How to nail an interview and get the job you want

Sheila Musgrove of TAG Recruitment offers the five questions you must answer and the best way to prepare a resume

Sheila Musgrove is founder and CEO of TAG Recruitment.

Sheila Musgrove
Sheila Musgrove

What is TAG Recruitment and what do you do?

Musgrove: TAG Recruitment Group is a Calgary-based staffing and recruitment firm. We provide temporary, contract and permanent placement solutions for our business clients.  We’re in the business of finding the best talent for our clients.

Tell me about the history of the company. What is your background and why did you start the company?

Musgrove: I started TAG Recruitment 14 years ago, with an IKEA desk, bargain website and a computer monitor as big as a fish tank. TAG has grown into a thriving multimillion-dollar organization with a strong reputation for finding stellar talent — all from an uber funky office, with a disco ball and a gong. My mantra is “some is good, more is better,” which applies to running, the amount of jewelry worn, heel height and laughter.

I’ve been delighted to be honoured with numerous awards, including the 2017 Alberta Venture ranking of Alberta’s fastest growing companies – TAG has appeared six times on the list. Profit and Chatelaine rank Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs – I’ve appeared on the list four times. I was thrilled to be recognized by Red Deer College as their 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

My first book, Hired! How to Get The Zippy Gig. Insider Secrets from A Top Recruiter, hit the Amazon best-seller lists in both Canada and U.S. within the first 24 hours of being released. Three years later, it’s still ranked in the top 25 resume books on Amazon. My second book just being published is Unexpected Mentors. Weird & Creative Ideas To Boost Your Career.

I’ve been interviewed on CTV (Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver), Global Morning Calgary, 660 and 770 radio.  Canadian Living magazine profiled an article with my job search strategies.

What’s the hiring climate like in Calgary with the continued economic challenges?

Musgrove: It’s still a tough market for jobseekers. We’re seeing temporary roles continuing to rise, which is expected. Increases in temporary staffing occur when there are signs of economic recovery, but not yet the confidence to fill roles permanently. We see positions at all levels come in on contract. Some to convert to permanent, which is always good news for the jobseeker.

In this environment, what are the key things people have to know and do to get hired?

Musgrove: With fierce competition amongst job seekers, you first need a great resume. If your resume is filled with two or three pages of bullets, describing your functional responsibilities, that’s the first big error.

A hiring manager wants to know succinctly what your job was, but more importantly, they want to know how well you’ve performed. You need key results outlined with numbers and percentages. Results will get you noticed.

You also need to be able to nail the question, “Tell me about each of your roles.” Candidates will try to get off this questions as fast as possible, and that’s a big mistake. Walking through your resume is the make-or-break question in an interview. As I wrote in my book, Hired!  How To Get The Zippy Gig, hiring managers are looking for the answer to five questions when they ask about each role. But here’s the really crazy part. They don’t ask them.

You’ll be a knockout candidate if you come prepared to answer:

  • What level did you report to?
  • How many others do the same job as you and what’s your scope?
  • Succinctly, what is your job? Yes, succinct.
  • Tell me where have you been successful.
  • Why are you looking to leave?

If you can nail walking through your resume in a clear, concise format, you’ll certainly be a standout. (If you’re interested in the step-by-step how-to, my book is available on Amazon, select Indigo Chapters or the Calgary Public Library.)

Never walk into an interview thinking, “I’ll just wing it.” There are specific steps you need to do to prepare in advance.

What industries and careers are leading the way in hiring people?

Musgrove: My clients are always looking for talented sales professionals. Revenue generating roles are always in demand, particularly in a down economy. Roles in logistics and warehousing are always on the go as well.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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