J Patrick + Associates Blog

Seal The Deal: The Sales Engineer Product Demonstration Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Sales Engineer Interview


The road to a job offer and the Sales Engineer interview process can look a bit different from other roles after the initial stages.

After impressing the hiring manager during your call or video interview, you've had a technical screen, interviewed with a senior sales engineer or perhaps some peers. You might have even been screened by 1 or 2 of the sales reps you'd be supporting.

Now it's time to clear the final hurdle of the interview process -- the product demonstration interview. 

Whether you've been a SE for years, or this is your chance to step up into the role, there are some key factors to keep in mind as you prep for the demo.


The Ideal Candidate Marries Aptitude + Attitude

The ideal candidate for any SE role obviously has to have the technical knowledge and capability to support the product. But you know if you hadn't passed the technical screen you wouldn't be preparing to give a demo, so you clearly are at least minimally competent.

So, your job during the presentation goes way beyond being able to explain the back end of the product. The real point of the demonstration interview is demonstrating that, along with possessing technical know-how, you are relatable, passionate and creative.

Hiring managers are looking for SEs who can  make the product accessible and comprehensible while instilling trust in the clients. Your job is to be an evangelist for the product by transferring your enthusiasm and telling a story that explains why this specific product is the perfect solution for the customer.

Conveying that you have the perfect combination of aptitude and attitude during your presentation will put you within reach of an offer, and the best way to do this is with a little narrative flair. You don't have to win a Pulitzer, but you should organize your presentation like a story with an identifiable beginning, middle, and end. 


Confidence is Key

Since you aren't doing a demonstration for customers, you don't have the benefit of discovery or a pre-call. And while you will have done your research on the hiring team, you're not pitching the product to fill a technological need for them. In fact, you might even be in the position of having to demo the hiring company's product for them. Your focus should be on making yourself as appealing as possible, and using the product as a means by which to do so.

This does, to some extent, put you at a disadvantage. You've likely become accustomed to being the expert in the room, and suddenly you're in the position of having to sell to people who know more about the product than you do.

Cast in a different light, however, even if your product expertise does not equal that of the hiring team, your knowledge of yourself far supersedes theirs.  This means you can still knock the demo out of the park.

And the key is confidence. 

We're not talking cocky swagger here. This is a confidence born of practice, research, and intentionally constructed preparation. It is the evident ability to hold to your agenda and convey your enthusiasm, creativity, and competence.

In some ways, a room full of skeptics is the best test of your talents. If you can convincingly sell a panel of Senior Sales Engineers, the VP of Sales and the hiring manager on their own product, then you can face the toughest customer challenges out there.


Share Your Passion

If your sales engineer demo is on a product of your choice, choose something you're passionate about. Pick something you've researched deeply and can discuss with a convincing degree of authority.

We once had a candidate do a demo on remote-controlled helicopters - a subject that had absolutely nothing to do with the company's product, but was one for which he could be an evangelist. His passion and knowledge were on full display, and he expertly showcased the true object of the demonstration, namely himself.

He nailed the demo and got the job.


Close the Deal

Whether you're presenting on your current product, the hiring company's product, or your favorite hobby, a successful Sales Engineer knows how to adapt to any set of circumstances.

You might not end your demo looking for the sale, but you do want to bring the pitch to a clean close. Just as you know how to convert prospects into customers from a position of knowledge that offers a solution, you can use that power of creative know-how to get the job by optimally presenting yourself.

Engage with the room honestly and personally, stay on target, explain the functionality of the solution, and convey your passion for helping your interviewers put a solution to work.


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Tags: Job Interviews, Sales Engineer

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Turn Down An Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 @ 11:04 AM


5 Reasons Why You Should Never Turn Down An Interview

Here you are happy as can be in your current position when out of the blue you get a call from a recruiter (or a friend drops you a line) saying they've got an amazing opportunity for you.

You weren't thinking about leaving - you like your job, your boss is a peach and life is running like clockwork. So you might be tempted to turn down the opportunity to go on the interview, after all, you're busy, why waste anyone's time?

Well, there are some great reasons to take the interview, and not all of them center around finding a new job.


 1. The Best Laid Plans

As they say, the only thing you can count on is change. One day things are running smoothly at work, and the next day you come in to find your company is being acquired. Or maybe your boss gets promoted or leaves and now your team is learning how to work with a new leader. The new boss may not think as highly of you like the old boss, they may have a style that clashes with yours or they may simply have someone else they want to put in your position. You certainly can't plan for this kind of upheaval.

On the other end of the spectrum, you never know when you might stumble into the job of your dreams. We've all heard the stories of people who reluctantly went on an interview only to find their dream position.

Taking the time to meet for a coffee or lunchtime interview may just be the best thing you can do to maintain control of your destiny.


 2. Loyalty Can Be A Slippery Slope

Long gone are the days when a career spanned 25 years ended with a retirement party and a gold watch. In fact, the new normals for millennials are to spend an average of 2.5 years at any one position.

And even if you do find yourself in a long term position, you might be selling yourself short. Chances are incremental raises and promotions will not carry the same kind of bump in salary that new job might (unless of course you are given a counteroffer). Then too, is the reality that there's a limit to how far one can climb at the same firm. While your boss may think highly of you, if you are looking to move into a new area or take on responsibilities that greatly vary from your current position, you might just stand a better chance of being thought of in a new light somewhere new.

And finally, the truth is, when cuts need to be made some companies will look to cut the costliest employees first. If the choice comes down between someone who is working near the top of the pay grade and a newer hire, chances are you very well might be the first on the chopping block.


 3. There's No Such Thing As Wasted Time

Just as going on vacation is a great way to re-energize and open new pathways of thinking, so too is talking to other companies.

Gaining insight into how other companies operate and other teams engage can act as jet fuel for your current position. While you're certainly not taking these meetings to spy, you can use it as a window into industry trends.

Information is power, so even if you're not interested in pursuing the opportunity any further, the worst thing that will come of the interview is insights into market trends. It might also highlight just how good you have it at your present job.


 4. Stay On Your Toes

You know you should be keeping your resume up to date and your LinkedIn profile current, but if you're not always looking for the next great opportunity, most of us simply won't do it until we need to. But if you wait until you've either left or lost your present position, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. No one wants to have to do that under duress.


 5. Build A Better You

There's nothing like getting out in the world to see yourself in a new light. Even if you get nothing else from an interview, it's an opportunity to test how you rate in the marketplace. Afford yourself the chance to test which of your skills are in demand and which you are lacking. You'll be able to see how the marketplace views you and get a better understanding of your strengths and where you need to learn. Any chance to brush up your interview chops is one you should jump at.

There are however a few words of caution you must keep in mind:

  • Don't make or take phone calls on company time
  • Do not use company equipment to make phone calls, send emails, faxes or do research
  • Remain focused on your job while you're at work
  • If you can avoid it, don't schedule an interview during work hours
  • Don't make any mentions on social media
  • Don't use current co-workers or colleagues as references

As long as you remember these few rules, we encourage you to take advantage of every interview that comes your way, you never know where it will lead you!


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

3 Reasons Why Hiring Managers Need To Always Be Recruiting

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

3 Reasons Why

If you’re a hiring manager with a fully staffed team, you might assume there’s no need to keep seeing candidates. After all, you’re busy and need to keep your focus on rewarding your top performers, continually training the guys in the middle and pushing the team members who are lagging behind. Why waste time interviewing candidates for a position that doesn’t exist?

here are 3 important reasons why you should always be recruiting

1. Gather Intel

Regardless of what business you’re in, you need to constantly be gleaning intelligence about your brand’s position in the marketplace. By always being willing to interview candidates with in-demand skills you are creating an awareness of your brand and stoking interest for openings down the road.

It's also an invaluable way to get all kinds of information about your place in the marketplace.

  • How are you perceived by your user base?
  • How does your brand stand up in the marketplace?
  • What’s your reputation out in the job market?

Additionally, it allows you to stay current on your competition. If you want to learn how other companies in your sector operate, you have to keep speaking to people on the inside. And who better to learn from than someone who is looking to move on.  

  • Where does your company stand against your competition in terms of pay structure, quotas, the tools they use?
  • How is the morale of your competitors?
  • Are they hiring?
  • Are they losing people?
  • Do they have a high level of management churn?

Building a fluid picture of your place in the industry is key to staying competitive.

2. Feed Your Pipeline

Even if you have your dream team in place and can’t foresee it changing anytime soon, you have to remember that life happens. People leave, they get promoted or maybe they’re unexpectedly moved to fill a hole in another group. And let’s be honest, not every hire delivers on their potential.

If you don’t have a pipeline of top quality candidates to draw from, then you’re stuck either with a mediocre performer or worse, with an empty desk. And if you’re in sales, you know that a vacancy is costing you not only productivity but is draining your own quota. This is a high price to pay for not planning ahead.

3. Pop Your Filter Bubble To Stay Competitive.

When you look out over the same vista day after day, it’s easy to lose perspective. Just as you might talk to your mentors, attend conferences and keep up with your peers in order to gain new insights into your sector, interviewing candidates allows you to see what’s possible.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that the team you have is the team you’ll always have. But if you are meeting candidates on an ongoing basis, you’ll see that you have options. You don’t have to tough it out with the salesperson who’s struggling to keep up, nor do you have to put up with the cancer in the locker room.

What it really comes down to is the difference between simply filling vacancies as they occur, and engaging in workforce planning. The first model leaves your team exposed and under pressure to cover the workload left behind by a vacancy. But if you always take the time to meet qualified candidates you'll be far more nimble and ready to act when you find yourself with an empty desk.

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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring, management

Will Video Conferencing Interviews Save or Cost Your Company?

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 @ 11:30 AM



More and more companies have begun using video conferencing to conduct the early stages of the interview screening process. What begun as a trend, has now become an industry standard, but is this really an effective use of a company’s resources? Let’s explore some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of video interviews from a cost/benefit perspective.  




The need for two people to be in the same room is eliminated. Hiring managers and candidates both enjoy greater flexibility, meetings no longer have to be confined to the office, and both parties can meet from the comfort of their own office or home. 

Cuts Costs

Handling candidate screening remotely can cut traveling, scheduling, and costs. Money saved can be re-allocated to improving productivity in other sectors of the organization, or towards expansion. Similar to phone interviews, video feed can be one of the most cost effective ways to meet candidates.



No Face-to-Face Interactions

There’s no better way to get a feel for someone than shaking their hand and sitting across from them. Video can flatten out an interaction, allowing cues you might have picked up in person, to go unseen. When deciding to bring someone into your department, you want to be assured that there’s chemistry and a connection, something you can only fully experience in person.

Feel for the Space

During a face-to-face meeting, candidates are able to get a feel for the environment of the office. Remote meetings cut out the possibility for spontaneous introductions to different team members, while also eliminating the candidate’s opportunity to get a sense of what the office is like. A potential hire's first visit to the office is also one way of seeing if they are a good cultural fit for your organization. 




Saves Time

Time is money. Instead of budgeting time to get to and from the physical location, all that is necessary is a block of time in front of a computer. Most importantly, video conferencing reduces the time it takes to fill an open position, as you are able to meet more candidates in a shorter period of time.

Broader Selection

Distance is no longer be an issue for first or second round interviews. You can connect with candidates all over the globe with a touch of a button, allowing you to reach out and discover the hidden potential in unexplored terrains. You don't have to miss out on discovering the final piece to your puzzle because the applicant lives too far away. 


One of the prime features embedded in a virtual interview is the ability to re-watch or playback the meeting. After a face-to-face meeting, you are left to rely on memory and notes you took during the conversation. Video conferencing allows you to take a second look to analyze body language, or discover cues that might have slipped past you in the moment. You can dig deeper into the candidate's responses, and you can get more team members involved in the decision process.




For all of its advantages, technology can sometimes be unreliable. There’s always the possibility for hardware/software problems. Connection is a two way street, so the chances of an interference is doubled, and the wait time can be unpredictable. Lag and delay can both cause interruptions. Hardware problems such as microphone/webcam failures can make communication problematic. With video conferencing you’re buying into the possibility that complications can disrupt an entire interview, setting back your workday.

With the benefits of cutting costs and time, it makes sense to switch over to video conferencing for the early stages of the screening process. 


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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring

How to Rescue Your Interview from a Bad First Impression

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 03:30 PM

How to rescue your interview from a bad first impression

A poor first impression doesn’t have to lead to a bad interview

First impressions matter. In fact, they're more powerful than facts. Research has shown that we form our most lasting impressions of someone within the first 5 seconds of meeting them and that we rarely change these initial ideas even in the face of hard evidence.

5 seconds...

That’s hardly enough time to walk in the door of an interview and take your seat, let alone make a strong case why you’re the best candidate for the job. But, it is enough time to blow an interview. Stumbling over a bump in the carpet, offering up a weak handshake, poor eye contact, or misjudging your wardrobe can all cost you dearly.

Prevailing wisdom dictates that it takes at least 8 positive interactions to overcome a bad first impression. And while that may sound insurmountable, the good news is there are some steps you can take to hit the reset button and reverse your losses.


6 Ways you can Reverse a Bad Interview:

1. Take a Cue from the Performers

Think back to the last time you were watching a live performance and a dancer slipped, or an actor flubbed their lines. The dancer who seamlessly continues on with the choreography or the actor who allows the gaffe play in their favor often winds up as audience favorites. It’s the ones who pull a face or get so flustered they can’t find their place that loses the audience’s favor - something no amount of raw talent can make up for.

Handling small mistakes with grace goes a long way to mitigate their potential damage. Allow yourself a brief moment to recover, make a joke or offer a polite apology appropriately. What is important is to dust yourself off and get back to the business at hand. You’re there for a reason - to get the job - now is the time to focus on that.  


 2. Remain Positive

Running yourself down or trying to overcompensate with ongoing apologies will only serve to highlight your flaws. Unless you’ve been summarily dismissed from the job interview, you still have the opportunity to turn things around. It’s important that you turn your attention from yourself and your embarrassment and toward your interviewer.

Demonstrating that you are flexible and can bounce back from setbacks is attractive to potential employers- use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your resilience.


 3. Pivot

Now is the time to return the full force of your focus to the interview. Leave the mistakes behind and communicate in an open, expressive manner. Let the interviewer see who you are and your core competencies. Shine a light on what you bring to the company and try to help them see you in a new.

A word of caution: Don’t push. Overcompensating will only serve to further alienate yourself and could do even greater damage than the original slip-up.


 4. Find Common Ground

Even a bad first impression can be softened if you and the other person share something in common. It is more difficult to affirm the negative ideas we formed when confronted by similarities. If you and your interviewer share a point of view or interest, they are less likely to hold their initial reaction against you.


 5. Close Strong

Just as first impressions are important, the end of an interview can have a long term effect. Leave the interviewer with positive things to remember you by. Arriving prepared, having done your homework and presenting your interviewer with well-considered solutions can help stem the tide that was flowing against you. There’s no reason to allow a poor beginning to set the tone for the entire interview- you’ve come to sell yourself, don’t sell yourself short.


 6. Let it Be

There are also those things that are outside of your control. All that you can do it make certain that you are professional, and have communicated the value you bring to any position clearly. Focus on the things that are in your control and let the blunders and mistakes be your teachers for future job interviews. After all, if you chose to wear grey shoes to an interview and the hiring manager absolutely detests grey shoes, there’s nothing you can do about it.


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J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

The Best Hire: Strategically Gaining an Asset to the Organization

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

The best hire strategically


Hiring managers know that filling vacancies can be time consuming. Reading through resumes, conducting phone interviews, and vetting candidates can take you away from all your other responsibilities. But taking the time to get the job done right can save time, money, and headaches. Spare yourself the struggle and do it right the first time!

Here are 3 strategic methods for gaining an asset to your organization.


Understand the Company

Let your mission statement be your guide to success! A well crafted mission statement, one that reveals the character of your company is one of the best ways to  attract desirable candidates. Make sure that the key qualities that you value are easily identifiable in all of your materials. If a company’s main focus is “Going Green” and the potential candidate disregards the practice of taking care of the environment, then maybe they're not the best pick for the position. When interviewing a candidate, ask how their personal goals intersect with the company’s. If both are in alignment, you could have a very good match on your hands.


Understand the Role

Before the interview process, it's important that you understand the open position and obligations that are embedded within it. Any vacancies should be thoroughly explored before you hand a job description off to human resources. Discover faults or pain points in the role. Find out why the position requires certain specifications.

A study from the National Business Research Institute has shown the two leading factors that attribute to a failed hire are poor skills match and unclear performance objectives.

This isn't to say that you need your human resources department to become experts on all company roles. However, you do want them to be familiar with tasks that are performed in an average day, so that they can filter for your job properly.  Putting yourself in the shoes of the candidate could further help your search to finding the most qualified employee.


Quickly But Not Too Fast

After a promising first date, would you be ready to walk down the aisle?  I didn't think so! However, you also don't want to take too long, creating the opportunity for another to sweep in and steal your true love.

The hiring process is eerily similar to the dating game. In a technical aspect, two parties engaging, shaping a bond, and establishing goals that can be executed together. When a company hires someone, they are granting them access to numerous resources and assets. An unsuccessful match can cost you time, money and can in some cases lead to security vulnerabilities.

Hiring managers need to strike a balance between finding qualified candidates, and doing so in an efficient and respectable amount of time. Taking too long to close a hire can result in the lose of a worthy applicant, and rushing the process can lead to a bad match. According to the National Business Research Institute,  43% of employers cited that filling vacant positions in a limited amount of time resulted in unfit and unqualified hires.

Having to refill a position after a failed hire is a time consuming and costly endeavor. Find your balance and place the right candidate the first time. Nobody wants to repeat the process!


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Looking for a new job or to relocate? Give one of our recruiters a call!

J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Mangement, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies, and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring, recruiting

Interview Sabotage: 6 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Interview

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 10:16 AM

that Can Ruin Your INterview (1)

The job interview is one of the most important, and nerve-wracking, components of the job search process, and it needs preparation beforehand. You know all of the interview prep basics -- from developing questions to ask your interviewer, to bringing multiple copies of your resume. But are you forgetting basics that are invaluable to your interview prep?

6 Ways that you might be sabotaging your interview

Being Late for an Interview

It is the day of your interview and you have the directions ready to go, but your car breaks down or your bus is late. What do you do? Although arriving late for an interview may not always be your fault, it can still make a bad impression. If you’re stuck in traffic, your train is delayed, or there’s the slightest chance that you won’t make it on time, always call ahead, your interviewer will appreciate not being left in the dark.

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to arrive 10-15 minutes early to an interview to have time to relax and compose yourself beforehand. But most importantly give yourself enough time for your commute, you never know what bumps in the road you may face!

Dressing Inappropriately

We all know the old saying “dress to impress,” but are you dressing too impressive for the position you’re interviewing for? It is important to research the company’s dress code policy, whether it be through web forums, your LinkedIn connections or asking your recruiter if you’re working with one. Dress codes vary immensely from company to company, even within the same sector, doing as much research as possible will help prove that you’re a good cultural fit.

Not Researching the Company/Position

For many candidates, this may be a given, but there are some who do not conduct research on the company that they’re interviewing for. This could be a disastrous omission. It’s important to be prepared for questions about the company such as “what do you know about our company”, and/or “how do you think this position will aid in your career development?” It’s very easy to find information on almost any company these days, whether it be on the company website or through your recruiter. You don’t have to know all the company history per se, but it is important to understand their mission statement and know their current financial standing.

Bad Mouthing a Previous Employer

Would you trust the opinion of someone who can’t stop badmouthing their last job or employer? If your answer is no, then don’t do it at your interviews! Even when you’re asked the reason for leaving your previous position or to provide an example of a time you showed leadership at work, avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer. These negative comments will reflect badly on you, even if the employer was at fault. Be creative with your answers and put a positive spin on your current or previous work situation.

Not Knowing When to Stop Talking or Not Talking Enough

Whether you are a nervous rambler or your nervousness makes you go silent, know how to balance both. It is important to keep your interviewer engaged, just as it is important to engage in active listening to understand the questions asked by the interviewer. You do not want to seem as if you’re rambling, but you also do not want moments of dead silence to permeate the interview. Whether you’re a nervous talker or not, remember to relax and rock your interview!

Knowing the Right Questions to Engage Your Interviewer

As important as it is to understand the hiring process or to understand the roles of the position, it is crucial to get to know your interviewer. Yes, the interviewer will ultimately be the deciding factor of whether or not you’ll proceed onto the next step of the hiring process, but you need to remember that she is also attempting to determine if you would be a cultural fit. So, engaging in friendly conversation and learning about the interviewer’s current position will help to put you both at ease.

But, remember that this is a professional meeting and not a coffee date!

As simple as they may sound, these interview mistakes are committed very often. So, next time you land an interview, keep these basics in mind.

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

How to Handle a Counter-Offer

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:00 AM


The Pros and Cons of Accepting a Counter Offer

You’ve just gotten an offer for a new job. Congratulations!

Now comes the hard part; telling your present boss you’re resigning. There’s every possibility you might receive a hearty handshake and their very best wishes for your future. But there’s every other possibility that they meet your news with a counter-offer; a pay raise, a promotion, added vacation time or any other incentive they can offer. After all, nothing adds value like a little competition.

And the question you now have to face is whether you should take the counter-offer or stick to plan and leave for the new position. Well, if you ask most career experts they’ll tell you to turn it down on the spot and get on to the next position.

If this sounds counter-intuitive let’s break it down into PRO’s vs CON’s to understand why this is the prevailing wisdom.


The Pros of Accepting the Counteroffer

1. There’s nothing like feeling wanted. 

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be the one to break-up and have the other party at least make a pitch for staying? At least in the short term, you’ll feel very wanted.

2. The in-house promotion offers you a better title.

A larger leap ahead puts you in line for C-level that much sooner.

3. You can stay where you are with some of the benefits you would have gotten from the new position. 

You don’t have to worry about the new commute, new relationships or figuring out the workings of a new office.


The Cons of Accepting the Counteroffer

1. It took your employer too much time to recognize the value you bring.

While no position is perfect, an employee who feels valued, who is a good match with the culture and who is energized by the company they represent is less likely to explore other opportunities in the first place. Chances are, you wouldn’t have taken an interview if you were satisfied with your present position. Would a raise in pay or a new title really address your issues?


2. What you have to remember is this is a tactic to keep you on-board. 

Your present employer has invested time and money in you already; they want to get the maximum gain for that investment, and keeping you on is in the best interest of their bottom-line. A counter-offer might even simply be a knee-jerk reaction or an attempt to simply buy time until they can find an acceptable replacement. What it might not be is a symbol of the company’s long-term commitment to you. You’ve already identified yourself as a flight-risk, and while they may want to/need to keep you on in the short term, they’ll be looking at you with a different set of eyes going forward.


3. You have to remember why you took the interview in the first place. 

Think back on how you answered the question: “What could be working better for you in your current position?” Job satisfaction isn’t just about vacation days and perks; it’s about making a good match with a company whose products or services excite you, whose culture is supportive of your work and life styles and about a challenge that stimulates you. The very same things that used to bother you about your present position will not disappear under a new job title or behind a slightly larger paycheck.


The Bottom Line

Everyone wants to feel wanted, but rarely is that reason enough to stay in any relationship. the counter-offer may be attractive, but you need to remember that a career is built on steps and chances and challenges. Taking the counter-offer may sully you in the eyes of both the new company, who will now consider you off-limits, as well as your old company who, despite the favors they are showering you with now, may be already looking for your replacement.


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

7 of the Hottest IT Jobs for 2020

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Feb 04, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

7 Hottest Jobs For 2020

2019 was a very good year for job growth in IT, and 2020 looks to be just as robust. Businesses both looking to expand and to keep current continue to invest heavily in technology, a trend which translates to ample opportunities for IT professionals.

In a field with a current unemployment rate as low as 3.3%  as well as competitive salaries, here are 7 of the hottest positions.

1. Project Managers

Average Salary: $113,595

Project managers are in high demand especially for businesses taking on ever larger IT projects. Fluent in both industry-specific issues, tech savvy PMs act as the bridge between business and technology. They have experience leading teams and can oversee and manage the flow of work. What has commonly been an outsourced position is more often these days becoming a high demand staff position in many industries.   


2.  Software Engineers and Developers

Average Salary: $96,329

Ranked the #1 IT position by Computerworld for 2015, Software Engineers and Developers are in high demand. They are the heart and soul of any computer based c ompany and as a result are well compensated. Candidates with the ability to develop software and programs for complex, large scale projects are even more in demand, as many industries are coming to rely heavily on these professionals.


3. Business and Systems Analyst

Average Salary: $115,725

The ability to wrangle Big Data to ensure that IT projects are meeting business needs and goals is what makes this a highly valuable IT position. A great Analyst is able to blend strong business acumen with technology in their capacity charge of uniting business strategies with future projections.  Business and Systems Analysts are also in charge of following the market and keeping up with the fast pace of technological advances.


4. Security/Compliance, Governance and Analysis

Average Salary: $88,590

With new cyber threats developing every day, both C-Levels and Boards are willing to budget the money it takes to prevent and stall breaches. This is a wide and varied field that offers opportunities in incident management as well as threat and vulnerability assessment. Security solutions architects, vulnerability testers, engineers and those who understand the threats are being sought across a wide variety of industries . Another sector with high demand/low supply, it’s an attractive field that offers job security and competitive salaries.


5. Web Developers

Average Salary: $68,606

Developers build websites from the ground up, and are responsible for creating the functionality, navigation as well as often the design. While this used to often be a freelance position, many sectors have moved web development in-house in order to ensure they are always current and up to date. Employers are also investing their developers ongoing certifications and enrichment. With a healthy gap between supply of good developers and the high demand, there is very low unemployment in this sector.


6. Network Administration/Engineering

Average Salary: $ 74,000

Network Administrators and Engineers ensure that digital businesses grow and thrive. Working on the backend, they make certain that the pipelines are clear and sites can operate at their optimal speeds and efficiency. People with knowledge of IP routing, switching, firewalls, network management, integration and packet tracing/debugging are high on the list of hires for this year.


7. Sales

Average Base Salary: $80,000 with total compensation averaging to $150,000 and up.

While not strictly a technical job, IT Sales is as much a part of this growing sector as engineers and developers. Between start-ups selling exciting new technologies, to long established businesses moving into new products, there are ample opportunities in Sales. Salesmen working in the IT sector need to be facile with technology and easily able to understand the complexities of the products they are selling. This is a fast-growth field with many opportunities for advancement for high-performers.

NOTE: Average salary statistics sourced from http://www.payscale.com/ and/or J.Patrick & Associates direct knowledge of current median incomes. 

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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

Make Your Skeleton Dance to Nail Your Next Interview

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Nov 03, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

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 Do you fear being asked about the rocky performance you had in your last or current job on the next interview?

Did you have a less-than-favorable relationship with your CEO recently and you are dreading the interviewer asking the “tell me about how well you worked with your boss” question?

Unsure how to handle the skeletons in your closet?

I say take it out of the closet and make it dance….


It’s a term from George Bernard Shaw, where he said:

“If you can’t hide the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance.”

Yep…I say bring it on…

Well, you know they are going to ask.

So be ready for the tough questions you hope they don’t ask.

And not only be prepared…

Confidently and diplomatically address the tough questions.

I say bring it.

Own your baggage… Embrace the skeleton….or family of skeletons, if that is how you roll…

Here’s a newsflash…

Everyone has baggage.

How do I know?

I hear all your stories.

No one comes to me or vents in the LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium Group saying they have a perfect background.

Too many jobs in a short period of time.

Took the wrong job after a long tenure with prior employer.

Long-term unemployment.


Boss undermines them and the opportunity to create resume-like
achievements is limited.

I can go on and on.

Even people with ‘perfect’ backgrounds on paper, with a new job every 6 years or promoted every 3 years, have product lines they oversaw that failed or high staff turnover or shrinking margins they need to account for on their next interview.

Here is the secret to making the skeleton dance:

With all other things being relatively equal, the person who
diplomatically, vulnerably and proactively addresses their baggage best on an interview wins the offer.


Companies don’t just want the best performer in perfect conditions. They want the best person who is honest about a business situation, assesses the needed plan and executes in the face of fear and imperfect conditions to fix adverse situations.

They want the person who will get them out of the foxhole alive and then flourish…not just the parade leader when the weather is great.

Be prepared, own your baggage, make the skeleton dance and win offers!



Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews