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Job Hunt – The Monsters, The Headhunters, The Tribes – The Interviews

And so I’ve written a couple of blogs about my job hunt specifications and development.   Now I have to add all the scary things about a job hunt.   <I’m whispering.>  There are monsters.   There are headhunters.  There are wild tribes.   And there are the interviews.

First – The Monsters 

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What are the monsters?  Who are they?  Can you avoid them?   Me – I didn’t.

Definition of a Monster:  Someone who just knows they have a job you will like.   They talk really fast.   They move faster.  You are never really sure what the job is or if you are qualified.   But these monsters – they don’t care.   They are after you.  They will eat you up and spit you out if you let them.  They just want that commission for finding someone that is hired.

So you’re looking for a job.  You really, really want something you’ll love.  You may settle for something you like.  But no matter what you want it to be a job that you can do.  One that you can do well would be even better.  Who doesn’t like to shine?  Not me.  I love to hear compliments.

So I put my resume out there.  Monster and Dice.  That’s it.   That was all that was needed.   The calls came.  They came at all different times. Sometimes IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!!!!  I’m not kidding.   The monsters were hunting me.   I couldn’t run.  The monsters had put something I wanted into a trap with a cage over it.

And so – I talked with so many monsters.  Monsters who didn’t read my resume.  They saw SAP and that was about it.   They would sometimes tell me they would send my resume to a job that I agreed upon.  Once I asked the person to send my resume that they said had grammatical errors back to me.  Not that I don’t make them.  I do.  But I was wondering how she found so many.   Well what I got back wasn’t my resume.  It was a doctored version of my resume.  Yikes.  I did not let that monster send my resume anywhere else after that.

I talked with so many of them.   My advise is to avoid them if possible.   If you have a friend at a company talk with them, and see if they know of an open job.   If you know of someone who was happily placed at a job, ask them what headhunting firm they went with.

Next – The Headhunters

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And who / what are these guys/gals?  Do you want to avoid them?

Definition of a Headhunter:  A professional who really has a job you might be interested in.  One who has matched your qualifications to the open job description.

Wow – they don’t sound so bad.   So why a headhunter?  Well that’s what they do.  They hunt for people who will fit the job.  They aren’t trapping them with a good bait.  Instead they are actively hunting people with the right qualities.

Now – me, you’ll get a different piece of advice from me than others.   A good headhunter is a heck of an ally.   They will work with you to find a job that suits you well.  Once you work through the interview process, they represent you in the offer process.  Usually they work for a percentage, the more you make the more they make.   My headhunters went even further to work with the company on a start date that I wanted and vacation.   They went above and beyond.  

If you ask I’ll give you their name.  But I don’t think blogs are a place for advertisement.  But I was very happy with them.

The Tribes

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From good – to bad?   The tribes – these are the interviews where you are interviewed by EVERYONE.  And I mean everyone.   Sometimes you are interviewed by groups of them at once.   They know each other.  They work well with each other, and they may be distrustful of any newcomer.   You can feel conversations going on behind closed doors  after they leave.   They are strong!  They are a tribe.

OK – so is that good?  Sounds kind of scary.   But you will quickly learn what type of a company you are going to based upon the tribe.  You’ll get varied answers and opinions and quickly see what kind of culture the workplace will be.

Last – The Interviews

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OK – this time around, I had a lot of different interviews.   So without giving out the questions – there are a lot of blogs for that.  Here’s how some of my interviews were formatted.  Remember I was looking for a full time permanent job.  (Actually in between jobs I worked as a independent.)

A long lead in with the company information would start in some cases.   That was awesome!  It gave me time to get over nerves.  But remember to listen.  Don’t be going through your head with your possible answers.   Seek first to understand.   You really want that high level about the company.  It ill give you some information about the culture.     It also told me some things that I didn’t know about the company.  One of the things – not Westcon – was that the company was owned by women.   Westcon – I learned it was privately owned.   Interesting fun fact.

Next I usually got an overview of the job description.   That told me a lot of different things.  If it was a job I wanted, but I didn’t met one of the qualifications – it gave me a chance to think of what I wanted to say.  BUT don’t stop and do that.  Continue to listen.   Sometimes within that short time, I could tell I didn’t want to be part of that company.    Why?    The description was specific in what they didn’t want the person to do.   And I, I was going to do some of it.   Like write or help write the functional specifications with the business analyst or end user.  I would have gone nuts if all I did was heads down programming.  Someone else would have loved it.

So what did I do if I knew I wouldn’t suit the job?  I went through with the whole interview.  First impressions could easily  be wrong.  I answered as well and honestly as I could.

OK – now the questions are coming your way.  They are fast and furious.   The person really needs to know you quickly, if they are going to hire the right fit.  So you have to expect direct questions.  I fact I liked it better that way.   My advice – answer as honestly as possible.  If you know the answer, but not the “technical” word – sometimes it would blowfrom my mind – talk about what you do know.  Try not to go on for too long.   But not too short either.  Clear?  Not really.   But I am long winded so I’m not the best person to ask.   On the phone, it’s hard to gage how you are doing.  No facial expressions.   There is not that I’m bored look in their eyes.   So if I was in front of someone, I could tell when they were involved in my answer, and when I had talked too long.   However over the phone – I had to take my best guess.   My best guess was to answer the question, and use an example in my answer.  Much like I would do for an essay on a test.

The interview is about over.   Now is the hard part.  It’s your turn to ask questions.    Did you pay attention to the company information?  Did you pay attention to the job description?  NOW is your time!  Clarify anything that you need to with the job description.   Ask anything that concerns you.  Make sure if it is something like a “heads down programming” job that is what they really mean.   BUT whatever you do, have some questions ready.  Show that you are interested in what they had to say.   Show that you want this job.  If all else fails, summarize.  Repeat what they said back to them in your words.   You may be surprised when you interpreted something wrong.  

So that’s it!  My experience with the interview stage.

My Advice

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Avoid the Monsters.

Hunt for the Headhunters – ask a friend

The tribes can be scary, but they tell you a lot

The interview – be you, be honest, and ask questions

Side note – if the job sounds perfect but you are not 100% qualified, still apply.  You might get a nice surprise.   That happened to me around 15 years ago at Perrigo.

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