Career Advice Tuesday – “Do I Get On The Plane For The Final Interview?”
June 26, 2012
I am in the middle of an interview process and I am looking for some guidance.
I was approached about an opportunity from a past co-worker, about joining his new company. The role that he approached me about was basically similar to my current role as a GRC consultant, but it was a bit different. My friend’s new company paid about 10% more, had better benefits, provided more training budget, and would allow me to travel less. When I first learned about the opportunity, I was quite excited, and I felt that this would be the best of both worlds.
For the past three weeks I have been going through a series of preliminary interviews that have all gone reasonably well. The interviews have tested my expertise and have provided me with opportunities to ask questions. The answers to my questions have been consistent, and nothing that I have learned has been negative. Based on my performance and my friend’s recommendation, the company has invited me out for an in-person interview.
Initially, I consented to go on the interview, but I am now second-guessing my decision making process. After giving greater thought to the opportunity, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing truly unique about it. It is essentially the same job, in a smaller environment, but my responsibilities will almost be the exact same.
At this point I am thinking about changing my mind and not going out to the interview. What do you think about this? Do I have anything to gain by getting on the plane?
Dear “Window Seat”:
My advice is to definitely get on the plane , and here is my main reason:
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain, In essence, you are playing with house money.(Well, the only thing you have to lose is a vacation day – and the assumed risks associated with air travel)
First of all, you have already participated in the new employer’s part of the interview process, and have passed. You have established your credibility, have answered their questions, and have gone through a process that they have dictated. In essence, if all of these phone conversations were to assess your skills, the in person interview is going to provide you with the opportunity to assess the new company and the opportunity, and learn first hand the answers to your questions.
They should include the following:
1) Is this new employer truly better than my current employer?
2) What freedoms and opportunities can I get in my new job that I cannot receive in my current position?
3) What is the opportunity for growth?
4) Is the compensation increase going to be significant?
5) Is my quality of life going to improve?
While your in person interview is still a test for your skills and abilities, the balance of power has definitely shifted slightly to your favor, as the new company is not incurring the expense to interview you if they don’t believe that it is more than likely you will be an asset to their company
By placing yourself in the situation to ask questions that are important to you – and were the initial reason for your interest in the role – you will enable yourself to truly vet the opportunity. Gaining a first hand look at the opportunity, and having your questions answered is really the only way that you can truly determine if the position, the company, and the management team will provide you with the framework for an improved career and quality of life.
Once you receive the information and are able to process it first hand, you may arrive at one of three conclusions - you should remain at your job, you should join the new company, or you should join the new company if the compensation/offer terms warrant it.
In any of these cases, the decision will be in your hands and you will have the data to make the best decision possible.
Enjoy the complimentary pretzels (do they still do that),