2 questions to answer in your next interview

The most common and, perhaps, most feared questions asked in interviews are:

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

Being prepared for these is the most basic thing you can do before an interview; even better is knowing these before you start your job search.  This sort of self-assessment can be very tough to do by yourself.

What tools do you have to get to these answers?

Finding your strengths

Doing it by yourself could be as simple as taking out a pen and pad. Or asking your friends and loved-ones.

Or you may want to use some of the online assessment tools.  There are thousands and some are better than others for different careers.  They cost from nothing to hundreds of dollars.  They come both with and without interpretation or support.  You may have taken one or more of these before, in school or in a job interview or at a temp placement shop.  Some are validated.  Others are based on the provider’s personal theories.

I like Your Talent Advantage and StrengthFinder

Finding your weaknesses

Looking for your weaknesses might be easier with a partner, someone who knows you well and can be honest with you.  Asking a number of your friends for just one weakness each will give you a list you can look at.  Look also at your “growing edges” to see what you might want to learn in your new job.  You can say “I’m weak in (stretch goal) and would like to be guided by my supervisor to improve in that area.”

What have your experiences been?  For the DIYers among you, check out  

Bundle: My Skills, Expertise and Keywords template, video and podcast

And check out these blog posts on interviewing

1st Bioscience Interview Question

Manage the bioscience interview

Do you have an interview suit?

Steps to your next bioscience job!

Do you know the steps to your next bioscience job?

You would be surprised at how many people think that every recruiter knows what all the full-time and part-time jobs, consulting gigs, and internships that are out there in the world and which one will fit them in particular.

steps to your next bioscience job; no fairy job mother

That is simply not humanly possible.  

But there are steps you can take to find your next bioscience job AND set yourself up for a satisfying career.  

Steps to your next bioscience job

Be visible using the right keywords for your next job

Know what you really want in your next job and company

Know what companies meet your criteria

Be known by the people in the companies and departments you would like to join

Be remembered, liked and trusted.

Write a resume that stands above the rest

Interview like a consultant

Accept the job and keep networking.

We dig into those steps here

Please do check it out, especially if you thought you knew how hiring worked.

Bioscience Job Search Steps

Recruiters, Candidates and Money

Are you asking these job search questions?

How do you prep for your interviews?

How do you prep for your interviews?

Interviews are NOT like being hauled into the principal’s office.  

Interviews are NOT like being hauled into the principal’s office.  

Don’t start out in a “one down” position.  Remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  Go in with confidence because you have prepared well.

Nor are interviews like networking coffee dates.

Make sure that they have a job you actually want, as well as one you can do. 

You know how, when you are shopping for a new house or even just a couch, the places and details can really run together.  Do not let this happen in your job search!! Keep notes!  You do NOT want to call the hiring manager by the name of the one at the last interview!!

Do let me know if you need some help with any of this.  You can schedule a time to practice or I can help you with the details of the prep! If you have never talked with me before, schedule here.   If we have already had our first conversation then schedule here or here

Interviewing: new podcast with Judson Walsh and Connie Hampton



Interviewing can be a scary proposition or one where you are confident going in and know what happens next coming out.

Preparation is essential.

Most people don’t really prepare enough and when faced with the hiring manager, or worse, a team of interviewers, it is easy to freeze.

Here are some suggestions on how to avoid that and be seen as the person who can solve the problem they are hiring to fix.

For a coaching session on just your interview, click here

How Many Applicants Get Interviewed? Will You?

Job Search Tip #48 – Interviews



What do you need to be confident and clear in your interviews?  What homework should you have done?  What questions do you need to practice asking?  Do you know about the Wonder Woman stance?  The Superman stance? The right first and last questions to ask?

Join us to do the homework so that your interviews are comfortable and consultative.  For more information, click 



Why is it so hard to find a job?

Why is it so hard to find a job? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  shows us that the unemployment rate for people with a professional degree or a PhD is less than 3% which is statistically 0%. 

Why is it so hard to find a job


So why is it so hard to find a job, even though the economy is better than it was? Especially for fresh inexperienced graduates and well-experienced Boomers?  What is holding you back? Or tripping you up?

Many people think that you find a job like you order a book on Amazon – go online and find the one that looks interesting, click and attach your CV and wait for “the call”. Or they think that holding one of those degrees above is the “E” ticket to a good job and being chased by headhunters and HR people. It is really depressing to find out that it isn’t so.

So what is the way?  The above method is very broken.  But you can still find the right job.

You have learned hard topics, like neurobiology and brain surgery.  Job search skills are not nearly as difficult, but must still be respected, thought through and employed. 

What skills do you think you don’t have or are missing that should make it easier? Are they lab or bioscience skills?  Or are they job search skills? Can you list your job search skills the way you can your science skills?  

Bonus tip: Learning the skills of job search is easy but there is quite a bit of misinformation or outdated methods still being taught online.  


If you need some personal help, just book a time to talk here


Or How to Fail at Job Search

Reputation, Personal Branding, and Social Proof


Your reputation is now called “Personal Branding” because you do have a degree of control over what other people think of you.

And you do have control over what you put on your “online real estate” (your profiles).  People who check out your profiles will form an opinion of you by what is on your profiles.

A job seeker or consultant’s job is to be visible online, to be known, liked and trusted.  Your reputation will affect the last three and you can manage it in your online visibility.

Branding is a marketing term that has crept into every day language.  Personal branding really means what our parents referred to as your reputation or “What will the neighbors say!  Make us proud!”  You can demonstrate your greatness online without bragging and then have your friends and connections endorse those things or even write recommendations (or you can help them do so by giving them a template).  Of course you will do it for them first!

As a recruiter, when I look at two potential candidates and one has 99+ endorsements for one of the skills I am looking for and the other has 2, I will be more interested in the one with 99+.  I know that the system can be “gamed”, but I will, at the very least, think that the first one actually knows how to use LinkedIn and is in the niche I need.

Now if  the first one is no longer interested in doing what 99+ people have endorsed them for, then they are using false advertising and we will both end up wasting our time.

Check your recommendations and endorsements to make sure that they are likely to encourage a recruiter to call you for the job you want, not the one you have not done for 10 years.

For a quick look at your Profile, Click Here

For something more in-depth, Click Here


What do you look like on social media?

social media is crucial

Social Media can make or break your chances of getting hired.  

Many people WILL look you up on social media like LinkedIn, G+, or even Facebook to see who you are, what you present, even what your politics are.

Hiring managers and recruiters will surely look at your social media presence.

I look up people I’m meeting in coffee shops so that I don’t have to bother people I’m NOT meeting.  Do you have your picture on your LinkedIn Profile or G+ Profile?  Can I tell it is you? Or is it you in the distance? Or do I need to figure out which of the 3 people in the picture is you? 

What will Hiring Managers and recruiters see?  

Do they have to dedicate hours to finding your last embarrassing picture from that party in high school? (which, of course, they won’t.)  Or is it right there, easy to find and perfect for trashing your chances of even getting a phone call for that professional job?  Of course you know to remove them, but what if someone else has it on their page and tags you?  What about Instagram or other, newer forms of social media?   

Or, if you graduated from high school before the internet preserved our mistakes for posterity, is your LinkedIn Profile skimpy?

Is it hard to read, making it impossible to imagine you doing what the hiring manager needs to have done? Or have you posted your grab-bag resume instead of choosing your words carefully? This is your personal “online real estate”.  It is your billboard and you want it to be at least presentable.  

Do you need help discovering “your” words?  Writing them in good “dragon-slaying” stories?  Knowing how to use the more interesting parts of the Profile? Did you know that you can put slides, pictures, documents, even videos on your LinkedIn Profile? How can use use this to be more easily found by the people who need your skills?

One of the tasks of the job seeker (or even consultant) is to be visible online, since that is where we go now to find people and solutions.  If you are afraid of identity theft or too many emails, there are certainly steps you can take.  If you never want another job or client, are now retired or being “kept” and are certain that life-as-you-know-it will not change in your lifetime, then don’t be visible!  But if you know that change is, protect your personal brand by keeping your social media serving your own best interests!   

Click here for some help!

Strategic Plan for Your Career Can Only Be Made by YOU.

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Many people don’t have a strategic plan, or even any plan, for their working life.  A job is not a career.  And the definition of a “good job” has changed.  It has become absolutely essential for each person to manage their career as no one will do it for you.  The jobs you were prepared for in public school have all been taken by computers or off-shored.  Creativity and thoughtfulness are now imperative if you want to be able to retire from a “good job”.  So what is your plan?

What is your goal?

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Many people don’t have a career goal.  Do you?

Not having a goal is OK if you really don’t care where you end up.  But, even though it can be excruciatingly difficult, choosing really is important.  You know that saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  Especially when it comes to money and jobs.

And it is important to plan well.

You can’t just say that you want to be president of the United States and then not learn history or not study politics or not volunteer or not go into politics and run. Similarly you can’t say you want to discover a cure for cancer and then not do a degree in science, or a postdoc, or pay your dues at entry-level positions in bioscience companies.

So what do you want to accomplish in your career? What are the steps you need to take to get there? Is the job you’re contemplating going to take you closer or further away from that particular goal?

If you get halfway there you can still change directions. But if you never move in that direction you’re simply not going to get there.

Once you know what direction you want to move in, then I can help you take the next step.

Book an appointment to talk about