Questions to ask during your job search

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NAILED IT! – PREPARING FOR
AND PARTICIPATING IN
INTERVIEWS
Presenter:
Kathleen Sherwin
Advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation
of America
Presenter:
Facilitator:
Nick Niles
[email protected]
@nicholasbniles
Presenter:
Kathleen Sherwin
Advisor
Planned Parenthood Federation of
America (PPFA)
AGENDA
•
Introductions and Polls (5 mins)
•
Be Prepared: “Good Advance Work” (10 mins)
•
We are in DC, It’s Politics “ Ask for the Informational Interview as Needed” (5 mins)
•
Prepare for the “Unexpected & Likely” Interview Questions (10 mins)
•
Post Interview: “Now What?” (5 mins)
•
Post Interview: “Debrief Yourself” (5 mins)
•
Questions: “Ask Me Anything, Remember I Interview People!” (15 mins)
•
Summary & Takeaways “The Notecard”, the “Musts” & Other Resources (5 mins)
BE PREPARED – “GOOD ADVANCE WORK”
•
Job Description: use to anticipate questions in the
interview. Be ready with your best stories (stories
should be in the problem-action-result format)
•
LinkedIn: use to research the people you are meeting
with and the person who is the predecessor
(Facebook and other social media sites are helpful)
•
Online/news: use guidestar.org, glassdoor.com, lexisnexis, press releases; ensure you understand what is
currently going on at the organization
•
Know the Organization, Yourself & Their Needs (and
Yours): Think about how you wish to position the jobs
you have had (the good/bad), think thru how you talk
about transitions. Research the organization and
really understand why do you want to be at this
organization and this role?
BE PREPARED – “GOOD ADVANCE WORK”
•
Develop your 30/60/90 plan: consider putting
together a plan on action – how would you
approach this job if they offered it to you
today?
•
Practice: run thru your interview questions
with a friend; actually verbalize your
responses in advance.
•
Remember your advance skills: bring extra
copies of your resumes, business cards,
pen/paper, arrive early (15 mins), be nice to
the front desk staff and be mindful of how
long the interview is scheduled.
WE ARE IN DC, IT’S POLITICS: ASK FOR THE
“INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW OR COFFEE”
Why Informational Interviews:
•
Introduce yourself and have a point of
contact when future openings occur.
•
Learn more about the type of people at the
organization and receive guidance from
someone who went thru the interview
process.
•
Have a name to use when you apply formally.
•
Gain insights, hear concerns and test
interview answers.
WE ARE IN DC, IT’S POLITICS: ASK FOR THE
“INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW OR COFFEE”
Major Don’ts in Informational Interviews: (the things you should stop
doing now):
1. Ask for a job
2. Disrespect the amount of time scheduled
3. Be unprepared
4. Talk too much
5. Don’t listen
WE ARE IN DC, IT’S POLITICS: ASK FOR THE
“INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW OR COFFEE”
Major Do’s in Informational Interviews: (things
to ask):
1. Why did you join the organization?
2. What is the work atmosphere like?
3. Which skills, experiences or personality
types have you found to be most successful
at the organization?
4. How would you assess my background as it
relates to the organization and/or role?
5. Words of wisdom, advice or things you wish
you knew when you interviewed or joined?
PREPARE FOR THE “UNEXPECTED & THE LIKELY”
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS”
•
Why do you want to work at this organization?
•
You weren’t at your last job for long, what went wrong?
•
You have been on a lot of campaigns – how do we know you
will stay?
•
What makes you fire on all cylinders, describe what this looks
like with your manager, your peers, your environment and the
work?
•
Of which accomplishment are your proudest?
•
And of which are you the least?
•
Tell me about yourself?
POST INTERVIEW: “NOW WHAT”
Next Steps:
• Have a understanding of next steps
• At least timing and who will be initiating
communication
Say Thank You:
• Email Thank You Notes are a must – but don’t forget
“snail mail”
• Ensure each thank you note is the not the same – staff
share their emails from candidates
Pause:
• Do not “woulda, coulda”
• We try and prepare and sometimes we forget a
few things we wanted to say
• Resist the urge to call and email and try and fill in
all the details
POST INTERVIEW: “NOW WHAT?”
Prepare for Round 2:
• Begin to develop your follow-up questions
right away
• You never know how fast the process may
move – could be via email, phone or inperson
Debrief your own performance:
• Ensure you don’t make the same interview
mistakes twice
• Think about the answers to these questions
• This can also inform your thank you note as
well as future interviews as well
• We will all be on many interviews!
POST INTERVIEW: “DEBRIEF YOURSELF”
Debrief your own performance:
• Did you become comfortable in the interview?
• Which questions could you have answered
better?
• Where did you succeed, where did you fail?
• Which topics came with awkward silences?
• Did you emphasize your understanding of the
connection between the organization’s needs
and your skills/experiences?
• Do you create a conversational atmosphere?
• Did you get asked questions for which you
were not prepared?
• Did you understand and address concerns
that the interviewer may have had about your
candidacy?
• Which questions did you forget to ask that
would help you make the right decisions?
SUMMARY “THE NOTECARDS”
•
Tissues, breath mint and whatever personal grooming items you need
•
Prepare, research, practice and know why this is where you want to be
•
Have an index card/small padfolio with a reminder of your achievements and
explanations organized by job function
•
Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer and have “extra” more than you think
you may need or even need to know
•
An appointment book, PDA , blackberry to schedule a follow-up interview on the spot
•
A working watch to ensure a 15 min early arrival
•
A folder with extra resumes, business cards and note pad with pen
SUMMARY “THE NOTECARDS”
•
A portfolio or a few selected pieces of campaign plans or projects (as appropriate)
•
A list of references with current contact information (please include email addresses)
•
Turn off your cell or Blackberry, iPhone before you get into the building
•
Don’t bring “extra” items –gym bag, shopping items etc.
•
We are in the nonprofit space –but we all can iron our clothes, brush our hair and
shine our shoes for very little money spent
•
Bring your passion, your energy, your love of the organization and your confidence –
you know this is “your next home” you just have to share and be compelling!
•
Be proactive on next steps but not aggressive
SUMMARY “THE MUSTS”
The Musts:
1. Mind You Appearance
2. Above All, Know Thyself, the Organization and its Needs
3. Tag, You’re It!
4. The Follow-up
What does this mean?
1. Dress appropriately for the organization
2. Know your weakness and strengths
3. Ask good questions
4. Write thank you notes, use this to correct what you didn't do
well enough in the interview
OTHER RESOURCES……..
•
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/jobs-and-volunteer.asp
•
www.nonprofitprofessionals.com (they have great content – and helped with this
presentation)
•
http://www.tommanatosjobs.com/
•
www.indeed.com
•
www.encore.org
•
www.nonprofitjobs.org
•
www.idealist.org
QUESTIONS FROM YOU:
WWW.NEWORGANIZING.COM/JOBS
Visit our new ‘Work Forward’ site. It’s a great
resource to use as you continue your job
search!
WWW.NEWORGANIZING.COM/TOOLBOX
You can view this training and other great
trainings online using this link.
NEWORGANIZING.COM/TRAININGS/WORK
FORWARD
Upcoming trainings:
• How to strategically use your
network to land the job you want
• How to negotiate salary, benefits,
responsibilities, and otherwise
THANK YOU, THANK YOU,
THANK YOU!
And please share your feedback and pay it
forward!

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