The Savvy Networker: 10 Questions Never to Ask in Job Interviews

by: Liz Ryan You know enough to bring a list of questions to a job interview. When the interviewer asks you, “So, do you have any questions for me?” the last thing? You want to say is “No.” But that could be the best option if you’re at a loss for words, because some interview questions are better left unasked. Here are 10 highly unsuitable interview questions that should never make an appearance, unless you don’t want the job: 1. “What does your company do?” This was a reasonable interview question in 1950 or in 1980, before the Internet existed. Today, it’s your job to research any company you’re interviewing with before setting foot in the door. We need to show up for a job interview knowing what the employer does, who its competitors are, and which of its accomplishments (or challenges) have made the news lately. 2. Read More

Bored at work? Read this. A third of all U.S. workers struggle with 'boreout.' But there are remedies.

This article was printed in The Christian Science Monitor, November 17, 2008. by Marilyn Gardner Nicole Haase would like to work harder than she does. But as a receptionist and payroll administrator for a manufacturing firm in Milwaukee, she finds limited opportunities to take on more duties. “Work is slow, and we’re a small company, so it’s not always easy to find other things to do,” Ms. Haase says. To fill empty moments, she e-mails friends and works on freelance writing assignments. “The Internet is my friend – anything to make the time pass,” she says, adding that the strain of having too little to do creates its own kind of burnout. Now there’s a name for this kind of underemployment: boreout. In a new book, “Boreout! Overcoming Workplace Demotivation,” authors Philippe Rothlin and Peter Werder call it a pervasive problem. Studies show that one-third of workers in the… Read More

Older entrepreneurs have experience, resources on their side

Success more often finds those with assets such as experience, cash and contacts. A new wave of baby boomer entrepreneurs likely to be unleashed by the current economic turmoil will be an important force in eventually pushing the economy onto safer ground, some experts say. A late-September poll by the Kauffman Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship, showed that 70% of respondents agreed that the success and health of the economy depended on the success of entrepreneurs; 80% agreed the government should encourage more entrepreneurship. ——————————————————————————– FOR THE RECORD: Small business: An article in Business on Monday about a new wave of baby boomer entrepreneurs said the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business is at Columbia University. The center is actually part of Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in New York City. — ——————————————————————————– Though many people think of entrepreneurs as twentysomethings laboring in their garages on… Read More

What’s That?

I’m certain that there are a lot of people walking around — or holed up at home – in a bit of a state of shock these days. With the financial losses and lay offs affecting so many, there’s a lot of fear and confusion about what’s happening. We all, really, want to know ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ Years ago, during the dot com bust, I was interviewed on the Style Network talking about what to do when faced with a lay off. At that time, I was working with many dazed and confused people in their late twenties and early thirties – these were people in what I call the Roadblock LifeStage and most of them really needed to reassess what they wanted from work and how they could take what they’d learned and done to a new job. A few of these clients were already… Read More

Mixing Social Networking with Work

A few days ago, I was interviewed for an article about social networking at work… The article is now up on the Yahoo Hot Jobs site! Social networking isn’t really news, but its use in the workplace is. According to a new survey of human resources professionals by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the nation’s first outplacement consulting organization, 59% of companies don’t have a formal policy in place regarding the use of social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, at the office, perhaps because nearly half of those polled said surfing these sites isn’t a problem as long as employees are completing their work. In terms of networking and finding out about career paths and to get a sense of different kinds of people and professional opportunities, I think social networking is fantastic. I’m all for the social networking sites because I believe there’s so much you can learn;… Read More

Why I Didn't Go Into Investment Banking by Guest Blogger Vanessa Van Petten Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the book “You’re Grounded!”—a parenting book from a young perspective. She keeps an active teen blog for parents who want to know what their kids are really doing online, at High School parties or when parents are looking the other way. Her candid and young perspective, as well her constant survey of resources and updates about this generation of young people are a treasure trove for parents. I was on the perfect track. Was student body president of an upper snuff Los Angeles private school. Got accepted into a top 20 University and became a Mandarin and East Asian Studies major before the wave hit?????–so everyone was in desperate need of white female Asia specialists. Wrote an honors thesis and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I had a bid from a top investment banking firm in New York—everything was perfect. It… Read More

Learn to Use Technology to Find Who and What You Want

Knowing how to properly use technology, and specifically sites like Linked In, Facebook, and Myspace, can be instrumental in your search for job opportunities. However, these sites have the potential to do more harm than good if they are not used effectively. The first thing to consider when using technology to aid in a job search is the specific message you want to send. Remember that people often assess you based on information from a variety of sources, so having a consistent message is essential. Everything from your photos online to the voice message on your phone should be kept clean and professional. In addition, you can show your initiative by creating your own website that has your resume, writing samples, or a portfolio of work experience on it. From here you can start to think about creating or updating your profile on the various social networking sites. Keep in… Read More

Making My Own Path

Guest Blogger – Colleen Cooke Have you ever said no to making $100K four times? When opportunity knocks, typically I open the door. However, in the last six months, I’ve turned down at least four terrific opportunities.Like many women focused on their careers, I had my first child in my late thirties. My daughter is amazing and almost four now. People told me that life would change, and it did. Yet, I tried to keep doing what I had done; work 50-60 hour weeks while juggling the rest of my life, family, friends, and household. After three years of living in denial and becoming depressed (all while rapidly approaching my fortieth birthday) it finally sank in life had unequivocally changed. I needed to catch up with my life and make some changes. What I was doing wasn’t working. The real epiphany came after I was offered a terrific role… Read More

Did you know this?

Challenges and Opportunities are Abundant Men in their thirties are earning less than their fathers earned at the same age. That’s the disheartening news I read in the LA Times (Sat. May 26th, 2007) that cited an ongoing study called the Economic Mobility Project. Opportunity for advancement and increased income would appear to abound in this time of innovation and new business development. However, earnings figures show that earnings opportunities for young men are slow to develop upwards due to competition with healthy baby boomers and savvy businesswomen. What does this mean for young men (and frankly, women too)? Where there is challenge, there is opportunity. You can sharpen your awareness for opportunity and find the efficiency gaps in your work place. Leverage your strengths maybe they include creativity, technological savvy and a willingness to learn. Identify them and then let your boss know you’re ready for more responsibility… Read More