I met recently with a group of recruiters and hiring managers from Kansas City area companies, and they assured me they're hiring again. With a caveat: They're looking for proven niche talent (not too old and not unemployed) to fill very specific positions.
That may not be what you want to hear, and it may not be fair to long-term job hunters or those with decades of experience, but that's the current state of the job market.
Given that some job hunters are getting interviews, I'm paraphrasing the Reader's Digest version of "What HR People Won't Tell You About the Job Interview." Among the tips:
- Find out everything you can about the company before the interview. Never ask: "Tell me about your company."
- Try to avoid canceling an interview at all costs.
- Don't fall for tricks to reveal you have young children. Some managers don't want to hire people with child care worries.
- There's a bias against hiring fat people.
- Turn your cell phone off. Completely. No buzzing.
- Shake hands firmly.
- If the job includes weekend duty, be careful about talking about your church or religion. The manager may decide you won't be available.
- Don't interrupt the interviewer who talks about himself/herself.
- Be nice to everyone — the parking lot attendant, the receptionist, etc. They'll talk.
- Never tell the interviewer you were fired.
- Have an appropriate, job-related, short answer to "Tell me about yourself."
- Never give a former boss's name as a reference unless he or she will recommend you.
- Know how to pronounce the interviewer's name.
- Send a thank-you note a few days after the interview, not the next day.
- If they check your credit, a low score may eliminate you from consideration.
- If you don't hear back, call or write twice. After that, stop or you'll be annoying.
- You'll probably never learn the real reason you didn't get the job.