#AskAHiringManager: Recruiting Expert Tells Us What Really Impresses a Recruiter That Will Lead to an Interview

#AskAHiringManager: CAA Executive Recruiter Tells Us What Really Impresses A Recruiter That Will Lead To An Interview

By Khadejah Stegall

Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

Job hunting can be stressful, especially when you aren’t hearing back from any companies. TLC spoke with human resources consultant Caroline Garcia on what really catches her eye from an applicant that leads to an interview. Garcia has been working in recruiting for over 10 years and has used her expertise at two of the world’s leading entertainment agencies where celebrities like Will Smith and Jamie Foxx have been clients. In our inaugural Hiring Manager Series, Caroline gives us the real deal of what really impresses her about an applicant.

Q: What are some ways applicants made a huge impression on you that made you want to interview them?

A: Honestly the number one thing that sticks out is when people apply to a job they actually match. It’s lazy to just click on a job and submit a resume hoping it sticks. Be realistic and go for a job your experience and skills truly match or transfer to. Stop going on the hopes of “potential”, we all have potential. I need to see that you put some thought into reviewing the requirements and your resume truly reflects how you match the role.

Q: How do you find most of your interns and job candidates? LinkedIn, word of mouth, recommendations and/or partnership programs?

A: There are a variety of avenues we find candidates. Some of the most prevalent are referrals and partnership programs. If a role is an experienced level such as leadership or special in demand skills, we will use job boards such as LinkedIn, Ladders or direct sourcing through competitive intelligent methods. I literally will research who is at another company making it happen and call them directly to discuss them joining us!

Q: Are there ever times where you have a great candidate on paper but they blew it during the interview?

A: Sigh…this is heartbreaking when it happens. We are all only as good as our resumes and degrees. We must prepare and refine the way we present ourselves and answer common interview questions. Also, we must learn that if we are stuck on a question we are asked, do not be afraid to say, “Great question. Wow you have truly picked my brain! Let me think about that and get back to you on that”. Then, follow up with a thank you email and answer the question after you had some time to process a concise response.

 Q: What's the number one piece of advice you'd give applicants to help them nail a job interview and get the job?

A: There are so many, but I will say that what stands out most to me are people that are genuine and not rehearsed. Hiring managers invited you in for the interview so they know you can do the job. But, it’s about so much more than can you do the job. Do we like you? Will you get along with the team? Do you have a flexible vibe that will handle the ups and downs of the environment? If we can’t gauge who you are, we are not going to hire you! Therefore, sometimes people who don’t have as much experience as someone else gets the job offer. People are willing to train someone with the right personality and vibe that conveys authenticity. Being yourself is the key!

Stay tuned for future interviews with other HR managers and recruiters for TLC’s Hiring Manager Series.


Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.