Questions over Instructions

With all the information out there on how to engage someone you don’t know the first time, how to introduce yourself, how to make it personal, all of that, I’m always shocked when I receive an email in my inbox that says something akin to the following.

“We won a contract, we need people, details below, call me if you’re interested.”


“I don’t know who you are, but you landed in a query where I’m about to blast out a mail to anyone that’s interested so I can save 15 minutes in my day. I don’t even know what your skillset is or whether you’re a good match based on your work experience and recommendations, but you landed in the query (points to you for having good keywords in your profile).”

That’s how it gets started, if you ask a question, you might get a response in a day, if you ask too many questions, you’ll get shunted to the side for someone that is asking no questions and taking what is on the table.

You, who might be a great fit for this opportunity, you might raise the bar with this team of people you’d be working with but you’re asking too many questions and we’re going to replace you with a cog in the machine.

Better yet, because you are asking questions, they might be afraid to introduce you to the Project Lead BECAUSE you might ask them questions and they aren’t looking for someone to ask questions, they are looking for someone to take instructions.

And that’s the part I struggle with on LinkedIn, despite all this plethora of great interviewing techniques (and some by me) we throw it all away when all we are being asked for is a part but not willing to offer more than that.

It’s easier to get someone that will take instructions than to find someone that will ask questions to redefine the instructions and make it better than you had originally thought.

Want more? I run BetaRover Inc, muse on The Sniffing Markers Podcast and purge all my thoughts on — have a peek, read or listen.