And Then There Were Three

Got turned down by one of my three top choices today. This is not the same outfit I interviewed with yesterday. My phone interview with this outfit went very well, but it was a couple of weeks ago. I pinged them back Tuesday and they replied back with your standard template of liking my qualifications, but not really having a position that’s an exact fit right now. Number two I had a third round phone interview with yesterday, and number three, the in-person interview went well with them, but it’s been two weeks and I haven’t heard a peep. That’s never a good sign, but I’m reluctant to bug people if the issue is just something is taking a long time with HR, or they just have more candidates to interview before making a decision. I have a fourth possibility, but it’s a decade step back in my career, and even that’s not certain. I am facing the prospect of failing at all the top companies, and having to take a huge step back. But hey, you gotta pay the bills somehow.

I had started posting here about the job hunt situation mostly as an outlet, and to give people an idea of how things are out there, if you might be worried about your job. There are still a lot of jobs out there, but I’m finding the going much much harder than it was a decade ago, when I was last looking. I’m going to need to step it up a notch very soon.

If any of the rest of you find yourselves hitting the unemployment line, my advice is to use a breadth search, not a depth search. I started off with a depth search; identifying top employers, and spending the time and effort to try to get in to those, but which had a high probability of not panning out. That may turn out to be a strategic mistake on my part. We shall see.

6 thoughts on “And Then There Were Three”

  1. I’m glad your search is resulting in interviews. I’m a mechanical engineer and a registered Professional Engineer with 30+ years experience. In seven months I’ve had one interview. I’ve applied for at least two jobs a week. My problem is location (AZ) and I’m sixty four. Most companies are NOT interested in hiring someone who is two years away from retirement. The job situation has forced me to “retire” early and file for Social Security. With my wife’s Social Security and a retirement pension from a long term job with a public utility we’ll make ends meet. I’m also chasing engineering projects I can design using my P. E. license. I’m wondering how many others there are like me who have been forced to retire early because of the poor job situation. We’re praying for you and others looking for work.

  2. I’ve always assumed that volume is the answer. Last time I was laid off, right before 9/11, I wrote a small database to automate my job search. My thinking was that more is better, and it worked for me, but it took a while because of the post 9/11 job situation. Figure you’ll get an interview for every 25 to 50 resumes you send out, so the answer is to send out as many as you can.

    Good luck!

  3. I work in HR with a State govt. From the time I find out if a position is open until hiring has been taking about 2 months-getting approval to hire, submitting the ad for online advertisement to qualified candidates, contacting for interest, interviews, then clearing through an analyst to make sure it’s a legal hire. So hang in there. I’m sure the private sector is much quicker (from what I remember).

  4. I spent six months unemployed back in ’01 (pre- 9/11). Had an 18 month-old and a wife pregnant w/ twins. My best advice is to work your network. I had none, and I still managed to find people to call and email. I used alumni lists, friends, distant acquaintances, people in the industry, anyone I could find.

    My first goal wast to set up an informational interview. I contacted people and asked them for a few minutes of time to help me understand their industry/company/or a specific role I was looking into. I made it clear at the beginning that I was not going to ask them for a position.

    I did not ask for a job during any informational interview. I gave them a two-minute encapsulation of my skills and background. And then I’d ask them about their industry/company/role and how my skills would fit in a similar context. The idea was that if my skills impressed them, they’d offer a job, even if one wasn’t currently posted.

    At the end, I asked for a couple of references to others they knew with whom I could talk. I reiterated that I was not going to ask their references for a job or even if one was available. Don’t give them a reason to reject you.

    I didn’t abandon actual job interviews. When I got a job interview, I treated it as such.

    These techniques netted me enough face-to-face interviews to justify flying out to Phoenix. Before I went, I set up several more informational interview (face-to-face) and contacted a reference who brushed me off early in my search. I explained I was going to be in town and asked if he’d like to meet. I ended up with two offers out of that trip.

    Ten years later, I’m still working for the guy who initially brushed me off.

  5. You said: “it’s been two weeks and I haven’t heard a peep. That’s never a good sign, but I’m reluctant to bug people if the issue is just something is taking a long time with HR, or they just have more candidates to interview before making a decision.”

    Back when I was looking (not long after 9/11 and the dot-com bust), I was polite like you. And I later got the impression that if they didn’t get right back to you, you needed to reach out to them at least once a week. Be polite, of course, but be proactive. That’s my take, but I would like to hear others’ opinions.

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