My son is finishing up his summer job with a prominent defense contractor. The defense contractor has not only said that they want him to work during his winter break, but they also said that they want to hire him when he graduates from college next spring. The summer job has been in the Hampton Roads area, but my son would like the permanent job to be in the contractor’s DC office. I’m worried about him making this request. I don’t want him doing anything that could change their positive impression of him or hurt his chances of getting a permanent job. Basically, I don’t want it to appear like he’s dissing the contractor’s Hampton Roads’ office. I’d prefer that he get a job offer and when he’s better established, he could then ask for a transfer. What do you think he should do?
Nervous parent leans towards silence
Dear Nervous parent leans towards silence:
I sympathize with your concern and tend to err on the side of caution, especially with the job market being as tight as it is right now. But since the contractor has communicated its interest in hiring your son when he graduates, I see no problem with your son respectfully inquiring, not requesting, about the possibility of securing a permanent job in the DC area if and only if the person he reports to is easygoing and he has a solid relationship with him/her. Bottom line, your son should go with his gut when deciding whether or not to broach the subject.
I need to vent! I recently retired from federal service; I had reached my agency’s mandatory retirement age. Unfortunately, because of some personal financial matters, I need to find a full-time job in the private sector, so I’ve been pounding the pavement. I’ve always prided myself in being prepared for whatever I undertake, but I just had my first interview where I felt totally unprepared because the company hardly gave any information on its Web site about the position I was applying for. I tried to find out something with the HR person who scheduled my interview, but she apologetically told me she had no information to share; and I didn’t know anyone in the company I could contact. If you’re wondering why I would still apply for it, it’s because I think I have the background for it; it should be interesting; and most importantly, I need a job! To make matters worse, my interview consisted of one person who spent the first five minutes reviewing my resume and completed application form. Then he handed me a document to look over. It was supposed to be a job description (Far from it!). He then stated: “Tell me about yourself.” After I told him about myself, I asked him questions about the job, but all he would say is: “I can’t tell you that right now.” I don’t think I was there for more than 15 minutes. I seriously doubt I will be getting an offer or a second interview. Having been with the federal government for over twenty-three years, I haven’t gone through this process in a very long time. I don’t remember it being anything like this. Is this typical?
Retiree struggling with job hunt
Dear Retiree struggling with job hunt:
In today’s job market, there is no such thing as a typical interview process. Job candidates have to be prepared for any and everything. And although one would think that the interviewers should be equally prepared, it is not always the case. All that being said, remember that the interview process works both ways. You, too, are determining whether or not you want to work for the organization you have applied to.
Although the interview process can vary from one employer to the next, there are a plethora of typical interview questions. Here is a link to a site that provides a thorough list you can familiarize yourself with: http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_question_database/interview_questions.html.
As I recommend to all my clients, create a well thought out elevator speech before you go any further with your job hunt. This brief overview of yourself is not just for chance encounters. It is for all the times you have the opportunity to explain what you do and its value to a potential employer. You should be able to fine-tune this pitch on the fly, so that it relates directly to the listener, opening the door for questions and meaningful dialogue.
Best of luck!
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell