The objective of every first interview (or date) is to be invited for a second one.  The key to achieving this is to recognize that “it’s all about them” – the company’s, or other person’s, needs.  Your goal is to show that you are listening.  And be genuine.” ~ Danny Cahill in Harper’s Rules… read on..

Now if you’re impressed with the title as much as I was when I first held the book in my hand, I surprised myself even further when I found it hard to put it down wanting to know more about how Casey’s going to find the right job and the right person – what are the rules which can get you the job you want and deserve? A compulsive page turner, it is not a love story nor a thriller or a mystery book; but out and out a job search rules book which takes you on a journey in a woman’s life as she struggles to find the right person in her life and the right job! You’ve always read about how story-telling can be a successful campaign or an idea to get the message across, now here’s a wonderful example – a story where you didn’t expect one – #jobsearch advice.  ‘A funny and riveting story that will help you make smart decisions about landing your next – your best – job or relationship’.

Based on his many years of professional experience, Cahill has found that the actions that build great careers also lead to great relationships.  In his new book, HARPER’S RULES:  A Recruiter’s Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship (Greenleaf Book Group Press, April 2011), he delivers clear-cut strategies for landing the perfect job, while showing how these very same strategies apply to personal relationships.

Now who’s Harper and why do we need to know his rules? If you don’t have a headhunter rooting for you then for sure you need Harper Scott and his rules should guide you to where you want or ought to be. Harper’s Scott is the headhunter and author Danny Cahill of Harper’s Rules – A Recruiter’s Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship, has done a superb job in bringing his character to life – a desirable headhunter who sets these job search rules for Casey Mathews. You’ll be nodding all along and wondering “this is fascinating and simple …. wish I had known it before”.  So now you know you would not want to step into another interview without knowing what Harper’s Rules are!

A couple of my favorite Harper’s Rules are here as teasers for you, the rest you must discover on your own:

Harper’s Rules for Final Prep

Companies will go on poetically about their desire to build toward the future and hire talent that will complete this lofty vision, but in the end, in the overwhelming majority of employment situations, companies hire short-term solutions to short-term problems. They are focused on Now.

Harper’s Rule – Ending Interview with the Big Ask

Ask for the job at the end of the interview. Don’t leave this to chance. Companies want to know where you stand, And if they are torn between two candidates, one of the deciding factots is often who wants to the job more. Their reasoning is simple: the one who wants the job will work harder.

Now here’s an interview with Danny Cahill, the author who’s helped Harper Scott come up with the insightful job search and dating rules.

Q. Hello Danny, that was quite a unique approach to weave a story on dating with job search and career management! What was your inspiration?

The very first time I noticed the analogous relationship between how a recruiter works and the dating world was when I was an entry level recruiter, and as so often happens at crunch time, a candidate of mine wanted to think about a company’s offer over the weekend. I explained he had already been interviewing with the company for weeks and knew not only what the offer would be but when it was going to come. What was there to think about? But work, like love, is not rational. So I tried this: “Look at this way. A company making an offer is their way of saying “I love you.” How would you feel if you told your girlfriend you loved her, and she said, “gee, thanks, I appreciate that. Let me think about it over the weekend, run through my options with other men, and get back to you Monday morning. I want you to know I really expect to be able to say “I love you too” after some due diligence.” He took the job. It was the beginning of me seeing the parallels. Sometimes it worked in reverse. When my first wife began an affair, I couldn’t help but blurt out, “but you broke our non compete.”


Q. In present times, hiring has become more involved and the jobseekers are indeed frustrated with the specific job requirements and higher expectations from the employers. What rule is foremost for the jobseekers in such a situation?

The secret is your prospective boss is afraid of making a hiring mistake. Because he/she will be held accountable. So make it your business to ask in an interview…. “how can I, once I have this job, help you leverage your personal career goals. What can I bring to the table this year that would help you personally?” Your boss needs to see you not as a potential hiring mistake or success, but as part of his career plan to get where he/she wants to be. You are not a prospective worker, you are a prospective ally. “What can I achieve that would have you thanking me at some year end company event as you accept your promotion?” is one of my killer questions!


Q. I loved it when you said “Companies hire short-term solutions to short-term problems. They are focused on NOW.” This is so true! Most often we are misled with the overall descriptive job description on what can be done in broader terms, however to focus on how you can solve their short term problems is what the focus should be in an interview – for the job seeker. Would you elaborate on these thoughts?

With the possible exception of the word “dude”, I can’t think of a more over rated word than “talent.” Everyone talks about it (be wary of any term that no one is against. I’ve never had a client tell me they wanted to hire my firm to find them someone with not talent). But it took me years to realize that talent is a “tier two” requirement. Companies hire people to do Monday what the person who left Friday could do with as little ramp up time as possible. Period. The end. I began wealth building as a recruiter when I started asking, “what do you need this person to do in the next 60 days?” Companies wax eloquently about building cultures, about team spirit, about legacy….in practice they put fires out.


Q. From your own experience how would you define a smart and a winning applicant?

In executive search “smart and winning” are givens. The competition is tough! But interviewing is performance art, and I love the candidates who get this intuitively. Before interviews they do the Internet research I describe in my book so that they know what they’re talking about, during interviews they are hyperbolic people readers, they can sense what level of energy, charisma, humility is required for each person they meet, and at the end of interviews, they make a clear and concise statement about their intentions. The best candidates ask for the job. I love them!!


Great tips Danny, but I still don’t get it how you’ve managed to present a woman’s point of view so well.. that’s the mystery element!

Highly recommended for all job searchers; when the mind gets overwhlemed with all the job search advice on the internet and the best job search tips books on the bookshelves bring more confusion than respite, here’s a fresh breeze that lightens and enlightens at the same time.

Harper’s Rules – A Recruiter’s Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship. Follow on Twitter.

is a popular keynote speaker, recruiter, and the owner of Hobson Associates, one of America’s largest search firms specializing in software sales, biotech sales, and industrial sales talent.  He is the founder of , an online training and mentoring company dedicated to enhancing the skills and jumpstarting the spirits of recruiters worldwide.  A successful playwright with off-Broadway credentials who has won both the Maxwell Anderson and CAB theater awards, Danny has also written for CBS television, as well as various trade journals.