Asking the Right Questions During Job Interviews

A good way to demonstrate your interest in a job is to ask thought provoking questions during a job interview. Anyone can go in to a job interview, sit back, and just answer questions about themselves. However, it takes effort to be engaged and curious about a company. Taking the extra few minutes to come up some questions beforehand may pay off in the long run.

Here are a few primers to develop questions:

– Ask someone where they would like the company to be in five years. This could resonate more with small-business owners and start-up founders. They probably have a huge personal stake in their company and would love to talk about it.

– Look up some projects that the company worked on, if it’s applicable. Ask about how they tackled a certain story or handled an account. People like to talk about how they did things. Don’t  patronize by saying blanket statements like, “Your company is the leader in the industry.” Mentions specific examples of where the company excelled and ask about them.

– Don’t ask about salary, benefits or vacation. There is an appropriate time to ask about those issues, but the initial interview is not that time.

-“If the local paper were going to run a four-page article about your company’s culture, what would be impossible not to include?”  (I stole this one from The Ladders) I like this because it’s creative and it gives them a chance to highlight some unconventional aspects of the company.

– Ask about how people learn at the company. I learn best with a mentor or someone to help guide me. This could help you decide about the position later.

The key to asking good questions is to be specific and do your homework. Do not go into an interview empty handed.


Thursday Career Link Grab-Bag: Forbes Consulting Group

Every Thursday check here for a profile of a job/internship that is listed on our CareerLink website. We’ll pull a random one off the site and give you all the details.

Company: Forbes Consulting Group

Profile: “The Forbes Consulting Group was founded in 1985 to pursue the application of psychological theory and analysis to the solution of strategic business problems. Over the past 20 years, we have become a valued resource for Fortune 500 companies nationwide.

Our mission as a company is to offer our clients deeper, more profound levels of insight about needs and motivations – and to help them gain strategic market advantage on the strength of this insight.

From the Forbes Consulting Group Website

Position: Social Media/Production Intern

Location: Lexington

Job Description:

Primary function is to assist in the overall management of the company blog as well as to assist in the production of both quantitative and qualitative reports. You will interact with the graphics team, as well as other staff/departments. Duties may include (but are not limited to):

– Reviewing and posting blog entries (including searching for relevant imagery, editing, and finding additional sources for blog content)
– Exploring additional ways to expand company’s social media (and blog) presence
– Assisting graphics team in production of reports (creating graphics/charts in PowerPoint and other software)

Who can apply? Any current undgraduate or graduate students

Paid? No

Closing Date: September 28th, 2012

Interested in applying? Go check it out on CareerLink.


Your Obligatory Social Media Infographic

Last week, I wrote about being careful with your social media profiles. The good people at Column Five Media illustrated that concept with a handy infographic. The data was compiled by Jobvite.

One of the most surprising things was that %54 of recruiters reacted negatively to spelling and grammar mistakes. Yikes. (Click on the graphic to zoom in.)

Via Mashable

Your Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Twitter

Every Monday morning look for a digital “wake up” on the latest website, technology, or app and how they can help your job search. 

Today we’re going to dive in to Twitter:

What is it? Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to “tweet” short messages of 140 characters or less to “followers”. Chances are you probably already knew that. But if you’re just getting out from under that rock, check out Twitters FAQ page for the basics.

So what? Twitter revolutionized the communications industry. The public relations field has to deal with instant feedback from customers. Advertisers are creating campaigns specifically for Twitter. And tweeting is a must if you are a journalist looking to gain a wider audience for your work. 

Should I start tweeting? You should if you plan to work in the communications industry. This doesn’t mean you need to tweet what you had for breakfast every morning. Keep it simple. Follow people who interest you, tweet stuff you like, interact with companies, professionals, and organizations that you admire. Twitter is growing and it’s likely to stick around for a while.

Should I put my twitter handle on my resume? It depends. Social media is reshaping resumes and job searching. There isn’t a precedent for this type of thing. A good rule to follow is if your twitter account makes you look like a professional and interesting person, put it on there. If you just use your account for tweeting your friends, you’re probably okay to just leave it off. The job market will probably dictate how twitter will be utilized in the future, but it’s still working itself out.

How can this get me a job? Take a look at this article from, “50 Ways to Use Twitter as a Job Search Tool”. You don’t need to do everything on this list, but it basically comes down to being professional and interacting with the field your interested in.

Remember to tweet @COMcareers if you have any questions.

Alright, Coffee break over. Happy Monday. 

The Thursday CareerLink Grab Bag: Nellie Mae Educational Foundation

Every Thursday check here for a profile of a job/internship that is listed on our CareerLink website. We’ll pull a random one off the site and give you all the details.

Company: Nellie Mae Educational Foundation

Profile: We’re working to reshape public education across New England to be more equitable and more effective – so every learner graduates from high school prepared for success. With new approaches expanding learning beyond the school calendar and walls, all learners can develop skills and knowledge for life in our changing world.”

-From NMEF website

Position: Communications Intern

Location: Quincy

Job Description:

The Communications Intern will be part of the Foundation’s Communications team and will assist with a range of projects across several of the Foundation’s key funding initiatives and beyond. Responsibilities will include:

•Maintenance/enhancement of social media and networking presence
•Review and strategic update of Foundation website content
•Project-specific external and internal communications outreach
•Update and manage Communications Plan document
•Prepare news summaries (from news clips, blogs, etc.)
•Assist with event planning
•Assist with media outreach and correspondence
•Support administrative team as needed, including data entry, filing, mass mailing, schedule coordination and taking and preparing meeting notes

Job Requirements:

•Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills as the selected candidate may work directly with Foundation colleagues, media and grantees from diverse populations and communities
•Interest in and ability to work in both a team environment and alone with minimal direction
•Demonstrated personal computer skills, including basic troubleshooting and use of Microsoft Office and the willingness to learn about software tools
•Demonstrated use and comfort navigating Web 2.0 sites and tools, including social networks, blogs, video and photo sharing, etc.
•Interest in building capacity in underserved communities and championing individuals, nonprofits and social enterprises that connect people and catalyze civic action for transforming education in the 21st Century
•Preference given to candidates that are enrolled in a course of study or program related to the Communications, Marketing, Education or Public Affairs/Public Policy fields

Who can apply? Current juniors and seniors

Paid? Yes!

Closing Date: September 28th, 2012

Interested in applying? Go check it out on CareerLink.