Van Alstyne, TX 75495
Associates offers the following interview and offer/resignation
tips from our Outplacement Workshop, “Achieving Successful
Career Changes.” The workshop is based on the book, Be Your
Own Headhunter by Carolyn Barcus.
is usually a multi-step process. Frequently the initial step
will be a telephone interview. About half of all telephone interviews
lead to a face-to-face interview. A little preparation can weight
the odds in your favor.
an interview folder to keep near the phone you will
use for your interviews. Include in the folder your resume and
additional career details, a notepad, any available information
on the company and position, and a list of questions you would
like to ask. Keep several pens or pencils tied to the folder
notes throughout the conversation on problem questions,
and comments made by the interviewer. Ask for clarification
on any points you are unsure of. Review problem questions and
your answers after you are off the phone.
and ask for additional information on at least one comment made
by the interviewer to indicate you are listening.
your telephone voice by sitting or standing straight,
breathing properly, and smiling as you speak. Talk directly
into the phone, not over or under it. Modulate your voice; don’t
deliver your spiel in a monotone. Nothing could be worse than
having to wake the caller up to say good-by. Speak a little
more slowly than you would in a face-to-face conversation.
words and phrases have a way of becoming intensified
on the telephone. If you have a habit of introducing your responses
with “Let me say this . . .” or “Honestly
. . .” or other pet phrase, the person on the other end
of the line may well stop listening and begin counting the number
of times you repeat the phrase. Ask a family member or friend
(teenagers are very good at this) to identify your pet phrases
if you don’t think you have any.
Ask for feedback at the end of the conversation.
Indicate you are interested in the opportunity and would like
to move to the next step. Ask about timing. If they say the role
does not appear to be a good fit, ask about other positions within
are a number of things you can do before your interviews to improve
your chances of being asked to join the company team. Here are
a few . . .
personal contacts you may have within the company or
industry, and visit the company web site again. Ask about corporate
culture. Talk to a potential or current customer of the company—passing
on favorable customer comments can boost your rating.
what you know about the position. List the requirements
on the left side of the sheet of paper. Write your credentials
and achievements on the right side. How do they match up? Why
would they want to hire you? What important short-term contribution
could you make? Long term? Why are you interested in this company
and opportunity in particular?
Develop your own questions. Prepare for your
interview as if you already had the job and were meeting with
your manager to establish and meet your goals. What would you
need to know to do the job?
through the door and in the reception area, your competition has
been reduced to a mere handful. However, there are probably at least
two other contenders for the position. Again, there are a few ways
to improve your chances of receiving the offer.
rules for interviewing are so simple it is surprising
how many extremely professional individuals forget them: Smile—initially
and often. Offer a firm handshake to each person you meet. Maintain
good eye contact with the interviewer. Follow each interviewer’s
lead in formality.
business practice indicates you should ask for a business
card from everyone with whom you interview (you will use this
information for “thank you” letters). Carry several
copies of your resume for managers who do not already have a
questions briefly and honestly. Watch the interviewer’s
body language to determine if they are satisfied with your answer
or may require additional information. If in doubt, ask.
the conclusion of each meeting ask if there appear
to be any obstacles in your ability to do the job. Many times
the “reason” a candidate does not receive an offer
involves issues not discussed during the interview. Ask what
the next step is, where you rank among other candidates for
the role, and how you might improve your standing. Say you want
to pursue the opportunity.
may be asked similar questions by several different
people. While your answers should be basically the same (they
do compare notes) try to tailor your presentation to the personality
and background of each individual.
is the only policy. Present information in a positive
format whenever possible, but do not lie. You do not need to
volunteer unsolicited information of a negative nature, but
if you are asked direct questions about an uncomfortable subject,
answer them briefly and truthfully without hedging. Make a note
of questions you are uncomfortable with, and work on your answers.
information gathered in one meeting to formulate questions
or comments in another one: “So-and-so mentioned that
a problem area seems to be . . . I’ve been thinking about
that and wonder if a solution might be . . .” or “”I
understand the company is doing some work in the area of . .
. could you tell me a little more about that?”
Ask for the job! Ask at least once—several
times if possible without groveling. Let each person you meet
with know you would like to work for the company. Tell them you
would enjoy being a part of their team and are looking forward
to working with them.
that there is a great deal of trauma involved in changing jobs.
It is rated nearly as high in stress-level as divorce. I suspect
this is why so many high-tier managers like to hire their old
subordinates at the new company—that way they “have
custody of the children.”
prepared for a rush of feelings. Expect to doubt your
decision. Before you turn in your notice, take the time to write
down the benefits of the new job and the reasons you are dissatisfied
with your current position.
not resign or stop looking at other opportunities before
you have received the written offer.
Written resignations remove much of the emotion.
We suggest the following:
is my formal resignation, giving my professional
two weeks notice. My last working day for (present company)
will be (date). It is my intention to help in every way possible
during this time to ensure a smooth transition.
you and the company success, and hope to maintain cordial
and professional communication with all concerned.
not tell them why you are leaving, or where you are
going. Simply say, “I am leaving because I have a great
opportunity.” If you say anything different to any of
your co-workers, it will get back to your manager.
an emotional response from your manager. It is not
your family or feelings he or she cares about, but their own,
and how your resignation may affect their objectives and bonuses.
are counterproductive for both you and the employer.
Companies with integrity don’t make them; resignees with
integrity don’t accept them. Statistics indicate most
employees who do accept counteroffers are gone in less than
a year. While money may be a motivating factor, there are always
other reasons involved in career decisions. Those dissatisfactions
are not changed over the long-term by counteroffers.
Your resignation will affect your company. Ask
yourself how, (vacation schedules, morale, missed objectives,
disgruntled customers, replacement difficulties and expense, ramp-up
time for the new employee) and you will realize the desperate
motivation behind their offers to belatedly recognize your worth
to the company and department.
the final analysis, only you can decide whether to accept or decline
an offer. You can ask the advice of friends, relatives, employment
counselors, pray for an answer, or flip a coin—but you are
the one who must implement and live with the decision. Consider
the implications and ramifications carefully, play it through
your mind a day or two as though already done, and see how you
feel. Consider the opposite decision in the same light.
If you are relocating to North Texas or need a Realtor referral anywhere in the nation, please contact our real estate affiliate at Van Alstyne Homes where you can do map based searches for homes in any area.
luck! And once you are settled at your new opportunity, drop us
a business card—we would like to know how to contact you!
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