I'm back in Maine and still wondering if daughter Kate will have a new job soon. Her meeting with the start up company owners went well, but it raised questions in Kate's mind. While it seems likely she'll receive a job offer, her reservations are significant enough for her to request a follow up meeting where she will hopefully reach resolution about her concerns. How she has approached this job prospect gives points to consider in anyone's job search:
- Go into your interview prepared. That means, you should have an idea of the particular abilities and skills needed and examples of how you have demonstrated them in past jobs, internships or volunteer experiences. These "vignettes" should be brief, but effective. It's not enough to merely state that you have certain skills, you need to back them up with examples.
- See yourself as an active participant in your job search. During interviews, listen for any red flags that might come up for you and, after the meeting, jot down questions that you will ask in the next phase. You may have to initiate a meeting after the offer of employment is extended.
- Let go of any desperate notions that you "must have" a particular job. Such a mindset may prevent you from seeing aspects of the prospective job that might cause you problems later on if you do not investigate them in the beginning.
- Make sure you have a job description before accepting any position, even if the job is new and you will be shaping it as you go along. Otherwise, the expectations of you will not be clear, possibly creating a problem at your performance review.
- Ask the same, key questions to different people during your interviews. The consistency of the responses will give you a sense of what is really true.
- Before you leave the interview, ask for the business card of anyone with whom you met. This will make the follow up easier.
- Always follow up an interview with a thank you that acknowledges a few points you discussed that relate to your qualifications for the job. This can be done by e-mail or handwritten.
Stay tuned for Part 3: What to do when the offer comes in…
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