Questions You Need to Ask at an Interview

9 10 2014

Great ideas for questions to ask at an interview. Be sure to go with no fewer than three questions, but you absolutely must not ask a question where the answer has already been given, even if it is on your list.

Words of Wisdom from the Career Development Interns

You just made it through an interview with the company you really want to work for. You breathe a sigh of relief and try to discreetly wipe the sweat off your hands so that you can give a final handshake. But before you do so, the employer turns to you and asks with a smile, “Do you have any questions for me about the company or the position?”

You freeze, and your mind completely goes blank. You don’t want to ask questions that could be easily answered by looking at the website, because then that shows you came unprepared. However, you don’t want to leave without asking ANY questions, because then that shows you’re uninterested or unconfident. What should you do in this situation?

Not to worry. As you prepare for the interview, here is a list of seven appropriate questions to use as reference and tuck away into your…

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Five Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Business

9 10 2014

Some great ideas on marketing your business


(Family Features) Just like any good sports team, every business needs a good coach. Marketing consultant John Jantsch, bestselling author of “Duct Tape Marketing” and “The Referral Engine,” has some low-cost ideas that will help you create a strong message and communicate it to the right people.

  • Keep Score – If you want to determine who your ideal client is, go through your entire client list and rank your clients by profitability. Then look at your most profitable clients and identify those that are already referring business to you. Figure out the common characteristics in this group and you’ve got a pretty good picture of your ideal client.
  • Find Your Zone – Once you’ve identified who you’re marketing to, you need to fine tune your message. Ask how you’re really different from your competitors, Jantsch advises. The best way to find out is to ask your…

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The job of jobhunting (3) – what’s new?

6 09 2014

If I were to nickname Anne Headley, I would call her the Queen of Creativity. When she speaks to this issue, it is well worth our time to listen.

Anne Headley's Blog

I’ve been thinking about how a jobhunter can spend the day being effective and positive.  I’ve previously written about being conventional and academic, meaning doing obvious things like posting on job boards, responding to ads, and keeping up one’s skills and knowledge.

So what else is needed?

Creativity now comes into play – every single day.  I suspect that this part of the job search is the primary reason people seek career counseling.  Without it, you will get what you have always had, and you probably don’t want that.

Creativity means – following impulsive thoughts, paying attention to your dreams, reading something different, doing something really unusual in your community, acknowledging your intuition.  Here’s where you allow those scary thoughts about what you’ve always wanted to do.

Do you see the connection between what you seek professionally and random ideas?  Probably not, but – please trust me – a connection…

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Managing Your Federal Job Search Campaign — my guest blog on Careers In Government

26 08 2014

Did you know that the federal job search campaign is different from any other?  Many people do not understand the importance of having a strategic plan for their job search, and a federal job search requires even more specificity.  Please take a look at my guest blog to find out how! Feel free to share further insights and comments:;

Can You Follow the “How to Apply” Instructions?

4 08 2014

In previous posts I addressed two key issues in analyzing a federal vacancy announcement: 1) Are You ELIGIBLE to apply and 2) Are You QUALIFIED to apply.  The third key element in applying for a federal job is being able to follow directions,  In other words, can you adhere to the HOW TO apply instructions located at the end of the vacancy announcement?

Contrary to popular belief, federal employees are hard workers who are generally very good at following instructions. They are lots more productive than the media would have us to believe.

First the Content, then the Learning

4 08 2014

The content for my Federal Job Fit course is up; posting it in a way that made the information compelling was a bit of a challenge, but do-able.  Now the deep analysis begins: What do I want participants to learn and how do I want them to learn it?  What is enough and what is too much?  I love facts, but many people don’t.  How do I balance facts and abstractions?

I am using HaikuLMS as my platform.  Learning it was time consuming, but not as difficult as I feared.  I still have a way to go until I thoroughly understand the system, but I am making progress.

Now I must create reasonable assignments and discussions that enhance learning, and take about two hours per week to complete.  I am told that’s what a working professional can handle.  It’s a reasonable expectation, but harder than I imagined.

Taking on a new challenge typically includes a learning curve.  Learning theory indicates that adults aren’t comfortable with the ambiguity it takes to master a new skill, and in my case, they are right.  Even so the challenge feels somewhat delicious, and for each small success I get a warm, fuzzy feeling.

From content to assignments to learning.  I imagine my students will feel the same about learning the content as I do about learning the system.  I intend to remember this feeling.  I am looking forward to assisting others through their learning curve and to remembering how it feels to take on a new, yet compelling challenge!

Leaving My Comfort Zone, and Finding a New One

7 07 2014

I like to know how things are done; it’s my comfort zone.  I am not happy in a workshop when the presenter tells me I should do something but doesn’t tell me how to do it.  …Yes, I know I should be doing it — that’s why I chose your workshop!!

So when it came time to develop an on-line workshop, I was stymied.  I wanted the how-to information before I got started.  I wanted another person to tell me how to do it.  I wanted a step-by-step manual that gave me specific information about how I would need to develop my unique workshop.  I wanted; I wanted; I wanted.

I am one of those people who, when I feel insecure, needs specific instructions.  I get “uber” aware of my inadequacies and want someone to bail me out!!  I think I might even get defensive.  Can you imagine wanting to help a (somewhat) argumentative, defensive person?  Me neither.

I’m starting to accept living with ambiguity with this new effort.  There is an uncomfortable learning curve as I take risks, fail, and try again.  It really is trial and error.  Learning how to do something properly three days after I did it improperly contains a bit of triumph aligned with a modicum of frustration.

But I am growing — and in the process learning a new skill.  Slowly but surely, I’m learning the how-to of creating an online learning workshop.  In the process I’m finding a new, improved comfort zone.