Let’s Play 20 Questions…for a Job Seeker to Answer in the New Year


We ask job seekers these questions. The answers can help pinpoint an area to address. The reasons for asking these questions are explained.

  1. What geographical location(s) do you want to work?

    Each region has a fourth leg to its economic uniqueness in addition to government, education and health care.

  2. What industry(s) do you want to work?

    Industry and location are linked as the location quotient may be more or fewer opportunities than the national average. This may indicate the degree of difficulty of finding employment in a particular industry and region.

  3. What companies do you want to work?

    Each company will value certain skills more than others. They will need some skill more than any other. Find out what that skill/position is.

  4. What are your billable skills?

    Every person has God-given talents that they do better than 99% of the population. Identify that talent and find a buyer for that talent.

  5. How can you generate revenue for a firm using your time and talent?

    What is it that you can do for a company that it will pay money for your time and talent? This is the essential question of the job search process.

  6. If you do not have a billable skill are you interested in sales, business development, customer service or retail?

    If you do not have a talent that the company needs to generate revenue, then how do you acquire more customers for the company in the sales process?

  7. If you are not interested in sales, how are you going to differentiate yourself to get jobs that do not require specific skills and there are a lot of capable candidates?

    If a job seeker does not have a billable skill and does not perform in a sales role, then they cannot generate revenue for a company; therefore, they are a cost center and that means these jobs are most vulnerable to be outsourced or cut. These jobs are also very competitive with many substitutes for talent.

  8. Do you want to start a business? If so, explain.

    If the existing labor market does not provide the job you want, then can you create it on your own?

  9. Do you want to get a master’s degree?

    You may realize the degree you have does not give you the skills the market desires; therefore, obtaining new skills may be the answer.

  10. If so, which field?

    Not all degrees are equal. Do not invest in a degree without determining the demand for it.

  11. Are you working now?

    Even if you are underemployed, it’s easier to get a job when you have one than if you do not have one.

  12. If so, what are you doing?

    Maybe this temporary, under-employed job gives a hint into what industry you should pursue.

  13. How much time are you spending on your job search per week?

    Job seekers do not spend enough times job searching. The average job seeker to find the job that they want will need to spend 40 hours a week for 3 months or a month for every 10k they want in starting salary.

  14. What activities are you doing during this time?

    Upwards to 80% of jobs are received through personal networking with weak ties. Cast a wide net when job searching. Less than 10% of jobs are obtained via online searches.

  15. Do you have a LinkedIn profile?

    This easily maps out your network and shows how to get to a person in an industry or company.

  16. How large is your personal network?

    One expert says everyone has at least 200 contacts. That’s 40,000 people you know within one degree of separation. That’s your network.

  17. How many companies have you applied to thus far?

    Most never apply to enough companies, only those who are their dream jobs.

  18. How many 1st round or phone interviews have you received?

    If you are not getting any interviews, then it is something wrong with your resume. Could be one or many things. Perhaps you are applying for positions you are not qualified to perform.

  19. How many 2nd round interviews or onsite/face-to-face interviews?

    If you are not getting second round interviews, then you may have an interview problem, perhaps you are not prepared, overly confident, nervous, don’t ask or answer questions. Practice by role playing.

  20. How many job offers have you received?

    If you are turning down offers, then perhaps you are too picky. If you have not received one yet, but have obtained 2nd round interviews, then keep at it. Someone may just be better. You are an Olympian, but you did not medal.