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I just watched the Vice-Presidential Debates and noticed something. The last question provided a chance for each Candidate to look into the camera and tell the Americans why they should be voted into office. Now, you can debate elsewhere about who won or who you favor, but I have to give one of the candidates props for doing a great thing at the end - HE ASKED FOR YOUR VOTE!

Whether you recognized it or not, four people have applied for the position of Commander-in-Chief. You are the Employer. As such, how do you feel about the act of asking for the job?

You may not have noticed it, but he did in fact ask directly for the job. In sales, we refer to this a "Closing" or "Closing Hard". There's an expectation in the sales world to have the guts to ask for the sale. By not asking, you just kinda linger around without closing any deals. You then become known as a "Professional Visitor". (You can find these people on the low end of the sales compensation scale!) There's an acronym known as A.F.T.O. which stands for Ask For The Order (also known as A.F.T.B. Ask For The Business). Remember those acronyms as they can help you during the last few moments of your interview, when you get to look directly into the Employer's eyes and give them a heartfelt question. The point I'm trying to make here is Don't Be Afraid To Ask!

Presidential Elections, Debates, and Sales jargon aside, let's think about the importance of being bold enough to ask:

  • What if your significant other never asked you out?
  • What would television news shows be without hosts who ask great questions?
  • What would your Doctor's appointment be like if your Doctor did not ask you any questions?
  • What would a court case accomplish without the Prosecution or Defense asking questions?
  • What if Inventors decided not to ask questions?
  • What if children stopped asking the question "Why?"

Yet, we let a huge opportunity pass us by because we fail to ask questions during an interview. Asking questions shows interest. Asking questions can unlock the clues to how you can be an asset to a new company. Asking questions shows you did your homework and can make a difference now.

Here are some ways to ask for the job:

  • Based on what we discussed today, is there any reason you won't hire me?
  • You shared some information on what your top performers achieve here. Can I have the opportunity to be the next top performer here?
  • When does your next New Employee Orientation class start? (Reach for your calendar)
  • When do I start? (Kinda bold, but make sure you've had a great interview with this or any other A.F.T.J.)

And remember, asking questions might even set you apart from all the other Applicants who just took for granted that the act of asking for the JOB (Remember A.F.T.J.).

What questions have you asked during interviews that made a positive impact?

So I ask, are you afraid to ask questions?