The Job Search Process is Like a Chess Game

buy the book
free hiring guide
I don't want anyone to struggle during the job search process. I want you to make your ideal job search a slam dunk no matter who you are competing against. But in order to compete at this level, you need to view things differently, think differently, and do things differently. I'm here to reframe your job search and help you stand out and land your ideal job.

Actions you take early in the job search process will determine how well you perform down the line. Like a chess or checkers game, you need to think one or two steps ahead at each stage of the job search process. 

What desired salary you put down on the application at the beginning of your job search could impact how you are perceived and could significantly influence salary negotiations at the end of the hiring process. When you set up an interview, what questions you ask can often provide you with inside information that will help during your interviews. What you include toward the top of your resume will dictate how the hiring manager will view you as they move further down your resume. And the questions you ask at the end of your interview will provide you with critical inside information for subsequent interviews and salary negotiation sessions.

Every stage in the job search process provides you with an opportunity to get inside information that will set you up for more success down the line. Everything you do at each stage has a purpose. Don’t ever enter a stage without stepping back and asking yourself how you can take advantage of that stage to set yourself up to perform better in the next stage.

Let’s use the end-of-the-interview question-and-answer stage as an example. Rather than conduct a Google search to come up with questions you will ask, think about what questions will provide you with information that can help you stand out above your competitors and address the employer’s challenges. Why do you think the employer is interested in filling the position? Because the company needs help. Your goal is to ask questions that will provide you with information you can use to find better ways to help the employer. 

Given this thinking, which of the following post-interview questions make more sense?

Option 1:

Why did this position become available?


Option 2:

If I were fortunate to be offered the job, what would you want me to accomplish in the first three months [or, what would be my main priorities in the first three months]?

Option 1:

Can you describe a typical day? 


Option 2:

What are the most urgent challenges you face within your department?

Option 1:

How much travel is involved in the position?


Option 2:

While perusing the company website, I noticed that the company works with major sports franchises. What strategies are in place to attract these clients, and how does this department contribute to this effort? 

What questions will provide you with the information needed to help you sell yourself even more down the line? Option 2! What questions sounded like the standard questions that most job seekers pull from the internet? Option 1. Remember, once an offer is on the table, you can ask any question you desire. Save the “what’s in it for me” questions until you have the job offer. The interview is the time to uncover information that will help you assist employers and show you care about them and their businesses.

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You must get yourself or your documents in front of the hiring manager for each company or position you pursue. The free downloaded guide will help you identify the hiring manager and then uncover the hiring manager's email address.

Subscribe to the BLOG and Get a Free "Connect with Hiring Managers" Guide


get started

Slam Dunk Job Search will provide you with a 6-step process to elevate your job search performance above your competitors and help you stand out and land your ideal job. 

Helping Job Seekers Get to Where They Want to Go . . .
One Meaningful Step at a Time.