How to Get Further in the Interview Process

Interview candidates awaiting meetingAs the Director of People and Culture in a growth company, I have my hands in every stage of the employee life cycle, including the recruiting and hiring of employees at

In 2014, I personally held approximately 372 phone interviews and 67 in-person interviews for roles ranging from sales to engineering and everything in between. We are expanding our sales team this year, and I expect those numbers to dramatically increase in 2015.

For the past three years in a row, has been named one of the Best Places to Work in San Diego, and a big part of that is the emphasis we place on our people and the role they play in our culture.  As part of my process in evaluating talent, I look for patterns and over the last year have observed some pretty stark differences between candidates that get hired and those who do not get a call back.

Here are my tips to help those who may have been out of the interview market for a while, or those of you who are new to the process. Read the full entry

Ongoing Learning for Future Success: Why Education in the Workplace Matters

Woman looks upYou know the old adage “the day you stop learning is the day you die”?  We live and work by that ideology here at, and we’re not alone.  As reported in Forbes,  Bersin by Deloitte’s 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook analysis of the U.S. training market showed  spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year to over $70 billion. The highest growth rate in over seven years.

Why are companies spending time and money investing in employee education? Josh Bersin shared in the Forbes article: “not only do more than 70% of organizations cite ‘capability gaps’ as one of their top five challenges, but many companies also tell us that it takes 3-5 years to take a seasoned professional and make them fully productive.”

Similarly, brands from Starbucks to utilities companies, are tapping programs like Customer Experience Training to better train their staff’s and in turn create a better customer experience. Educating employees not only makes your team better at their jobs, but can directly affect your bottom line.     Read the full entry

Company Culture That’s to Die For

What turns a good job into a great one? It’s all about the culture. For three years in a row, we’ve been named one of the best companies to work for in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal, due largely in part to our dedication to company culture.

After working in a variety of different office environments, joining the team at was a breath of fresh air. Yes, the company was doing exciting things and the job itself was an incredible opportunity. But the culture was something totally unique. puts heavy emphasis on commitment, hard work, and collaboration, but we’re also dedicated to encouraging fun and getting to know each other. As our CEO Tony Uphoff put it to me in my interview with him, business IS personal, and your coworkers are much more than just that.

In addition to weekly happy hours, quarterly offsites and company-wide competitions like Cube Wars, we like to go all out for holidays—and Halloween is no exception. Dressing up is strongly encouraged, and to sweeten the pot, we have a costume contest that awards the most creative getups.

Below are some’s festive team members from today’s Halloween celebrations. Tell us your favorites in the comments below. Read the full entry

9 Stupid Interview Questions You Should Never Ask

terrifying interviewerThey say there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But “they” are wrong. There are plenty. And when you ask silly things during the hiring process in particular, your hiring decision can be just as stupid as the questions asked.

HR managers and small business owners usually ask the right questions. Questions like Why do you want to work for us? and Why did you leave your last job? But sometimes, interviewers get too creative and ask off-beat, sometimes offending and illegal questions. Here are some of those questions:

“What is your favorite color?”

Unless you’re hiring an art director and are looking for an insightful reasoning to back the answer, don’t ask this. A program developer has every right to love the color orange, even if it doesn’t match his skin tone.

“What do your normally dream about at night?”

This is creepy and way too personal. You might be innocently asking about a candidate’s overall life aspirations, but dream interpretation is not the way to go about it. Instead try, “Tell me about your dream job.” Read the full entry

The New Naming: Outrageous Job Titles

HiResWhat’s in a name? As Juliet stated in William Shakespeare’s inimitable tragic poem, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” reasoning that a name is irrelevant to function. Over the past few years, the professional world has taken this notion to heart by throwing out traditional job titles in favor of creative, imaginative, and sometimes, downright ridiculous monikers.

While the tech industry and marketing folk have adopted this new professional naming style, others are not as keen to jump on the bandwagon. Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of revolutionary recycling company TerraCycle, reasons that a specialized “title gives [employees] a feeling of importance; it suggests that the company is acknowledging their expertise and effort.”

But that same title might prove to be an issue later down the line when interviewing, argues recruiting firm Coburg Banks: “with the average CV looked at by a recruiter for no longer than 10 – 20 seconds, candidates calling themselves either a wizard or a ninja will quickly be laughed out of the running for a new position.” Additionally, crazy titles can be perceived by potential clients and colleagues as pretentious or silly. Read the full entry