• Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can turn them into opportunities to shine. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, mastering the art of interviewing is crucial for advancing your career. Here are some key strategies to help you nail that interview and leave a lasting impression.

      Research, Research, Research

      Before you even step into the interview room, do your homework. Research the company thoroughly—its mission, values, culture, recent news, and even its competitors. Understanding the company’s background shows your genuine interest and helps you tailor your answers to align with their goals.

      Know Your Resume Inside Out

      Your resume is your ticket to the interview, so be prepared to discuss every aspect of it in detail. Highlight your achievements, skills, and experiences that are most relevant to the position. Practice articulating your career journey succinctly and confidently.

      Practice Common Interview Questions

      While you can’t predict every question, preparing for common ones like “Tell me about yourself” or “Why do you want to work here?” is essential. Practice your responses, focusing on showcasing your strengths and how they align with the role.

      Showcase Your Achievements

      Interviewers want to know what you can bring to the table. Use specific examples of how you’ve contributed to previous roles or projects. Quantify your achievements whenever possible to demonstrate your impact and results-driven mindset.

      Demonstrate Your Soft Skills

      Technical skills are important, but employers also value soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Be prepared to share stories that illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in challenging situations.

      Ask Thoughtful Questions

      An interview is a two-way street. Prepare insightful questions about the company, team dynamics, career development opportunities, or recent projects. This shows your genuine interest and helps you evaluate if the company is the right fit for you.

      Dress and Act Professionally

      First impressions matter. Dress appropriately for the company culture, and arrive early. During the interview, maintain good posture, make eye contact, and speak clearly. Show enthusiasm and confidence in your abilities.

      Follow Up After the Interview

      Don’t forget the post-interview etiquette. Send a thank-you email to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reaffirm your interest in the position. This simple gesture can leave a positive impression and set you apart from other candidates.


    Watch and listen here. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review!!




    Mary (00:01.382)
    Stephanie Hackbarth, welcome to Recruiting Insider.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (00:05.359)
    Hello, thank you for having me. I’m so excited.

    Mary (00:08.676)
    I’m excited to have you here. So let’s talk interviews. They can be nerve wracking, right? You walk in, yes, your heart’s pounding, you know, and suddenly your mind goes blank. We’ve all been there. So in today’s episode, Stephanie is going to teach you how to crack that interview code and help you land your dream job. We’ll be going over everything that you need to know to make an amazing first impression from researching the company and prepping powerful answers.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (00:15.279)

    Mary (00:37.891)
    to mastering your body language and leaving the interviewer with a lasting positive memory of you. So Stephanie, put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker. It’s one week before your in -person interview. Walk us step by step through what you would do to walk into that room feeling super confident.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (00:57.904)
    Absolutely. And I’ve been there. So it’s taken some practice and then even being a recruiter to kind of learn, you know, these tips. But, you know, definitely preparation is going to be key here. You’re going to want to walk in confidence to the point where you know that you’re just going to do your best and there’s nothing else you can do. But there are things you can do beforehand, which are going to include obviously, you know, researching the company. Research.

    who’s going to be interviewing you so that you know certain things about them, what to expect. Also, this is key for people who maybe don’t know how to naturally build rapport instead of, you know, talking about the weather. Maybe you have something in common or you went to the same college or you can find something there. While you’re researching, you also want to kind of find out your why. Why are you interviewing here? Why do you want this job? Why do you see yourself sitting here? Because that will also build confidence too.

    Now it’s just not an interview where you have to sell yourself. It’s, I want to be here. I know I’d be a great fit. And this is why. So doing those things as far as research, you know, to get yourself ready and in that mindset. there’s also things that are, you know, practice your pitch. You know that they’re going to ask you a little speed of like, tell me about yourself. Be ready. You don’t want to ramble, but you also don’t want to be too short and not cover the right thing. So maybe practice to yourself, maybe practice with someone that.

    know. Also, you know, prepare for things that you know are going to be maybe tough subjects or things that you’ve had trouble with in the past or maybe you’re a little insecure about. Maybe you haven’t gotten along with a manager before or the reason you left somewhere isn’t so cut and dry. So definitely go and prepare it on how you want to address that professionally, while also being honest.

    You know, also practicing, you know, what’s my weakness and the other things that you might anticipate that they’re going to ask you because you’re not going to go and trying to rehearse these answers. It’s just about being confident. So if you can kind of practice and go in with a mindset of, I know if I’m thrown into this scenario or if I’m asked this question, I have a good idea of how to tackle it because I’ve been there and I’ve prepared and I’ve practiced. finally, just some other basics would be having really good questions.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (03:22.577)
    prepared. You can get good questions prepared by if you’re not finding things through your research of the company jot down what you’re missing, what you need to know. Look at the job description, you know, what’s missing there? Do you not fully understand what this job is? And then just have your outfit ready and make sure you know how to get there, get there on time or make sure your technology is all set up.

    Mary (03:46.904)
    I love that. And one week is really plenty of time to be able to do those things, to practice, to prepare, to do all those things so that you can feel confident when you walk into that room. And I love what you said about finding something in common with the interviewer because sometimes I’ll walk into an interview and completely…

    Stephanie Hackbarth (03:52.56)

    Mary (04:08.759)
    I don’t know what to say. I’m like, hey, it’s raining out, you know, so maybe preparing something, you know, ahead of time so that it’s not just, you know, it’s going beyond that small talk, right? You’re finding something to really connect with that interviewer almost immediately so that they have more of a chance to remember you later on. So that’s great. You know, and I think it’s also really important to understand what the hiring manager is actually looking for. So how can our listeners really get inside the…

    Stephanie Hackbarth (04:12.402)

    Mary (04:37.559)
    their head to figure out what they want.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (04:40.594)
    Absolutely, that is such a good question. Usually, like if you have a recruiter, ask them because they know them personally at this point, they’re working with them. But if you don’t, which a lot of times you don’t, I know it’s really hard because you’re in the interview and you’re just focused on what you’re gonna say, but really listen. When you listen to the hiring manager and the types of questions that they’re asking you, you’re gonna start to figure out what they’re trying to find out about you and what they want.

    So if they’re asking a lot of questions pertaining to how independent you are or how much knowledge you have in a certain subject or hands -on experience, for example, maybe they’re looking for how much hand holding you need. Maybe they are a trainer, maybe they’re not. Maybe they’re looking for someone with more experience that they don’t have to hand hold and you can hit the ground running. So kind of just listening and paying attention to the types of questions they ask you, you’ll kind of figure that out.

    if you can’t, and if that’s too much pressured and you weren’t really like paying attention, you were just answering honestly, just ask them, you know, have the confidence to say, I noticed in the job description, you mentioned you’re looking for this, this and this, but I’m right here in front of you. And I want to ask you, what are you looking for? What characteristics are you looking for in someone that you feel like would be really successful in this role or, you know, who’s really successful on your team that you get along great with? Can you.

    you know, describe them to me.

    Mary (06:09.81)
    Yeah, I love that. Instead of just guessing, okay, maybe this is what they want, ask them, right? I mean, that’s, you know, it seems something that should just come to us naturally, but it doesn’t. We feel like when we’re in the interview, we just have to kind of be on the other side answering the questions when really we can be proactive and figuring out what it is that they actually want. So that’s, that’s great. You know, and it seems like…

    Stephanie Hackbarth (06:15.059)

    Mary (06:34.801)
    what they really want to know. I guess this is just kind of from my perspective and what I’ve been thinking about is, do you actually want the job? Do you have the skills to do the job well? Are you a personality fit? And really, do they want to work with you? That’s a big one too.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (06:41.97)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (06:50.387)
    Yes, absolutely.

    Mary (06:53.488)
    We all know that we should research the company before an interview and you already, you know, kind of alluded to this. What advice could you give our listeners about what we should actually be researching and how to incorporate that into our interview prep?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (07:09.108)
    Yeah, no, that’s a really good question because we just throw research out there and we’ve like, okay, but what you know, I’m looking up the website. Look at their website. You’re looking at their about page. You know, what are they about? What do they actually do? Who do they, who do they sell to? How do they make their money? What is their value statement? How do you allow? I mentioned this earlier. How do you align with their value statement?

    Mary (07:14.959)
    Yeah, exactly.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (07:34.964)
    You’re wanting to picture yourself there. So not only are you trying to become knowledgeable because they will ask you questions. Like you said, the hiring manager is going to want to know, do you understand what you’re interviewing for? Do you understand who we are? Can you see yourself here? Can I see you here? So when you’re researching, not only do it just to learn about them, but also to try to see yourself there. You know, I’ve had an interview actually where I had to like pitch their product to them. And the way I was able to do it was to research, find what their value statement was.

    put myself in that position and how I would really sell it to someone. Also too, LinkedIn, who are they hiring? Like where did these, most of their employees come from? Did they come from the industry? Maybe a lot of them came from a similar industry. See how you can relate, how you can be an asset to the team. So using tools like their website, utilize LinkedIn. A lot of people will use Glassdoor.

    for reviews, I think that’s important, but you also sometimes have to take those reviews with a grain of salt because it’s not always the happy employees that are taking the moment to write on there. Yeah. And yeah, honestly, just like network, if you happen to know anyone, maybe just ask around and get a little bit more information. Also, you know, extra credit is look for articles. Are they have they been in the news lately? Are there articles written about them? Just

    Mary (08:39.883)
    Yeah, that’s the truth.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (09:02.581)
    any type of information that you can pull that you can utilize in the interview to show like I did my research, but also again, it’s like you want to make sure this is a fit for you and do what you can to find out if it is.

    Mary (09:16.552)
    It’s a mutual interview, right? You’re interviewing them too. So you want to make sure that you align with their values, with their product, with their culture. So I think that that’s great advice. And I mean, really their website provides a lot of super revealing information. I mean, like you said, you can learn about their products and services. You can learn about their major wins or their major projects that they’re working on. You know, if they’ve had any failures or if they have any current…

    pain points, what are those pain points? And then figure out how you could address those things, right? If they have a major pain point and you’re trying to stand out as a candidate for this position, maybe you could position yourself and your skills and background to show them exactly how you could solve those pain points. And I love the point that you made about, you know, jumping on LinkedIn because I mean, there are, we know that there are billions of users on LinkedIn and so.

    Current employees are more than likely there, so you can kind of get a feel for, okay, who’s working here? Would I vibe with these people? Would I really fit into the culture? And that’s really important as well.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (10:26.07)
    Yeah, I’ve even had candidates and people I’ve known that like have reached out to an employee and just said, I’m interviewing at your company and I want to know the ins and outs or I have a concern or can you address it because you’re in a similar position. And I know that’s a little bold, but it actually, you know, has worked.

    Mary (10:42.436)
    Yeah. And what a great way to use LinkedIn too.

    So you walk into an interview, probably a little bit nervous, like we said, and many times we forget to think about what our body language is saying. So what role does body language actually play in making a positive impression during an interview?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (10:51.445)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (10:58.709)
    Mm -hmm.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (11:05.783)
    It’s very big. Some interviewers who have a little bit more emotional intelligence and are more empathetic will give you a little leeway if you’re nervous, if you’re shaking a little bit. But I’ve also had clients who were kind of on the opposite of if you’re, you know, profusely sweating and shaking, like they’re looking at you, like you’re going to represent my company and you’re going to be in front of people or you’re going to be in front of my employees or.

    they’re watching you in the stressful situation, knowing there’s going to be other stressful situations within this job. So when you come in, you know, body language is going to be huge. You want to exude confidence. You know, definitely shake hands if you’re in person. Eye contact is huge. I know that’s really hard. I feel like with technology in today’s age, and even sometimes I find myself like not looking at someone’s eyes as much, but.

    Mary (12:01.441)
    I’m sorry.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (12:02.583)
    I think that’s going to be so important. I actually got a job in the past because they said like my eye contact was spot on. Yeah. And I just, but I was just so engaged. It just showed that I was engaged. I was grateful to be there. I valued their time. I listened to them and watched as they spoke. And I just confidently answered while looking at them and just giving them my attention.

    Mary (12:09.377)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (12:30.519)
    Yeah, I think it’s just, I mean, that’s gonna take preparing and getting confident in the right mindset before going into that room, but it does matter.

    Mary (12:39.902)
    Absolutely, and it’s something to be aware of, you know, as long as you go in thinking about your body language I think that that’s a great starting point and I go back and forth with eye contact too That’s a tough one because if I actually think about it too much, I’m like, am I making too much eye contact? You know, just staring am I making not enough eye contact? What do I do? And then and then I start to get in my own head, you know So I think there’s kind of a balance there, you know, and I’ve always heard it’s also a good strategy to

    Stephanie Hackbarth (12:55.319)
    Hehehehehe hehehe he

    Stephanie Hackbarth (13:05.975)

    Mary (13:09.533)
    mirror the interviewer’s body language, essentially, like matching their language, their tone, expressions, you know, really to help build rapport and trust. Why do you think that might be?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (13:20.951)

    well, especially when it’s a hiring manager and they want to see themselves working with you. I think that that can, you know, make them comfortable, see some similarities and just make them feel like, okay, I’m comfortable. We’re kind of matching each other’s energy. I can work with you.

    Mary (13:43.578)
    Absolutely. You know, and I already alluded to the nerves a couple of times, but you know, everyone experiences these nerves differently, which I think is actually incredibly fascinating. You know, some people go in and they’re not nervous at all, right? And others, you know, like myself, I feel like we go into like fight or flight mode. I get shaky, sweaty, jittery. I mean, all the things. Do you have any tips or tricks for helping calm those nerves?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (13:58.039)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (14:04.375)
    See ya.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (14:13.369)
    Definitely take a deep breath. It’s going to be, I think, just mentally preparing before going in there and perspective. You know, it’s kind of almost having that mindset of, yes, you feel lucky to be there, but they’re also lucky to be in a room with you too. You know, if you’re going there and this is meant to be, it will work out.

    Mary (14:15.449)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (14:38.009)
    If it’s not meant to be like, hey, I did my best. I’m most likely not going to see this person any ever again, you know, so don’t like get too much in your head or be too embarrassed. So kind of build that confidence. I feel like there’s preparation mentally and physically, physically, you know, I feel like people forget you’re nervous and you might stay up watching a TV to just escape, but get a good night’s sleep. Your body will thank you for it. Your brain will thank you for it.

    Mary (14:44.696)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (15:05.336)
    When you wake up, maybe don’t have too much caffeine. If you are already did or you don’t drink too much caffeine before you go in there, eat a good breakfast and just get yourself physically ready. Pick out an outfit that you’re gonna feel awesome in and confident in and have that ready already too so that that’s not a stressor. Mentally, like I said, I think it’s perspective, it’s attitude. So it’s just.

    Being confident in yourself, knowing that when you go in there, just do your best and that’s all that you can do. And if they don’t accept you, it doesn’t mean that you’re not great. It’s just not the right place. And you will learn from this experience and you can take what you learn on to the next.

    Mary (15:49.368)
    That’s great advice. You know, it’s, try to think of it like a fireside conversation, right? You’re just trying to get to know each other. You know, sometimes it’s hard to really think about it in that way, but really it is, you know, just a conversation between potentially two people to see if you’re a good fit for each other.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (15:56.856)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (16:07.48)

    Mary (16:09.048)
    What are some common mistakes that candidates make during job interviews and what could we do to avoid them?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (16:17.432)
    Believe it or not, I feel like the number one one was not asking questions. And I have been guilty of this early in my career because I was in the place where I was like so nervous. I was like, well, you tackled everything. I don’t have any questions. But I started to learn that they want to hear your questions, even if it’s just one that’s left at the end of the day. They want to see where your brain’s at, how your brain works, what you’re interested in.

    Mary (16:28.44)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (16:44.6)
    So I’d say asking questions, make sure you ask questions. A new thing I feel like people have brought up is just not backing up your statements. You know, you go into an interview and you say you’re organized, but you can’t back up why you’re organized or explain that. Or if you’re going for a sales position and you say, I’m great at prospecting, and then they ask you your process and you can’t give them a picture of what that process actually looks like. So make sure you elaborate.

    Other ones are pretty obvious, but like people just, you know, maybe canceling last minute or being super late. You can always, I feel like there’s an opportunity and people understand when things happen in life, but you just want to alert someone as soon as possible and kind of handle it in the best way.

    Mary (17:32.91)
    Yeah, you know, and I feel like I’ve been in interviews too, where maybe this isn’t a mistake, but they throw me more of a curve ball, right? So something that I just wasn’t expecting and I’m having a hard time, you know, coming up with an answer on the spot. I feel like many of our listeners have, you know, they’ve probably been in a situation like this before. What advice would you give them?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (17:41.976)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (17:49.144)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (17:58.188)
    I would honestly be honest and be like, wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Or, you know, can you give me a second? That’s what I think about this, because that’s a really great question. I’ve honestly never answered this before and I want to make sure that I give you a good answer. I think there’s nothing wrong with like just being honest and saying, I need a moment. Let me kind of like work this out. Because then you can actually answer it to the best of your ability without just

    you know, people have probably not answered at all or you answer it and you’re like, why did I say that? So I know it’s scary, but don’t be afraid to just ask for a minute and say like, hey, that’s a great question. Can you give me a second? I just want to like think about a real life example or just think what the best answer to your question would be.

    Mary (18:31.436)

    Mary (18:46.186)
    Yeah, or if you don’t fully understand the question, maybe asking them to ask it in a different way, right? Or give an example or just some clarifying response to know that you’re, you know, putting together your thoughts because I’m the same way, you know, sometimes I have a hard time thinking of an answer on the spot, which is also why it makes it incredibly important for me to prepare because that does give me that confidence. So even if a curve ball is thrown, at least I have prepared.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (18:52.568)

    Mary (19:15.913)
    responses and how I can respond and overcome something that I might run into that’s like that. I’m going to cut that out because that was a horrible not communicating what was going on inside of my head very well. Moving on. Storytelling and interviews is a great way to stand out and be remembered. You can use it to bring relevant experiences to life, to share what you’ve learned.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (19:22.267)

    Mary (19:43.72)
    and to really convey what you’re doing and, you know, reinforce what you wish the interviewer could appreciate and remember about you. So what are some strategies that you would recommend to our listeners who are really trying to master storytelling?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (19:59.452)
    I feel like people are going to be so sick of me saying preparation, but you know, let’s prepare ahead of time. Let’s practice. I remember when I used to have to get a pitch down for my networking events where I literally had to do a two minute pitch everywhere I went, I had to write it down. I wanted to see it on paper. I wanted to hear myself say it. Did it make sense? Also, you know, I think joining networking events where you can actually start to tell the story and

    Mary (20:02.824)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (20:28.413)
    people hear it before an interview just to like see reactions and also practice to like adapt to who you’re telling. Like I’ve had a lot of situations where in the technical world people are using technical jargon that no one understands. I understand that you want to use it sometimes because you want to show your knowledge and your capabilities, but if you’re talking to someone who’s not on that level, you want to adapt and

    that story in a way that they’ll understand and resonate with.


    Mary (22:39.776)
    A lot of our listeners are searching for jobs right now. How can they leave a lasting impression on the interviewer long after the interview is done?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (22:51.263)
    there’s several things. you know, being original, being yourself, I think that’s huge, especially when you’re building a connection. So trying to connect with the hiring manager, just maybe through experiences, asking them questions about themselves. Being able to have the hiring manager picture you working there.

    And like I said, that has to do with researching the company kind of find yourself there, how you could get in there, why you’d be a good fit there, whether it be presenting, you know, how you would pitch it or just explaining like, I would be a great fit here. I can see myself working on your team because you mentioned this and I bring this to the table. Asking really good questions. I’ve had people be just really.

    fascinated with someone because like their questions were so just thoughtful and intuitive and it showed where their mind was at. And it actually impressed them because they’re like, okay, we want someone who thinks this way on our team. We want someone who’s going to challenge us with these types of questions that will get them far. And just, you know, really good follow up again, reiterating why you would be a great fit there.

    and taking charge of closing and just being on them about follow up, like, get back to me if you have any questions, that type of thing, not being afraid or being too passive to where the ball is completely in their court and they get busy. You kind of want to have a little bit of a hand in that.

    Mary (24:33.883)
    Yeah. Can you think of any specific examples where you were interviewing somebody and they really did something super innovative or super outside of the box that really stands out in your mind?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (24:49.024)

    Okay, hold on. I’ve interviewed so many people. Okay, let me think.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (25:09.089)
    Okay, there is someone that I can think of and honestly, it was because they really showed me that, okay, sorry, hold on. Okay, I know, thank God you said that, okay. Actually, there is someone who comes to mind and honestly, I think they were the inspiration for me saying,

    Mary (25:23.929)
    That’s okay. Editing is a beautiful thing.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (25:38.817)
    that a big tip would be to help the hiring manager envision them there. I had someone, it was a sales position. They were so excited to work there. They had done their research. They had had their interviews and they just gave this like pitch and follow up of not only how interested they were and reiterating why they’d be a great fit, but they actually had like an innovative idea.

    to help with their marketing and their sales. And they were willing and boldly open to sharing it. Sometimes people are like, I’m not gonna give them my ideas if I’m not gonna get hired and they’re gonna take it. They were just like, listen, I wanna work here. This is exactly what I would implement from day one if you’re open and I wanna bring this team to the next level. And it was awesome. You almost believe them because of their confidence in themselves, their passion for the company.

    and then actually backing it up with an example that would truly actually help them.

    Mary (26:40.308)
    I love it. I mean, that’s an amazing way to stand out. How could you not offer that person the position after something like that, right? That’s so memorable. That’s a great example. You know, so we all know that we should ask great questions during an interview, and we already kind of talked about this, but what are some specific questions that you would recommend to anybody that might have an interview coming up here in the next couple of weeks?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (26:47.361)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (26:57.761)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (27:07.938)
    Yeah, so, you know, we all ask things about the company. So if you find an article or something exciting about the company’s growth, you know, maybe ask for more, just details on that just to show one, you did your research, you’re invested in where this company’s going. You’re intrigued and you’re also concerned. Like if I’m going to work for you or are we going up together? ask the interviewer about themselves.

    Sometimes people like to talk about themselves, but you’re also getting to know them too, which is awesome. Form that connection. You’re showing your interest in them on a personal level as well. Other questions, you know, relate it to the job. If you’re not getting a visual for what this position is, straight up ask, like, give me a day in the life of a person in this role, or what does training look like when I start?

    Where do you see this department going? Other questions, and I know I kind of mentioned this before, but like, you know, if there’s someone really successful on your team, can you describe them to them, to me, maybe attributes or what you feel they did to get there?

    A lot of people are sometimes bold too and are like, you know, do you have any other questions about me or is there any reason you don’t see me in this position? You know, it’s bold, but then you get an answer. They might be able to address something that they have a concern with and then you can tackle it before the interview is actually over.

    Mary (28:42.253)
    That’s something that I haven’t really thought about before is asking the interviewer a personal question because I think that a lot of us feel really intimidated. You know, we don’t want to cross a boundary, step over a line. But I think if you’re careful and, you know, really asking something about them and maybe relating to them in a certain way, you could really, you know, make make a great impression on them. And like you said, get to know them a little bit better, too.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (28:54.979)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (29:01.538)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (29:08.739)
    Yeah, it could be anything from like, what draws them to the company? Why did they join? Why are they still here? Did they have hesitancies? You know, what do they do to contribute to the culture? What would they improve? You know, like, yeah.

    Mary (29:21.324)
    Yeah. Maybe avoid saying like, how old are you? Are you married? How many kids do you have? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (29:26.019)
    Yeah, yeah. Yeah, but like getting to just show I guess, whatever, like showing interest in them to especially if they’re a hiring manager, like if you’re going to be managing me, I want to get to know you like you’re getting to know me. I want to get to know you too.

    Mary (29:42.347)
    Yeah. You know, I’ve had a lot of conversations with recruiters lately and surprisingly, a lot of them have told me that people just don’t follow up after the interview. Yeah, it is wild. So do you have any super memorable stories or, you know, any follow ups that you’ve received from candidates? And could you share those with our listeners?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (30:05.796)
    Yeah, I mean, the thank you note is like, send the thank you note, the thank you email that is absolutely needed. Make it original. I’ve seen so many basic ones of just thanks for your time. Call me, let me know what next steps are. Personalize it.

    Mary (30:24.969)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (30:29.636)
    Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed getting to know the company and more about you personally. I can see myself working with you and this team dynamic that I learned about. This is what I bring to the table. I’m really excited. If you have any other questions, let me know. If I don’t hear from you, you know, I will be following up in the next couple of days and then follow up. you know, I don’t think, especially if it’s like a sales position or of authority, like I don’t.

    think you can look bad, like actually personally following up. You can even set the expectations in the interview and say, when should I expect to hear from you? And if I don’t hear from you, do you mind me following up with you? And just stay on them. Help make their job easier and show how interested and engaged you are.

    Mary (31:19.301)
    Yeah, I mean, at the very least, follow up with a thank you letter and to take it a step further, like you said, make sure that you’re personalizing it. You know, maybe draw something in that you discussed in the interview or a characteristic or an achievement that you’ve done that’s really highly relevant to that position. Bring that in and remind them why you’re such a great fit for the position. But also, you know, that shows that you’re super interested and you’re, you know, you want to learn more. You want to take that next step with them.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (31:25.028)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (31:32.772)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (31:48.548)
    Yeah, I know it seems so simple, but really like, especially with you saying so many people not following up, being that person to send a thoughtful thank you, thanking them for their time, and then taking the initiative to still be in this process and honed in and kind of taking on some of the responsibility and following up is great. Even if you want to like, some people are a little bit more like,

    Mary (31:54.084)
    Mm -hmm.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (32:13.413)
    shy and they’ll say like, Hey, I’m sorry, I don’t want to be annoying, but I want to know where I stand, you know, like just be you and just ask.

    Mary (32:18.306)
    Mm -hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Send them a $5 gift card for coffee. Yeah. Mm -hmm. Yep. So people that are in the market right now are receiving tons of rejections, right? Rejection after rejection. You know, they’re getting frustrated.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (32:24.742)
    I was almost gonna say like if you know they drink coffee that’s great or tea or something like that.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (32:40.262)

    Mary (32:44.417)
    How can we really approach this rejection as a learning experience and use it to be better prepared for future interviews?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (32:55.27)
    I think first of all, go into these interviews not taking anything too personally. They’re looking for the right person for their team and they have a certain expectation and vision. And if you don’t need it, it doesn’t mean that you’re not great. It’s just not the right place. So know that going in. So if you do go and you get rejected, don’t take it too personally. Don’t get down.

    Like you said, take it as an opportunity. Like have that perspective of I’m going to learn from this. If there were things that stood out like, I knew I didn’t answer that pretty good. You know that taken out or be bold enough if they do send you a, this isn’t going to work. Say, is there anything I can work on? You know, thank you for your time, but is there anything I can work on or know why I was passed on so that I can work on it for the future? Because that will help you really learn and then take what you learned onto the next one.

    Mary (33:31.167)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (33:51.815)
    Actually, I have a story about this and I wrote in a post about him before, but I had a candidate who told me rejection is just a redirection to where you’re meant to be. And he had the best attitude and he went to four different interviews and he had three rejections, one after another, and the fourth finally got him. But after every rejection, him and I were working on just what he learned from it. You know, the first one was, you know, he wasn’t as direct. He kind of…

    over spoke a little bit and they just were a little turned off. So thankfully me being his recruiter and confident enough to talk with him about it in the right way, you know, we, I coached him on that. We learned from that and he had a great attitude. He was like, great. Thank you. Now I know, you know, the next person, they didn’t understand why he left some of his companies. So they may have misunderstood. So him and I, you know, worked on, okay, how do we deliver that so that it’s not misunderstood and you completely understand why I left this company to the next.

    So it’s just, yeah, taking it as a learning opportunity, making yourself better and knowing that the right company is going to make you that offer.

    Mary (35:03.321)
    Yeah, I mean, it only takes one yes, right? There have been a lot of positions that I’ve been denied. I’ve heard that no. And in the moment, I was absolutely crushed and I thought my life was over and I really wanted the job. But looking back, it’s not where I should have been. So, and it’s hard to see that when you’re in the day -to -day grind of applying to all of these jobs and getting those rejections, but…

    Stephanie Hackbarth (35:06.055)
    Mm -hmm. Yeah.

    Mary (35:31.033)
    Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s great. Great advice. Keep learning from each rejection. Don’t be afraid to ask. And it only takes one yes, right?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (35:37.67)

    Yeah, and I want people to know like they’re not alone. I think we feel so alone in it. We’re almost a little embarrassed if we don’t get it, especially if we really wanted it and we just don’t understand. But if you talk to more people, you see like we’ve all been through it. I’ve been through it, you know, a lot and you just learn from it. And then when you do get to the right place, you’re almost grateful that you got that now because you’re like, I love where I’m at now. Or you may be lucky enough to have the opportunity to conceptualize like.

    I wasn’t ready for that position before. And that happened to me in my career. Actually, I got to know I was so upset, but I ended up getting more experience in that area and realizing I wasn’t ready back then.

    Mary (36:22.486)
    What do you want our listeners to take away from this conversation today?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (36:27.592)
    I hope just any bit of advice that will make them more confident going into their next interview or just confidence in themselves in general. I know it’s taken me so many no’s and many years in this profession to learn it. But I love people. I hope that they don’t feel alone in this and I know how hard it is. And I know interviewing is almost kind of like a job in itself. Just don’t take it personal. Grow.

    learn, work on your confidence, and just know that, you know, if you get a no, they don’t deserve you anyways, the right opportunity is out there.

    Mary (37:07.188)
    Amazing. Okay, just a few rapid fire questions here. What stands out to you during a five second resume scan?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (37:10.857)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (37:15.721)
    Ooh, longevity, how long they’ve been somewhere. I’m honestly all about the details. Like if it’s a specific position, I want to make sure that you have done things specific to that role or that can translate well to that role. Layout and also like grammar. Like did you take the time to make sure everything’s spelled? You’re using the right language. Everything’s in the same tense.

    in the correct tense. It seems nitpicky, but it kind of just shows like how detail oriented you are, how serious you take this, and if I can depend on you, you know, to do the job.

    Mary (37:58.097)
    Best interview tip.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (38:00.713)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (38:05.961)

    Be original, be humbly confident, but be original. Don’t try to give them the answers that you think they want to hear. Be yourself.

    Mary (38:17.264)
    funniest recruiting story.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (38:20.394)
    this was kind of wild. back when I, I’ve been on both sides, I’ve been a recruiter and I’ve also been on the sales side where I handled the clients. I was on the client side at this point, but I was working very closely with the candidate and it was a big bank. It was a big security role. it was a big deal and I had this candidate, it was really hard to find. So we finally found a candidate. I was so excited.

    And she tells me that, you know, she recently just had a surgery, so she’s going to have a bandage on her face. And I was like, okay, I’m just going to let the client know. Like no big deal. Like, and the client immediately red flagged it. He was like, no, like this is actually a scam. This is what people do. Like this is the person who’s interviewing. Probably isn’t the real person or the person who’s going to be doing the job is like out of the country and they’re using this.

    Mary (39:03.533)

    Stephanie Hackbarth (39:14.058)
    Like, so it was why I was so embarrassed because here I was like fighting for this candidate and presenting this candidate and thinking that a huge like face bandage is like no problem at all. They were like, no, they’re hiding something. This isn’t real. So that was a learning lesson.

    Mary (39:18.733)

    Mary (39:26.732)

    I’m surprised the employer pieced that together so quickly. I’ve never heard of that scam before.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (39:37.003)
    they’ve been through it before. So I was like, my goodness, so that was a learning experience. And yeah, now it’s like, I’m, I kind of trust people, I think a little too easily sometimes because they see the best in them. But I think there are more questions and digging you start to like, get underneath that.

    Mary (39:51.467)
    Mm -hmm.


    One industry secret or something that we probably don’t know about recruiters.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (40:08.043)
    We care and we’re fighting more than you know. Like there is a lot of back talk and fighting for you, at least for the right recruiters who love their job and love their candidates. If you get rejected, odds are we tried to push back once or twice before you got rejected. Like, cause we believe in you and we want you to get that job. There’s a lot of background work and talk and fighting that you have no idea, but all you hear is, Hey, they’re not moving forward.

    Mary (40:39.785)
    So Stephanie, what’s next for you? Where can we find you on social media?

    Stephanie Hackbarth (40:43.115)
    Right now I’m currently just on LinkedIn. You know, I am actually putting together an interview guide. So it’s funny that we’re talking about interviews, but I will be having a link in my LinkedIn about me that goes to, you know, my little Etsy that will have this guide that will hopefully, you know, help people guide them through just not only research, but everything we kind of talked about today and just preparing the things that maybe you don’t.

    Mary (40:55.208)
    Mm -hmm.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (41:12.972)
    think about practice, getting yourself confident and in the mindset to go in there and do your best work. So right now it’s where I’m at. I’ll probably always be in the world of recruiting. I don’t have a current recruiting home right now, but I’m sure I’ll be back in a firm soon. But as far as right now, you can find me on LinkedIn if you have any questions, if you want to network, connect. And hopefully I can help you from there.

    Mary (41:39.941)
    Amazing. Thanks for coming on today.

    Stephanie Hackbarth (41:42.7)
    Thank you so much for having me. It was an honor.