Candidates

If you are a clinical research professional the Exigent Group is your career partner. We work with Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, BioPharma and CRO companies throughout the United States. Since 2007 we have helped hundreds of research professionals advance their careers and find the position that fits their work/life balance. The Exigent Group works on full-time and contractor roles. We have helped people relocate across the country and find the perfect job. We also have opportunities that allow you to use your unique skills while working from home. If you are considering a career change the Exigent Group should be your first call. Most people are happy with their current role but there is always that special role in that location you always wished for. Give us a call, let us know what to look out for. Once that job comes up we will contact you and present the opportunity.

Our recruiters are trained and certified in the latest search technology and we know how to market YOU! If that job is out there, we will find it for you.

We have more than 20 years of experience recruiting and placing candidates in the clinical research and IT professions.

Our recruiters are experienced professionals with real industry and business experience who provide solid career and job search advice. Unlike the larger agencies who hire recruiters without any industry or business experience and have inexperienced recruiters handle your job search and offering career advice.

We are a boutique agency and offer a much more personalized, custom job search experience.

Over the past 20 years, we have developed contacts throughout many industries and can use our vast network to find you the position you want and deserve.

We are experts at drilling down into companies and getting your resume in front of the hiring contact.

We will help you through every step of your job search process.

We offer an honest, friendly, non-pressured, work at your pace and comfort level job search experience.

We utilize all the latest technology, user groups, and social/business networks to stay on top of all the job openings in our industry.

Below are some tips Exigent Group put together to help with interviewing and the job search process.

How to prepare yourself for a Job Interview.

The interview is one of the most important elements in the job search process. When an employer invites you to an interview, he/she is indicating an interest in bringing you on board. The interview gives both of you the opportunity to exchange enough information to determine if you are a good “fit” for each other. Think of an interview as a highly focused professional conversation. You should use the limited amount of time you have to learn about an employer’s needs and discuss the ways you can meet these needs. In many cases, you will interview at least twice before being hired for a position. Once in a brief screening interview and at least once again in a more serious meeting when you may also speak with many of your potential coworkers.

The job interview is a strategic conversation with a purpose. Your goal is to show the employer that you have the skills, background, and ability to do the job and that you can successfully fit into the organization and its culture. The interview is also your opportunity to gather information about the job, the organization, and future career opportunities to figure out if the position and work environment are right for you.

Most employers do not hire people based on merit alone. Personality, confidence, enthusiasm, a positive outlook, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills count heavily in the selection process.

After your cover letter and resume, the interview is your best opportunity to wow the employer-regardless of your background and experience. To do this, use every possible strategy to develop effective interviewing skills. The best way is to prepare a selective presentation of your background, thoughtful answers to potential interview questions, well-researched questions about the organization, and an effective strategy to market yourself. Also consider your career goals and what the available job offers so that you can discuss both of these topics with employers. Interviewing is a skill that improves and becomes easier with practice. Check with your school career center or your local Employment Service office to see if it offers workshops and individual videotaped mock interviews for practice.

Research

It is to your advantage to carefully research the job and the organization. There are many ways to do this. You can request printed materials from the employer, such as annual reports and job descriptions. This is an entirely appropriate request, so don’t hesitate to make it. Use your library and career center resources. Ask colleagues, friends, and faculty about the organization, and about any personal contacts at the organization they might have. Look at the organization’s home page. Knowing about the job will help you prepare a list of your qualifications so that you can show, point by point, why you are the best candidate.

Practice, practice, practice

Prepare a succinct, clear answer to each of the questions in the interview questions section. Practice answering questions with a friend, or in front of a mirror. Ask your friend to give you constructive criticism on your speaking style, mannerisms, and poise. As you practice, avoid colloquialisms, such as “like” and “you know.” Make sure you don’t script all your answers-you’ll sound as though you’re reading cue cards! It’s important to prepare yourself for talking with complete strangers.

Find out the logistics of the interview

The more you know, the more focused your answers will be. Find out when the interview is scheduled, what to expect during it, and how long you will be there. Also find out if you will be talking to just one person, or to several.

Be prompt and professional

Always arrive early. If you don’t know where the organization is located, call for exact directions in advance. Leave some extra time for any traffic, parking, or unpredictable events. If you are running late, call right away and let someone know. The best time to arrive is approximately 5 – 10 minutes early. Give yourself the time to read your resume one more time, to catch your breath, and to be ready for the interview. Once you’re at the office, treat everyone you encounter with respect. Be pleasant to everyone as soon as you walk in the door.

Dress for success

Wear a professional business suit. This point cannot be emphasized enough. First impressions are extremely important in the interview process. Women should avoid wearing too much jewelry or make up. Men should avoid flashy suits or wearing too much cologne. It is also important that you feel comfortable. While a suit is the standard interview attire in a business environment, if you think it is an informal environment, call before and ask. Regardless, you can never be overdressed if you are wearing a tailored suit.

Be organized

Carry a portfolio notepad or at the very least a manila file folder labeled with the employer’s name. Bring extra résumés and have the names, addresses and phone numbers of references, in case the employer asks. Also, bring a list of questions for the employer. You may refer to your list of questions to be sure you’ve gathered the information you need to make a decision. Do not be preoccupied with taking notes during the interview.

Know yourself

You will make the interview process easier for the employer if you volunteer relevant information about yourself. Think about how you want to present your strengths, experiences, education, work style, skills, and goals. Be prepared to supplement all your answers with examples that support the statements you make. It is also a good idea to review your resume with a critical eye and identify areas that an employer might see as limitations or want further information. Think about how you can answer difficult questions accurately and positively, while keeping each answer brief.

Be honest

An interview gives the employer a chance to get to know you. While you do want to market yourself to the employer, answer each question with an honest response.

Be positive

Never say anything negative about past experiences, employers, or courses and professors. Always think of something positive about an experience and talk about that. You should also be enthusiastic. If you are genuinely interested in the job, let the interviewer know that.

Show your interest

One of the best ways to show you are interested in a job is to demonstrate that you have researched the organization prior to the interview. You can also show interest by asking questions about the job, the organization, and its services and products. The best way to impress an employer is to ask questions that build upon your interview discussion. This shows you are interested and paying close attention to the interviewer. It is a good idea to prepare a few questions in advance, but an insightful comment based on your conversation can make an even stronger statement. At the end of an interview, it is appropriate for you to ask when you may expect to hear from the employer.

Save discussion of salary for later

Find out as much as you can before the interview about the salary levels for the position you are seeking. Do not bring up the issue of salary during the first interview. If the interviewer asks about your salary expectations, give only a general answer, such as that your expectations seem to be within, or close to their range.

After-interview notes

After the interview, take time to write down the names and titles (check spelling) of all your interviewers, your impressions, remaining questions, and any information that may influence your decision to accept a position with the organization. If you are interviewing regularly, this will help you keep employers and circumstances clearly differentiated.

Always follow up

You should write a thank you note within 48 hours after an interview, even if the interview (or the interviewer) was not productive and/or you are not interested in the position. It is important to say thank you for the time the interviewer spent with you. This letter should be brief. (Refer to the section on writing thank you letters.)

Phone Interview Tips

Your Exigent Group recruiter will help you prepare for your phone interview. Here are some tips for you to review.

Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. They are also used as way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates.
While you’re actively job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment’s notice. You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk.

Be Prepared to Interview

Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills.

Have your resume and a copy of the job description in front of you, so it is at your fingertips when you need to answer questions. Use a highlighter to highlight points on the job description which you would like to discuss during the phone interview. These may be your strengths or questions you have about the position.

It is vital that you review the company web site in detail. So you know what they do, how long they have been in business, and what they are working on.

Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review.
Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
Turn call-waiting off so your call isn’t interrupted.
If the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
Clear the room – evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
Unless you’re sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.

Practice Interviewing

Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. I’ve always found it’s helpful to practice. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and tape record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Any cassette recorder will work. You’ll be able to hear your “ums” and “uhs” and “okays” and you can practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Also rehearse answers to those typical questions you’ll be asked.

During the Phone Interview

Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.
Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
Use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
Take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
Give short answers.
Remember your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person.
After the Interview:

Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered.
Remember to say “thank you.” Follow with a thank you note which reiterates your interest in the job.

Attire, body language and manners count during interviews. After all, interviewers are regular people like the rest of us, easily impressed by good behavior and just as easily offended by inappropriate behavior.

Yet, surveys show that job candidates’ interview manners and other professionalisms are on the decline. For example,

Nearly 80 percent of employers surveyed indicated that interviewees’ manners had declined. Some candidates surveyed thought that certain inappropriate behaviors were okay, like removing one’s shoes or bringing a pet.
Among other bizarre behaviors, reports that a candidate ate a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer’s office, and even wiped up ketchup with her sleeve. Another interrupted the interview to phone his shrink for advice on how to answer specific questions.
On the next pages are tips for acting professionally before, during and after interviews, to avoid offending interviewers and increase your chances of landing a job. These interview tips are based on good manners in the United States. Good manners are appreciated everywhere, but what constitutes them may differ among other countries.

You might think that some of the interview tips are no-brainers. If so, that’s good. It means that you are already on your way to completing successful interviews. But, as you’ve read above, weird stuff really does happen! Consequently, these interview tips try to cover it all.

Interview Tips Part 2: How to Act Before Interviews
Do your homework: Research the company and study the job description before you interview, as your interviewer will likely ask what you know about the company and why you want the job. It also helps you to formulate questions about the company and job. Interviewers typically expect you to ask such questions.
With a friend, relative or by your self, practice answering the other common questions interviewers ask.
Collect and neatly arrange your important papers and work samples in a nice briefcase or portfolio. This makes you look organized and professional. Remember to pack relevant documents such as extra resumes and reference lists, immigrant work-authorization papers, letters of recommendation, and information required on job applications. Bring at least one pen and pencil, and a notepad too.
Practice good hygiene, comb or brush your hair, and dress appropriately. Even if you know that the company dress is business-casual, dress up anyway. It shows professionalism and respect, and most importantly, that you know how to dress for interviews.
Unless otherwise instructed (e.g., to fill out a job application), arrive five to ten minutes early for the interview. This shows that you are eager and punctual. If you’re not at least five minutes early for an interview, you’re five minutes late! But don’t arrive more than ten minutes early, as it might be inconvenient for your interviewers. Definitely don’t be late!
Don’t bring uninvited guests like pets, children or significant others.
Turn off your cell phone, pager, PDA alarms and other devices that might interrupt your interview.
Interview Tips Part 3: How to Act During Interviews
Smile, immediately offer a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and say something like, “I’m pleased to meet you.” or “I’ve been looking forward to talking with you.” Be sincere and avoid informal greetings you might use to say hello to your friends. Take the polite, conservative route.
Read the mood. If the interviewer is formal, then you probably should be, too. If the interviewer is casual, then follow along while remaining courteous and professional. In either case, try to appear to be relaxed, but not too relaxed. It’s not a good idea to put your feet up on the interviewer’s desk!
Wait to be told to take a seat or ask if you may, then say thank you. This shows good manners.
If it’s possible without making a commotion, scoot your chair a little closer to the interviewer’s desk or take the chair closet to the desk, like you’re ready to dive right in. This shows interest and confidence. But don’t invade the interviewer’s personal space, a perimeter of about two feet by U.S. standards.
Sit with good posture. If you don’t know what to do with your hands, keep them folded in your lap. This is another indication of good manners. Avoid crossing your arms over your chest, as it subliminally demonstrates a closed mind to some.
Even formally-trained interviewers are regular people like you, so they’ll expect you to be a little nervous while sitting in the “hot seat.” Still, try to avoid obvious signs like fidgeting.
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Avoid staring or you might make the interviewer uncomfortable, but don’t look away too often either. To some, failure to maintain a comfortable level of eye contact indicates that you are lying, reaching for answers or lacking confidence.
Don’t eat, drink, chew gum or smoke, or even ask if it’s okay. But if the interviewer offers coffee or other beverages, it’s okay to accept. It’s probably better to say no thanks to snacks (unless you’re at an interview meal), so you don’t accidentally drop crumbs in your lap, be forced to talk with your mouth full, and all that other stuff your mom told you not to do with your food.
Speaking of which, if you are attending an interview meal, do follow all the good eating manners your parents taught you. For example, put your napkin in your lap, don’t order anything complicated and messy to eat like ribs or crab legs, avoid bad-breath foods like garlic and onions, chew with your mouth closed, keep your elbows off the table, and order only moderately-priced items from the menu. Don’t order booze, even if your interviewer does. Let your interviewer pick up the tab and be sure to thank him or her for the meal.
It’s okay to ask questions to better answer the questions the interviewer asks you. But withhold the bulk of your questions until the interviewer asks if you have any, which is typically toward the end of the interview. Avoid asking the frivolous just because interviewers expect you to have questions. Instead, ask about important matters, such as job duties, management style and the financial health of the company. It’s not a good idea to ask questions about vacation, sick days, lunch breaks and so on, right off the bat. Ask about the lesser matters of importance during follow-up interviews.
Typically, you’ll negotiate salary through your agency, benefits, perks and such in a follow-up interview. Regardless, don’t bring it up unless asked.
Interview Tips Part 3: How to Act During Interviews

Immediately prepare a thank-you letter for each of your interviewers. (To get their contact info, ask for business cards during interviews.) Sending thank-you letters is professional and courteous, and will help to make you stand out in the minds of your interviewers. Besides, many interviewers expect it, and it’s a good idea to do what interviewers expect. You should have your agent review the letter before sending it.
Be prepared to attend two or three interviews at the same company. If you’re called back for another interview, it means that they’re interested in you. But they’re also narrowing the competition, so keep up the good work!
Be patient. It’s not unusual for interviewers to take weeks to narrow the competition. But if you don’t hear from them in about a week or 24 hours or so after they said you’d hear from them, it’s okay to send follow-up letters. (Don’t call without permission. Interviewers might consider it rude of applicants to interrupt their workday with unsolicited calls.) One follow-up letter per interviewer is sufficient. Don’t pester, as the squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the oil in this case. If they’re interested, they’ll contact you without prodding. But it doesn’t hurt to make sure your candidacy didn’t fall through the corporate cracks. It also shows that you really want the job and are eager to start.
Good luck on your next interview!

Before you head out to a job interview, it’s a good idea to practice answering the types of interview questions employers will likely ask. The Web can be extremely helpful with that, as interviewing is among the most-popular employment topics.

Even so, career advisors can’t possibly tell you exactly which interview questions to expect, and especially how to answer them. Interviews are just too personal and situational for that, and there are no single, correct answers anyway. To make it even more complex, there are several interview techniques, resulting in an infinite number of potential questions and answers.

But at least career advisors can give you a feel for the techniques, plus lists of typical interview questions. That’s what this article is about.

Interviewers generally use one or more of the following interview techniques.

General or Traditional – Canned and common questions about yourself
Behavioral – Probes your competencies and how you acted in certain situations
Case or Hypothetical – Challenges your problem-solving skills spontaneously and what you’d do “if”
Interviewers usually start with the traditional, canned interview questions and work their way into one or more of the other types, over the course of one or more interviews.

Sample interview questions of the common type are listed below. Answers are included. Practice answering these sample interview questions out loud to yourself or ask a friend or relative to help you.

Don’t feel that you have to answer right away. Interviewers know that you’re nervous and expect you to think a bit, so do think carefully before you answer. But don’t hesitate too long or it’ll appear that you’re stalling. Interviewers will ask open-ended questions to see where you’ll go with them, so try not to ramble while you’re thinking of a real answer.

Q.
Tell me about yourself.
A.
This is the dreaded, classic, open-ended interview question and likely to be among the first. It’s your chance to introduce your qualifications, good work habits, etc. Keep it mostly work and career related.
Q.
Why do you want to leave your current job? (Why did you leave your last job?)
A.
Be careful with this. Avoid trashing other employers and making statements like, “I need more money.” Instead, make generic statements such as, “It’s a career move.”
Q.
What are your strengths?
A.
Point out your positive attributes related to the job.
Q.
What are your weaknesses?
A.
Everybody has weaknesses, but don’t spend too much time on this one and keep it work related. Along with a minor weakness or two, try to point out a couple of weaknesses that the interviewer might see as strengths, such as sometimes being a little too meticulous about the quality of your work. (Avoid saying “I work too hard.” It’s a predictable, common answer.) For every weakness, offer a strength that compensates for it.
Q.
Which adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
A.
Answer with positive, work-oriented adjectives, such as conscientious, hard-working, honest and courteous, plus a brief description or example of why each fits you well.
Q.
What do you know about our company?
A.
To answer this one, research the company before you interview.
Q.
Why do you want to work for us?
A.
Same as above. Research the company before you interview. Avoid the predictable, such as, “Because it’s a great company.” Say why you think it’s a great company.
Q.
Why should I hire you?
A.
Point out your positive attributes related to the job, and the good job you’ve done in the past. Include any compliments you’ve received from management.
Q.
What past accomplishments gave you satisfaction?
A.
Briefly describe one to three work projects that made you proud or earned you pats on the back, promotions, raises, etc. Focus more on achievement than reward.
Q.
What makes you want to work hard?
A.
Naturally, material rewards such as perks, salary and benefits come into play. But again, focus more on achievement and the satisfaction you derive from it.
Q.
What type of work environment do you like best?
A.
Tailor your answer to the job. For example, if in doing your job you’re required to lock the lab doors and work alone, then indicate that you enjoy being a team player when needed, but also enjoy working independently. If you’re required to attend regular project planning and status meetings, then indicate that you’re a strong team player and like being part of a team.
Q.
Why do you want this job?
A.
To help you answer this and related questions, study the job ad in advance. But a job ad alone may not be enough, so it’s okay to ask questions about the job while you’re answering. Say what attracts you to the job. Avoid the obvious and meaningless, such as, “I need a job.”
Q.
How do you handle pressure and stress?
A.
This is sort of a double whammy, because you’re likely already stressed from the interview and the interviewer can see if you’re handling it well or not. Everybody feels stress, but the degree varies. Saying that you whine to your shrink, kick your dog or slam down a fifth of Jack Daniels are not good answers. Exercising, relaxing with a good book, socializing with friends or turning stress into productive energy are more along the lines of the “correct” answers.
Q.
Explain how you overcame a major obstacle.
A.
The interviewer is likely looking for a particular example of your problem-solving skills and the pride you show for solving it.
Q.
Where do you see yourself five (ten or fifteen) years from now?
A.
Explain your career-advancement goals that are in line with the job for which you are interviewing. Your interviewer is likely more interested in how he, she or the company will benefit from you achieving your goals than what you’ll get from it, but it goes hand in hand to a large degree. It’s not a good idea to tell your potential new boss that you’ll be going after his or her job, but it’s okay to mention that you’d like to earn a senior or management position.
Q.
What qualifies you for this job?
A.
Tout your skills, experience, education and other qualifications, especially those that match the job description well. Avoid just regurgitating your resume. Explain why.
Q.
Why did you choose your college major?
A.
The interviewer is likely fishing to see if you are interested in your field of work or just doing a job to get paid. Explain why you like it. Besides your personal interests, include some rock-solid business reasons that show you have vision and business sense.
Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews
Preparing Interview Questions to Ask
Ever draw a blank when an interviewer asks, “Any questions?” Interviewers expect you to ask questions. After all, employment is a two-way street. Preparing interview questions to ask in advance, shows that you’ve done your homework and are truly interested in the job. In fact, some interviewers might be more impressed with your questions than your answers.

It’s a professional courtesy to withhold the bulk of your questions until the interviewer asks if you have any. Interviewers typically ask toward the end of an interview or near the conclusion of each phase. Of course, it’s okay to ask a few questions to clarify matters, steer topics and such, as the interview progresses. For example, a question such as, “What does the ideal candidate bring to this job?” would be appropriate early in the interview. But wait until it’s “your turn” before you fire off a barrage. On the other hand, if the interview seems to be drawing to a close before the interviewer asks if you have questions and you have some, ask if it’s okay to ask.

Avoid asking questions just to impress the interviewer, and asking frivolous questions just to have some to ask. Also avoid asking questions that might reveal more about you than the job. For example, the question “What happens if I fail to meet a project deadline?” has underlying implications, such as “I’ve often irresponsibly missed project deadlines.”

Unless the interviewer mentions the topics first, it’s not a good idea to ask questions about vacation, sick days, lunch breaks and so on, right off the bat. Granted, they’re part of the whole employment picture. But from an interviewer’s point of view, asking such questions too early in the interview game might indicate that your priorities are in the wrong order. Ask about what the company can do for you and lesser matters of importance during follow-up interviews. Better yet, wait until you’re reasonably sure you have the job offer in your pocket.

It’s okay to write down your interview questions to ask beforehand, and then refer to them during interviews. It shows that you’re organized and interested enough in the job to have prepared in advance.

To help you prepare in advance, sample interview questions to ask are listed below. You don’t need to ask them verbatim. They’re just typical, sample questions to help you formulate your own. In fact, it’s a good idea to rephrase the sample questions in your words, so that they sound like they’re your own.

To further help you formulate interview questions to ask, research the company. Researching the company before an interview will also help to ensure that the questions you ask don’t backfire. For example, if you wait until the interview to ask what the company’s products or services are, it indicates that you weren’t interested enough to have first done your homework.

Sample Interview Questions to Ask about the Job
Which specific skills are necessary to succeed in this job?
Would you please describe the ideal candidate for this job?
How do my skills, experience and education differ from those of the ideal candidate?
What are the day-to-day duties of this job?
Do you have anything to add to the job description that XYZ advertised?
Does this job have any special demands?
How much travel does this job require?
How many hours are in a typical workweek?
What is a typical workday like in this position?
How would you describe the working environment?
Are there specific problems or challenges an employee would face in this position?
If you hire me, which duties would you like for me to accomplish first?
Which projects would you like for me to complete in the next six months?
What are the long-term objectives of this job?
Who would be my immediate supervisor and where does he or she fit into the organization?
Would you please describe your management style?
Who would be my direct reports and what are they like?
What are my potential coworkers like and how many are there?
How much autonomy would I have in making decisions?
What would be my budget and spending authority and responsibilities?
What level of input would I have in determining my objectives and deadlines?
How many projects must an employee in this position multitask at once?
Are there opportunities for pay raises and advancement in this position?
Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?
Why was this new position created?
May I ask why the employee in this position is leaving or no longer fills it?
May I seek success tips from the employee who was promoted out of this position?
Has anyone ever performed poorly in this position? What did he or she do wrong?
How do you measure an employee’s performance and provide feedback?
How does an employee know he or she is performing this job to expectations before annual merit reviews?
Sample Interview Questions to Ask about the Company
How does XYZ Company acknowledge outstanding employee performance?
What are this department’s goals and how do they fit with XYZ Company’s?
How does this department fit in with XYZ Company’s five-year plan?
Is this department responsible for its own profit and loss?
Does the department or XYZ Company face any major challenges?
Do you foresee any significant changes in XYZ Company?
What’s XYZ’s policy about employees advancing their education?
Does XYZ offer employee training?
How does XYZ promote and support professional growth?
What’s XYZ’s policy for work-life balance?
What’s XYZ’s policy for employee retention?
What is XYZ’s customer service policy?
Has XYZ recently laid off employees and why was it necessary?
How did XYZ handle notification, severance and outplacement services during the last layoff?
Is XYZ planning or considering a layoff in the near future?
Is XYZ profitable? How profitable?
Does XYZ regularly report its market results and profitability to its employees?
How does XYZ compare with its competitors?
How well has XYZ historically weathered poor economic conditions?
May I ask what you like and don’t like about XYZ Company?
Is there anything you’d change about XYZ if you could?
How would you characterize XYZ Company?
Would you please describe XYZ’s strengths and weaknesses?
Are there any misconceptions about XYZ Company of which I should be aware?
Does upper management have an open-door policy?
What can you tell me about the employees who work here?
May I see an organizational chart?
Sample Interview Questions to Ask in Summary
Is there anything else I should know?
Is there anything else you’d like to know?
Is there anything that would prevent you from offering this job to me?
How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed so far?
Do you have any feedback?
Do you have any concerns? What can I do to alleviate them?
When can I expect to hear from you again?
May I follow up with you by phone or email in about a week?
May I schedule another interview with you?
What might we discuss in a follow-up interview?
If you decide to extend an offer, when would you like for me start?
What?s the next step?

Thank you letters.

Writing a thank you letter after a job interview is a must! In fact, some employers think less of those interviewees who fail to follow-up promptly. Here’s information on writing thank you letters plus thank you letter samples.

Sending Thank You Letters

Plan to send out your thank you letters or thank you notes as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours) after your interviews. It is also appropriate to send an email thank you letter.

SAMPLE:

Your Name

Your Address

Your City, State, Zip Code

Your Phone Number

Your Email

Date

Name

Title

Organization

Address

City, State,

Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

It was very enjoyable to speak with you about the xxxx position at the Exigent Group. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests. The creative approach to xxxx that you described confirmed my desire to work with you.

In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong programming skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department. My technical background will help me to work with others on staff and provide me with an understanding of the work.

I understand your need for programming support. My detail orientation and organizational skills will help to free you to deal with larger issues. I neglected to mention during my interview that I had worked for two years as a team leader. This experience helped me to develop my project management skills.

I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typed Name

You are now faced with the delicate challenge of resigning from your current employer without burning bridges, and saying good-bye to friends and colleagues.

The Exigent Group will help you draft your resignation letter. Then, you will make an appointment with your manager to respectfully explain your decision. Your manager needs to hear that your decision is firm and final and that you are committed to your new employer. Express appreciation for the opportunities that your former employer has given you.

Be careful not to get lured into any discussions other than your resignation, such as how your employer wants to handle your final weeks or the transition of your current responsibilities and projects.

Preparing for your resignation…

The first impression you make on a new job is important, but so is your last impression. Being flexible and adjusting emotionally as you leave one position and prepare for another are essential career-survival skills. How you leave says a lot about you, whatever the circumstances. The process of leaving isn’t about packing a box and moving to a new place. It’s about cementing relationships and establishing a network that will ensure you a place in the business world. It’s also about realizing that the desk next to you at a future employer may be occupied by your former boss.

To stay emotionally grounded while saying good-bye and beginning your transition, apply the following 10 strategies:

1. Express your appreciation and stay connected. Regardless of the circumstances involving a job change, it’s important to maintain bridges with co-workers and managers. Their ties to you are important links to your future.

2. Let go. Letting go of security, embracing a new opportunity and exploring the unknown takes courage. Focus on what is instead of what was. Since the primary safety net during periods of change is self-confidence, remind yourself in this transition you will fit in and find a new identity. During change, your ability to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty will stand as a critical skill.

3. Leave your office in top shape. Be meticulous about how you leave your office. Only take files that belong to you and make sure your desk, computer, records and files are neat, organized and complete. Provide employees with updates and leave notes about on-going projects.

4. Create a morale-building file. Keep a file of positive work evaluations, thank-you notes and other documents that will supply you with enthusiasm, courage and hope in the upcoming weeks. Realize you’ve made a difference in others’ lives and will do so again.

5. Don’t be critical. Avoid criticizing your company, co-workers and managers or participating in negative conversations about these subjects. You may feel bitter or demoralized, but letting others know your feelings will backfire.

6. Prepare, reflect and move on. Recognize that every work experience has value, and view your job as a bridge to the next one. Be introspective, realistic and excited. Dream about what might be.

7. Recognize the value of friends. Don’t neglect friends and networking opportunities. Contact with and reassurance from others may be what you need most. You may be surprised to discover that many others have been through similar experiences. Identify supportive people and maintain contact with them.

8. Be open to new possibilities. Change always comes bearing gifts. It’s up to you to find them. Your job change can be an opportunity in disguise. Don’t be so reluctant to embrace change that you can’t see new opportunities that become available.

9. Giving notice. Giving a counter offer when someone resigns seems to be standard practice these days. It is good idea to tell your manager, verbally or in writing, that you have given this job move a great amount of thought and will not entertain” a counter offer.

10. Starting over. Starting over is part of career advancement in today’s turbulent workplace. Successfully ending the final chapter of one job will give you a good start on the first chapter of a new one.

Counteroffer Statistics

According to national surveys of employees that accept counteroffers, 50-80 percent voluntarily leave their employer within six months of accepting the counteroffer because of un kept promises. The majority of the balance of employees that accept counteroffers involuntarily leave their current employers within twelve months of accepting the counteroffer (terminated, fired, laid off, etc.).

As attractive as counter-offers may appear, they greatly decrease your chances of achieving your career potential. In all cases the best thing is a fresh start.

While counteroffers may be tempting and even flattering, there can be pitfalls that you need to be aware of.

Ask yourself these questions:

Will your loyalty always be in question?

If there are future cutbacks, will you be the first to go because of concerns about your loyalty?

If you accept the counteroffer for more money, are you just giving your employer the time they need to locate and select your replacement?

Will your career track remain blocked if you accept it?

Will your responsibilities be expanded?

Will you have to report to a person you don’t respect?

Will you receive next year’s raise or bonus early?

Is the counteroffer a ploy to avoid a short-term inconvenience by your employer?

What are your realistic chances for promotions now that you have considered leaving?

Why were these new incentives not offered to you until you threatened to leave?