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Questions required!

One of the bigger mistakes job seekers sometimes make in an interview is to not ask questions when given the opportunity.

It’s very common near the end of most job interviews for the interviewer to ask something like…

Do you have any questions for me?”

Unfortunately, sometimes the response is along the lines of…

No, I think we covered everything!”


No, I’m all set!”

Those kinds of answers can often bring the hiring process to an end.

Having no questions when prompted is likely to be interpreted as:

  • Not enough interest in the position or company to want to learn more

  • General lack of curiosity or desire to gain more knowledge

  • Over-confidence that an offer is inevitable

  • or… Not having a clue about what may be important!


As a recruiter, I have the opportunity to debrief with my client, the employer, after my candidates interview. Over the years, there have been occasions when the feedback I received has been along the lines of…

I thought the interview was going well, however, when I asked if they had any questions, they had none for me. If they don’t have enough interest to ask any questions, they aren’t the right fit for us.”

Always ask questions… even if you think you already know the answers! However, be wise about them…

  • Ask questions appropriate to the positions level and responsibilities. Asking about the company’s marketing strategy when interviewing for a Staff Engineer role and meeting with an Engineering Manager, comes across as irrelevant and contrived.

  • Don’t ask questions that were already answered previously in the interview. Coming to the interview prepared with questions to ask is a good idea. Asking one of those prepared questions even though it was already discussed earlier seems like a lack of listening.

  • Come prepared with a list of questions to be asked when given the chance. It shows the employer that thought went into the process before the interview. It shows you prepare. When the opportunity arises, it’s impressive to proceed with something like… 

    As a matter of fact, I do have some questions. I prepared a number of things I’d like to ask. We already discussed this one, and this one, however, one thing we didn’t touch on was…”

You will not likely have time to ask more than 3 to 4 questions. However, it’s a very good idea to prepare 15 to 20 so that regardless how much is covered in the interview, you will still have other topics to ask about.

Never take the opportunity to ask questions too lightly. It’s not just for your benefit that they ask, it’s a continuing part of their evaluation process of you. The curiosity, interest, passion and appropriateness of your questions tells them a lot about you as a candidate.

When given the opportunity… remember that there’s Questions Required!


Great interviews are a dialog!
Does the Culture Fit?
Rapport and Results
Would You Hire You???

Read more!

20 Most Common Job Search Mistakes

While it’s true that different people make different mistakes, and some mistakes aren’t a big deal to some potential employers…

there are some mistakes that are too common and can be fixed with some thought and effort. 

The effort is likely to produce dramatically better results!


Here are 20 (with potential help) in no particular order…


Negative, cynical, defeated or passive attitude 
          (See: The One Best Thing You Can Do For Your Job Search!)


Spelling mistakes and typos in a resume, email or letter 
          (See: Does Writing Matter?)


Spending the vast majority of time applying for jobs online
          (See: Want to improve your job search? Step away from your computer!)


Lack of networking
          (See: Do You Really HAVE To Network For Your Job Search???)


Using unprofessional or profane language when networking or interviewing
          (See: Watch Your Words!)


Looking sloppy or unprofessional when networking or interviewing
          (See: Are You Referable?)


Taking too long to follow up on leads, new contacts and referrals
          (See: Ya’ Gotta’ Be On The Ball!)


Neglecting to follow up with Thank You’s after networking or interviews
          (See: Do Thank You Notes Really Matter???)


Not being well prepared to state what you do or what you’re looking for
          (See: Your Elevator Speech: Keep It Simple Silly)


Talking too much / rambling
          (See: Are You a Talker???)


Not listening well 
          (See: Employers want "Emotional Intelligence")


Not practicing / preparing for interviews
          (See: One big lesson from the Olympics for your job search!)


Little or no knowledge of the company when interviewing
          (See: Preparing to Succeed)


No questions when prompted at the end of an interview
          (See: Interviewing the Interviewer!)


No specificity when asked what you’re looking for
          (See: The paradox of "keeping your options open" in your job search)


Poor time management
          (See: Time Blocks Prevent Mental Blocks!)


Asking tough questions
          (See: Ya' Gotta Ask!)


Not being organized in the job search
          (See: Are You Ready???)


Lack of online presence
          (See: Building A Professional Online Presence)


A damaging online presence
          (See: How Employers View Your Online Presence)


Face-to-face networking works best
Spell it out!
The Art of an Informational Interview
Your Online Footprint and Your Job Search!

Read more!

In your job search… Don’t Ask For Jobs!

One of the biggest mistakes people consistently make in the networking process when seeking new jobs... is they ask for jobs!

"What!  Isn't that the point of networking??? To find a job???"

Yes ...and no!

I consistently have people approach me asking if I know of job in their field, and I hear them ask the same question of most others they meet as well. I'm a recruiter, and I do know of open jobs. However, not usually the kind of jobs they are looking for, and most people don't know of open jobs... even at their own companies. They are busy with their own jobs, and families, and other interests and have no reason to ask or pay attention to what jobs are open at any given time.

So, while they sincerely would like to help... when they're asked if they know of an open job, nothing comes to mind and they feel badly they aren't a better resource for you. The conversation becomes quiet, and awkward, and they walk away feeling useless, and you walk away feeling like this networking thing is a waste of time.

When you don't ask for anything in your networking conversations, the conversations seem to end in the same way. The contact may even say something like...

"I'll certainly let you know if I hear of anything!"

Which may sound encouraging, however, almost never produces any results. Typically, it's because they are thinking the same question you decided not to ask: "Do you know of any jobs in my field?"

The key in job search networking is to help them change their thinking, and look for worthwhile contacts for you that get you one step closer to an opportunity rather than the job itself.

If you're an Accountant, networking with the stay-at-home mom next door, having her think of her cousin that is also an Accountant gets you a valuable contact that is more likely to know of Accountants, or Accounting Managers at companies you may like to pursue. If you're brother-in-law is a sales person that might sell to companies that you have an interest in, the Purchasing Manager he calls on is likely to know who an Accounting Manager in his organization might be.

Realizing that the goal in effective job search networking is to get names of other people that may help you get closer to the right opening will help change the conversations and become far more productive. While someone is highly unlikely to know of an appropriate position for you... it's highly likely that they know someone that gets you closer to someone that does know of an appropriate role.

People overwhelmingly want to help in some way... they just often don't know how. As soon as they realize that you are looking for a job, they will certainly tell you if they know of one. They want to help, and that's the obvious question that comes to mind. It doesn't usually occur to them, however, that a name can be a tremendous resource for you.

Make it a point, in your job search networking, never to ask if they know of an open job, and see your results improve.


Face-to-face networking works best
No Questions = No Results in Your Networking
The paradox of "keeping your options open" in your job search
What good does THIS contact do for me?

Read more!

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