The job interview gauntlet — that pounding, persistent, one interview after another by people and panels all in the course of one day — is daunting. But…manageable. After all, it is a focused effort that lasts one day. You may do well or not depending on how things happen during the day, but it is one day.
But what about the ten month interview? Exhausting? Debilitating? One might think so. But I like to think of ten month-long interviews as the perfect way to find the perfect job. Until that perfect job ends and you need to find the next one.
What are ten month interviews?
Most people think of interviews some defined event. “You’ll start with a phone interview with the HR person and then, if you pass that hurdle, you’ll have another face-to-face interview with the hiring manager.” Events.
But the truth of the matter is this: we’re always interviewing for the next job. Always. Especially in a larger company where most positions are filled…by current employees. The ten month interview is a good thing. Here’s why.
The very first hurdle you need to overcome on any job is to prove you can do it. Your resume says you have the job skills and it sounds like you know what you are talking about — but until you get on the job, the hiring manager never really knows. Being on the job a while proves (or not…) that you can do the job. Hurdle number one crossed off the list.
Once you prove you can do the job, you can then show that you can excel at the work. Much better to have actual proof in a company on a job than touting your work from some piece of paper — a resume, the piece of paper that gives you a competitive advantage over anyone outside the company for the open position. You’ve done the work and the management knows you can do the job. Big advantage.
Inside the company, you learn who the good managers are — and are not. You can figure out, if you make a bit of an effort, who the managers are that you’d love to work for in a job. In the normal interactions with managers in meetings, hallways, presentations and company events, you can get the lowdown on how a person manages. Combine this with managers getting to know your work and you start to make connections as to who you could work for and, as important, if you would like to work for the manager.
There is nothing begging for upper management attention like departments that are not meeting their budgets, business goals, or failing in their projects. Or wanting to work in a department that nails everything in sight. Your time on the job helps you decide what departments are effective and would be worth your talents and time — and which ones are not.
I’ve long advocated on Cube Rules that Cubicle Warriors start off every job with figuring out how long the job will last. It is a practice I wrote about in “I’ve landed my dream job — now what???” Sometime — either from corporate reorganizations or from your sheer boredom that will ensue from working the job — your job will end and you will want to find a new one.
Perhaps the smart idea is to start the interview process now: show you can excel in the work, learn the styles of the management team, and figure out what organizations are effective and which ones are not in your company.
Auditions for new jobs start now.
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