Monday, August 07, 2006

Good job interviews can get creative

Job interviews come in many forms. I was reminded of this with a recent application, for a position related to website development and management.

In this particular case, it appears I skipped the traditional face-to-face Q&A or the similar yet common phone interview. Instead, the employer jumped straight to evaluating my skills, providing a situation requiring me to evaluate a site and offer my recommendations.

This particular interview reminded me to a small degree of the second interview I had for the ICA position. In that case, the first interview was in group form. ICA extended an invitation to 30 some individuals to attend a meeting where the organizers explained the organization's purpose and what they sought. Then they gave each of us a few minutes to ask questions and formulate our ideas as to where we might fit in. After this, we were tasked to go home and, if we were still interested in the position, we were to write an essay explaining how we would approach the position, and why we thought we were the ones to do the job.

For the ICA job, the essays determined who would be invited to the third interview (the essay counted as interview #2): dinner with the executive director and his senior staff. What was surprising about this whole thing was that, even though I ended up being cut after the third interview, my ideas were sound enough that the executive director paid me for the right to use parts of my essay in the final plan, then later called me back when he decided I did have a role in implementing that plan, after all.

This time it's different

In the current situation, the site I was tasked to evaluate was a live site having issues, and the principal offered to pay me to do my evaluation. What he got for his investment was both a solution to the problem at hand, and an example of how I performed the work. Clearly, the work came first, as I expected it would, but I found it odd, and maybe a little refreshing, that they wanted to see me in action before they took the time to learn about me.

As a bonus to this, the company again offered to pay me for my effort, but I took the tact of offering the employer to pay me only what he thought the results were worth. This was risky, since I might find myself essentially uncompensated for my fair effort, but I was confident that I could produce something of at least some value. I pointed out to him that, if I nailed the problem, a decision to hire me would be far more valuable to me than any one-time fee would be worth.

The task was done. I found the problem and made my recommendations. In fact, I made more recommendations than the scope of the task required. As a result, I now have an appointment for the long-overdue personal interview.

Things are looking up.

Lest you've forgotten

Still haven't visited Your World News yet? What are you waiting for? At a minimum, you might find a link to some otherwise missed interesting news. And who knows, you might actually find the site stimulating enough to participate in the news sharing concept.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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