Interviewing for jobs can feel like a whirlwind - driving to all corners of the city, lots of new names and faces, various business models, etc. Keeping all the details straight can be a challenge! But I urge all of you to take a breath, relax, and get all of your questions answered. Remember, you are interviewing the company as well and if you're like most people, you will stay an average of 18 months with the company if they make you an offer. Get as many of your questions answered and red flags resolved before the offer stage. In some instances you may need to make a decision in 24 hours. If you haven't done your homework, you may be tempted to accept without having enough information. Never underestimate the power of sleeping on it before making a decision.

As some of you who follow my blog may know, I've been in a job search for a recruiting position for a few months. I recently went on a job interview where I met with one associate and the person to whom I would report. We didn't get into a whole lot of details and the time I spent there was pretty short. I figured there must be a second interview coming. You can imagine my shock when I received a job offer a short while later. I was initially ecstatic and figured I would accept the offer.

Then I slept on it.

Slowly, I started to compile a list of questions of things we hadn't covered. There were key people I hadn't met. I made several phone calls back and forth and got most of my questions answered. But I still had a nagging thought that there was something I wasn't getting at. I called a trusted person in my network who found what I had been missing from my computations. I made a final call into the company and got an answer. And it was the proverbial deal breaker.

Be skeptical of a short selection process. Take care as you navigate the interview trenches. Ask the right questions, take your time, and you'll hopefully avoid a land mine.

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Comment by Michael Rocha on January 21, 2010 at 11:09am
This is a really good post! Many people today feel they need to take the first offer they get no matter what. A few candidates don’t take the time to get all of their questions answered and use the job as a stop gap measure until they find something else. It isn’t good for both parties.
Comment by Michael Albert on January 21, 2010 at 12:55pm
Victoria,
Wow, your decision took guts. With employment prospects being what they are now, your intuition gave you insight that you acknowledged and acted with courage. Kudos to you.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on January 21, 2010 at 4:29pm
Hi Victoria, fully agree with your point that a decision is also to be made by the applicant. Doing due diligence cannot be done in one interview, let alone a short interview. I always recommend trying to meet two levels up, to get better feel of the business. Best of luck with your job search.
Comment by Troy Deag on January 21, 2010 at 5:24pm
The people in the recruitment industry aren't necessarily motivated by process. They need to be. They also need to educate both client and candidate in the recruitment process. Many of us have inherited a finely tuned process devised by Morgan & Banks some years ago. By "inherited" I mean derivatives. When things go awry in recruitment it is generally because there has been a digression from the process. Victoria has illustrated this point succinctly. The message is simple - have a process and stick to it.

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