Tag Archives: Questions

Q&A: Interviews, Thank You Notes and Being Smart Enough

Questions from readers: “I’ve just returned from what I’d call a mighty good interview. I’d like to improve my odds for getting an offer by writing a thank you note. Is that an old fashioned idea? If it still makes sense, what should I say? How long should it be? Should I send it by e-mail? Long- hand on nice stationery? Please respond as soon as possible. My future may hinge on what you suggest!” Continue reading →

I Can’t Leave — Part 2

Last week’s column focused on an unhappy, conflicted employee who feels unappreciated and undervalued. She wants to quit her current job, hoping to get more of what she needs somewhere else and she’s afraid that if she leaves, she won’t succeed. She dislikes being invisible even as she stands in the shadows. She wants more pay and promotions yet is satisfied with a no-risk job in a low risk setting because it allows her to “not Continue reading →

Focus on What Works

When preparing for interviews, focus on what works: Research works. Going on line, reviewing web sites, learning content, outlining questions, works. Reading business news and trade papers, learning who’s expanding and consolidating, hiring and firing, competing and winning or falling behind are essential need-to know because research works. Practice works. Field questions from anyone willing to help. Answer questions that come out of left field. Answer out loud, from your head and your gut, and Continue reading →

More Questions from Readers

Q: I’ve heard that I’m supposed to send a thank you note after every interview. I think that’s nonsense. Interviewers don’t give me anything so why should I thank them? A: You’re not the only one who questions the notion of sending thank you letters to prospective employers, so this is a good opportunity to reframe the issue. The purpose of the letter is to move the interview process forward. Open with a “thank you for Continue reading →

More Q&A

Q: What’s the best way to answer the “tell me about yourself” question? Should I start with where I’m from? Where I went to school? Or what my work experience has been? A: Answer with how you can make a difference to the employer who’s sitting in front of you. . That’s what she wants to know. If she wants something more or something else she’ll promptly say so. Q: I get the feeling that Continue reading →

Questions from Readers

Thanks for your calls, emails, and the questions you’re asking. Here are a few examples: Q: I have a question about my resume. I’ve worked for many companies, held both hourly and salaried positions, volunteered for countless committees, and traveled to every state in the US. Because I’ve accomplished so much I can’t possibly include it all in a two- page resume. I figure it’ll take about five pages if I use small type. How Continue reading →

He Wants More

The caller wanted help with his job search. He said he had been at it for more than a year and couldn’t land anything that he wanted to accept. I asked him why he was looking for a job and all he could muster was why he was leaving one. I asked him what he does best and all he could tell me was what he does most. I asked him how he adds value Continue reading →

Who Needs a Career Coach?

Who benefits from career coaching? Employees and job seekers who are lost, confused, frustrated, and stuck; who’ve been downsized, merged and acquired; who have questions, want answers, and need direction. Are you a likely candidate? Here are some descriptors that might help you decide. “I’m lost. Where am I supposed to go with my career? I’m working but waking up to the fact that time’s passing and I don’t have anything to show for it.” Continue reading →

Question: The Job Search

Thanks for sending me your questions about job search. Here’s just a sample of what you’re asking: “I’m a career changer having a tough time finding a job in my new field of interest. Do you think that a headhunter will be willing to work with me?” Headhunters (more politely known as recruiters) will not work with career changers. They will work with individuals who have a proven track record of success in a specific Continue reading →

Question from a reader: Left after layoffs

Q: “I like what I do but after three years and living through three downsizings I still don’t feel like I fit in or belong here. My prior experience and the way I carry myself professionally have made me unpopular. Being popular is not my goal but I feel like I’m not able to contribute fully when I feel so isolated. Help! My work life is becoming the pits.” A: This reader describes several concerns at Continue reading →

Question from a reader: What do I do if I’m left hanging?

Q: It is very frustrating and unprofessional to keep someone “hanging” after an interview and not inform them if they have the job or not. People want to work and want to know if they should continue their search. Over the past year I’ve been on at least two dozen interviews and several firms never informed me as to the status of their selection process. What’s your take on this? A. Unless you’ve experienced both Continue reading →

Question from a reader: Is my resume better than I am?

Q: I’m getting interviews. I’m not getting offers. Does this mean that my resume is better than I am? A: It sounds as if your resume is doing a better job speaking for you than you are speaking for yourself. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know how you’re missing the mark. Those answers can come from a combination of soul-searching, self awareness and candid feedback from people who know you best. To jump Continue reading →

One More Tough Question Answered

What’s a tough interview question? One you don’t know how to answer. I don’t want to be asked why there are so many gaps in my resume. I don’t want to be asked why I went to a top school, got great grades, and then spent the next three years in dead-end jobs. I don’t want to be asked about my ‘five year plan’ because I don’t have a one year plan. I don’t want Continue reading →

Tough Questions Have Answers

Interview questions that are difficult typically ask about “why and how” not “what and when.”  They focus on demanding workplace issues, events, personalities, and the actions you’ve taken or didn’t take regarding them. When you do a good job responding to these questions you show self awareness and an ability to organize and articulate your thoughts in ways that are logical and understandable. You describe cause and effect and connect facts that may appear unrelated Continue reading →

Questions from Readers for All Ages

Q: My anxiety is through the roof. Yesterday I talked back to my boss, something I never do. I apologized and he said we’re OK but I’m not so sure. He seems to be avoiding me and now I’m more concerned than ever. Should I start looking for another job? A: Exhale. If looking for another job helps you feel more in control, sure, do it. In the time it takes you to find something Continue reading →

Successful Applicants Ask Good Questions

Successful job applicants know how to ask good questions. Good questions let interviewers know that you’re curious; you’ve done your homework; you’re listening to what they’re telling you; and you want to find as good a match as they do. Good questions focus on the future and explore ways that applicants can contribute to the company’s goals and objectives. Good questions keep the discussion energized and positive. Bad questions sound critical, cynical, confrontational, and close-ended. Continue reading →

Job Search After a Felony

Q: “I’ve recently been released from prison and want to get back into my profession. I’ve been trying to re hone my skills but given my felony record am I just spinning my wheels? What do I say when I’m asked about the lapse in my employment? A. You’re not spinning your wheels, you will find employment, and you will have some real challenges ahead. Let’s start with the first hurdles to overcome, and go Continue reading →

Fast Track Your Job Search

You’ll fast track your job search when you increase your focus, improve your efficiency, and target your marketing. If you’re sending out resumes and not getting responses you have either lost your focus or never had it. Your resume has three roles: scout, matchmaker, and mouthpiece. It probes for possibilities, looks for a match, and speaks on your behalf. If it fails to deliver on any of these roles, it won’t be considered and neither Continue reading →

How to Make Team Building Effective

A manager says he’d like us to conduct team building programs for his employees. “You know, something where you take them outside and teach them how to work together”. “Why?” we ask. “What do you want to accomplish?”  Hesitation. “I want them to work together better than they do now. They barely talk to each other, and when they do, it sounds more like sniping than conversation. Worse than that, they line up at my Continue reading →