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Social Media Interview Questions

I've been carrying on a short e-mail conversation with Betsy Beard, the inhouse recruiter for Fleishman Hillard, the PR firm looking for a new media/social networks account executive in St Louis.

So I saw the job description, but decided to create my own list of interview questions for social media consultants.  This is a bit more involved than just blogging, but if want a job like this, or are hiring for a job like this, you could do a lot worse then to add these to your job description:

List of New Media Interview Questions

The Basic Job Description:

  • In Plain English, tell me what I’m actually going to be doing for Fleishman, or if I get to create the position.  How much flexibility is there on what needs to be done?
  • What is my manager like.  Do they understand social media, or am I going to be managing my manager for the first few months?
  • Has anyone else done this position for Fleishman Hillard before?
  • I’m going to rattle off a few names here – do they sound familiar?  Twitter, Flikr, Typepad, Wink, Photobucket, Techcrunch, ValleyWag, Technorati.  Does anyone at Fleishman know what these are and use them?
  • What is the salary range?  Do I get bonuses for bringing new projects or billing extra hours?
  • How much travel is involved?
  • Do my duties as a social media expert consist of doing the job, or training clients to do so?

The Tough Questions:

What kind of internet access does Fleishman have?  Are there any blocked feeds or websites?
What is the work from home policy? 
Will I be asked to create or post on fake blogs or leave fake comments?
Do you have a corporate blogging policy in place?
What about my personal activities?  What happens to current blogs and current properties I have a stake in?
Will I be signing a non-compete or a document that says Fleishman will own anything I create while I work there?
Do you have other social media and Web 2.0 types there that I can learn from?

The important details:

Do I get a cool laptop?  Mac or PC?
What is the dress code?
Which IM client do we use?
How far away is the nearest Starbuck’s?  Is there a local coffee shop I will be able to visit?
What about parking? 
Any cool perks?  Awards – trips to other cities?

I've sent this list to Betsy asking her for her responses.  I hope she will be able to answer them all, and if she does, well, one of you better come through.  At the very least, link this post if you like the questions.

Fleishman isn't the only one looking - IBM is looking for a social media guru who wants to travel 100%. If either of these positions suits you, shoot me an e-mail and I'll pass your name along, if you have the chops.  No resumes - Let your url's do the talking.

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Restaurant Recruiters Using PPC

I know you're not supposed to click on your own GoogleAds, but I often do for research.  Today, one of the ads was for a restaurant recruiter.

The Company, Vucurevich/Simons Advisory Group (is everyone a Group these days?), had a nice ad that took me directly to their site, and clearly was aimed at candidates and clients in the restaurant business.  i would have added a landing page - in my view, you're leaving a lot of money on the table if you don't have a landing page, but I was impressed to see them taking advantage of new technologies.  I hope they make placements off the campaign.

But I do have to say - if you're looking for a restaurant recruiter, I still have to go with Carl Chapman, the executive restaurant recruiter blogger.  My loyalty lies with those who have the courage and the widsom to blog. 

The Sound Of One Community Blogging

One of the demonstrations I use in training bloggers is an example of how important shared community is in creating excitement.

You start in a room, and ask one person to clap. The person claps a little, sheepishly looking around at their colleagues.  You ask a second person to clap, and to do it with gusto.  That person claps a lot louder, faster, and you tell them they did a good job, but that it sounded a little hollow.  You ask for volunteers, and let anyone else try.

You pause a beat, and then ask the first two people to clap together. They do so.   You encourage a third person to join in, and then you encourage all three to show a lot of energy.  The sound increases, and ultimately, someone adds a whoop or a shout into the mix, and the sound transforms from a few people clapping to a celebration.

Then you stop, and you begin clapping yourself, lightly, and without rhythm, and you say, "This is the essence of blogging."  Alone, your voice is hollow.  Combined with others, your voice is part of an explosion of excitement and energy.

Blogging Is Not About You
The first and most important rule of blogging is understanding that your blog is not about you - it's about the community.  It's about your readers.  It's about your industry. It's about anything other than your marketing pitch.

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Fleishman Hillard Looking For Social Media Account Executive

The Arch City Chronicle catches a job posting from Flieshman-Hillard for someone with Web 2.0, blogging, and social networking skills.

They post the job, which includes the following requests of skills.

• Proactively introduce new ideas to improve Fleishman-Hillard’s offering
• Develop online outreach strategy
• Work with clients to identify the most appropriate blogs
• Establish relationship with key bloggers
• Monitor social networks for potential threats or opportunities
• Leverage social networks to build affinity with either a company, product or issue position
• Leverage video sharing sites like YouTube to advance a client’s message or image
• Conduct online research to identify Web sites and online influencers for outreach
• Conduct one-to-one outreach to site editors, writers, and other influencers

How do you apply to his job?  Send in a resume.

Please do not contact the St. Louis office directly, only resumes submitted through this Web site will be considered.

Ummm, there's something you should know if you're a Fleishman recruiter.

The type of person you are looking for isn't going to send a blind resume in to your careers section.

In fact, the person you are looking for will probably think that being forced to send in a resume shows just how stodgy and non-Web 2.0 you are.  I know that corporate policy probably requires you to post the position on your website, but I wouldn't trust anyone who you found that way.

If you are looking for a job as a social media consultant or blogging consultant in St Louis, and the idea of working for Fleishman sounds good - check out their blogs.  They're on the right side of the blogroll of this blog.  Contact one of those bloggers.  Convince them to refer you to Human Resources. 

On the plus side, it's a positive that Fleishman is hiring people like me.   When I first started as a new media/social networks consultant, my parents thought I would be broke in a month.  The Canadian Headhunter figured it was a long shot too.

I wonder how much they are paying.  Not in an I'm interested way, but in a general way.  If you apply and read this, let me know how much. I'm deathly curious.  I'll guess they're lowballing salaries - maybe $50,000.  Someone with 4 years of working in social media would be a fool to take less than $80K.


Blogswap Guest Post: Rejection - Don't Be Blue

The following is a guest post by Liz Handlin for the Blogswap.

Every job seeker, no matter how talented and experienced, has received at least one dreaded rejection letter in his or her career. And, no matter how talented and experienced the job seeker, rejection always brings up deep seated insecurities and that inevitable question: "Why?"

Even though it is a drag to be rejected by a potential employer the key to landing a job is not to dwell on missed opportunities and just keep focusing on possibilities. Nearly every time I have ever been rejected after interviewing for a job, I later discovered information that made me realize that the rejection was a blessing in disguise.

For example, I once interviewed with one of the world's largest banks for what I thought was a dream opportunity. I was scheduled to fly back for a final round of interviews that should have culminated in an offer when I got a call from the HR department informing me that they were not going to fill the job. I was devastated. But then a couple of weeks later I found out that the bank was restructuring and laying off thousands of employees including the entire department with which I had been interviewing. Whew. I guess I dodged a bullet!

If you don't have a job and are getting rejection letters after interviewing, the process can be both scary and depressing. Do not let yourself get so down on yourself or depressed that your interview skills suffer. Each job interview has to be a whole new world of positive thinking. Don't reflect on past losses, failures, or rejections when preparing for an interview. Prepare and put a positive spin on everything that you discuss with your interviewers. Positive thinking will get you far in interviews.

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Durbin Media Group Is On The Prowl

We admit it.  We can't do this all on our own.  We need help.

Specifically - your help.  For those who have been reading StlRecruiting for a few years, you know that I joined my wife's interactive marketing firm in January of last year, bringing my skills in social media and blogging to her interactive marketing expertise.

Since then, we have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger, working on projects for product, marketing, staffing firms, PR firms, corporate blogs, and social communities.  Our real strength has emerged in concepting, designing and executing targeted communities of interest.

If you want to build a loyal group of online evangelists for your product, service, or employment brand, we're the people to turn to, not just in St Louis, but nationwide. Our clients in the last year have been in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Jose, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New Zealand.

So why am I writing this?  We need some help.  We've been scheduling work out as far as four months, and in many cases, have been passing on work for current clients to competitors because we just can't get it all done.

We've decided to move from a two-person consulting firm focused on quality to a full-fledged interactive agency focused on quality.  Our goal is to find talented web designers, social media consultants, and copywriters who want to work with two cutting edge talents on fresh projects.

Our process is simple.  We want dependable, creative, and fabulous Web 2.0 people to work with us, initially as project based, but eventually as full-fledged contractors or employees.  We will be heavily involved with the work, and can either bring you projects you work on independently, or farm out web work as it comes in.

To ensure quality for our clients, we will be monitoring and signing off on all projects - but if your quality is good (clean code, beautiful design), we can serve as your selling and accounts payable (and collections) arm.  Basically, we're going to build an agency from the ground up.  Initially, we need a CSS 2.0 designer or two, but if you're talented, we can find work for you.

So why would you work with us?  Because we can make you better at what you do.  Working with us means joining a team of creative people - our goal is to make you better, work hard, and deliver a great product.  All of our business is referral based, and we live off our reputation.

If you're interested, forward us an e-mail with a list of your skills (don't bother with a resume), some url's of projects you've worked on, and what you're looking for in an hourly corp-to-corp or 1099 rate to info [at]durbinmedia{dot}com.

Our website is, and our blog is  For examples of what we do, check out

A Video Portfolio

An example of how to use video to get your next job.  In this case, it's Edvard Voth, a video game designer, using the Flektor video editing software to build his vanity portfolio. In this case, Edvard happens to work for Flektor, but if you are in a creative field looking for employment - maybe you should be building your own Flek?

Compare this to a resume. 


8 Ways To Get Noticed As A Candidate

1) Start A Blog titled:  Reasonsfor[employer]tohire[yourname]com

2) Sign up for LinkedIn and contact employees at the company, asking for help getting to a hiring manager.

3) Fill out a profile on Jobster.

4) Get interviewed by a recruiting or staffing blog.  Attach your resume to the post. 

5) Search for local blogs in your area on the industry you want to work for.  Contact the blogger and ask for referrals.

6) Leave intelligent comments at industry blogs, and leave your resume url as the hyperlink to your name in the comment section.

7) Go to ZoomInfo and Jigsaw and edit your personal information to make sure it's accurate.

8) Update your LinkedIn Profile.  Start putting it into your e-mail signature.

Laptop Reviews: The Neverending Saga

My trusty Vaio died last week.  I took it in to Dimension Computer because the hard drive was making whirring noises, and the power cord was not working so great.  The hard drive crashed when the were working on it (luckily they pulled the data), and the cost of fixing the power plug, the hard drive, and upgrading to what I wanted was almost a new laptop, so I decided to purchase a new one.

Off I went to the internet to look for new deals.  All I use the PC for is searching and the use of the Broadlook Eclipse software, so all I really needed was a cheap laptop with wireless capability.  I went with the Compaq440, a cheap model with a price tag of $499, pre-loaded with Windows Vista.

But there was a problem.

Continue reading "Laptop Reviews: The Neverending Saga" »