We Are Next | How To Prepare For An Interview

photo courtesy of We Are Next

For years, Leslie Kay and Hillary Black have been connecting advertising agencies and brands with top talent through their recruitment, staffing and coaching firm, Kay & Black (a Certified Women Owned Business). Their team specializes in recruitment for full-time and freelance talent in all areas of advertising, marketing and design. Kay & Black also provides professional development workshops through their educational division Campus and career coaching services through their one-on-one division perQ. Who better to provide tips on how to prepare for an interview the right way?

Create & Cultivate | How to Calculate Your Hourly Rate as a Freelancer.

photo courtesy of Create & Cultivate

When I started freelancing in 2014, determining my hourly rate was pretty daunting. What’s too high? What’s too low? Will this be enough to support my monthly bills? When someone has a full-time job, they’re given a salary that sets a financial road in place for raises, promotions and new positions ahead. When that person starts freelancing, a new road is set before them with a million different turns to take.

There’s an actual formula I recommend to anyone needing guidance in determining their rate as a freelancer. It starts by researching the salary you would ideally have if you were employed full-time for the services you look to provide your clients.

Linkedin | Gobble Gobble, Ho Ho Ho.
Best or worst time to look for a new job?

With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas not far behind is now the time to start looking for your next opportunity?

As career coaches and recruiters, we believe now is the BEST time to start working on your career goals. Have you updated your resume? How does your LinkedIn profile compare to others that are at your same level? How updated is your portfolio of work?

Now is a great time to assess how you are promoting yourself.

There is no time like the present, so why not start NOW.

Reestablish connections and colleagues you have lost touch with. Get all of the groundwork ready for when there is an upswing in job availabilities.

Many times, we have heard that someone has no time to update their portfolio or they are ok that their linked in profile is long overdue for an overhaul. If you are serious about your career and the next steps then starting now to refresh your image is a great idea.

For those of you who are unsure of where to start, unsure of how to go about redoing your site, your resume, bio, profile…. get in touch with us. perQ is a great place to start. perQ has qualified coaches that can help you not only reframe your image, they can also help you reframe your career and life goals. At Kay & Black, all of our divisions work together to help you as a candidate gain higher knowledge of how to best move forward.

Ghosting And The Art Of Disappearing.

Professional Ghosting.

Ghosting is a term popularized by dating culture and has moved into the realm of the professional workplace. We are seeing more and more articles about the topic and are
hearing more and more people being affected by it.

Ghosting can be anything from unanswered emails in a flooded inbox to avoiding paying consultants after they have completed work. As recruiters we have seen how candidates looking for work will ghost prospective employers when they either lose interest or are moving forward with another offer. We have encountered clients who will ghost when they are juggling multiple candidates, priorities change and even when they move onto other prospects.

Why does this happen? How have we allowed this behavior to seep into our professional sector?

Hispanic Heritage Month  |  Latinx Community: We See You

Latinx Community We See You

Latinx Community We See You

“I paint flowers so they will not die.” – Frida Kahlo

Hispanic Heritage Month is meant to remind all of us of the beauty in our community and to fill us with pride.

We also have to continue recognizing the lack of diversity in our industry.

According to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics Population Survey, of the almost 560,000 people employed in advertising, public relations and related industries, only 8.9 percent identify as hispanic or latino.

Latinas and Latinos in advertising work very hard to be their best and to contribute the most they can despite barriers that exist.

They do it with passion. They do it overcoming obstacles. They, sometimes, do it while mastering a second language.

They don’t give up.

And in the process, they create amazing work.

Kay & Black would like to share with you just a glimpse of the Latinx community in advertising.

By doing this, we hope to in our own way, paint more flowers to honor latinas and latinos everywhere.

Hispanic Heritage Month  |  Latinx Community: We See You

“I paint flowers so they will not die.” – Frida Kahlo

Hispanic Heritage Month is meant to remind all of us of the beauty in our community and to fill us with pride.

We also have to continue recognizing the lack of diversity in our industry.

According to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics Population Survey, of the almost 560,000 people employed in advertising, public relations and related industries, only 8.9 percent identify as hispanic or latino.

Latinas and Latinos in advertising work very hard to be their best and to contribute the most they can despite barriers that exist.

They do it with passion. They do it overcoming obstacles. They, sometimes, do it while mastering a second language.

They don’t give up.

And in the process, they create amazing work.

Kay & Black would like to share with you just a glimpse of the Latinx community in advertising.

By doing this, we hope to in our own way, paint more flowers to honor latinas and latinos everywhere.

Glassdoor  |  Phone interview coming up? Don’t make these mistakes.

Glassdoor Article

Image courtesy of

Phone interviews have become an inevitable part of the job-hunting process. Here are 12 things to keep in mind to make sure you succeed.

These days, phone interviews are an unavoidable part of the job interview process, and for good reason: They save everyone involved time and effort. But that doesn’t mean that phoners require zero energy on the part of the candidate. Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone screens as the official first round of the hiring process. That means candidates are expected to go into them prepared with as much information about the company, position, and their own skills and strengths as possible.

We asked HR pros about their top phone interview pet peeves, and they had no shortage of advice to offer. Apparently, it’s quite easy to mess up your phone interview. But here’s the thing: It’s also not hard to come across well if you keep some key things in mind.

1. Never take the interview somewhere noisy

It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised what interviewers say they can hear in the background of their phone interviews—everything from barking dogs to screaming children. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” advises Chere Taylor, founder of Fulcrum HR Consulting. “If you can lock your home office door, by all means do it. We’ve all been there and sometimes things just happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organized you will appear to the interviewer, and the greater likelihood of success.” That doesn’t mean that if your washing machine beeps once in the background all hope is lost, but the more effort you put into being in a quiet place, the more focused you’ll be.

2. Don’t talk about your personal life . . .

. . . unless you’re directly asked a question about what you like to do in your off hours. “The point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidate’s professional experience and goals,” says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting. “A recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesn’t help. For example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we don’t want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice, but that isn’t relative to anything professional.”

3. Resist the urge to multitask

It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. “My No. 1 pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,” says Dan Krupansky, talent acquisition manager at PrimePay. “I have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.” Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect well on your level of interest in the position you’re interviewing for.

4. Skip the money conversation

To put it bluntly, it’s simply too early in the process for you to be the one who brings up salary expectations. “Chances are if a candidate is participating in a phone interview, this is the first time they have talked with the company, and the first call isn’t the appropriate time to talk about ‘what’s in it for you,’” says Justina Strnad, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Shiftgig. “Trust me, if you are a great candidate and make it to next steps, the hiring team is going to be very transparent about what’s in it for you later on.”

5. Never put your interviewer on hold

Phone interviews don’t take that long, and there probably isn’t anything else going on that is really truly so urgent that you need to pause your interview. “Do not put me on hold to take an important call that just beeped in,” advises Jeremy Payne, head of people operations at Remote Year. “I am your important call. If you are expecting extremely urgent news (like information about a family illness), be sure to preface that in the early minutes of the interview, so the recruiter is aware of the situation, and so you can work with them to reschedule if that interruption does occur,” he says.

6. Never skip the Q&A

“After wrapping up a phone interview, it is typical that the interviewer will ask the candidate if they have any questions. I can’t stress this enough: ALWAYS ask questions,” says Roark. “If we have had a great phone interview and then we wrap up and they don’t have any questions for me, it pretty much ruins the whole interview. It tells me that the candidate is uninterested in the role, which in reality, might not be the case at all,” she notes. But surely, if you’re interested in a job, you can think of something to ask your interviewer.

7. Don’t be late

It seems basic, but surprisingly, a lot of people are late to phone interviews. “About a quarter of the people with whom I schedule phone interviews aren’t on time,” says Sophie Cikovsky, who handles U.S. recruiting for Infinite Global. “While this bothers me personally, it’s also indicative of someone who isn’t very detail-oriented,” she explains. “In order to identify this early in the hiring process, I started asking all candidates a few years ago to call me as opposed to calling them at an agreed-upon time. That way, if I hear from them at 1:13 p.m. or 12:49 p.m. instead of our planned 1:00 pm interview time, I have an early indicator that they might not be a great fit.”

8. Don’t assume reception is good

“Make sure you test your headset and connection before dialing in,” recommends Payne. “There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter who has a structured interview guide in place having to repeatedly ask the same question over and over because they could not understand your answer due to static or dropped signals.” Test-call a friend beforehand, or even call yourself from a landline if necessary; it will take less than a minute.

9. Never talk over the interviewer

You might be eager to get your point across or talk about your experience, but interrupting the interviewer is awkward and rude when you’re speaking on the phone, even more so than in face-to-face interviews. “Interviewing can be stressful, and sometimes that stress manifests itself in speaking too fast, speaking too loud, talking over the interviewer, or attempting to answer the interviewer’s question before they have actually finished asking the question,” says Taylor. “Don’t do this.” There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive, and interviewers can always recognize it.

10. Skip filler words

It’s tough not to say things like “um,” “uh,” and “like” in everyday speech, but these verbal habits become much more pronounced when speaking on the phone, says Chris Dardis, a recruiting expert and HR professional with Versique Executive Search. “In face-to-face interviews, they’re not as noticeable, because there are other things like your hair, suit, or body language to distract people,” he explains. But in a phone interview, the only thing you have to go on is what you say and how you say it. “That’s why it’s so important to eliminate these words from your speech when doing a phone interview.”

11. Don’t go in blind

Not knowing anything about the company or job you’re interviewing for is way more obvious than you’d think. “Many people think that a phone interview means they’re getting away with something, that they don’t have to put as much effort into researching the role or company,” says Steve Pritchard, HR consultant for giffgaff. And if you have your laptop in front of you during the interview to do a few quick searches, they won’t know the difference, right? Not exactly. “Seasoned interviewers will know whether an interviewee is researching while on the phone; they will take too long to answer the question and punctuate their answers with a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ as they type. The interviewer can often even hear the typing as they ask the question,” he adds.

12. Nix long-winded answers

“The key to success during a phone interview is clear and concise answers,” says Dardis. “People’s attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone. You don’t want your future employer to lose interest in the conversation.” He recommends practicing answers to questions you know will be asked ahead of time in order to be clear on what you’re going to say. That way, you can prevent rambling before it starts.

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission.

LinkedIn  |  One Size Never Fits All. 

One size fits all.

Does it?  Who is the all?  What are the standards and who made this assumption?

Saying something is one size fits all is essentially saying that we are a homogenous society with standardized styles, tastes, sizes and shapes that are all equal.  Implying this,  is saying there is a generalization that we have all agreed upon and it is “the” standard.

A one-size-fits-all system requires that there is “a” solution suitable for a wide range of situations, problems and people, though it ignores individuality and diversity.

When it comes to careers one size definitely does not fit all. Jobs are filled by employees who have specific skill sets, strengths, interests and personalities.  How could a job or anything for that matter fit “all”?

“Instead of thinking out the box, get rid of the box.” – Deepak Chopra

Understanding where you fit in your industry and what makes you stand out helps you create a career that grows as you do.  By finding your fit you will also be finding your path.  Your fit may change.  Your size, shape and interests will shift as you move along your path.

Kay & Black’s division, perQ, was developed to help you find out your fit.

Change is constant in any industry, and career & personal growth is part of that change. Whether you are looking to update your resume or change careers, partnering with knowledgeable and compassionate coaches can help you reach your fullest potential.  Click here to find out more about perQ.

LinkedIn  |  How To Fight Ageism In Advertising

We have no control over the aging process, however we do have control over how we are perceived regardless of our years. We do have control over staying relevant, and we do have the ability to define the path we take.

Recently, Hillary Black, our Joint CEO, moderated a panel at @The One Club’s Creative Summit on Ageism. The panel focused on how important it is to stay current in this ever-changing industry. Remaining relevant will help to future proof your career. Showcasing a compelling personal brand story through your portfolio, resume, bio, and LinkedIn, while incorporating your own human story through such things as your “side hustle” can be a way for others to truly learn more about the real you. Sharing sincere interests in life shows the proof that you a more interesting person than just what your resumes dateline.

Investing the time to learn about upcoming trends, using new technologies, and understanding what’s “cool” to the millennial squad, shows both your interest in today’s culture and your knowledge of what’s happening around you. It may seem simple, and sound obvious, yet as of late we have a good deal of talent working with our coaching division on how to amp up their work load, as they watch the industry racing ahead, while they have a sense that their career is heading toward a finish line. This DOES NOT have to be the case.


So, what do you do when you realize you are too late to the party? At Kay & Black we have a division called perQ.

perQ is in the business of personal career branding and often uses life coaching methodology from CTI. It is our mission to help develop and implement progressive winning strategies that focus on strengths and define the value of an individual’s talent. There are plenty of times we also have to dig in to the layer of “why me” or “I’m doing everything right, and I don’t understand”, and this helps talent work on the emotional aspect of the process of moving forward to their next role.

Talent will partner with an advisor on crafting their Personal Brand Agenda. Recognizing that each candidate’s background and aspirations are inherently different we work with talent in working through many aspects of their process including, though, not limited to: landing a job that matches their temperament and talents, vision writing, producing a relevant portfolio, resume methods, social media insight, interview strategies, how to locate leads, networking when you don’t need to!, and the negotiation process.

With over 20 Years of experience managing, curating and connecting talent, we have a clear vision and understanding for what this specific group of candidates will need to move forward optimistically. Connecting people with companies and companies with people is what we have always done, and the insight we bring to consulting gives us an unmatched ability to offer ideas and perspective that go beyond the placement of talent.

LinkedIn | Quality vs. Quantity

Is less more when it comes to Talent Acquisition?

The main difference between Quality + Quantity is the fact that quality refers to the characteristic or the feature of something, whereas quantity refers to the numerical value of something.

Quality is subjective, whereas quantity is not.

Recognizing that time is money, a common goal amongst HR and Talent Acquisition specialists is to reduce the time spent to fill positions and in doing so, the cost. The question remains: What is more critical to focus on; Quality Talent or a Mass Quantity of Candidates?

The answer is simple: Quality = less time spent on meetings during the review process, and less money based on lost time. We believe that our job is spending that time reviewing, analyzing, interviewing, understanding and determining which talent is most relevant to your need and in turn worthy of your hire.

Even more critical: There is a balancing act with recruiting talent. Otherwise you are wasting time on irrelevant talent. In the process of reviewing the masses you may lose the talent that would fit your needs.

While a long list of names might yield a quality hire, the hiring manager must jump through hoops to determine which candidate fits the role. On the other hand, providing a short list of qualified, vetted, and culturally fit candidates is likely to put the hiring manager at ease and focus on the next right action.

Kay & Black Talent Management curates through a process of analysis of everything from personality, resumes, to portfolios. We build relationships, prioritize the wants and needs of both client and candidate and feel confident in those presented.

Using this sensitive and yet necessary method allows Kay & Black to narrow down an otherwise lengthy frustrating process, shortening the list of talent to only a select few that meet your needs.

LinkedIn | 2018 Resolutions for Partnerships & Growth

New Year’s resolutions are the key to success. We believe they help us stay focused, motivated and inspired to meet our goals. Goals are meant to take us where we need to go and making resolutions is a chance to concentrate energies on what we want to achieve. For 2018 we want to share our leadership goals with our community. Here’s to a new year and our top 5 resolutions.

  • Do the best work for our clients by relying on outstanding teamwork, communication and a shared value system steeped in strong work ethics, and integrity.
  • Provide the finest customer service delivering the results clients and candidates expect
  • Stay on top of new technologies and trends offering more valuable services to clients and candidates. Starting this year we will be offering payrolling services on contract employees.
  • In 2018 we will continue to expand on our mentoring and coaching divisions, Campus & perQ. These divisions will offer us the opportunity to give back to the community.
  • This year Kay & Black, wants to make the staffing process effortless by broadening our reach and adding new areas of concentration: Account, Strategy, New Business, Media and Production. Clients can now find everything from creative to strategy.

Our Resolutions for 2018 will strengthen our team so we can be a more valuable partner to our clients and candidates.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people”

–Steve Jobs

MM.LaFleur | The Most Provocative Woman in the World

Cindy Gallop, advertising executive turned multi-hyphenate entrepreneur, has built her whole career out of memorable statements. An outspoken advocate for more open attitudes about sex, she founded her first tech startup, Make Love Not Porn, in 2009; this year, she created her own fund, All The Sky Holdings, to help other “Sextech” companies get off the ground. Here, she talks disruption, workplace harassment, and why trust makes businesses successful.

The New York Times | How To Manage Your Career

There is no shortage of books claiming to reveal the secret truth behind successful careers. Then there are all the podcasts, TED talks, late-night motivational speakers and your relatives’ sage advice. The bottom line of most of these advice-givers? A successful career requires managing the person in the mirror – overcoming your tendencies and habits that can undermine efforts to find happiness at work. Read on to see what professors and researchers suggest for managing different situations, whether you want to improve your situation at work, if you suspect changes are coming down, or if you are making a go of it in the gig economy.

ADWEEK | Young & Rubicam Is Starting a Program to Help Parents and Caregivers Re-enter the Workforce

The agency on Tuesday announced the launch of its own career reboot program called PowerOn. In a statement, Y&R said the training program aims to “reclaim the untapped talent and recruitment potential” of those facing the challenges of re-entering the workforce.

New York City Salary History Legislation  |  October 2017

Effective October 31, 2017, the New York City Human Rights Law makes it unlawful to inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment in New York City, defined as the City of New York including all five boroughs, stating “it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent thereof.

This Is How To Bring Up Salary During The Job Interview Process – Fast Company

The salary you negotiate for yourself deeply impacts your attitude about any new position you accept. While the discussion is key to securing fit in a new role, you may not feel like you’re the one driving the conversation. But you should, and you can be.

After Giving 1,000 Interviews, I Found the 4 Questions That Actually Matter –

Hiring for culture fit can seem like a mystery, but these 4 interview questions will help you get it right every time.

How To Get A Raise No Matter What, According To Businesswoman Cindy Gallop – Bustle

We all know we should do it, and hopefully, we all know we deserve it — but that doesn’t make asking for a raise any easier.

Checkmate: Put Your Imposter Syndrome In Its Place – Do The Damn Things

I mentioned my tendency to be harder on myself than I am on others. I call this self-critical voice my “bad brain,” and if I don’t check it, it loves to run wild and wreak havoc.

10 Things You Need to Check Before Submitting Your Resume – Glassdoor

Whew! You’ve revised your resume, updated all of the information on it and incorporated all of the right keywords. You must be exhausted and so ready to apply to your dream job. However, before uploading that PDF resume, there are a few key things to double-check.

The Ridiculously Easy Guide To Negotiating Your First Salary – Refinery29

The hardest part of negotiating is first knowing how much to ask for. If you don’t know the going rate for a job in your industry, you may not even try to negotiate.

How to plan for the episodic career –

When Dan Walsh finished college, in 2006, he landed a graphic design job at a San Francisco nonprofit organization. Then, the Great Recession arrived, and suddenly, Walsh was among the millions of Americans looking for work.

Creative Job Creation – Fast Company

Creators don’t get paid. Brands are over “likes.” Former creative directors Ken Hamm and Pat Stern want to fix all of that with PRoPS.

Why These Ad Students Are Really, Really Obsessed With One Droga5 Exec in Particular – Adweek

You’re an aspiring ad maven looking for a big break, or at the very least, somewhere to hang your hat and make a mark this summer. What do you do?

Work like a dog? Outsmart your competitors? Get your portfolio in order? Well, if you’re a couple of Miami Ad School students in New York, you target your potential employer—personally—and shoot videos about her Twitter feed.

What could go wrong?