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Posts Tagged ‘David Gaspin’

5 Questions to Ask a Job Candidate’s References

“What do you want me to say about you?”

According to hiring consultant and trainer Nelson Scott, this is typically the first question people ask when they agree to be a reference. How then are managers supposed to get any useful information from them? In the latest Mediabistro feature, workplace experts give advice on how to interview a prospect’s cheerleaders. Below, an excerpt:

“If you were to give her one piece of career advice, what would it be?”

This hypothetical question was suggested by David Gaspin, talent acquisition manager for, who advises focusing as much on imperfections as star qualities. Another example: “Under what conditions have you seen her struggle or get stressed out?”

Junge likes the idea of putting such questions in a mentoring context, rather than just asking for a candidate’s biggest flaws. “Everyone has weaknesses, but most references couch their real concerns,” he said. “Asking a reference where they would focus their coaching efforts gets to a similar place, but is far more likely to produce practical, actionable feedback.”

For more, read What to Ask a Job Candidate’s References. [subscription required]

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

What Really Happens After You Submit Your Resume

More and more employers are asking applicants to submit resumes to their online systems, but do you really know where your information is going, or even if it will get to human hands? In this Mediabistro Career Breakfast, our panel explains what happens after you apply and how you can stand out from the field of applicants.

David Gaspin, head of talent acquisition at, and WeightWatchers HR rep Kate Van Arsdale spoke about how to write a resume that will grab a hiring manager’s attention, while THINQACTION CEO Antonio Neves, revealed the one thing that will guarantee you don’t get an interview.

Watch the full video above and follow us on Google+ to find out about our next Career Breakfast.

Conde Nast HR Director: ‘What Do You Want To Do’ Is The Most Important Interview Question

David Gaspin is Condé Nast’s director of talent acquisition, which means he oversees staffing strategy for Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, and of course all the rest.

That means that when he talks, you listen!

He has a new blog and today he explains what the most important interview question to ace is.

It’s “What do you want to do?”

The answer is NOT, he says, “I want to get my foot in the door.” The answer is…well, what you want to do.

An entry-level candidate can say “I want a position where I can put in the work and learn the skills to become a successful sales/marketing/pr/basket-weaving/marine biology professional (please, choose one that’s true for you.)” A more advanced candidate must say what s/he wants to do.

“As an HR guy/recruiter, my job is to make sure that the best possible candidates for a position are presented to the hiring manager. If you can articulate what you WANT to do, it really helps me determine whether that’s you. The jobs I recruit for are hard jobs – they’re sometimes thankless, often long hours, and can interact with difficult personalities. If you don’t really want to be doing the job, you won’t last in it. And then in 6 months when you quit or get fired, it’s my fault for recommending you.”

Yeah. None of this “Oh, I’ll do anything” stuff (unless it is clearly meant as tongue in cheek) because it makes you look unfocused. Recruiters looking to place a candidate who will be copyediting Vogue better love both Vogue and copyediting. If this isn’t you, but you want the job anyway, you could try to find something you do love about the job and focus on that. Or find a job you know you’ll love for years.