CrystalClearSolutions Blog

September 29, 2009

2nd Interview Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 7:27 am

What level of assistance does the manager above yours require from you?
What are the primary areas that your manager needs help from their perspective?
What is the most important aspect of this position in their opinion?
How do they see your position expanding beyond the current description as you grow?
What should you master and in what time frame?
Should you copy managers on client communications exchanges?
How much independence is expected and in what time frame should you become autonomous?
What expectations do other senior managers have?
What area of support do they need?
What priorities are important to them?
What value can you bring to the table that is not already present?
What is a team player in their opinion?
How can you be a great team player for them?

Will you have a budget?

What is your budget amount?


Part 3 Resumes & Interviews

Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 7:16 am


So, you’re in the 1st interview and the person discloses several areas that need improvement for their company. What should you say?

You say “wow that sounds like a challenging situation, what are you doing to over come these obstacles?” They say “Well we haven’t made much progress with what we are doing.” This is your cue. Let them know if you have experience in said situations, then ask them should you return for a second interview if they would like to hear your ideas to implement a plan of action. This WILL bring you back for the second interview.

In the mean time don’t forget to send your Thank You note in appreciation for their valuable time and opportunity to interview plus mentioning your idea for a plan of action.

Then, get cracking on your ideas for a plan. Have a PowerPoint presentation ready with slide sets that you put in hard copy folder to display in your second interview. Share the ideas and ask for feedback. Once you are hired for this very important and well conceived action plan you can use these slides for your springboard into action almost immediately. You need to acclimate to your work environment and fellow colleagues first, but don’t be afraid to set up meetings to implement your plan. Share the full plan with the senior company members, then HR personnel, then secondary management and as a full group depending on the size of the company and or your position coming into the company. Remeber to brainstorm and ask lots of questions with interactive feedback, this is a two way dialogue.  Use discretion with your position and only to those who need to know should be involved until they are prepared to release to the whole company.

On one occasion I shared how I would implement a new SharePoint v2 roll out and what the top level sites would look like as well as naming subsequent levels. I also created the view of how I differentiated my site from other developers, scoping the side bar differences and mouse over features with short name links and summary description, plus collapsible lists. I was hired and deployed this to our team of 35 senior marketing engineers.

The main points here is to find something in your first interview that is lacking and offer a way forward that you can uniquely do to offer improvement and make a difference .

Part 2 Resumes & Interviews

Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 7:04 am

Here is a list of questions I pulled together and use interactively, general purpose that can be sculpted or curtailed to specific industries:
1. What are your priorities?
2. What are your immediate needs?
3. Who are your major clients?
4. Who are your principal/priority clients or employees?
5. How do you manage your schedule?
6. Are you open to initiative (s)?
7. Do you need help in organizing your office?
8. What level of assistance is needed?
9. Is there back up for asking for help/assistance?
10. Do you have an HR process? (smaller co)
•Who handles this?
11. What is an acceptable level of accuracy?
12. Do you have an inter office document sharing/storage process or site?
13. What are your hours of operation or expectation?
14. How do you keep track of your oop employees?
15. What amount of time is spent calendar?
•Office processes?
16. What are your hot buttons, pet peeves?
17. How do you see my skills and expertise utilized to your advantage?

Also, ALWAYS follow up with a Thank You note for their time.

Do you have others? Please add to the list and prioritize your ideas that help others organize them selves and me 🙂

Resumes & Interviews

Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 6:59 am


I see so many posts on resumes and people offering to review and write or re-write resumes, but what about the interview?

I have an excellent resume and called to interview on progressive positions. Therefore, how to prepare for the interview stands out above all since recruiters and HR personnel are searching and finding applicants to answer their advertisements.

Preparing for your interview is the key ingredient for clutching the job you are applying for. Doing research ahead of time on the company and arranging a list of questions pertaining to their specific industry is highly recommended. You can not always drive by the location so Google or Map Quest is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with where you need to be. Be punctual, neatly dressed, clean, not hurried, and calm; use your common sense when being greeted using politeness, humility & contrition. Your resume was chosen for the skills, so stand out with a positive disposition of confidence not arrogance. I use the word assertive in conversations because it portrays a level of confidence that will play the role in orchestrating a mangers office. A competent attitude compliments your business partnership while acknowledging your subordinate position.

I always get into the interview and asked the same question, “Do you have any questions for me?” Or, “Why do you want to work for this company?” I’m articulate, but mastering this last format is tricky and should be well prepared. As an Admin most work is pretty standard, but the trick is to ask about detail quirks or hot keys and personalities of the manager, long term goals of immediate personnel, corporate goals, governance, stewardship, long term growth, personal growth opportunities, the work environment conditions or culture. The latter, if you are in the least astute and intuitive you can gain this on first impression. Use observational skills to comment on the surroundings or personnel, how you were greeted, if someone replied promptly to an email. You can open the conversation with observing how long a company has been in business and lead from there with a historic comment from the interviewer. It gives them an opportunity to know that you’ve researched as well as they share their passion about the company and it’s landmarks or direction. Bringing a list is impressive even if you don’t get to all the questions. Make sure you have responses prepared too, such as what are your hobbies, what do you do in your spare time, how do you respond to stress, what is the most stressful situation you’ve experienced? Get an answer sheet together to easily play from with examples.
Using your resume to expand on a situation is useful. Be short and concise as employers are interviewing 100’s of people and you will stand out as being able to get to the point in a busy environment.

September 26, 2009

3 Things Your Employees Never Forget

Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 10:31 pm


These are three things employees never forget, from Poynter’s Jill Geisler.

via 3 Things Your Employees Never Forget.

  • What will you never forget about a great leader or Manager? Positive or Negative?

  • Melissa Nourigat

    I will ALWAYS remember how gracious Paul Otellini is who honestly keeps an open door policy and answered my request for assistance. I knew this because I wrote Paul twice during my employment at Intel and he responded while forwarding my perspective to other VP leaders on one occasion. From there I knew he was a great leader who would listen so I asked for his help on a high level customer service issue that played to his customer orientation message. We resolved our condition in a very short time earning a WIN: WIN for everyone!

    PLEASE Remember to THANK your leaders too! Don’t be shy, be genuine they are human too and this appreciation will not be forgotten.

    When we get into the “Dog eat dog” environments we often forget our manners and gratuity. Make a reminder – If you feel it, do it!  Thank someone today!

  • September 19, 2009

    Engaging with a post from LinkedIn: Networking VS. Self-Promoting

    Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 9:28 pm


    Networking VS. Self-Promoting From: Silverpen Productions | September 16, 2009 As I’ve engaged in discussions on LinkedIn, one thing stands out. Many are confusing networking with self-promotion. The savvy you gain by honing your skills now may grant you opportunities in the future and save you from self-sabotage. Read more at Silverpen Productions article was submitted on September 16, 2009 at 10:04 PM PDT By Patricia Nixon, Information Technology and Services Professional Comment (1)

    Firstly, I love your “penname.” That was a great article Patricia and I agree wholeheartedly with your perspectives. It is in the “Art” of active socializing that Dale Carnegie speaks about in his book “How to Make Friends and Influence People.” Inquiry is an Art too, because you need to start out slowly and not infringe in other peoples personal boundaries. One must be a genuine person first and earn respect before you can even think about having a long term real relationship with others. Shallow people can be spotted a mile away. How many times do we cringe away from the “Sales” pitch? I truly believe a really great product sells it self so there is no need for a sales pitch, which goes for a great person too.

    The most important feature to a lasting relationship is recognizing everyone is a human being and not just the next sale. The self-centered approach is short term which will produce short term results or none at all. However, maintaining a relationship takes investment and one must be ready to invest of themselves in others not just when it’s convenient. Those people are also on the short list. Following up and following through on obligations needs to be exercised continuously. The person who shows lack of fortitude will loose the respect of their business partnerships.

    I still have friends from Elementary School, I graduated in 78′. I’ve lived in my community since 66′ and make the effort to get involved with my community, these are signs that people “CARE” about the quality not quantity. These qualities should be the guiding points to building long term relationships when they are seeking employees or business partners. Giving back to the community shows qualities of investment that plays over into business too. If someone is invested in too many things though that too should be a flag to ask are they truly involved in a cause or just setting up a pretty picture? How long have they been involved? Some projects are short term and often need volunteers so this too should be examined as well. I think just rolling up the sleeves and pitching in is a quality too often over looked.

    On your second point, I think branding oneself in social media is vital to getting out there to people who ordinarily would not know you on the street and yet may benefit from your expertise, like this blog now. Don’t shy away from branding yourself. I would never have found you or seen your work had you not spoken out on this subject through LinkedIn.

    Passion of a subject is also the common bond between people. Are you speaking on a subject others are interested in? What draws the audience? Can they engage? If you don’t leave a door open for the others to enter, then that is a sign you are likely not a worthy connection. Communication is a two way street.

    I’ve been meeting some really wonderful people through networking and enjoy hearing about the businesses they are building. I’m a novice, so the expertise is a vital learning opportunity. I’m also approaching it with how can I help them through my connections or network, not how can they help me. The help comes through active listening. Thank you for the invitation to engage.

    I look forward to meeting you in business and success.

    Cheers, Melissa

    September 1, 2009


    Filed under: Uncategorized — crystalclearsolutions @ 1:06 am

    Dear Reader,

    This was my first event in this group and I must say it was the “top of the town.” Chelyn Briand opened her beautiful home atop Council Crest to an extraordinary group of women who shared in confidences their advice, trials and tribulations, dreams and aspirations. The setting was perfect for talking about coaching and where Compass can lead. When Nancy said she would bring the chocolate, boy did she ever, platters of it 🙂 I highly recommend attending the next event when it is scheduled. I met wonderful connections and look forward to visiting with them in the future.

    Best of 2009,
    Melissa Nourigat

    Hostess: Nancy Grant at 503-241-0313 or

    Blog at