Don’t Talk Too Much

by Michael Neece, founder of Interview Mastery

Monster Contributing Writer

The gift of gab can be something of a curse during an interview. You could end up talking your way right out of the job.

It’s important to remember that interviewers are only human, and their attention tends to wane as you speak. Fully understanding this is critical to effectively communicating during any interview. Your response should be less than a minute and a half when an interviewer asks you to “tell me about yourself.” Why? You’ll have that interviewer’s attention for just about 90 seconds.

The average interviewer’s attention span looks something like this:

  • As you begin speaking, the interviewer is listening with nearly full attention.
  • After about 10 seconds, he begins listening with less intensity.
  • After 60 seconds, his mind begins to wander and he’s devoting less than half his attention to you. The interviewer starts asking questions about your response or begins formulating his next question.
  • After you’ve been speaking for 90 seconds without interruption, the interviewer is barely listening at all.

Six Interview Mistakes

by Michael Neece, founder of Interview Mastery

Monster Contributing Writer

It’s tough to avoid typical interview traps if you’re unsure what they are. Here are a half dozen to watch out for.

1. Confusing an Interview with an Interrogation.

Most candidates expect to be interrogated. An interrogation occurs when one person asks all the questions and the other gives the answers. An interview is a business conversation in which both people ask and respond to questions. Candidates who expect to be interrogated avoid asking questions, leaving the interviewer in the role of reluctant interrogator.

2. Making a So-Called Weakness Seem Positive.

Interviewers frequently ask candidates, “What are your weaknesses?” Conventional interview wisdom dictates that you highlight a weakness like “I’m a perfectionist,” and turn it into a positive. Interviewers are not impressed, because they’ve probably heard the same answer a hundred times. If you are asked this question, highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance your skill in this area. Interviewers don’t care what your weaknesses are. They want to see how you handle the question and what your answer indicates about you.

3. Failing to Ask Questions.

Every interview concludes with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. The worst thing to say is that you have no questions. Having no questions prepared indicates you are not interested and not prepared. Interviewers are more impressed by the questions you ask than the selling points you try to make. Before each interview, make a list of five questions you will ask. “I think a good question is, ‘Can you tell me about your career?'” says Kent Kirch, director of global recruiting at Deloitte. “Everybody likes to talk about themselves, so you’re probably pretty safe asking that question.”

4. Researching the Company But Not Yourself.

Candidates intellectually prepare by researching the company. Most job seekers do not research themselves by taking inventory of their experience, knowledge and skills. Formulating a talent inventory prepares you to immediately respond to any question about your experience. You must be prepared to discuss any part of your background. Creating your talent inventory refreshes your memory and helps you immediately remember experiences you would otherwise have forgotten during the interview.

5. Leaving Your Cell Phone On.

We may live in a wired, always-available society, but a ringing cell phone is not appropriate for an interview. Turn it off before you enter the company.

6. Waiting for a Call.

Time is your enemy after the interview. After you send a thank-you email and note to every interviewer, follow up a couple of days later with either a question or additional information. Additional information can be details about your talents, a recent competitor’s press release or industry trends. Your intention is to keep everyone’s memory of you fresh.

Asking Questions Is Key

Near the end of your response, it’s important to keep the interviewer engaged by asking questions.

Skilled interviewers will pose behavioral-event questions, asking you to describe specific examples of your experience. In these situations, your response can easily last much longer than 90 seconds. In such situations, interrupt yourself by asking the interviewer a question like, “Is this the level of detail you are looking for?” or “Is this the type of example you’re interested in?” This strategy helps to engage your listener and promotes two-way communication.

According to Kent Kirch, the global director of recruiting at Deloitte, interviewers are more impressed with your questions than any selling points you try to make. “What’s really disappointing to an interviewer is at the end of an interview and I ask the candidate, ‘Do you have any questions I can answer for you?’ and he says, ‘Nope, I think you answered them all,’ and that’s the end of it; it’s just really frustrating,” he says. “It all goes back to preparation, and [your questions] tell the interviewer you thought about this interview before you walked in the door.”

Asking questions can also give you a strategic edge. “People love to talk about themselves,” says Austin Cooke, the global recruitment director at Sapient. “So if you as a candidate can kind of get interviewers talking about themselves, you’re one step up.”

Your interview goals are to ensure you are understood and to make the best presentation of your talents. Engaging interviewers in two-way communication by asking questions helps you ensure they are listening while you deliver your response.

The “ONE” question you must ask each interviewer:

The last question you should ask before concluding with any interviewer is: “Do you feel I have the qualifications necessary to be successful in this position?” Listen very carefully to how the interviewer responds. If they give you a resounding “yes”, you have done a good job of covering all the issues that are important to them. If they say something like: “You appear to have all the qualifications we’re looking for, but…” Listen for that “but” and whatever comes next is an area you need to strengthen in any future interviews or discussions.

“Tell me about yourself” Interview Question

A good format to use when answering this question is:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell what your current status is (i.e. last job title)
  • Describe what you do at work
  • Describe one or two things you’ve accomplished or excel at that directly relate to the position
  • Mention why you decided to apply for this position

A few sentences, and around 30 seconds, should be enough to give your interviewer a positive idea of who you are and what you’ve done, as well as put your application in a good context. The following example demonstrates this format:

Example : I’m Kurt Smith (1), and I’ve been a operations manager for seven years (2). I’m especially skilled in resource planning, training, coaching and project management (3), and I was previously the supervisor for the Operational Support team at ABC Company (4). I want to work for your company in particular because you are the leader in ….”

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ALEX FLOYD
Account Executive
In my early life I was an army brat and moved all over the south and southwest. I spent my high school years in a small town north of Lafayette. After high school I worked as a diesel mechanic to save up money for school. With a year of drowning in oil and diesel under my belt, I couldn’t wait to get back into a classroom. I attended Purdue University and, after graduating, relocated with my new wife to Bloomington so she could achieve her Master’s Degree.

Once there, I started working as an engineering and manufacturing recruiter. I found I had a passion for placing people in roles that helped them with their career and provided value to my clients.

I joined Pinnacle Partners and continued to build on my experience in the engineering and manufacturing world. My diverse background has helped me interact with candidates and clients from all levels, from Maintenance Technicians to Directors of Engineering. Pinnacle provides an amazing environment that offers encouragement and support for success.

When I’m not in the office I enjoy being with my wife, 2 dogs, and our cat. I spend time hiking, kayaking, bingeing on whatever Netflix is throwing my way, and rooting for the Colts.
BRIAN TREECE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
I grew up in Olney, Illinois, and attended Murray State University earning a BS degree in Accounting in 1983. Upon graduation, I moved to Indianapolis where I started my career with a regional distribution company. Over the next several years, I performed a variety of accounting and operational roles. However, I decided to leave the accounting profession and accepted a role as a recruiter with a national staffing firm.

After several years, I decided to move to a smaller staffing firm where I placed Accounting and Financial professionals focusing on the Central Indiana area. In 1999, after seven successful years, I left this small staffing firm and co-founded Pinnacle Partners. Pinnacle has experienced tremendous growth over the years and I attribute this growth, in part, to the principals I learned early in my career. These principals include building long lasting relationships by providing excellent customer service and superior results. I am very proud of our team of dedicated employees that has facilitated this growth.

On a personal note, I am married with three children. When I am not at work, you can usually find me coaching a youth basketball game. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach for over 24 years. I am a huge Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals fan and enjoy traveling to watch them play.
TROY DESMOND
IT Recruiter
I was raised in Carmel, Indiana where I attended Carmel High School. I played Varsity hockey all throughout my high school career. I later attended Indiana University where I was involved in many clubs and philanthropies including Faceoff for the Forces and Dropping the Puck on Cancer. After earning my degree in Financial Management from IU, I was seeking a job that would allow me to utilize my social skills along with the skills I acquired in school. I joined the Pinnacle Partners team directly out of college because I felt that it was the perfect fit for me. Since accepting the position I have enjoyed meeting and learning from all the senior level recruiters along with my colleagues. I enjoy helping others achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Outside of the office I enjoy hanging out with friends, golfing, basketball, and playing cards. I was originally born in Chicago so my roots are tied to all the sports teams. I follow: The Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks and Bulls. It’s rough being a Bears fan, but it will pay off soon I know it.
KRISTEN YILMAZ
Account Executive
II am from Clinton, Indiana, but spent most of my adult life in NYC and Connecticut. After attending Cosmetology School, I worked at Pierre Michel Salon, in the heart of NYC, where I had the pleasure of working on celebrities and attending exclusive gatherings. Once I moved to Connecticut, I started working in Property Management and moved my way to being a Senior Community manager for several properties. In 2007, I had my first of three children and stayed at home to raise them. With all the joy that comes with that, I missed having a career. I moved back to Indiana in 2013 after tremendously missing family and friends and got back to work. Having experience in sales and a passion for people, I started at Pinnacle Partners as an Account Manager. With my love of working with people and helping them when in need, Pinnacle Partners is the perfect fit for me. Their dedication to the service they provide, the principles and ethics with the business and their understanding of family, is beyond anything I’d ever imagined. I’ve never worked for such an amazing company in my life!

When I’m not at work, you can find me either swimming or doing something outdoors with my 3 children, ages 7, 8 and 10. I enjoy all sports, playing and watching, vacationing, water skiing, laughing with my children and watching them grow into caring, loving people.
ALEKA ARATA
Administrative Asssistant
I love Disney and time with my kids when not at the office.
PAUL SCHWARTZ
Account Executive
I grew up in Northern New Jersey and I have been working in the Technical Staff Augmentation industry since 1998. My career started in New York City where I spent over ten years living and working for the same company. After opening an office for that firm in Boca Raton, FL., I then moved to Chicago to start my staffing boutique. What I enjoy most about our industry is engaging with companies, learning what it is that they do best and then, helping them to do that better. We never stop learning and that’s what makes this career very exciting.

I now live in Hamilton County with my wife, son, and the best black Labrador Retriever in the world. Outside of work we are all always on-the-go with sports, traveling and adventure.
BRANDEN CAMP
Manager of IT Recruiters
I was born and raised in Shelbyville, IN and attended Ball State University. Upon graduating, I moved to Indianapolis and started my professional career.

My career began at CEDIA as a Latin America Development Manager. At CEDIA, I traveled throughout Latin America hosting various tradeshows and educational events in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico. I speak fluent Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. After CEDIA, my career transitioned to banking. I spent 3 years in banking in both management and sales roles.

I joined Pinnacle Partners in September of 2014 as an IT Recruiter. I love the opportunity to help people transition into a new career that fits a candidate’s goals and aspirations.

I enjoy spending time with my family. I am an avid Colts, Pacers, IU basketball and Michigan.
KIM KOERS
Senior Recruiter
I am a life- long resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating from Bishop Chatard High School, I attended Ball State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Health Science.

In 2008, with a desire to help others achieve their goals, I joined Pinnacle Partners. I have held multiple positions in our industry leading to my current role of IT Recruiting Manager. My wide range of experience gives me the unique perspective of being able to relate to and build professional relationships at every level of our industry. My experience has given me a keen understanding of the staffing needs of our clients on a strategic level. I am fun loving, adventurous, and enjoy meeting new people and establishing positive relationships. I enjoy spending time with my parents, brother, three sisters, five nieces, two nephews and my puppy Pipa.

Once you enter into a recruiting partnership with me, you will have a sense of being part of the Pinnacle Partner family.
KATIE WADDLES
Recruiter
I grew up in Springfield, VA just outside of Washington D.C. and lived there until I was 11. My family moved to Carmel, IN in 1999 and after graduating from Carmel High School, I attended Kent State University in Ohio to pursue a my Bachelors in Musical Theatre. Soon after graduating college I moved to New York City and resided there for 3 years. Upon moving back home to Indiana, I began working in the staffing industry as an Administrative Assistant and then graduating to a Recruiter.

I joined Pinnacle Partners and have been honored to be a part of the Administrative Recruiting Division. I am very happy to work at a company with such a wonderful family friendly, work life balance. I am inspired everyday by the people I work with and work for. I am so happy that I was able to make Pinnacle Partners my career home.
HEATHER BURGESS
Account Executive
I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Indianapolis at the age of 7. I attended Hanover College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business. After college, I spent 6 years in retail management and inside sales before entering the world of staffing. I joined a staffing firm where I spent the next 8 years as a direct hire recruiter in the engineering/manufacturing sector. Having experience in both sales and recruiting, I knew my passion was on the sales side. In sales, I enjoy working directly with clients, developing relationships and satisfying my customer’s staffing needs. I joined Pinnacle Partners as an account manager and I can’t say enough about this company and the team we have here at Pinnacle, otherwise known as my work family. Their high idealism, integrity, principles and ethics are unparalleled to anything I have ever known or seen. It truly is a stand-up organization and one that I am so very proud to be a part of.

When I am not at work, I am usually spending time with my husband, our new beautiful baby girl Ava and our spoiled little dog. I enjoy anything outdoors, all sports, teaching Sunday school, giving back to my community through volunteer work and vacationing to sunny Florida.
DUSTIN HOLLOWAY
IT Recruiter
ASHLEY PEACH
Senior Recruiter
I am from Sheridan, IN and I began my recruiting career working for a large software and services company here in the Indianapolis area. After spending a couple years there I decided to take on my next challenge working for Pinnacle Partners.

I first heard about Pinnacle Partners from meeting a current staff member at a local restaurant and they shared a lot of great information about the company. A short time later I joined the team at Pinnacle Partners as an Administrative Recruiter and have enjoyed every minute of it. I am very eager to continue to advance my career within the recruiting industry.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and son. We love to spend the summers at our family cottage in Michigan. I am also a proud supporter of the Indianapolis Colts. In my spare time I like to catch up on reality television.
MICHELLE TANKERSLEY
Account Executive
I have been in the IT staffing industry for 22 yrs. During this time I have had the opportunity to participate in recruiting, sales, account management and resource management. I truly enjoy connecting IT talent with career opportunities and believe that I have found my niche. I could not imagine a more rewarding career than helping others achieve and grow in this field.

Outside of work I care for aging family members and value any time that I can spend with them. I also enjoy travel and cruising and go to tropical destinations as often as I can.
Dave Reese
Director of Recruiting
I grew up as a part of a large family in Franklin, Indiana and attended Manchester College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Following college, I spent the initial five years of my career working in the accounting field within the manufacturing industry, mainly focusing on cost accounting.

In 2000, I had the opportunity to join Pinnacle Partners and develop the Temporary Accounting Staffing Division. The opportunity to join a management team of former co-workers was exciting, and it made for an easy transition into a company with very strong ethical and business leadership. Since joining Pinnacle, my responsibilities have grown along with the company. I currently manage all aspects of the Accounting, Administrative, and Manufacturing/Engineering divisions. I am proud of the growth that we have experienced at Pinnacle.

My time at Pinnacle has allowed me to have a very rewarding career while never losing sight of my other priorities in life. My wife, Sara, and I have three boys who are very active in sports; they definitely keep us on the go. My hobbies include coaching youth athletics and serving on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Boys and Girls Club and the Franklin Wrestling Club. I enjoy being involved in the same youth programs that were so important to me when I was young.
STEVE MATTEI
Chief Operating Officer
I am from Louisville, KY, and attended the University of Dayton where I earned a BS degree in Computer Science. After graduation in 1986, I moved to Chicago where I started my career as a Systems Analyst for a proprietary trading firm in the heart of Chicago’s financial district. Although this opportunity was exciting and challenging, I had a strong desire to move my career in a different direction. In 1990, I accepted a role as an IT Recruiter for a national staffing firm.

In 1993, my wife and I moved to Indianapolis where I joined a small staffing firm and continued in the role of IT staffing. For the next 6 years, I worked extensively throughout the Central Indiana area assisting countless companies and professionals with Information Technology staffing and career development. In 1999 I co-founded Pinnacle Partners with Herb Benshoof and Brian Treece.

On a personal note, I am married with four children. Our family enjoys all kinds of sports including lacrosse, football, basketball, and volleyball. Whether I am coaching or watching from the stands, I enjoy being involved with youth sports and sharing in these activities with my kids.
KEEGAN JILES
IT Recruiter
I was raised in Columbus, Indiana where I attended Columbus North High School and enjoyed my time as a student athlete in three different sports. I later attended Ball State University, where I was heavily involved with multiple student organizations while balancing my time as a soccer coach for multiple organization. After earning my BA in Human Resources Management I joined a direct sales marketing firm, where I was able to better develop my interpersonal and professional skills.

After a few months in sales I accepted the Research Coordinator role with Pinnacle Partners. Since accepting the position I enjoy the opportunity to work with, and learn from each recruiter in the office. My involvement in several sports clubs and other organizations has instilled a team-oriented mentality that allows me to be a dependable resource for this Pinnacle team. When I am outside of the office I enjoy spending most of my free time with friends. I am a huge sports fan – spending a lot of time following teams such as: Arsenal, Indiana Pacers, Green Bay Packers, and Vancouver Canucks. Embarrassing fact: I have turned down a steak dinner more than once for Taco Bell.
ALEX FLOYD
Account Executive
In my early life I was an army brat and moved all over the south and southwest. I spent my high school years in a small town north of Lafayette. After high school I worked as a diesel mechanic to save up money for school. With a year of drowning in oil and diesel under my belt, I couldn’t wait to get back into a classroom. I attended Purdue University and, after graduating, relocated with my new wife to Bloomington so she could achieve her Master’s Degree.

Once there, I started working as an engineering and manufacturing recruiter. I found I had a passion for placing people in roles that helped them with their career and provided value to my clients.

I joined Pinnacle Partners and continued to build on my experience in the engineering and manufacturing world. My diverse background has helped me interact with candidates and clients from all levels, from Maintenance Technicians to Directors of Engineering. Pinnacle provides an amazing environment that offers encouragement and support for success.

When I’m not in the office I enjoy being with my wife, 2 dogs, and our cat. I spend time hiking, kayaking, bingeing on whatever Netflix is throwing my way, and rooting for the Colts.
DAN COLE
Director of IT Account Executives
I was born and raised in northwestern Indiana and attended Ball State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and criminology. After spending a few years in the Southwest and two years as a 6th grade teacher in central Florida, I relocated back to Indiana to be closer to my family.

My IT staffing career began as a recruiter in 1995. After a few short months, I moved into an account management role. In 2002, I joined Pinnacle as an Account Manager as they were expanding into IT contract placement. Currently I am an IT Business Development Manager for Pinnacle.

Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and stay active participating in a variety of outdoor activities. I like to watch and play all sports. I am also an avid fan of the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Cubs.
TANNER MCCRACKEN
IT Recruiter
I was born and raised in Shelbyville, IN and attended Ball State University graduating with a B.S in Business Information Technology. After graduation, I moved to Indianapolis to begin my professional career.

I started my career as an IT technician for Guitar Center. After 2 years I moved on to a better opportunity at Finish Line Corporate where I quickly made my way up the ranks to Manager of IT Procurement and Deployment. I joined Pinnacle in April of 2017 and love being able to help people in their professional advancement. It has been a very rewarding career thus far.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my son Jax, as well as friends and family. I have a strong passion for music. I have spent most of my life in rock bands and love writing music, playing guitar, playing piano, and doing some fishing as well.
CHINA REYNOLDS
IT Recruiter
I was raised in Zionsville and attended Ball State University where I studied Interpersonal Relations and Sociology. While I was there, I was heavily involved in many student organizations including Phi Mu Sorority and the Women’s Lacrosse Team. I also worked part-time in retail sales.

In my free time I enjoy working-out, traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I especially love making kale smoothies and bargain shopping.
CATHY COTTRELL
Senior Recruiter
I grew up in Fishers, Indiana and have remained there since college. I attended Indiana University in Bloomington my sophomore year where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. After college, I joined a national placement agency where I staffed clerical and light industrial candidates. After 7 years, I accepted a role with a smaller staffing firm specializing in financial and accounting staffing.

After 8 years, the company sold and the culture quickly became different. At that time, I was recruited to join Pinnacle Partners, which was formed by former colleagues of mine. I have been at Pinnacle since 2001 as a Recruiter for the Accounting and Finance division. I have seen tremendous growth within my time at Pinnacle and yet the core beliefs of the company remain the same. To always provide the best customer service to both the company and the candidate. While everyone works hard in the company the owners have always had a deep respect for family obligations.

When I am not at Pinnacle, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter and extended family.
KACY WILSON
Recruiting Manager
I grew up in Franklin, Ind. where I reside with my family today. After high school, I attended I.U.P.U.I. and graduated with a Bachelor‘s degree in communication. Soon after graduating college, I began working in the staffing industry as a recruiter for a firm that focused on administrative and light industrial positions.

In 2005, I wanted to branch out and expand my recruiting experience. I had the opportunity to join Pinnacle Partners in a role that would help to further develop their Administrative Recruiting Division as well as expose me to the staffing of accounting professionals. In 2012, I was promoted to Manager of Administrative Recruiters. I manage a staff of three who support the temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire administrative placement needs of our clients. I am excited to be a part of this growing division.

Pinnacle Partners is an organization that promotes a family-friendly environment for which I am very thankful. When I started seven years ago, I had a 9-month-old as well as a 2-year-old. As they grow, my children continue to be very active in school and recreational programs. My husband, Jason, and I are involved in each of their activities. I also enjoy working out, and I am currently training for my first half marathon. I am proud to work for a company that allows me to have a successful career while also balancing a family and maintaining an active lifestyle.
ADAM WACHTEL
Senior IT Recruiter
I was born and raised in Robinson, IL and attended nearby Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN. Immediately upon graduating, with much thought and careful consideration, I made the move to Indianapolis to begin my career.

My career started at John Hancock as a Financial Advisor. I immediately passed the Series 6 & 63 allowing me the ability to provide financial stewardship and guidance to my clients’ investments and insurance needs. From there my journey took me to Alabama to run my family’s new car dealerships for several years allowing me the opportunity to run a large successful business. Eventually we sold the business and I was happy to move back to Indianapolis where I spent the next five years as a Senior Product Advisor within the Healthcare Insurance industry.

I joined Pinnacle Partners in early 2011 and was promoted to Senior IT Recruiter in 2012. I regularly attend networking events including IndyJUG which is sponsored by Pinnacle Partners. I enjoy engaging in the technologies that are relevant to candidates that I represent.

Each year I attend as many sporting events as possible. You can find me at all the Colts home games as well as many Pacers games. I also make the trip over to Cincinnati to cheer on the Reds. Other hobbies include listening to music and staying up to date on technologies.
MICHELLE PAPPAS
Controller
I was raised in Merrillville, Indiana, and attended Indiana University where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. I started my career in Chicago with a small public accounting firm. Although this was great experience, I was soon married and found myself relocating to Indianapolis with my husband. I spent the next several years as an Accounting Manager for a larger telecommunications manufacturer. Along the way, I developed a passion for travel which led me to working in the travel industry in my spare time. However, we found ourselves relocating to Michigan so I took this opportunity to work full time in the travel industry. In 2000, we returned back to Indianapolis where I joined Pinnacle Partners in a part time capacity. Part time evolved into full time as my children grew. I have held many positions at Pinnacle Partners, and I am now the Corporate Controller. I have witnessed Pinnacle’s growth first-hand, and I have been given the opportunity to work with an excellent group of employees and clients. I enjoy coming to work and am honored to work for a company that has allowed me to have a successful career while balancing my family.

In my free time, I continue to work with travel planning, and I also enjoy scrapbooking, travel, spending time with family and my dog Lucky.
BROOKE MILLER
Recruiter
II grew up in Frankfort, IN and attended a small high school where I graduated with a class of under 70 students. I then decided to continue my studies with Ball State University. While attending BSU, I was involved in organizations such as Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, SHRM, and Women’s Club Volleyball. Upon receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and Organizational Communication, I began searching for a career that would utilize the skills I had gained throughout my education.

I decided to start my professional career with Pinnacle Partners as an Administrative Recruiter. I am grateful to work alongside such knowledgeable and professional individuals every day. Assisting qualified candidates to find careers they enjoy, and building relationships along the way has truly been a rewarding experience. The company culture Pinnacle provides is one that any employee would be happy to be a part of.

Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and 2 cats. Due to being born in near Boston, I am a Red Sox fan by default, but don’t worry – I would never root for the Patriots.
HERB BENSHOOF
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
Growing up in Iowa, I learned the value of a strong work ethic at an early age. Losing my mother at the age of eight, I helped raise my younger brother and sister as my father worked two jobs to support four children. I began working at the age of 12, went on to work full and part-time jobs at CPA firms during my college years, and paid for my entire college education. That work ethic has carried me through my successful 30 year career in the CPA profession, including the last 25 years in business and industry. After working in public accounting for five years with two Big Six firms, Deloitte & Touche and KPMG Peat Marwick, I decided to branch out into the world of executive recruiting for Accounting, Finance and Information Technology.

Pinnacle Partners was cofounded in Indiana in September 1999 to assist Accounting, Finance and Information Technology professionals in locating career opportunities. Pinnacle Partners has helped hundreds of candidates each year develop their career strategies. Pinnacle Partner’s unique approach to understanding an individual’s career/personal wish list has made Pinnacle Partner’s one of the leaders in professional staffing.

BRYSON CRUSE
Engineering/Manufacturing Account Manager
I was raised in Central Indiana & attended Beech Grove High School. I was an avid sports enthusiast that played football, basketball, baseball and golf. After high school I attended Ball State University where I graduated with a degree in Management of Information Systems.

After graduation I accepted a sales team manager position that allowed me to move to sunny south Florida! This was a great experience that allowed me to spend the next 4 years traveling all over the United States & visiting 42 states during that time frame. When it was time to settle down and plant my roots I wanted to return to central Indiana to be near family and friends.

When Pinnacle Partners decided to grow their Engineering & Manufacturing recruiting staff they reached out to me and I was so impressed with their culture and the success they have had in the Finance, Accounting and IT business units that I was thrilled to join their team. I prefer to be a niche specific recruiter versus a generalist and they have given me the opportunity to grow my desk in such a fashion. Since joining the team the support from all levels has been phenomenal. Definitely looking forward to tremendous growth and success in the future.

When I am away from the office you will find me supporting our local professional sporting teams in the Colt’s & Pacer’s. I also enjoy spending my free time playing with my 3 dogs- Reggie, Pegga and Dabba Doo!!
MICHELLE HAIMBAUGH
Senior IT Recruiter
I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Purdue University in Retail Management. After college, I worked as a footwear buyer for a national retailer and a large department store for ten years. After taking some time off to raise my three children, I re-entered the workforce on the sales side of the business selling customer service and sales training to companies.

From this experience, I learned the value of building relationships and servicing the customer. At Pinnacle Partners, I have had experience on the recruiting and the account management side. From working both sides of the business, I’ve decided my passion is recruiting and really enjoy connecting IT professionals with career enhancing opportunities.
CLAY PARDIECK
Account Executive
I grew up in Southern Indiana in a town called Seymour, I went to Seymour High School where I played varsity baseball. After High School I attended Purdue University where I earned my degree in Selling and Sales Management. Upon graduation I decided to move to the Indianapolis area join Pinnacle Partners team as an IT Recruiter.

When I am not at the office I enjoy spending my free time hanging with friends and staying active with activities like disc golf and running. I am an avid Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Reds fan.
BEN NICHOLSON
Finance & Accounting Recruiter
I grew up close to Indianapolis and, for the most part, have stayed close to home. I went to school at Taylor University (Go Trojans!) where I had the opportunity to play four years of college football and graduated with a degree in Accounting. I went to work for a national CPA firm in South Bend in their audit group and after a couple of years, transitioned out into corporate accounting. After meeting my wife, we moved to San Francisco for her job and spent a few years in the Bay Area, where I worked as an outsourced Controller for a portfolio of tech start-ups.

We eventually moved back to be closer to family and I came into Pinnacle as a candidate, looking for a position in the local market. I was instantly impressed with the relational, deliberate approach to the placement process. I wasn’t just another resume needed to make a transaction. I ended up joining Pinnacle as a recruiter in the spring of 2013 and have loved it ever since. With my background in accounting, I'm able to leverage that knowledge to better understand the technical nuances of the needs of my clients, as well as the backgrounds of the candidates I work with. I partner with public and privately-held companies all over Central Indiana to help them identify and hire the best accounting and finance talent the market has to offer, with positions ranging from Staff Accountant, up through CFO. When I’m not in the office, you can find me watching sports (Cubs, Colts, Pacers, Boilers) or the latest superhero movie, or hauling my daughter around to whatever sport/activity she’s involved in that season.
Sherry Wille
Sr. Account Manager
I have lived most of my adult life in Indiana. I went to college at Ball State where I graduated with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Interpersonal Relations. After college, I moved to Indianapolis and entered the staffing industry. I began as a recruiter for a national staffing firm then moved into sales working for an accounting placement firm in 1995. I joined the Pinnacle team in 2001 and it’s been a great experience for me. With over 21 years of industry experience in the Indianapolis Marketplace, I have been able to meet some incredible clients and candidates. I enjoy developing strong business relationships with my clients and helping them to meet their strategic goals through staffing. Pinnacle was only three years old when I started and it’s been wonderful to see the growth. I truly believe our growth is due to our focus on doing what is right for both our candidates and our clients and never losing sight of their needs.

When I am not at work, I like to spend time with my husband and son. We like to travel and enjoy spending time with our extended family.
DANITA MOORE
Adminstrative Assisant
I grew up in Richmond, Indiana. After graduating high school, I was a professional hair dresser for about 10 years. When I started my family, I transitioned out of hairdressing to stay home with my kids. Once they were in school, I began a career in the local school system. I held several positions during my 15 year tenure there. The 2 longest positions being a media center assistant and then a front office/attendance secretary at the High School.

We moved to the Indianapolis area a little over a year ago to be closer to my son and his family. Our granddaughter was the big motivation for our move!

I am proud to be a part of Pinnacle Partners and enjoy helping others and watching them be successful. I look forward to many years of service with this outstanding company.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and playing with my granddaughter.
DANITA MOORE
Adminstrative Assisant
I grew up in Richmond, Indiana. After graduating high school, I was a professional hair dresser for about 10 years. When I started my family, I transitioned out of hairdressing to stay home with my kids. Once they were in school, I began a career in the local school system. I held several positions during my 15 year tenure there. The 2 longest positions being a media center assistant and then a front office/attendance secretary at the High School.

We moved to the Indianapolis area a little over a year ago to be closer to my son and his family. Our granddaughter was the big motivation for our move!

I am proud to be a part of Pinnacle Partners and enjoy helping others and watching them be successful. I look forward to many years of service with this outstanding company.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and playing with my granddaughter.
ALEX FLOYD
Account Executive
In my early life I was an army brat and moved all over the south and southwest. I spent my high school years in a small town north of Lafayette. After high school I worked as a diesel mechanic to save up money for school. With a year of drowning in oil and diesel under my belt, I couldn’t wait to get back into a classroom. I attended Purdue University and, after graduating, relocated with my new wife to Bloomington so she could achieve her Master’s Degree.

Once there, I started working as an engineering and manufacturing recruiter. I found I had a passion for placing people in roles that helped them with their career and provided value to my clients.

I joined Pinnacle Partners and continued to build on my experience in the engineering and manufacturing world. My diverse background has helped me interact with candidates and clients from all levels, from Maintenance Technicians to Directors of Engineering. Pinnacle provides an amazing environment that offers encouragement and support for success.

When I’m not in the office I enjoy being with my wife, 2 dogs, and our cat. I spend time hiking, kayaking, bingeing on whatever Netflix is throwing my way, and rooting for the Colts.
DAVE MILLER
IT Account Executive
I grew up in Indianapolis and attended Cathedral High School. I attended the University of Dayton for college where I graduated with a finance major and economics minor. After graduating, I stayed in Dayton to work in the lending business. During my time in college I met my wife, and we married a few years later. Our oldest son was born while we lived in Ohio, and a year later we moved to Indiana for my job, still within the banking industry. I worked as an Account Executive for a large bank over the course of almost four years selling home equity products to broker offices.

In 2007, I joined Pinnacle Partners as an account manager, which continued my sales career but this time in the IT staffing industry. I thoroughly enjoy my time in the staffing industry, both working for Pinnacle Partners and the business relationships we have with our customers.

I have two sons, both of which are very active and involved in sports: swimming, basketball, soccer and football. In my spare time, I am an avid water skier. Many of our family trips are spent relaxing on the water and teaching our children to ski.