Hobson Associates


The Dunning-Kruger Effect on Job Interviews

Arrogant businessman The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity”-W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

What W.B. Yeats intuited in 1919 is a phenomenon that psychologists would later name, ‘The Dunning-Kruger Effect’.  The ‘Dunning-Kruger Effect’ is a “cognitive bias wherein people of low ability have illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is”. Conversely, people who are highly competent mistakenly assume that the tasks that are easy for them to perform are just as easy for others to perform, and typically do not self-assess themselves as highly competent. They recognize their weaknesses and focus on correcting them rather than blustering on about how good they are at this or that. 

So how does this apply to the world of executive recruiting?

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I'm Starting to Sound Like a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!

Pushy recruiter“I'm probably starting to sound like a crazy ex or something…”

I am sure this is not news to anyone with their head up in the current job market, but there is a common perception out there that recruiters are too pushy, too salesy, and just downright annoying. Yes, sometimes we are ALL of those things… but despite any negative preconceived stereotypes, the recruiters who continue making tough calls and pushing through the negativity are the ones who find success for their clients and candidates.

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Riding the Hiring Wave for Summer Success

Businessman working during the summerWhat will you be doing this summer?

Well, hiring managers, that depends on what you do this sales quarter. Your and your team’s actions NOW will determine whether Q3 will be a “summer’s dream” or if you will spend it catching up and trying to save the year.

As you may already know, the summer months tend to be slow for hiring, due to both distracted candidates and companies that have decisions-makers on vacation. So right now is the time to make up for any lag that may start setting in on June 21st.

Here are some tips to help you soak up the summer, all the while accelerating your business!

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11 Years in a Headhunter’s Life

11th birthday candles“Glamorous” by Fergie and Ludacris was dominating the airwaves as the #1 Billboard song; Will Ferrell and Jon Heder were reveling with their #1 hit “Blades of Glory”: and Carl Pavano of Southington, CT was the Yankees Opening Day pitcher ... this was all happening when I started my recruiting career at Hobson Associates, 11 years ago in March 2007.

Fast forward to 2018:

  • Fergie dropped her second solo album last September, but was slightly overshadowed by an abysmal performance at the NBA All-Star game, with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner (and I’m being nice).
  • Pavano, now 42, retired four years ago with $71.5M in career earnings, finishing with a Win-Loss record a game over .500.
  • Will Ferrell – seriously, everything that guy touches turns to gold. Some highlights since ’07 include: Step Brothers, The Internship and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Tinker personal highlights?

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A Baby Boomer's Perspective on Interviewing Millennials

Woman interviewing a millennial I’m a baby boomer who recruits for a living. I speak to people from all walks of life on a daily basis, many of them being millennials.  One of the hottest topics out there right now is the subject of generational differences in the workplace.  As discussed in a previous Hobson blog, chances are, you currently work with or have managed employees from each generation. In order to have a successful organization and increase your profits, you must deal differently with each demographic.

According to an article by Medium.comwith Millennials being the largest generation in America with over 75.4 million according to Pew Research Center and surpassing Baby Boomers with roughly 74.9 million, we need to find effective ways to bypass these differences in the workplace.

One of the most common and challenging examples of this is when these different generations cross paths in the job interviewing process. Here are some tips for millennials, when being interviewed by a baby boomer:

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My Ideal Job Candidate…

Blonde woman with glasses thinkingBeing a recruiter in this current candidate-crazy job market (a market in which there are more jobs openings than qualified candidates), I’ve been questioned, dodged and insulted by candidates more than ever. And it’s not just me -- the partners and senior recruiters at my firm, some who have been in the industry over 20 years, feel the same pain! 

However, as soon as I decided to put myself in a candidate’s shoes, I began to truly see and understand where they are coming from:


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How To "Kill It" at Your Next Job Interview

Nervous businessmanLately I have dealt with some good candidates who end up interviewing badly. What gives? They have the smarts, education, technical/sales knowledge, and most importantly, the experience. Yet, they fail to connect with the hiring manager or convince the company that they should be their next hire. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • Sometimes the person hasn’t interviewed in several years, and their interview style is a bit lackluster.
  • In other cases, which I see more in junior people, the candidate is just plain nervous. (Nerves are totally normal because it shows that the person cares and is excited about the job opportunity.)

The hard truth is that not everyone who wants the job will get the job ... Here are some basic pointers for these two types of people I mentioned, or anyone really, so you can present your best self and land the job you’re truly excited for….

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Is it Mortality, Prayer or Drive?

Woman standing near oceanOver the past few weeks I have been thinking about how fragile we really are as humans. When we are really young, we are in such a hurry to grow up, that we don’t really appreciate who/where we are. I know it sounds cliché, but it certainly rings true to most everyone I speak with, especially once you hit your 40s, 50s and even 60s… For example: I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license and gain my independence, go to bars and dance clubs and legally drink, own a condo at 22, and finally start to make my own money and decisions…

Then one day, you wake up and realize wow, where has the time gone?  Where do I see myself in the next 30 or 40 years?  What will I look like? Where will I live? Will I get married? Hell, will I make it to see my kids graduate, get married, and/or have babies??? 

The older and wiser I become, everything and everyone in my life means so much more to me. My colleagues, my family, my friends- new and old. I am now using a new motto I like to call “Scared AF, but embracing every last moment! 

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Just Say NO to Multitasking!

Woman multitasking Multitasking. We all do it. I bet you’re reading this right now while on the toilet aren’t you?!  Well, better than while driving... When I started at Hobson in 2006, we had a question on our reference check form that was “How would you rate this person’s ability to multi-task?” The idea was that a person needed to be efficient at multitasking in order to be successful in just about any job. However, studies have recently shown that multi-tasking is actually bad for your brain, which is also bad for business, your social life, your family, everything. 

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Traffic Jam of Resumes

Cars stuck in trafficAre you a hiring authority with open jobs, yet are not seeing the right “traffic” of candidates? If so, you are not alone. In fact, this is one of the biggest pain points hiring authorities express to me before hiring me. From their side of the highway, it’s a wide open road to their inbox… so where’s the log jam?

Here are a few reasons:

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