RE: Tips for Second Interview

Subject: RE: Tips for Second Interview
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 08:48:56 -0400

Research any info about them available on the web and/or at the local newspaper, so you can toss out snippets to show that you've done that research and you want to work for them, you're not just looking for a job-any-job. Everybody wants to be courted, or at least feel like that's what is happening.

Whatever questions you ask, try to make them intelligent ones. How many people would I be reporting to? If more than one, what's the company protocol for handling conflicting directives? Will they actually be providing direction and regular contact, or are they too busy for that so I'd have to plan on functioning more like an independent contractor?

It is not out of line to ask about their five-year growth plan, quality plans, continuous improvement programs (including support for continuing education of employees and membership in professional organizations such as STC and ASQ), regulatory requirements (FDA, ISO registration, USDA, etc.).

Be sure that everybody is very clear about the scope of work and delivery expectations -- you are never going to have a better opportunity to discover exactly what they want. After you're hired they will dance around the topic or won't have time to think about it. "What's this about you wanting direction? We want it documented, that's why we hired you. Go write technically."

Ask them to give you three specific places or ways that they think you can make their lives easier or better because of the specific skills and experience you would bring to the job. Tell them how you agree that this can happen.

It's okay to feel around a little bit about employee benefits but not completely relevant until an offer is made. Ask for a copy of the personnel handbook. Negotiate the benefits carefully -- whatever isn't mentioned in your hire agreement or their personnel handbook could be very difficult to acquire at a later date.

Have a copy of STC/ASQ/other salary survey with you, and review it beforehand so you know how to read it. When it's time to broach the subject of money, pull it out with a "Let's see what's typical for this part of the world." This is much more impressive (and usually more rewarding) than letting them slide a number out of their armpit. It also demonstrates that you know how to back up important decisions with hard data (and documentation).

Mention whatever would be a deal-breaker for either of you. They need 80% travel but you have a new baby? I sense a potential conflict. You're allergic to chlorine but they swab their offices with it on a daily basis? Hmmm.

Ask if you can speak with the person you are replacing. If there is nothing to hide, this should not be a problem. If it's a problem, there could be a serious problem.

Just some casual thoughts from my armpit.

Dori Green

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