Questions Job Seekers Should Ask

Job Seekers Need to Ask Their Own Questions

So the awkward moment arrives and the interviewing manager says; “Do you have any questions for me?” The worst thing you can do is say; “No, I don’t have any questions.”

There are three issues. First, you don’t want to look like a dufus. Second, you need to find out whether the company is a right fit for you! Third, you must be prepared!

Listening to Herman Cain

As I was driving to work the other day; I was listening to the Herman Cain Show on the radio. As the owner and CEO of several businesses he has interviewed many applicants and one thing he always likes is the applicant who asks intelligent questions.

The problem is most candidates are unprepared and either do not ask questions or do not ask intelligent questions. Even though the candidate knows the opportunity is coming; they are unprepared and have no idea what to ask.

Below are some of the possible questions raised on the show:

What’s the Next Step?

Far too often job seekers don’t take the time to determine the process. They sit through the interview, answer the questions and then leave wondering if they will ever hear anything more. Ask about the process; are there more interviews or will some candidates be invited back for a second interview? If so, when and how many?

How Long Before There Is a Decision on the Position?

What is the timeline for filling the position? When do they expect to make the decision? Is there an urgency to filling the position?

What Have You Learned in the Interviews?

How many candidates have you interviewed? How many more interviews do you have scheduled? How do I compare to those you have interviewed? What have you seen in others that has piqued your interest?

What Are the Critical Skills and Abilities You Require?

This is an extremely important question. The job posting may list a large number of skills and abilities they would like or desire; but what’s critical?

Is This a New Position or a Replacement?

If this is a new position you need to take the opportunity to help define the role. What skills do they want and what additional skills can you bring to the position.

Long ago, when I worked for IBM, one of the ways we were able to get business was by helping the organization write their RFP (Request for Proposal). Obviously when you get in on the ground floor of helping to define the requirements; you increase your chances. The same can be said for a job description.

This process can be especially useful if you know a hiring manager, who has a need. If you meet the basic requirements for the position, you can help this person refine the skills and remarkably they happen to match what you have

If this is a replacement for someone who moved up or out; you need to focus on what key skills and abilities must be replaced. Quite often your predecessor performed tasks and assignments which were outside the normal scope of their job because they had the skill. Is the company looking for a clone of this individual


My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

You Say You Are Results Oriented; but Does Your Summary and Experience Support Your Claim?

Does Your Profile Say You Are Results Oriented?

If So, Does Your Detail Support Your Claim? I’m amazed at the number of times I see someone make the statement “Results Oriented” but in reading the remainder of their summary or work history; there are no specifics of the results achieved.

You Cannot Make a Positive Impression if You Cannot or Do Not Support the Claim

Some say they are avoiding stating some or all of their accomplishments, because it’s the process of “tooting your own horn”, but they are wrong: you must do it! You can’t simply expect the reader to believe it solely because you said “results oriented”. It just doesn’t work that way! You must explain the value you brought and the results you achieved otherwise it’s simply a couple of unsupported words.

Humility Has No Place in Your Resume and Profile!

It’s nice to be humble and it’s a great trait to have; but you cannot allow your humility to overshadow your accomplishments! As long as you are honest in your statements and details and if you have worked hard and set yourself apart from your peers; you must tell the recruiters, hiring managers, prospective business partners, clients, prospects and customers.

If you fail to support your claims the people you want to join with will not pay attention. They are looking for people with the answers and abilities they need; they do not have time to try to figure out the missing information. If the information is missing, they will move on!

Other Frequently Unsupported Statements

The statement stating “Results Oriented” is just one example of a frequently unsupported claim. Some other common claims include:

  • Motivated;
  • Excellent communicator;
  • Creative;
  • Passionate;
  • Clear Thinker; and
  • Team Leader.

You may be one or all of these things and whether you are or not; is not my point. My point is don’t just say it; show it! Give examples in your summary and experience; get people to write meaty, meaningful recommendations describing your talent and how you were able to use those skills and the outcomes. Go back to the old PAR strategy; Problem identified; Action taken; and Results achieved.


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I Am Shocked When Business Owners Ignore Social Media

I Am Amazed

I am amazed; I am shocked every time someone tells me that they want their business to be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or any other Social Media and then end with the comment saying they do not want to have that presence tied to them. All I can say is: What?

How can you be in Social Media where it is all about conversations, not dialogue, and not expect to be involved? Web 2.0 applications, which is what Social Networking or Social Media applications are, is all about conversations. That is why these applications were developed.

Anyone Making This Statement Does Not Realize That Social Networking Is About Conversations

Social Media is about conversations with your friends, customers, prospects, and others. If it is not you conversing with them; then who do you want doing the talking? Have you designated someone to talk on your behalf? Are you prepared to entrust these communications to someone else?

If this is a large organization, where the operations are no longer tied to an individual, it may make sense. But if you are a small or medium sized business, a professional, a consultant, or an entrepreneur; you probably do not have someone that you have trained and entrusted to talk for you.

Social Networking Is About the Conversations

The purpose of these communications is to build credibility, reliability, and trust; how can you do that and simultaneously remain anonymous? Are you afraid that a customer or prospect will say something you do not like? If that is the case you need to wake up, because they are saying those things regardless. At least with Social Media you have a chance to hear what is being said and respond.

Business Owners and Managers Cannot Ignore Social Media

Today’s world does not allow you to hide! Your business can be and actually is a target and thinking that by not being involved in Social Media will somehow protect or shield you is a mistake. Things are being said with or without your participation. Social Media has become the outlet for favorable and unfavorable discussions.

It used to be that the dissatisfied customer would tell six friends; today that number increases geometrically. The average person on Facebook has 130 friends. If they post something about you, favorable or unfavorable, on average 130 people will see or hear the message.

There is a YouTube video out about United Airlines breaking this guys guitar. Over 3 Million, yes that is an “M” people have seen this video. Last I knew it was even becoming a record.

You are now a member of the viral world so stop being an ostrich and get your head out of the sand. You need to be participating!

Are You Tapping the Power of Facebook?

Facebook Fan Pages Can Expand Your Sphere of Influence

Facebook has over 450,000,000 members; how many are you reaching? Obviously you will never reach the full 450 million, but as Zig Ziglar says: “Your goal is just to reach the next one, and then the one after that, and the one after that.”

How do you do that? How can you take advantage of the viral nature of Facebook?

Here Are Some Key Tactics

Just as important as those that “Like” your Fan Page are your Friends.

  • Build your fan base.
  • Build your friends list.
  • Create great content.
  • Get your fans to click that they “Like” your content.
  • Get your fans to comment on your posts.
  • Investigate and adopt new Facebook functionality as appropriate for your goals.

Build Your Fan Base

Having a successful Fan Page requires that you have a strong and supportive Fan Base. Just a couple of months ago you became a Fan of a Page, now the terminology is that you “Like” a page. A subtle, yet important difference. Encouraging someone to say that they like something is much easier than encouraging them to become a fan. You need lots of people to “Like” your page.

Why Is a Strong Fan Base Important

Your Fan base is where your messages start. Every post you make will immediately go to your Fan Base and then stop; unless you have a strong Fan Base that is supportive of what you have to say. A strong Fan Base does not let your message die with them; they will look at your message, recognize it for what it is, and click the “Like” button or comment. These actions enable your message to live on and reach others, which must be your goal.

We can be experts or demonstrate our expertise within our small circle of friends, but if our message never goes beyond this circle of friends; what is the value? Hopefully your goal is to reach an increasingly large audience and Social Networking provides us that opportunity.

We are within the reach of millions of people if we do it right. Most small businesses, professionals, consultants, etc. have never had that opportunity in the past, but today all that has changed and we must adapt.

Build Your Friends’ List

The next piece that is critical to your expanding your sphere of influence is to build your friends’ list. People underestimate the value of their family and friends when it comes to spreading the word to build their business. The reality is that if you cannot count on your family and friends to help you; who can you count on?

I am truly amazed at the number of business people, professionals, consultants, etc that are reluctant to have their business tied to them. Are they afraid of the connection? Is there something in the way they act outside of business that does not mesh with the way they run their business or vice versa?

The reality is that many small businesses fail because there is a disconnect for friends to relate the individual to the business. People that would potentially be supportive; but have no knowledge may not patronize or promote for you. I am advocate of the philosophy that it is not who you know, it is not how many you know, rather it is Who Knows You That Counts!

In my next post I will talk about the other Powers, mentioned above, of Facebook that you should be tapping.

Do Not Go Outside the Box Too Quickly

Maybe Thinking Out of the Box Is All Wrong

We hear frequently about the idea of thinking outside the box and I’ve come to realize that maybe outside the box is not the correct term. Think of yourself as a picture. As with any picture you have a foreground object(s) and then the background. Look at the foreground object as your current job and the background as your skills that put you in that position.

Even if the foreground becomes fuzzy or fades; the background still exists.

Do You Define Yourself by YOUR Job, or Are You Defined by YOUR Skills

When your job becomes obsolete; does that mean that you become obsolete as well? If we are focused on the foreground that is an easy conclusion for YOU to reach. But if you look at the background as your skills, abilities, and talents that put you into the job you will see that you have many things working in your favor to continue moving you forward that are not obsolete.

The Assault on the Job Market

Over the past two decades we have seen the US Job Market assaulted by jobs moving off-shore, automation, business closings, and the recession to name some of the culprits. As a result the US has experienced tremendous job loss; some of which are gone forever. The workers that occupied the jobs that no longer must adjust. They cannot live on the hope that those jobs may return, because in the majority of cases they will not.

The job market is also being assaulted by the changes from employees to contractors or consultants. More and more employers are recognizing the need for flexibility in the workforce and one of the best ways to facilitate flexibility is with a temporary workforce. As such workers must be prepared to adapt again.

The change to a temporary workforce places increased pressures on the workers to continually be upgrading their skills and abilities to meet the demands of their prospective employers. Even while they are on assignment these workers must constantly be looking to the future anticipating the new skills that will be required when the assignment ends.

Restructure Yourself Based Upon What Made You What You Were; Not For What You Were

A few years ago Marshall Goldsmith wrote his book “What Got You Here; Won’t Get You There”. It was a book about advancement within an organization and the fact that the skills that caused your success in one position are not the same skills that will enable you to succeed in the next.

Today, the same can be said as you progress through your career. The skills that get you to one position may not be the same skills that you will need for your next opportunity. You cannot bank on your next employer needing the exact same set of skills as the last. You must be prepared to re-craft yourself to meet the needs from one opportunity to the next.

Wait a Minute; Do You Really Need to Think Outside the Box?

Maybe Thinking Out of the Box Is All Wrong

I just finished reading “The Age of the Unthinkable” by Joshua Ramo and it has made me reflect on this topic.

We hear frequently about the idea of thinking outside the box and I’ve come to realize that maybe outside the box is not the correct term. In the book Ramo uses the example of a picture. Many pictures have a foreground object and then the background. I now look at the foreground object as my current job and the background as my skills that put me in that position.

Your Job May Be Obsolete, But That Does Not Mean That You Are

When a current job disappears, I mean becomes obsolete; if we are focused on the foreground then we have become obsolete as well. But if we look at the background as our skills, abilities, and talents that put us into the job we will see that we have many things working in our favor to continue moving us forward.

Here’s an example; I’m in IT and after 9/11 my projects which were all new infrastructures, just dried up. Although not permanently obsolete it was devastating enough to be a challenge.

I lamented and mourned and went through months of not moving forward. Finally I stepped back and looked at all the things I had done (the background of my picture) and realized that, although I was not an IT security expert, I had over 20 years of IT security experience. I had grown up with IT security from four letter passwords to what it was at the time.

Restructure Yourself Based Upon What Made You What You Were; Not For What You Were

I restructured my resume to focus on this experience and lo and behold I found a job. Everything I needed was in the box, I just had to get past the foreground picture to find it.

We do not need to go off the deep end, we just need to be willing to look beyond the obvious.