Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Are multiple interviews normal?

Last week I received a phone call from yet another placement agency. Now I only say that because I have talked to probably five in the last 4 months. I would just love to get somewhere with my search already.

At first I turned down the position that was offered, temp to perm means no health insurance for me while I'm on a temp basis and I really wanted a direct placement. Ten minutes later I called the recruiter back to get more details. Closer to home than my current company, complete plus - savings on gas, shorter commute, all major pluses.

The clincher was the salary, even as a temp I would be making more than what I currently make as a full time, permanent employee at the company I work for now. I gave in and set up the interview, while trying to make sure I was home before my daughter need to leave for soccer practice.

Yesterday afternoon I met three people, HR, Director of Sales and Senior VP of Sales. Wow! That's a lot of people to interview with. Turns out I'd be supporting two of them, so it makes sense that I met them all.

It went great, at least I felt it went well. First thing this morning (9:15am) I got a phone call from the recruiter. It gave her enough time to come in, call the HR Manager and then call me.

Talk about fast.

I had to wait it out until about 11:00 am because I was in a meeting. When I was able to finally call back, it was all good news. They were all impressed with me now I have to survive a second interview.

This is a first for me, I've never had more than one interview. Is this a normal occurrence for most companies? For a temp to perm position?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Perfect position lost to another

It's been awhile since my last post but I've been busy looking (still) for a new "job".

I had a great interview with an agency in Limerick a couple of weeks ago and knew the position I interviewed for was perfect for me. Great location, pay and hours. The recruiter went on vacation two days after our interview so I had to sweat it out for a week, actually closer to two.

Well as patient as I am (HA!) I emailed the other recruiter in the office (who by the way never met me but was super helpful) to check on the status of the position. It was put on hold!

AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! Put on hold? For what? Turns out there were referrals from a couple of employees and the hiring manager wanted to interview them before any one else. So, okay I get that.

Hmmm. Waiting. I emailed the recruiter as advised when she returned from vacation, no response. Then two days later I get a phone call (last Wednesday), sorry they opted to hire one of the "referrals" who also will relocate for this job. Huh?

The 5 year old in me said I'm closer (maybe 20 minutes from the company), not fair!! Now I know life isn't fair but that doesn't make this process any easier.

My mantra: Everything happens for a reason. I do truly believe that.

So have you lost the "perfect" position only to find another that was more perfect than the first?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Interviewing Tips

This site allows you to take an interview knowledge quiz. Pretty helpful!

Great Career Resources

Some of the best places to get interview tips or career advice is a placement agencies website. Check out the website for The Job Exchange for some insightful articles.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tips For Interviewing with a Placement Agency

You've spent hours searching for three agencies that meet all your criteria.

  1. Right location?
  2. Salary range fits with your requirements?
  3. Easy to contact?
Contact each one either online or by phone to sumbit your resume and set up an interview. You don't need to set up an interview for a particular position. It can be simply to register with the agency and see what is available and be placed on an active list.

Some may say, well it's just an agency they don't hire me. Well guess what, they are your first interview. The recruiter decides if you fit what the company is looking for based on the company's profile and job description. If you fit, the recruiter promotes you to the hiring manager and hopefully you get that second interview.

Yes, it has been said a million times however it is worth repeating a million more for those who miss the message.

Dress Properly
Clothes should be free of stains, holes, tears, or snags. Clean, crisp, and neat appearance makes for a great first impression.

Bring your resume
Just to be safe bring a few copies. The agency may only need one however it is always better to be prepared. Also, make sure your recruiter has an electronic copy has an electronic copy of your resume, preferably in Word format. Most hiring managers prefer to view resumes electronically.

Bring your drivers license and social security card or passport
These are normally only required by the agency if you will be working as a temp employee through them or on a temp to perm position. (Temp to perm means you technically work for the agency for a probationary period set by the hiring company.) Again, best to be prepared.

Prepare questions for the recruiter
If you've never worked with an agency this is the best time to learn about their practices and the procedures for temp, temp to perm or direct hire positions. If you are lucky enough to be interviewing for a particular position prepare questions pertaining to the position itself. This is your opportunity to make sure the position is really for you.

Remember you won't know anything about the hiring company unless you get that second interview with the company. Then you need to do your homework, check out the companys website, read their history or about us section and learn all you can.

Thank you
Yes, send a thank you note. Just a quick email thank you will work well. Thank the recruiter for her time, restate your interest in working with her and the agency and restate your interest in the position you were interviewing for, if you were there for a particular posting.

The best thing I have learned from my experience working with agencies is when you find a recruiter that is willing to spend a few extra minutes going over your resume with you, listen carefully. It is a simple concept - the recruiter receives the postings for open positions and speaks with the hiring managers going over their requirements for the position.

Simply put - the recruiter knows what the hiring manager wants in a applicant, trust their advice.