HR Panel Shares Tips for Acing Job Interview

Panasonic-logoJoin us at JobSeekers of PTC this week for “HR Panel Shares Tips for Acing Job Interview: What hiring managers really think and what they want to know about you.”

We will have a special panel discussion and Q&A with HR managers from Coveris Packaging, CNN/TBS, Orange Business Services, and Panasonic Automotive. These experts each have 15+ years’ experience in human resources including recruiting, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, learning and development, succession planning, and all other aspects of the employment life cycle.

Get interview tips from these experts scheduled to appear:

Fred Fratto » Chief HR Officer and Chief Culture Officer » Coveris

Coveris has 9,000 employees and 65 production facilities in 21 countries. Fred’s primary focus includes developing human capital solutions, providing company-wide HR governance, improving employee engagement, energizing the culture and enabling growth. Prior to Coveris, Fred was SVP-HR at Beazer Homes as the company experienced over 250% growth. Prior to that, Fred was at Gulfsteam Aerospace, Newell Rubbermaid, and Westinghouse. He has 20+ years of HR and management experience.

Sara Clarke » HR Consultant, SPHR » Orange Business Services

Orange is a $60B multinational telecommunications company serving 221 countries with 180K employees worldwide. Sara has 15+ years’ experience as an Human Resources generalist, consultant, and business partner. She has been in the international environment for the last 11 years, focused on organizational change, restructuring, recruitment and staffing, career development, learning and development and management training.

Tanya Turner » Human Resources Generalist, PHR » CNN / TBS

Tanya provides HR business support to the Global Technology and Operations (GTO) organization comprised of CNN BEST, truTV, and Business Excellence client groups. Tanya has 15+ years’ experience in Human Resources. She has diverse experience in staffing, retention, career development, employee relations, coaching, and “employee advocacy.” Prior to joining CNN/TBS, Tanya was a recruitment specialist for PeopleSoft.

Stephen Childs » Director Global HR » Panasonic Automotive Systems

Stephen began his career at Panasonic in talent acquisition and has held several management positions during his 15 years with the company. Prior to joining Panasonic, Stephen worked in technical recruiting specializing in automotive electronics, and prior to that, he owned and operated a contingent labor staffing company. He has 20+ years of talent acquisition, human resources and management experience. Stephen recently won the 2013 Society for Human Resources Management Atlanta Pegasus Award for excellence in human resources.

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Have you checked out these companies? Do you know if they are hiring? What questions do you have about the talent acquisition process? What happens after you leave the interview room? Come ready to learn, engage, and leave with added information and motivation for your job search.

Submit your question in advance in the “Career Branding Job Networking” group on LinkedIn. Not a member? Join today and submit a question. We will choose from the posted questions and address them to the panel. If your question isn’t chosen you may have an opportunity to ask it in person. Arrive early, bring a friend, you don’t want to miss it.

Meeting details:

Friday 4 April 2014
7:30 – 10:00a

First Baptist Church of PTC
208 Willowbend Road
Peachtree City, Georgia 30269

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Pin Your Way to a New Job

O’Farrell Career Management is on Pinterest

Most of us know that LinkedIn with it’s 250 million+ users is undeniably the most important social media platform for business. But have you ever considered Pinterest as a job search tool?

Pinterest has a huge following, nearly 50 million users, according to a recent Forbes article by Nancy Collamer. Long known as a great place for women to find inspiration for their next social gathering; from the recipes to the decor, or an on-line resource to catalog everything from wardrobe ideas to home decorating, Pinterest is also becoming a great place for especially those in creative fields to visually showcase their work.

So what is pinning?

The definition straight from Pinterest …”Pins are like handsome little bookmarks. Whenever you find something on the web that you want to keep, add it to Pinterest. Your newly minted Pin will be here whenever you need it, and will always link back to the site it came from.”

According to a study by Piquora, a Pinterest pin can last thousands of times longer than a Facebook post.  Why not leverage the staying power of Pinterest to enhance your personal branding and show your stuff.


Visual resumes, design portfolios, art work, or other visual mediums if you are a graphic artist, designer, interior designer, or artist.

Pinning photographs of projects at varying phases from inception to completion if you are an engineer or manufacturing expert who designs automation systems or assembly lines.

Showcasing any tangible product.

Researching potential hiring companies — many have pinboards

Happy pinning and re-pinning.  Share your pins with us and re-pin our boards on career planning, job search, social media, and more.

Do you have other ideas on how to use Pinterest for your job search?  We would love to hear your comments.

A picture paints a thousand words…paint your picture of success one pin at a time on your way to your future job.


More Good News for O’Farrell Clients

Since I published the good news about seven O’Farrell clients landing jobs four days ago, three more have shared their “I got a job” news with me. The one that came in this morning is from a client who has doubled his salary since we originally worked as coach and client three years ago. We had a coaching session a few weeks ago and he started a new job this week. That’s why I named my company O’Farrell Career Management. It’s not just the one job search, it’s career management. Congratulations to Kyle, Kesha and James!

Seven O’Farrell Clients Land Jobs

Great week this week for O’Farrell CM clients. Mike and Russ have accepted offers. Lecia starts a three-month contract on Monday. Nancy has an offer in hand and may have another coming. Donald, Tim and Randy have already started new jobs (just found out this week). David and Wanda are both getting close. Great to work with all of you as coach and client. Congrats to all nine of you for making it happen! – Dave

O’Farrell Fails Job Interview with Atlanta Braves

Well, this is embarrassing. Seems I failed my job interview with the Atlanta Braves. Thought it was some kind of April Fool’s joke.

I met with the Braves on Friday afternoon. They were back in Atlanta for a couple of days of practice between spring training and opening night. Networking was the key to setting up the meeting. General Manager Frank Wren lives here in Peachtree City, and it turns out that we have a mutual friend.

Anyway, I met with manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell at Turner Field. We didn’t talk long; I wanted to tell them about all the blogs I’d read and webinars I’d watched about pitching. They just wanted to see me pitch. We left Gonzalez’ office and headed out to the bullpen.

Bullpen coach Eddie Perez had his catching gear on and set up behind the plate. An assistant held up a radar gun. I threw my first pitch. They said it was 61 miles an hour. I said there must be something wrong with the gun; I was expecting to throw in the low 90’s. I tried harder next time. That one was 58 miles an hour. The guy with the gun pointed it at a pitching prospect who was on the mound next to me. He threw a pitch at 93 miles an hour. Guess the radar gun wasn’t malfunctioning after all.

All these thoughts were racing through my head. “What am I doing wrong?” I went over all the things I’d read about or watched on how to get the most leverage, torque, and arm whip to maximize speed. I tried even harder on the third pitch; 57. Seems the harder I tried, the slower I threw. I think I saw closer Craig Kimbrel snickering a little bit.

Finally I told them that I’m not really a power pitcher; I’m more like Greg Maddux. I’m going to strike batters out with my craftiness – movement, location, and change of speed. The assistant put down the gun, picked up a bat and stood in the right-handed batter’s box. Gonzalez said, “Okay, the count is 0-2; throw a slider down and away just outside the strike zone.” I came set, went into my wind up, and hurled my slider to the plate. It was up and in. Ball one. More snickers.

Again I reviewed all I’d read about how to maximize control. I’d even gotten a refresher this past week from Doug Brantley, owner of Five Star Baseball & Softball here in Peachtree City. He told me not to forget the three imperatives of great location: put your front foot down in the exact same spot on every pitch, keep your chin over your front knee, and use the exact same arm slot and release point on every pitch.

“Okay, 1-2, you can still get the hitter out; another slider down and away.” My second pitch was halfway between my target and the location of my first pitch. In other words it was belt high right down the middle. Kimbrel whistled like a bomb was falling and then made the sound of an explosion. I’d crashed and burned. Gonzalez and McDowell said they’d seen enough and told me I should consider another career.

Several of you pointed out after my post last week that I’d never stepped onto a field or picked up a ball in my quest to be the Braves starting pitcher. I scoffed at you guys because you wanted me to practice. I thought if I could just get an interview, I would do great when it really counted. I hate to admit it, but practice really is key if you want to win a job in the Major Leagues. Maybe I should have paid for a few lessons with Brantley.

Come to think of it, practice is the key if you want to win a job in a normal company or organization too. I know that many of you are reading blogs, watching webinars and participating in free seminars. Maybe that’s not enough. In fact, maybe these things are giving you a false sense of security – just like I had with the Braves.

Today I’ll be watching Braves opener on TV just like the rest of you; and thinking of what might have been.

What are you doing to prepare yourself for your tryout?

Copyright © 2013 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

O’Farrell is Opening Day Starter for Atlanta Braves

I have wonderful news. I’m going to be the opening day pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. I can see the headline now, “O’Farrell is Opening Day Starter for Atlanta Braves” on ESPN’s “bottom line” ticker.

Yes, I will be at the top of the Brave’s rotation. I’ll be the ‘ace’ on the Braves staff. I will face the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field next Monday 1 April 2013. I’ll bet you think I’m crazy, but I am way beyond confident that I will perform well when the pressure is on. You can go ahead and put the Braves down for a win on opening day.

BTW, you may have seen or read that Tim Hudson is the opening day starter. That’s just because Fredi Gonzalez and Roger McDowell haven’t seen me pitch yet.

No, I’m not crazy. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. My grandparents took me to games to see players like Hank Aaron, Joe Torre, Felipe Alou, Eddie Mathews and Phil Niekro when I was a kid.
  2. I watch as many baseball games as I can on TV. Many times the analyst is a Hall of Frame pitcher like John Smoltz, Orel Hersheiser, or Don Sutton.
  3. I paid close attention when my son received pitching instruction several years ago. Our favorite coach, Estaban Maldanado, played in the Houston Astros’ farm system.
  4. A friend gave me a video produced by the National Pitching Association; it’s hosted by Doctor Tom House. He’s coached Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Mark Prior, to name a few.
  5. I have the history of baseball from PBS on video: “Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns.” I’ve watched all 14 two-hour episodes.
  6. I’m a member of several baseball communities on LinkedIn. I read the discussions and ‘like’  or ‘comment’ on a few each week.
  7. I follow a lot of teams and players on Facebook.
  8. I read blogs about pitching all the time.
  9. I went to a free two-hour class on pitching.
  10. I have a collection of 722 baseball cards with 68 autographs, including many pitchers.
  11. I’ve read several books about the mechanics and strategy of pitching.
  12. I have authentic Braves’ jerseys (in all five colors) with my name and number on the back.
  13. I’ve read Greg Maddox’ biography. When he was 15 a coach taught him how to throw balls (not strikes) to get the hitter out.

You may be wondering why I’ve been at JobSeekers each Friday instead of being with my teammates in Orlando for spring training. They’re just practicing down there. It’s not the real thing. Why would I waste my time practicing when I can be in Peachtree City helping you guys get jobs?

Even better, I won’t miss many JS meetings because when the Braves see how good I am, they will allow me to continue my job at O’Farrell Career Management and my volunteer work with JobSeekers. I’ll simply fly in and out of town on game day. Since pitchers only have 16 starts per year on the road, the time lost in Peachtree City will be minimal.

Of course, we will be the playoffs…

One of my clients read a draft of this article and pointed out that I haven’t thrown a single pitch in the off season – much less a pitch in a real game. He thought I should practice. Practice? And waste my time and money on training? I’ve got better things to do. When the Braves find out how many blogs I’ve read about pitching, I’m sure they will hire me.

You probably want to write and wish me good luck, but that’s really not necessary. Luck isn’t necessary. I am prepared, and preparation beats luck every time.

– Dave O’Farrell, #13, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Copyright © 2013 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved