How to blow an interview using any of 5 questions

Yes, the wrong questions can destroy your chance to be hired.

True story with our candidate: He was interviewing for a $100,000/year job.  The interview had lasted an hour.  The hiring manager loved the candidate.  There was no one else interviewing.  The hirer had made up his mind that this guy was going to work for him.  The manager asked, “Do you have any questions?”  The candidate said, “Yes, how much time off do I get and when can I start taking vacation time?”  Five minutes later the candidate was out of the office.  He had no clue why the interview was terminated so abruptly. He was not hired.

Attitude is everything in an interview.  A hiring manager is looking for someone who will work hard.  He wants a team builder who will inspire others.  He wants someone who will take some of his burden away.

Don”t ever ask the “What”s in it for me?” questions in your first interview.  The correct time to ask is when they bring it up first, or when they make you a job offer.

Here”s a list of some of those questions you should NOT ask until later:

  • How much time off and vacation do I get?
  • What is your sick leave policy?
  • Can I come in late or leave early sometimes?
  • Do I have to work late?
  • What will my pay be?

None of the above questions is asking anything evil.  You need the answers to all of them.  You”ll get all the answers before you accept the job.  Just wait a bit.

The correct questions to ask are about the company’s direction, your role, potential job growth, your teammates, etc.  Ask questions that show you want to work hard. Your questions should show you want to help.

Attitude really is everything in an interview.  What you are most interested in asking about will show your interviewer what your real attitude is.


Something To Do Today

Write down some questions that show how much you want to succeed. It”s good practice.


Coming up:   The money question

Later:              My last job stunk


sTumbling towards happiness

Where will you be in 5 years?  What if you don’t really know?  What if you don’t care?

Here is an interesting link that may get you thinking about what you really want in 5 years.

6 real reasons people turn down jobs

Too bad.  When someone gets a job offer and turns it down, it disappoints the folks who made the offer.  Here are 6 real reasons people turn down jobs.

Will the folks who made the offer learn from it?  Will they even listen if you tell them why you turned down the job?

I am in favor of giving the real reason you turn down a job, not just the one that makes you feel better.  If you give the real reason the facts may change, then they can give you a call and a chance to reconsider.

The best example is when you just didn’t like one person you talked to.  Once that person is gone, it may become the perfect job.  If you let them know the truth, they may call you back in when they fire that person.

Anytime you do turn down a job, be polite.  You know how.


You have to ask two questions in every interview

Ask, and it shall be given unto you. (Bible)

 I talk to hiring managers after interviews to see how my candidates have done.  I also ask about the competition.  One of the common complaints I hear about many candidates is, “I’m not sure he really wanted the job.”

When I ask my candidates about it they always say, “I didn’t want to appear too anxious.  They might not pay me what I deserve.”  At least they won’t have to worry about being underpaid!  They will never be offered a job.

Your interviewers are evaluating you for more than just your ability to do the job.  They are keenly interested in your attitude.  They want to know how willingly you will work with the team.  Are you going to be excited to go to work, or will you be looking for a new job the day after you start?

A key place to plant the right impression is as the interview ends.  The last thing you want them to remember is that you want the job.  Here’s what you say:

I’m impressed by this company and this opportunity.  I’d love to have the chance to work with you.  Is there anything you’ve seen today that would keep me from being able to join your team?

When they say, “No, you’re fine.”  You ask the one most critical question.

 Can we set up an appointment for the next step in the hiring process right now?

Usually they will say, “We’ll call you later.”

That is fine.  Now they know you really want the job.  They’ll know you try to make things happen.  Your desire to move things forward will be undeniable.

Isn’t that the last impression you want them to have of you?


Something To Do Today

Practice your closing lines before every interview.


Later:  Best ways to blow an interview

The money question


Who lies on their resume and what they say

I am always fascinated to see someone blatantly lie on their resume.  It is damaging on all kinds of levels.  I am not talking about mistakes, I am talking about flat-out lies.

In case you were wondering, the top five industries for lying on resumes are:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality (hotels and recreation)
  2. Financial Services
  3. Information Technology
  4. Healthcare
  5. Retail

If you go to this article, they tell you about what people are lying about on their resumes.

More information at this link.


6 things to remember about covert job hunting

Searching for a job when you already have one can be dangerous.  If you are found out, you may be fired.  More likely, your chance to work on good projects, the trust of your boss, and morale of your team will all be gone.

Your best bet may be to tell your boss and give him a chance to do things to keep you.  But, if you decide to keep your job search secret, there are some real basic things you have to remember.

This article has 6 things to remember about your covert job hunt.  Use this link.

How to double your job interview chances

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  (Stern)

If you aren’t remembered, your interview was a waste.  Someone else will get the job. Someone else will get the promotion.  Someone else will get the reward.  If you aren’t remembered, why even show up?

Think of your interview from the hiring manager’s perspective.  He is going to interview ten people.  Three of them will totally screw up the interview.  There’s no way he’ll hire them.  That leaves 7 people who could do the job

The hiring manager finishes the last interview of the day and starts slogging through his email.  Two emails are from people he interviewed.  They said, “Thank you.”

Managers are never thanked for anything.  He takes his list of interviews and circles both names.  Then he goes through the list and circles the names of two more people who impressed him.  He puts the list down and catches up on his email.

The next days are spent catching up on all the work he put off in order to do the interviews. Two days after the interviews he receives one letter that intrigues him.  It is a paper “Thank you.”  It is from one of the people who sent an email “Thank you.”

Managers are never thanked for anything.   That person who sent an email and a paper thank you is invited in for a second interview along with one other person.

Do you want to be remembered favorably?  Get the email and ground mail address of everyone you interview with.  Send them a thank you note.  Don’t have the addresses?  Call the company and ask the receptionist.  Forgot the name?  Call the human resource department and ask who it was you interviewed with.

Send an email thank you immediately after your interview.  Send a paper thank you the same day.  A short thank you is fine.  Say, “Thank you for interviewing me.  I look forward to working with you.  I was very impressed.”  You’ll remind the interviewers who you are immediately with the email. You remind them again two or three days later when your paper letter arrives.

My guess is if 10 people are interviewed, those two notes will double your chances of getting the job.  It’s worth your time.


Something To Do Today

Have you interviewed this week?  Send an email and paper thank you.


Tomorrow:     How to close an interview

Gutsy job search networking

The most spectacular networking I have ever seen was done by an out of work international executive.  It took incredible guts and an unswerving belief in his mission.

He was a multilingual Canadian who had hired and fired a lot of people in his career.  He did something very simple, he started a job hunting club.  He also did something very difficult, he made it an elite club.

In order to get into this club you had to pass a rigorous test.  You had to be fluent in 2 languages besides English.  He would personally test your ability to converse in any of 5 languages besides English.  If you were fluent in other languages, he’d find someone else to test you.  You were also required to have been a CEO, CFO or other Chief Officer of a major company.  Pay range a minimum of $150,000 per year.  And he had to like you.

If you were admitted you had to pay $10,000 to join.  The club was not allowed to have more than 10 unemployed members at a time.  The ones who had found a job were milked to find leads for the currently unemployed group.  They had special speakers, retreats and job hunting meetings.  They occasionally invited a headhunter/recruiter to come and talk to their club.  The opportunity to speak was quickly taken up because of the caliber of executives in the club.

Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.  (Edison)

This only worked because of the vision, energy and hard work of the founder.  It was a part-time job all by itself.  This is the absolute hardest way to network. It is also incredibly effective.

What does this have to do with you?  Think about it.  Do you have the guts to start a club for unemployed people in your field?  Can you keep the quality of candidates high?  Can you help everyone in the club to network?  Can you turn the club into a permanent elite group of people in your field?  Will they all stay in contact AFTER they find jobs?

There are a lot of variations to this idea.  Do you have the nerve to do something like this?  It will be a great adventure if you do.


Something To Do Today

Start a job network.  Talk to others who are looking.  Create an email list to communicate with the others in your group.  Keep in touch at least weekly.

LinkedIn – How to get 8,000,000 contacts today

The best attempt to date at business computer networking is . So I am going to point out what is obvious to some people.

You’ll be asked for the standard personal information.  You can also put in a lot more information about yourself.  You can choose the level of information you allow out.

They will also ask if you want to check your email list for people already on Linked In.  This is not an attempt to steal your list.  They will check your email addresses to see who else is using Linked In.  Then they give you the option of connecting to people already in the network.  You can also send invitations to people not yet in the network.

I am directly connected to 2000 people. Several people I am connected to have over 5000 connections. When you sign in, send a request to join your network to . I’m all for it.

I can keyword search through 8,615,000 people using contact information keywords. Those are people within three network steps of me.  For instance, the other day I needed a recruiter in Charlotte, NC.  I found two.  I sent requests to my contacts to be connected to them.  Permission was granted and we had a chance to talk.

If you want to find someone who works at XYZ company in Fairfax, VA, give it a shot.  This is one way to start your network while job searching or career building in your own company.

Give it a try.  It’s free, or you can pay for upgrades. See how many people you can reach by just linking to me.

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is making mistakes and becoming superior.  (Link)


Something To Do Today

Try out .  I’d be happy to link to you through .


Tomorrow:     The international manager roundtable method of getting a job.

Double your chances after an interview

How to close an interview

Blog job networking

There are 6 billion people.  If you passionately care about something, someone else will too.  Find them and you have a network.

This is either a metaphor or a call to action.  You can either use the idea of blogs to create a non-computer network, or you can start your own blog.

Personal networks are all about passing around useful information.  Weblogs can help you share information and build a personal network.  For a weblog to work you have to make a commitment to find or compile information to share.  Same thing with a personal network.

One way a blog (weblog) is rated is by the number of times it is cited by other blogs.  It is cited in other blogs because it is interesting. What can you find out on the internet that other people want to know?  Is there something personal about you that would interest other people?  Do you know something other people really want to know?

What do you know that is interesting?  What is new or hot?  What can give someone else a jump on their competition?

If you know something useful, tell everyone who can use it. Do it daily, weekly, or monthly. That’s how to make your personal network worthwhile.  That’s also what makes a blog worthwhile.

Sharing useful news is the highest form or networking.  What can you find that will be useful to all the managers who could hire you?  Send it to them even if they don’t have a job for you.  Networking is about helping, not taking.


Something To Do Today

My blogs are

How can you put things you know into the hands of people who want to know it?  Who can you help?  That’s networking.


Later: Getting linked in.  Very easy networking.

The international manager roundtable method of getting a job.

Double your chances after an interview

How to close an interview