem, a “dad” type figure. I knew I could talk to him and he’d help me out however he could. He got a lot of loyalty from me in return. I should also point out that talented people watch how you treat other people, not just themselves, and they take note of it.

10. The “usual” things (under-pay them, intrude into their personal lives, harassment, etc.)
Yes, the “usual” things will usually get a good person out of your organization as fast as they can possibly find an opportunity elsewhere. Incredibly, I’ve seen organizations under-pay very good people. One executive even said to me, in private, “Well, just what are they going to do? Leave? They have no place to go. The (job) market is poor.” This was his way of rationalizing, those many years ago, reduced bonuses for a group of people who really had earned them – and who were contractually entitled. (I had this happened to me one time, too, many years ago.) This was disappointing to say the least, and I lost a lot of sleep over it at the time, even though my own bonus was good that year. Plus, it wasn’t long before people actually did have someplace else to go, and go they did.

 

Does How You Look and Dress Influence Your Career? Sadly, Yes

Years ago I worked on the shop floor of a manufacturing plant. I had worked my way through school at another plant so I definitely identified more with the hourly workers than the “suits.” (Even though most of the guys referred to me as “college boy.”)

One day the department manager stopped by. He asked about my background. He asked about my education. He asked about my career aspirations.

“I’d like to be a supervisor,” I answered, “and then someday I’d like your job.”
He smiled and said, “Good for you. I like a guy with dreams.” Then he paused.
“But if that’s what you really want,” he said, looking me in the eyes, “first you need to start looking the part.”

I knew what he was saying but decided to play dumb. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“Look around,” he said. “How do supervisors dress? How does their hair look? How do they act? No one will think of you as supervisor material until they can actually see you as a supervisor — and right now you look nothing like a supervisor.”

He was right. I was wearing ratty jeans with a couple of holes. (Why wouldn’t I? I worked around oil and grease all day.) I was wearing a cut-off t-shirt. (Why wouldn’t I? It was the middle of the summer and the air wheezing through the overhead vents was far from conditioned.) And my hair was pretty long, even for the day.

“But shouldn’t how well I do my job matter more than how I look?” I asked.
“In a perfect world your performance is all that would matter,” he said. “But we don’t live in a perfect world. Take my advice: if you want to be promoted into a certain position… make sure you look like the people in that position.”

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot over the years.
I’ve hired and promoted people who looked the part… and they turned out to be all show and no go. I’ve hired and promoted people who didn’t look the part at all… and they turned out to be superstars. I’m convinced that how you look and, at least to a large degree how you act, has nothing to do with your skill and talent and fit for a job.

Still, he’s right: the world isn’t perfect. People still make assumptions about us based on irrelevant things like clothing and mannerisms… and height and weight and age and gender and ethnicity and tons of other qualities and attributes that have absolutely no bearing on a person’s performance.

So are you better off trying to conform?
Unfortunately, probably so. The people doing the hiring and promoting are people — and people tend to be biased towards the comfortable and the familiar. People tend to hire and promote people who are much like themselves. (If you remind me of me… then you must be awesome, right?)

Besides, highly diverse teams are like unicorns — we all know what one should look like, but unless you’re NPH you rarely encounter one in the wild.

And don’t forget that hiring or promoting someone who conforms, even if only in dress and deportment, makes a high percentage of the people making those decisions feel like they’re taking a little bit less of a risk. I know I was viewed — admittedly with good reason — as a wild card, and I’m sure that impacted my promotability.

But still: are you better off being yourself and trusting that people will value your skills, experience, talent… and uniqueness?

Sadly I think that’s a move fraught with professional peril. If your goal is to get hired or promoted then expressing your individuality could make that goal much harder to accomplish. (Of course if being yourself in all ways is what is most important to you, by all means let your freak flag fly. Seriously.)

I have no way of knowing for sure, but changing how I dressed — and in a larger sense, tempering some of the attitude I displayed — would likely have helped me get promoted sooner. For a long time I didn’t look the part, didn’t act the part… and I’m sure that made me a less attractive candidate.

 

5 Things Never to Ask in a Job Interview

Your resume didn’t fall into a black hole. You’ve been called for an interview. You picked out a nice suit to wear and you’re ready to dazzle them with your smarts. And you know it’s important to have questions for the interviewer because it shows you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the position.

The wrong questions, however, can tank even the best interview. You know better than to bring up salary, benefits or vacation early on in a discussion — those are still commonly viewed as taboo in a first interview. But there are other, less-known pitfalls to avoid as well.

Here are five questions you should never ask in a job interview.

What does this company do?

You’re here to interview with Consolidated Widget Makers, and you didn’t bother to look up what they do? That’s inexcusable.

This is an unfortunate, but common, mistake now that people can easily apply to multiple positions with the help of job boards, says Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a Philadelphia based executive search firm. “A Google search will uncover the answer and save you the embarrassment.”

Even if you’ve applied to dozens of positions and been on many interviews, treat each new one as the potential game-changer that it is. When you’re called, in addition to the time and address of the interview, be sure to take down the name of the company and interviewer so you can do some research and show up well prepared.

What is your drug testing policy?

Johnson says this is the worst question he’s asked in interviews. “Even if the company has a very liberal testing policy, this question definitely raises some doubts about your candidacy.” Asking is unprofessional and a huge red flag to employers.

How long until I can have your job?

I’ve heard this one often, says Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. “Some candidates seem to think this demonstrates career focus and gumption. On the other side of the table it feels obnoxious. Demonstrate strong passion and commitment for the job you’re interviewing for.”

If you’re asked about your five- or 10-year plan, that would be the time to inquire or express your desire for advancement, but “until then, articulate your commitment and qualifications for the job at hand,” explains Hurt.

What about overtime?

Questions about overtime can get you in trouble a couple ways. First, employers who are worried about budgets and hiring hourly staff may be very sensitive to paying out for extra time. Asking if you’ll get frequent overtime may mean you’ll risk turning them off in favor of a candidate who will work efficiently within their regular hours only.

A question such as “Will I have to work overtime?” is also bad form. “Asking this question during the interview gives the interviewer the impression that you don’t want to put in any more work than is required. This does not give the interviewer a positive impression of you,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of executive coaching firm Call to Career.

It’s probably best to ask what the normal hours for your position will be and leave it at that.

Any question about what you’ve already been told.

The person who wrote that job listing worked hard to make sure it conveyed the right information to the right group of people. It obviously worked if you’ve applied and gotten as far as the interview stage. Don’t make all their hard work seem trivial by not fully reading every communication they send.

“If someone asks me questions during the job interview that have already been covered in the job posting or emails, it makes me question their attention to detail,” explains Carol Cochran, HR director for FlexJobs, a job search service for telecommuting and flexible positions.