• Employers hiring for August 2014

    We have almost eighty thousand employers looking for new employees on TheLadders, and we could use your help.

    If you, or your friends or colleagues, could fit the bill for one of the below-listed jobs, please let us know by clicking through and applying.

    Steve Kohn Steve Kohn
    President at Affinity Executive Search
    HIL Development Engineer – MI
    Automotive Hardware Engineer – MI
    Control Systems Development Engineer – MI

    Joseph Anthony Vaccariello Joseph Anthony Vaccariello
    Owner & Recruiter at Genesis
    Engineering Manager (Large Scale Wet Chemistry) – micro – UT
    Lead IC Design – Post-Silicon Production – San Jose, CA
    Lead IC Design Engineer – San Jose, CA

    Wayne Cozad Wayne Cozad
    CEO at Cube Management
    Design Services Lead – Furniture – Los Angeles, CA
    CEO Non-Profit Rehabilitation Services – Fort Wayne, IN
    Trade Relations Manager – Pharma – IN

    Frank Merritt Frank Merritt
    CRMS, CITC, Senior Recruiter at Harvard Risk Management Corporation
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – BRIDGEPORT, CT
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – CT
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – CT

    Kyle Mosley Kyle Mosley
    Branch Manager at Aries Group, Inc.
    Certification Engineer ( Aerospace ) – TX
    Supply Chain and Production Planning Manager – NH
    Principal Electronics Engineer – Boston, MA

    Martin Appelson Martin Appelson
    Partner at Bradford Group Consulting and Staffing
    Business Development Healthcare Director – Chicago, IL
    Business Development Healthcare Director – Detroit, MI
    Business Development Healthcare Director – Cleveland, OH

    Tania Pena Tania Pena
    Managing Partner – The HealthCare Initaitive at The HealthCare Initiative
    Vice President of Quality – TX
    Director of Behavioral Health – TX

    Lance  Coachman Lance Coachman
    Recruiter at EXI,inc
    Head of Computational Life Science – NC
    Sr. Product Marketing Manager – San Jose, CA
    Strategic Sourcing Manager – CT

    Mario Fidanzi Mario Fidanzi
    CEO at MedTeam Staffing
    Hospital Controller – Houston, TX
    Clinical Systems Analyst – Lab Pathnet Analyst – Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Laboratory Supervisor – Houston, TX

    Chris Wellington Chris Wellington
    President at The Wellington Group
    Principle Scientist – CA
    Sr Material Scientist – Glass – CA
    Director of Product Development, R&D – NC

    Have a great week in your search!

    I’m rooting for you,

  • When you look in the mirror, I smile

    Let’s face it, the professional job search is a heck of lot longer, more tedious, and more frustrating than any of us can bear.

    Between ducking out for lunch-time interviews and cranking through networking calls, your job search is hectic enough to get you frazzled, hassled, and more than just a bit “down in the dumps.”

    Banging out another four phone calls after an exhausting day in the office — while it could be just the jackpot you’ve been waiting for — is still awfully tough to get excited about.

    And the negative thoughts or bad mood that a rough day can generate have a way of creeping into your voice. You might not even realize it, but you may come across sounding tired or crabby or exhausted, and that undercuts the whole purpose of making the calls to begin with.

    So here’s my bit of job hunting success advice to make your calls sound great:

    Buy a mirror.

    Now, I know that sounds like a small thing, and probably a funny thing, but a mirror can help wipe away the negative feelings you might unconsciously be transmitting over the airwaves.

    Buy a mirror, and keep it by the phone. Just before you make your networking and interviewing calls, take a good long look in the mirror.

    And what do we do when we look in the mirror?

    We smile.

    So before your calls, take a minute to have a nice, big, warm, fun smile with yourself.

    Think of summer days, or your first kiss, or the birth of your first child, and enjoy watching how big and wide a smile you have.

    And the amazing thing, which scientific research has actually backed up, is that our facial expressions can really change our emotions.

    So you’ll find that even after a bad news day, grinning a grin — a big old grin — for 5 minutes can actually make you feel better. I’ve tried it myself over the years, and it’s really true.

    Those positive feelings help your spirits, help you sound great on the phone, and help you get your next job that much quicker.

    So that’s my simple advice for this week, folks: mirror = smile = good attitude = positive impression. I hope you find it as useful as I have!

    Enjoy and have a great week!

  • Age discrimination is mindset discrimination

    One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA.

    Oh, sure… we’re not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is…

    The blank look on your interviewer’s face when you talk about growing up in the 60s or 70s. The skepticism with which your Snap-twit-facebook-whats-gram-app skills are regarded. The cultural references that pass silently like two Teslas in the night…

    Well, at least the younger generation seems to get your reference to “Gunga-galunga” and giggle.

    Most of the time.

    All of it adds up to a pernicious undercutting of your ability to get hired and get ahead. We have to admit the ugly truth that age discrimination exists — there’s no doubt about it.

    And there’s no silver bullet for those facing it. If you’re in the job market and over the age of 52, you will almost certainly face stereotypes and negative attitudes regarding your desirability because of your age. And in some cities, in some markets, that negative environment impacts candidates as young as 40 years of age.

    While there’s nothing you can do to stop it, I have, over the years, observed which candidates and applicants have succeeded despite their age and which have failed because of it.

    If I had to summarize, I’d say it appears to me that age discrimination is mindset discrimination first and foremost. And you’ll need to review how you are presenting your mindset — your attitude — to your future employer.

    Every hiring manager is asking herself, every HR person is asking himself, these questions about you and every other candidate they’re interviewing…

    Will this candidate:

    • Be able to excel in this role
    • Be able to learn and adjust as the role evolves
    • Be able to master the tools and technologies involved today and tomorrow
    • Get along well with others on the team
    • Take direction and feedback

    And it’s important for you to realize that youth is the symptom, not the cause, of age discrimination.

    What I mean by that is that hiring managers are hiring for open-mindedness, flexibility, and a sociability with others. On average, there’s a perception on the part of hiring managers, whether right or wrong, that those attributes are more frequently found in the young, as opposed to the experienced.

    And it’s worthwhile to review why these attributes have so much value in the business world today.

    As the world changes, businesses change even more rapidly. Companies sometimes need to jump on new trends before they pan out, or hedge their bets, or make sure they’re well-prepared for most contingencies. And that means there’s always plenty of “new” to keep up with.

    So a workforce that is flexible, open-minded and interested in learning is far better than a workforce that is determined to keep doing it the old way.

    “The old way works fine” might be OK for you around the home, but in business, it has proven to be an enormous destroyer of value. Take a look at the hard times that old famous companies have fallen upon. Heck, even some of the newer tech companies that were darlings within the last decade have had difficulties mastering new environments.

    So expecting your future employer to be pleased with an “old ways are tried and true” mindset won’t serve you well in your job search.

    So it is not necessarily youth itself that companies are hiring for, rather, it is those attributes that have proven effective in today’s business environment.

    The cause of age discrimination is the perception around older professionals’ adaptability, curiosity, and team spirit; youth is merely a symptom.

    Since you can’t change your age, your goal is to address the underlying root causes of age discrimination — your goal is not to appear or act age-inappropriate — it is to present yourself, effectively, as a constructive, resourceful, “coachable”, team player.

    When confronting misperceptions in your job search, it is always better to “show” than to “tell”:

    • Describe situations in which you adapted new technologies to the problem at hand. It is helpful if these examples aren’t from the seventies, but rather represent transitions that your interviewer herself went through.
    • Recount how you were able to help younger (and older) staffers get to a solution that was stumping all. Detail the challenges you faced and what tactics you used to overcome them.
    • Relate your experiences with receiving and using feedback constructively. Discuss how you used the situation to update your behavior and outlook. Share the process you went through to find where you could perform better and the steps you took to achieve an improvement. Ideally, quantify that improvement.
    • Illustrate with specific stories your interest in, and passion for, the work that you do. Why does it drive you? What excites you about your work? Your younger competition does this out of habit — because they can’t talk about decades of success in the business — so you need to make sure you put yourself on a fair footing.

    As you can see, the important thing is that rather than telling the hiring manager that you’re open-minded, curious, flexible, adaptable to new circumstances, and sociable enough for the role, show him that you are.

    And a final word to remake the point about youth being a symptom and not a cause of age discrimination.

    On occasion, one finds older candidates that mistake having an open mindset with mimicking a twenty-year-old’s mindset.

    There is a difference.

    Arriving at a job interview replete with the names of the latest bands, dropping age-inappropriate lingo into your answers, and wearing clothes that reveal too much about your desperation by trying too hard, all have the opposite effect of what you’d hope for.

    Interactions like these reconfirm your interviewer’s fears that you’ll be obtuse, unsavvy, and a management challenge on the job.

    No, your best tactics are to communicate, verbally and nonverbally, that you are adept at keeping up with the times, and, even more importantly, interested in doing so. And the best way for you to do that is to show them precisely those behaviors and traits for which they are interviewing.

  • A favor to ask

    Last week, I took you on a tour of TheLadders’ headquarters in New York City.

    So each year, after taking you on a little tour of our office, I ask a favor in return:

    Would you mind sending us a video — a Vine or an Instagram — for our wall displays here at TheLadders headquarters?

    You see, we work all day on the internet, which means we don’t get to see you, our customers, in person every day. And with the long hours, heartfelt dedication and total commitment to seeing you land your next gig, it makes an enormous difference to us when we can put a face, and a smile, with the name.

    So I’d like to ask you to do me the favor of sending along a short video, or Vine, or Instagram video of yourself to videos@theladders.com

    Each year, about 10,000 subscribers like you send us their “hello”, and they now grace our walls, hallways and conference rooms. Our favorites have included the Marine in Iraq on a camel, the sportsman with a turkey, the subscriber who crossed the Alps on a bicycle in an eight-stage road race, and the loads and loads of “family shots” we get — at holidays, on vacations, or just hanging out. Understanding that we are responsible for helping you and your family really hits home with the team here at TheLadders.

    Oh, and please be sure to include a little blurb — your name, hometown, your profession, and how you’re using TheLadders for your career — when you send your videos along to videos@theladders.com.

    We post your videos along our walls and in our conference rooms to give our people a daily look at the folks we are helping. You can imagine how powerful it is during meetings when our customer is right there in the room with us.

    Please note, we just use these videos here at our headquarters and would never use them in any other way without asking your permission.

    But if you’d like to post to your Twitter or Instagram, you can use the hashtag: #MeetTheLadders and see what everybody else is posting as well.

    So please send along your short little video. It would mean a lot to me and to the team, and we’ll “see” you soon!

    I’m rooting for you!

    p.s. Here are the links to Vine, Instagram and TheLadders apps on iOS and Android:
    Vine iOS Vine Android
    Instagram iOS Instagram Android
    TheLadders iOS TheLadders Android

  • Photos (and now videos!) of us

    Each year, I take you “behind the scenes” at TheLadders headquarters here in Manhattan so that you can have a peek at the people who are on your side in the job search.

    This year we’re going to try something new… Videos! So let’s get going!

    TheLadders Soho Office
    Our building in the famous SoHo District of Manhattan.
    TheLadders front door
    The front door of TheLadders building.

    Recruiter Relations Team
    Here’s our Recruiter Relations team… they help bring in the jobs!

    Michelle is our design leader and is responsible for making everything beautiful and easy-to-use for you.

    HR Team
    Ray & Katie hire and motivate folks at TLC on the HR team…

    Ilyssa in our Job Search Support Center is here to help you land your next great role in life…

    Marketing Team
    TheLadders’ marketing team says “hi!”

    Kat is one of my favorite people here at TheLadders and makes our mobile apps gorgeous and useful.

    TheLadders Team
    Here’s the whole TheLadders.com team!

    John helps make the core technologies at TheLaddders…

    And Tim listens to your feedback to create new products. As a matter of fact, he’s working and listening so diligently, that he’s forgotten to take down the Christmas Tree in the office.

    So that’s TheLadders office in New York City, folks!

    Next week, I’ll be asking you for a favor!

  • We Can Be Heroes

    It’s the week of the 4th of July, and every year I like to share these words from a great American with you:

    “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

    That’s Teddy Roosevelt speaking at the Sorbonne in 1910, but he could have just as easily been speaking to you.

    Readers, we all know those professional critics and perpetual naysayers who say: "It’s no use; it can’t be done. Don’t try. Give up. Why do you have to stand out? Just be smart and give up."

    They are an all-too-common, misfortunate fact of corporate life and they populate our hallways, snack rooms, and company cafeterias. They lurk there, with their drag-down message of gloom and doom in the hopes of ensnaring you in their misery.

    But it’s important for you to know: the naysayers are wrong, and you don’t have to buy into their message of "settle-for-little" and underachievement.

    Because you’ve been blessed with talent; because you’ve had the fortunate happenstance to be born in this great country (or emigrate! or visit!); because you are one of the leading professionals in this great land of ours, you have a higher purpose this Fourth of July holiday.

    I’m asking you this Fourth of July to reach deeper. To use the great talents you’ve been given; the skills and abilities and experience you’ve developed over the years; the guts and courage that are so much a part of you, to be even greater.

    I’m asking you to make a difference in your own life: to find that next great job that will make you even better; to stretch yourself farther than you knew was possible; to be that person you’ve always known you were capable of becoming.

    I’m asking you this Fourth of July to be a hero. Your own hero.

    And with that, I’d like to end this newsletter with a few lyrics from a talented Brit (hey, they took part in the 4th of July, too!)

    You know, I think this motley-eyed chanteuse is on to something…

    We can be heroes; and I’ll be rooting for you all.

  • Three ways you’re sabotaging yourself

    While you’re reviewing the thousands of job openings and employers on TheLadders this week, here are three ways you just might be sabotaging your own job search (without realizing it!)

    1. E-mail address

    What e-mail address do you use professionally?

    If you’re using AOL, or your local cable provider, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot.

    Only 5% of new users at TheLadders sign up with AOL email addresses these days. If you’re still using AOL to represent yourself professionally, it could be sending a signal that you’re uncomfortable with new technology and that you haven’t prioritized keeping your skills up-to-date.

    Using your local cable provider’s default e-mail — whether it’s bellsouth.‍net, optonline.‍net, or tampabay.‍rr.‍com — increases the chances of a typo leading to a missed connection. Because people don’t pay as much attention, or care, to what they’re typing after the ‘@’ sign, using less-familiar domains in your e-mail should be avoided.

    More than 45% of new users at TheLadders use gmail.com. Because gmail is well-known for its utility, ease-of-use, and power, using gmail as your address is a smart move that also sends the message that you’re up-to-date with the times.

    What’s before the ‘@’ sign is important too.

    Common ‘household’ or ‘joint’ email strategies such as ‘jimandnancy@’, ‘smithhousehold@’, or ‘huxtablefamily@’ are not good e-mail addresses to use for your professional job search. Professionals are accustomed to writing directly to other professionals. Requesting that they e-mail your spouse & kids when contacting you is awkward.

    The best email address is your first name, followed by a dot, followed by your last name, at gmail.‍com:


    If that’s taken, then for the purposes of your jobsearch, add next year’s number to your address:


    You’re probably going to be using this e-mail address into the New Year anyway and starting now makes you seem ahead of the times. And everybody wants to hire somebody from the future, right?

    2. Can a stranger read your resume?

    Print out your resume. Take the top third and rip it off. Hand it to somebody you don’t know.

    Can they tell you, without asking you any additional questions, what you want to do next?

    For too many of our subscribers, the answer is no. The reason is that you’re trying to do the wrong thing with the top third of your resume. You’re trying to tell people about your character and your abilities and your many, many different skills and your flexibility and too many things!

    You know what the person who is reading your resume is trying to find out?

    “Does this gal, or guy, want this job that I have to fill?”

    Obviously, given that you’ve spent the time to create a resume and send it to them, they know you want a job. But do you want this particular job?

    Is it something that you’ve done before? If so, did you like it? If so, do you want to do it again?

    Because you spend all of your time with yourself, it seems so very obvious that you want the type of job that you’re looking for.

    But strangers don’t know that. And, chances are, you’ll most likely be hired by a stranger.

    So it’s important that you make it easy for people who don’t know you.

    Show them, at the very top of your resume, what job you want, and why you’re qualified for it. You’re not naming every skill and experience, but you’re giving the reader a sense of what you can do.

    If they can’t tell, by reading the top-third of your resume, what you want to do next, then you’re never going to get to the next step.

    3. Did you talk to a live person today?

    The internet delivers you news, information, funny cat videos, electronic books, fashionable shopping, and, via TheLadders.com, the latest and greatest job listings at the professional level.

    So… “hooray!” for the internet.

    But here’s the truth — the internet is not going to hire you.

    No, you’ll be hired by a living, breathing, thinking, smiling person.

    So the question is: did you talk to that person today? Did you try to?

    It’s important, while you’re searching, looking, peeking and applying to all those great jobs you find at TheLadders, that you also realize that you need to make talking to people, live, in person or on the phone, a priority.

    Have you called your old contacts? Returned the call from the company that perhaps you’re only mildly interested in? Have you taken a former colleague to lunch? Did you call back the recruiters you’ve met over the past six months? Drop by a conference?

    Connecting with people, live, in person or on the phone, is essential to getting hired. Too often, we fool ourselves into believing that self-directed activity is the best way to get hired. It’s not. Connecting with others is.

    If you’re more of an introvert, more comfortable communicating by writing than by speaking, you can still connect with others. I’m not going to mislead you and say that it’s better, but it’s still sufficient if you write thoughtful, sensible blog posts, comments, e-mails and contributions on industry-related topics and threads. But it’s important that you’re connecting with others, not just yourself.

    When it comes to getting hired, you need to ensure that every day is a “talk to a person who could potentially hire me” day.

    Because eventually… they will.

    So those are the three things you might be doing to sabotage your own efforts in the job search, Readers. Avoid them and prosper.

    P.S. The fourth thing you’re doing to sabotage yourself? ‘Seasoned’. If you’re using the word ‘seasoned’ to describe yourself… don’t.

  • Hired!

    Thousands of your fellow subscribers have found their new jobs this quarter on TheLadders!

    As has been true for the past few years, we’re continuing to see a steady increase in activity from employers and recruiters on TheLadders.

    Why? Because TheLadders professionals are interested in a new job, and behave respectfully. While the typical job posting on LinkedIn or Monster gets hundreds (thousands!) of unqualified applications, the typical job at TheLadders gets just 21 applicants that are targeted, relevant, and interesting to the HR person or recruiter.

    So while we don’t have the space to share them all, here are a hundred of the top positions landed by your fellow subscribers through TheLadders.com in the past months:

    Title Salary Location
    Purchasing Manager $100K Mooresville, NC
    Director of Marketing $150K New York, NY
    Strategic Sourcing Manager $110K Redmond, WA
    Director of Operations $95K Denver, CO
    Sr. Systems Engineer $110K Dallas, TX
    Client Services Manager $80K Boston, MA
    Project Manager $80K Washington, DC
    Regional HR Manager $100K North Dakota
    Manager, Underwriting Assistants $95K Cleveland, OH
    Regional Sales and Operations Manager $90K Northeast Region
    Lean Facilitator $85K Hamilton, OH
    Home Health Specialist $65K Dallas, TX
    Compliance Investigation Officer $80K Dallas, TX
    Executive Assistant $60K Chicago, IL
    AVP Human Resources $170K Washington, DC
    Chief Information Officer $335K Brentwood, TN
    HR Director $87K San Francisco, CA
    Account Director $90K San Diego, CA
    IT Manager, Desktop Support $130K Palo Alto, CA
    Marketing Director $120K Atlanta, GA
    Sr. Operations Leader $125K Louisville, KY
    Sr. National Account Manager $125K Phoenix, AZ
    Business Manager $65K Chicago, IL
    Account Executive $62K Milford, CT
    Director of Marketing $75K Las Vegas, NV
    Sales Executive $68K New York, NY
    Sales Executive $125K Richmond, VA
    VP Operations $260K New York, NY
    Senior Website Manager $135K Atlanta, GA
    Account Executive $80K Waltham, MA
    Sales Executive $63K Omaha, NB
    Managing Supervisor $80K Dallas, TX
    Manager of Information Systems $110K Rockville, MD
    Cloud Computing Architect $150K Atlanta, GA
    Training Manager $102K Atlanta, GA
    Deputy Director $214K Tucson, AZ
    Account Executive $65K Miami, FL
    Accounting Manager $89K Medley, FL
    Systems Engineer $80K Charlotte, NC
    Area Account Manager $71K Phoenix, AZ
    Senior Director of Marketing $125K Turlock, CA
    Field Marketing Manager $80K Miami, FL
    US Payroll Manager $80K Wellington, FL
    Director, Corporate Development $125K Oak Brook, IL
    Director, Escrow Servicing Compliance $120K West Palm Beach, FL
    Business Manager $135K Northfield, IL
    Director of Clinical Services $135K New Jersey
    Business Development Manager $72K Smyrna, GA
    Director of Marketing $160K Chicago, IL
    Program Manager $145K Lake Forest, IL
    Design Engineer $104K Greenville, SC
    Vice-President/General Manager $230K Highland Heights, KY
    Director of Talent Management $160K Shelton, CT
    VP of Sales $250K Falls Church, VA
    Finance Manager $125K California
    Medical Device Sales $56K New York, NY
    HR Manager $120K Baldwyn, MS
    Operations Manager $75K California
    Account Executive $50K Downers Grove, IL
    Director of Business Development $160K Palo Alto, CA
    Program Manager $130K Alexandria, VA
    Regional Account Manager $60K Seattle, WA
    Sales Rep $75K San Antonio, TX
    Sales Director $250K Redmond, WA
    Sales Manager $72K Salt Lake City, UT
    Energy Auditor $90K Baton Rouge, LA
    Global HR Director $150K Des Plaines, IL
    Plant Superintendent $110K Alsip, IL
    Director of Communications $190K Tarrytown, NY
    Corporate Director of HR $125K Modesto, CA
    Project Manager $125K Phoenix, AZ
    Director of Recruiting $125K Hollywood, FL
    Director of Operations $185K Burbank, CA
    Quality Manager $110K Wichita, KS
    Sr. Account Executive $115K Philadelphia, PA
    Account Executive $110K New York, NY
    Project Manager $143K Mason, OH
    Senior Manager $115K Austin, TX
    B2B Sales Consultant $40K New Jersey
    Ecommerce Marketing Manager $100K Virtual
    Director of Finance $150K Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Lean Leader $160K Charlotte, NC
    Windows Infrastructure Consultant $130K New York, NY
    Director of IT and Operations $126K Washington, DC
    Senior Engineer $85K Overland Park, KS
    Location Sales Manager $100K Atlanta, GA
    Service Delivery Director $180K Rockville MD
    Account Manager $80K Oakland, CA
    Product Marketing Manager $107K Chicago, IL
    Account Executive $90K Atlanta, GA
    IT Support Manager $87K Winter Park, Florida
    Sr Quality Engineer $97K North Carolina
    Sr. Sales Exec $120K Northern Virginia
    Sr. Manager, New Business Development $122K Malvern, PA
    Regional Sales Director $130K Mason, OH
    Account Manager $100K Los Angeles, CA
    Major Market Sales Representative $45K Memphis, TN
    General Manager $103K Oregon
    Senior Auditor $110K Mesa, AZ
    Sr. Program Manager $162K Arlington, VA

    Good luck in your search this week!

  • It’s not about me, it’s about you… the 21 questions you need to ask in a job interview

    It’s time for my twice-a-year update of the best questions for you to ask in an interview.

    I’ve put this list together because so often we can forget what an interview’s all about. It sure feels like it’s about you, but it’s really not.

    An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed. It’s about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.

    Overlooking these basic facts about the interview is easy. There’s so much else going on in your work, your life, and in your job search, that you can forget to look at the interview from the interviewer’s point of view. And that’s a shame, because you need the interviewer to walk away from the interview thoroughly impressed.

    When I ran these questions previously, commenter “spiderji” wrote in and said:

    Marc, I used some of your questions in a job interview today. When I asked how to get a “gold star” on the evaluation, the interviewers faces lit up!” I contrast today’s interview with others I’ve been on where I didn’t have any meaningful questions at the end. This one was electric! I won’t know the results for a couple of days, but if they hire me I’ll owe you a drink! Thank you!

    And reader LBRZ shared:

    I have to thank you! I had an interview yesterday and it went great. When I asked about his leadership style and reward system his face lit up like a christmas tree.

    After he answered the question “how can I help you receive your next promotion?”, he began to give me advice on how I should negotiate for a higher starting salary.

    And that’s exactly the point, Readers. By asking these questions, which focus on the needs, traits, and preferences of your future boss and future employer, you’re demonstrating that you are somebody who is genuinely interested in their well-being. And the more interest we show in others, the more commitment they show to aiding our cause.

    With that in mind, here’s the twice-a-year update to my collection of “best interview questions” below. My aim here is to arm you with easy-to-ask, revealing-to-answer questions for you to take with you to an interview:

    1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the tough times are over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak? What’s the plan to handle to either scenario?

    2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?

    3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?

    4. About which competitor are you most worried?

    5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you’re interviewing for.)

    6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?

    7. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?

    8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?

    9. What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company? What are the pain points you have to deal with day-to-day?

    10. What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest worry these days?

    11. What’s the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?

    12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?

    13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / “attaboy!”-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?

    14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an “open book” shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?

    15. If we are going to have a very successful year in 2015, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 6 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals? (This question helps show your ability to look beyond today’s duties to the future more than a year away.)

    16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I’m doing the best I can for the company?

    17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?

    18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the “perfect” candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?

    19. What is your (or my future boss’) hiring philosophy? Is it “hire the attitude / teach the skills” or are you primarily looking to add people with domain expertise first and foremost?

    20. In my career, I’ve primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that’s the case, how successful will I be at your firm?

    21. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I’m considering whether or not I’d be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?

    I hope you find these questions useful in your interviews, Readers!

    A final note. Previously, another commenter, “Lenore”, asked:

    Hi Marc. Awesome questions!

    My question for you is…..how do you ask questions when you are meeting with more than one interviewer. I met with 3 to 4 interviewers, one at a time. I didn’t want to come off generic by asking each of them the same questions. I guess you can go by their role to determine what questions you are going to ask. Sometimes they are all top executives. I’m guessing there are enough questions to divide amongst them all. I had asked so many questions in an interview once, that I didn’t want to seem redundant. Do you think this is ok?

    To which I replied:

    Great question Lenore.

    Three options:

    1) Change the wording a little bit each time so you’re not asking the same question in the same way.

    2) Mention that “You know, I already asked your colleague about this, and I’d love to hear your thoughts…”

    3) Divide the list and ask different people different questions, as you suggested.

    Hope that helps!



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