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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted April 18, 2016 by

3 tips for a successful situational interview

Business cartoon showing psychologist asking interviewee dog a question courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Cartoonresource/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever had a situational interview? In situational interviews, interviewers ask candidates questions on how they might handle specific situations in the workplace; these interviews differ from behavioral interviews. When recruiters ask you behavioral questions, they ask you how you have handled situations in the past. When recruiters ask you situational questions, they want to know how you would hypothetically handle situations should they occur in the future. For students and recent grads who may lack work experience, situational questions give you a chance to shine and showcase your problem solving and critical thinking skills. These interviews also tell potential employers whether or not you’re the right cultural fit for their companies based on what you will do in the future, not what you’ve done in the past. Whether you’re a college student, recent graduate, or other job seeker, here are three tips to prepare you for a successful situational interview.

1. See yourself in the job.

When answering questions, answer them to explain the way you might behave in real settings in the workplace. Describe the action you would take as an employee and explain why you would take that action.

2. Research potential employers.

You don’t want to go into any interview without researching a potential employer. Understanding a company’s policies and company culture will give you a better idea of what it expects of employees. This can help you answer situational interview questions because you can, at least partly, base your responses on research.

3. Avoid profanity and stay positive.

Be careful not to use profanity during your situational interview. You may not only offend the interviewer, but you also leave a negative impression of how you might talk to co-workers. Stay positive, and keep focused on how you will help a potential employer. Never bash former employers or focus on what has gone wrong in the past. Situational interviews give you the chance to discuss what you might do differently if given the chance, so focus on being positive, hopeful, and optimistic.

Situational interviews foreshadow what job seekers could be like in the workplace. Prepare to answer questions relevant to the job and company you’re interested in, so employers will see you as the best fit for them.

Do you need more information on interviewing for your job search? Click on over to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted April 12, 2016 by

6 non-verbal interview tips

Do actions really speak louder than words? Many psychologists believe that 80 to 90% of communication is non-verbal or body language. Studies have shown that 55% of communication is body language or non-verbal communication, 38% is tone of voice, and 7% is the spoken word or verbal communication.

If this research proves true—and when it comes to interviews, these numbers don’t lie—it’s probably a good idea to spend time not only reviewing common interview questions but also brushing up on your non-verbal interview skills. The following brief video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, will prepare you well for your next interview.


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1. Care what you wear.

You only have about seven seconds to make a first impression when you meet someone; think strategically about how you present yourself from head to toe. How will you fix your hair? Have you bathed (and smell clean) but aren’t wearing strong scents (perfume and cologne)? Are you wearing obnoxiously bright colors or flashy jewelry? Did you choose a neutral-colored suit? If you’re a female, avoid open-toed shoes. If you’re a male, be sure to shine/polish your shoes and match your socks to either your shoes or slacks.

Consider every element of your attire and appearance. This lets recruiters know that you value details.

2. Control your facial expressions.

Facial expressions play a big role in how others perceive our non-verbal skills or body language. Smile—avoid a deadpan facial expression during your interviews. It’s also critical to respond rather than react emotionally to interview questions. This doesn’t mean you want to keep a strict poker face when prodded to respond to questions about the worst boss you’ve ever had, but at the same time, you don’t want to snarl and roll your eyes, either. In general, keep your emotions in check at all times during interviews. A great way to do this is by maintaining a positive, pleasant facial expression and by pausing briefly before responding to difficult questions.

3. Maintain good posture.

Be mindful of your posture during your interview. Sit up straight unless you are physically unable to do so. This presents you as looking alert, interested, and full of energy; these are all desirable qualities in an employee. Avoid slumping or leaning on armrests of chairs. Adjust your seated position if you must. Try not to sit on the edge of your seat the entire time, though. Leaning back against the chair makes you appear more comfortable and relaxed, even if you’re totally nervous. Never let them see you sweat, right?

4. Shake hands firmly.

That old adage about having a firm handshake is absolutely still valid. This one applies to everyone. Don’t go overboard, though. Shaking hands isn’t a “feats of strength” contest. You also want to avoid shaking hands and holding on to your interviewer’s hand for a long time. That’s just plain creepy. A simple, brief, firm handshake is pretty easy to master and is a key non-verbal skill. You might need to practice, though, long before your first interview.

5. Avoid distracting mannerisms.

Mannerisms include nodding your head (avoid bobblehead syndrome), excessive hand movements, rapid eye movements or blinking, touching your face unnecessarily, playing with your hair, picking at your nails or cuticles, and other tiny habits you may have acquired over the years but don’t pay much attention to until you’re in the spotlight. In the interview setting, every distracting mannerism is noticed. You don’t need to sit completely still, but you do need to avoid fidgeting.

This is one reason you should think carefully about your choice of hairstyle, accessories, and outfit. You want to be completely confident and comfortable. If you’re not, you’re going to be fidgeting with your clothing, hair, and jewelry; what’s better is to be focusing on the words you’re saying and the words your future employer is saying. You want your future employer to remember your savvy questions about the job opening, not the way you twirled your hair incessantly.

6. Make consistent eye contact.

Be sure to make consistent eye contact with your interviewer(s). You don’t want to stare down your future employer, but you do want to have a natural conversation during the interview. When you have a conversation, you make a moderate amount of eye contact. This is important in all interviews, even in group or team interviews. If one person asks a question, you must make eye contact with all team or group members when you respond, not just with the person who asked the question.

Ultimately, attempt to strike a balance when it comes to non-verbal skills and body language during interviews. You really can’t go wrong with this approach.

Need more interview tips to prepare you for your job search?

Read articles on our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When you feel ready to apply, register and begin your job search with us.

 

Posted April 05, 2016 by

4 interview preparation tips

Did you know that employers site lack of preparation as the most common interview mistake made by candidates?

Don’t allow yourself to make this common and costly mistake. Check out this five-minute video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, for four quick tips to help you prepare for upcoming interviews.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Before recruiters even select which candidates to interview, they conduct what are referred to as initial screening sessions. These are often conducted over the phone or online. Many recruiters weed out 50% of candidates during the initial screening process. This means you need to prepare not only for your actual interview; you need to also prepare for the screening process! Once you begin applying for jobs, be prepared and expect to receive emails and phone calls which may require you to respond quickly and in a thoughtful, meaningful manner.

1. Be prepared with interview skills.

This sounds like common sense, but many candidates overlook the need to brush up on interview basics: common interview questions, your own selling points, reflecting on your work history and educational background, and thinking about how you’ll respond if asked why you want the particular job (this question will most likely be asked).

If you feel inadequately prepared for your interview and are lacking basic interview skills, don’t panic. Search our blog for articles on the topic you’re curious about and be sure to visit your local career services office for advice, assistance, and to sign up for upcoming mock interviews or interview workshops.

2. Be prepared with questions for the employer about the position and company. Research; do your homework!

This step is vital. If you’re going to skip one of these four steps in the preparation process, do not skip this step. With access to company websites, you really have no excuse to arrive ill-informed about the company you’re interviewing with and to know nothing about the position you’re interviewing for. Nothing irritates a recruiter more than to interview someone who asks the exact same questions the candidate can easily find answers to on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of the company website. Don’t be that guy.

3. Be prepared with interview gear.

Print out your resume, reference page, and cover letter on quality resume paper. Bring at least two copies in case you’re interviewed by multiple recruiters/hiring managers. You should carry your documents in a leather-bound binder or neat-looking folder if possible, along with a pen and notepad with your prepared questions. It’s completely acceptable to take a few notes during the interview about main points made by the employer; avoid scribbling or writing so many notes that you avoid eye contact, though.

Be sure to prepare your interview outfit at least one day in advance as well. Dry clean your outfit or wash/iron your clothing to ensure you look your best. Shine/polish your shoes if necessary.

Make transportation arrangements if you do not own your own vehicle.

4. Prepare yourself.

Remember the tips your elementary teacher provided you with during standardized testing? Recall those tips when preparing for job interviews. Get plenty of rest. Don’t stay up all night partying or playing video games the night before interviews. Eat well, but don’t stuff yourself. Drink a little coffee if you like, but not too much. Drink plenty of water. Try to avoid exposure to cigarette smoke or any strong scents or odors before arriving on site for your interview.

Just remember when preparing for interviews that you’re investing precious minutes in your own future; you’re never wasting time.

For more tips to help you land a fabulous entry-level job, follow our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

Posted March 30, 2016 by

Narrowing your candidate pool

When recruiting college students and recent grads, it’s important to narrow your candidate pool as you go through the college recruiting process.

This article and accompanying three videos, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, feature The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner. The videos are part of a 15-video series featuring The WorkPlace Group experts.


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Employers can become overwhelmed by the number of candidates in the candidate pool, depending on the size of the employer and number of internships and entry-level jobs available. The process of narrowing down the pool typically begins with resume review.

Individuals apply in numerous ways: resume books, walk-in applicants, job boards, career fairs, on-campus interviews, etc. Regardless of how candidates apply, resumes must be reviewed. WPG uses a resume checklist which is scientifically constructed. Reviewing resumes objectively allows employers to make clear inferences about candidates’ qualifications.

In high volume situation, particularly for employers with large college recruiting programs, WPG recommends using a web screen to narrow the candidate pool. The web screen allows employers to quickly qualify or disqualify candidates. Next, employers conduct either a phone screen or video-based interviews. This step helps the recruiters get to know the candidates on a deeper level.

After conducting these screening steps, the employer would interview the candidate face-to-face: either an OCI (on-campus interview) or an interview on site at the employer location. This would help the employer to decide whether to hire or not hire the individual and to decide whether to conduct background checks, drug screenings, and other necessary paperwork.


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The qualities employers should be looking for when recruiting candidates can vary depending on the organization and the job function/position. The WorkPlace Group develops an ideal candidate profile featuring the requirements for the position and nice-to-haves when working with employers. Employers should also consider what learning objectives they want to set for each position—what do they want student interns to learn? By working through this process before interviewing candidates, employers can eliminate the problem of hiring the wrong candidates for positions.

The last video offers specific tips for narrowing the candidate pool.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1) Focus on soft skills in interviews, not technical competencies, when interviewing interns and recent grads. Employers must remember that students are students, not polished professionals.

2) Use situational questions, not behavioral interview questions. Ask “can do, not have done” type questions. Students won’t necessarily be able to draw upon past experience when answering interview questions, but they can explain what they might do hypothetically. They can demonstrate problem solving skills when answering situational questions.

3) When hiring for technical roles, focus assessment at the right level. You can’t expect new grads to be experts in technical areas; you can expect them to have an appropriate level of skill based on their education and level of experience, though. Talk to them about their projects in particular classes to gain insight into their studies.

Always be as rigorous and scientific as possible in the interview process.

 

For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

Follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

 

 

 

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.

 

Posted February 17, 2016 by

Consider these 5 things before choosing a human services internship

 

Dewey Delisle started eight years ago at New England Center for Children (NECC) as an entry-level teacher. Now he finds himself training and managing interns as the Intern Specialist, and has great advice for students seeking a human service internship.

Delisle proved himself capable, loyal, and passionate about working to transform the lives of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. That, in addition to obtaining his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, led him to promotions from within the company over the course of eight years. (more…)

Posted February 08, 2016 by

Job candidates: How to find them

Choosing amongst job candidates courtesy of Shutterstock.com

aslysun/Shutterstock.com

Organizations often overlook having an open house or another face-to-face meeting as a relatively inexpensive way to hire multiple people for one or more roles. The best candidates do not apply for jobs simply because they’re open to taking new jobs, and they happen to be qualified for jobs recruiters want filled. College students and recent graduates are far more likely to be interested in applying, interviewing, accepting job offers, and staying with a company for years if they understand the organization, the work environment, and the team they’d be working with from the beginning of the process. (more…)

Posted February 04, 2016 by

Internship tips from a recruiting expert

Internships are great opportunities for job seekers to learn about specific career fields and gain work experience. College students and recent graduates searching for internships must possess certain qualifications employers require. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, shares what his company wants in interns and gives advice to internship candidates to improve their chances of landing internships. (more…)

Posted January 13, 2016 by

4 secrets to job search success

Erin Vickers

Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant, RightSourcing, Inc.

It’s tough to begin searching for your first full-time job as a college student, having worked as an intern, volunteer, or in part-time positions in the past. Transitioning to full-time job status is huge, and the interim evolutionary phase feels odd at times and requires some changes on your part.

Expert staffing consulting Erin Vickers offers 4 helpful tips to ease the transition and aid the job search process.

Establish your brand and keep it professional.

Make sure you are reflecting your professional self. Search for your name online and see what comes back in the results. After all, you are selling yourself to potential employers, and you should present your best self. Keep your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) free from questionable posts and images.

Create a professional email address if you do not already have one. Email addresses are free and easy to establish so there’s no excuse for not having one for professional interaction. Employers don’t want to message “foxymama@thisemail.com” or “hotdaddy@thatemail.com.”

Remove questionable greetings, ringtones, ringback tones, etc., from your phone. Choose a standard voicemail greeting stating your full name, requesting callers to leave a message.

Do not be a no call, no show to an interview whether it’s over the phone or in person. Period.

Employers understand that other opportunities present themselves and are not offended (though maybe disappointed) when they hear “no” for whatever reason. Politely call or email your contact to let the company know you will not be attending the previously scheduled interview. You do not need to go into great detail about why you are canceling your appointment, but you do need to let your interviewer know you will not be there and thank them for their time and consideration.

Remember the STAR or PAR acronym while giving answers in an interview.

STAR stands for Situation/Task, Action, Result, while PAR stands for Problem, Action, Result. Many interviewers will ask you to “tell them about a time when….”  By integrating the STAR/PAR acronyms, you will be able to respond with a complete answer: you should describe a situation, task, or problem you faced, detail the action you took when resolving it, and then tell what resulted from your actions.

Use and grow your network

Andresr/Shutterstock.com

Andresr/Shutterstock.com

You want to do X.  You know or know of someone who does X.  Make the connection and see what transpires. Perhaps the connection will lead to a job, but it could also potentially become a mentor/mentee relationship that will assist with career guidance in your quest for a job or better job.  Also, having a LinkedIn profile connects you to a world of people with roles similar to the one you are probably seeking. Send a terse yet somewhat personal message to those with whom you want to connect: e.g. Hi ___, Looks like we have this person, group, skill, etc. in common.  I’d like to connect with you.

Want more secrets to connecting the dots on your path to career success? Follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter or start searching for jobs on our website today.

Erin Vickers, Staffing Consultant at RightSourcing, Inc., has spent more than 16 years in various recruiting roles in a variety of industries. Her experience includes full-lifecycle recruiting for nationally-known telecommunications carriers and a third-party administrator. Additionally, she has supported several staffing initiatives for an international chemical company and a widely-renowned insurance company. She has placed candidates in accounting, engineering, executive, financial, marketing, and other professional positions as well as various customer service and technician-type roles. As a Staffing Consultant, she has piloted an on-site recruiting program in support of an exclusive client’s needs.  Her passion is to strategically assist her client in operating an efficient organization by providing top talent.  Erin graduated from Lyon College (Batesville, AR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to live music, traveling, and spending time with her two spoiled rescue dogs.

 

Posted January 08, 2016 by

5 tips for a successful Skype interview

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Many companies are hiring for remote or part-time positions these days that require some creativity when it comes to the interview process. Many recent graduates will be conducting interviews via phone or Skype. It’s important that applicants keep a few things in mind when conducting a Skype interview so their professionalism and personality can shine through when they ask and answer questions about the position.

1) Technical issues

The first thing to think about when doing to a Skype interview is any technical issues that might occur. First, make sure to get the interviewer’s Skype name prior to the day of the interview and give them yours as well. If you’ve been using a Skype name such as “luv2chill,” which would be appropriate for a college student, it might be time to go ahead and download a new version of Skype with a professional nickname such as “firstname_lastname”. Make sure your internet connection is excellent and Skype with somebody out of town for a few minutes to check your connection speed. There’s nothing more frustrating than having Skype drop the call several times during the interview. It’s also a good idea to have a viable backup plan if Skype isn’t working. Make sure your cell phone is charged and offer to finish the interview by phone if things aren’t working out. Lastly, have a good sense of humor about any technical issues on either end. If the person interviewing you feels comfortable that you can make things work in a difficult situation, it speaks to your abilities as a potential employee.

2)  Lighting and background

When being interviewed via Skype it’s critical to take a look at lighting and background. Many people look eager and fresh faced in real life but may look completely washed out on a little computer screen. It’s important not to look tired or worn out during an interview and also a good idea to deal with this ahead of time. Set up your Skype camera and play around with the lighting in the room you will be using for your interview. Make sure the lighting is even and the background is neutral. The reality is you may be using Skype in your bedroom as this may be the only private place for many new graduates. However, you don’t want the person interviewing you to see your personal items. You can put up a screen or move your desk around until you get a basic neutral background.

3)  Formal vs. informal

Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.com

It’s difficult to determine if a Skype interview will be more or less formal than an in-person interview. Some employers look at a Skype interview as a more casual and convenient way of getting to know someone, whereas other employers view it as the only way they can get in touch with a remote employee who will be working in their home office in another state. Applicants can play off of the vibe given from the hiring manager. Be prepared to have a professional interview similar to an in-person interview in a corporate office when you start. However, if the hiring manager is more relaxed and casual, it’s okay to have a more informal chat and let them get to know your personality.

4)  Keep the conversation flowing

Applicants should be able to keep the conversation flowing over Skype. They won’t have the same social cues they would in an in-person interview because it’ll be difficult to read the interviewer’s body language. Additionally, technical issues including voice and video can make it difficult to have a fluid discussion. Rather than having several awkward pauses practice a few mock interviews over Skype with a friend and figure out professional but friendly ways to fill the conversation. For example, if you’re in your home office in Florida, and the corporate headquarters are in Illinois, chat about the local office, weather, or any kind of small talk that pertains to the job. The point is to keep the interviewer at ease as they may be just as nervous as the applicant.

5)  Create a professional environment

It’s important to create a professional environment inside and out. This means that in addition to looking the part, the surrounding should be appropriate for an interview. Applicants are encouraged to find a quiet setting where they will be entirely uninterrupted by classmates or roommates. The more professional the environment, the more likely the applicant is to display sophistication to an employer and to obtain the position.

Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK. 

This month, College Recruiter will publish guest articles and other content to assist college students seeking entry-level jobs after graduation or summer internships. Check out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

 

 

Posted November 05, 2015 by

2015 employment market for recent grads and students

This webinar, 2015 employment market for recent grads and students, addresses the various job markets which impact today’s college and university students and recent graduates, how students and grads find employment, their frustrations, and some ideas for how employers, career services, and other stakeholders can improve the current system.

Today’s webinar features College Recruiter’s President and Founder, Steven Rothberg. The webinar is moderated by former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, Andrea McEwen-Henderson.

Key takeaways:

There is no such thing as the job market for students and recent graduates. There are as many different markets as there are majors, schools, geographic areas, diversity characteristics, and other factors.

The job markets have improved dramatically since the Great Recession, but only a small percentage of recent graduates are employed within their chosen fields within six months of graduation.

The perception amongst many is that almost all graduates find their jobs through their career services offices, but the data shows quite the opposite.

Basic needs such as compensation and job security rank at the top of factors considered by students and recent graduates when evaluating job opportunities, yet few employers disclose compensation, and even fewer provide job security.

There are many ways employers, career services, and other stakeholders can improve the current system.

If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Questions:

  1. I recently read that Ernst & Young is no longer recruiting at college campuses and now doesn’t care about the majors and GPA’s of the students it is interviewing. Is that true?

Ernst & Young is still interviewing on college campuses, but based on research done in the United Kingdom, the company has followed the data and is not going to limit interviews to students from certain majors and with certain GPA’s. This is great news for liberal arts majors and for students whose GPA’s fall just below the old GPA cut-off.

  1. Most employers do not have the resources to wine­-and­-dine career services, professors, and college administrators and to spend days on-campus interviewing potential interns. What are some options available to them?

If it’s June or July, set up an appointment with the career services director and diligently follow her directions. Employers often look for shortcuts in college recruiting, but there are none. It is a strategic process. You have to invest properly. If you’re running behind, use a niche job board like College Recruiter, or host an unconventional recruiting event and invite candidates via social media.

  1. There’s a debate within our company about whether we should ramp up our efforts to hire military veterans or continue to focus on hiring students and recent graduates. Which do you think is a better way to recruit future leaders?

Military and college recruiting efforts are not mutually exclusive, but there are some aspects that do not overlap. For example, many military servicemen and women have gone on to earn college degrees. This is a sweet spot for recruiters, and corporate recruiting efforts can often find candidates who meet both criteria.

  1. My campus used to have 5,000 students, but we’ve grown to 15,000 over the past 10 years. I’m still the only paid staff person in the career service office, although I do have a few students who work part-time. How do I get the budget to hire people so we can actually have time to provide career counseling services to the students?

Growth is wonderful, but lack of budget is a huge challenge to overcome. Make the business case for an increase in budget by looking at the impact you have on alumni giving. If you provide employment opportunities, and your alumni prosper, you should request more funds. Career services should align themselves closely with alumni and development offices.

  1. I keep hearing from politicians that a college education is a waste of money. Is it?

Absolutely not. The unemployment rate for college graduates is two to three times below average. The same politicians who claim that college is unnecessary are relying on their own college degrees to argue these points. We’re in the information age, and if we can’t properly educate our youth, we will be left behind.

 

Steven Rothberg is the president and founder of College Recruiter, the leading niche job board used by recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs and students hunting for internships. Steven founded the company in 1991 as a publisher of campus maps and employment magazines. Steven grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, moved south to Minneapolis for the weather, is married to the CEO of College Recruiter, and has three young kids and the world’s most mellow dog.