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How many interviews to land work ?

Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
In my current search for work I have had two interviews, I've answered all the questions in each interview and I feel I've come over quite well( If a bit nervous ) though no job. So how many interviews does it take to land a role ?
Tony
BTW I'm 34 years old, humble with rogueish good looks. Honest.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20275
    ∞

The answer to your question is "it depends".
I would like to suggest that you not be concerned with how many it takes.
Earning the big money comes from engineering skills, people skills, how you look and how well you interview.
The more interviews you participate in, the better you will be at doing interviews.
My cousin was advised in college to go on two interviews a week and then set his salary demands so high after the interview that they wouldn't possibly hire him. So my cousin went on many, many interviews. In the end he succombed to a company that agreed to pay the ridiculous amount. He's ne engineer. He is much younger than I. He is currently earning $400k per year as a veep in the tech sector. If I mentioned the company you would all recognize it. The last time I talked to him, it sounded like he would just putz around with spreadsheets a lot.


permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

There's a real point to that approach: image is important. If you set your sights high and have the ability to wait, and you don't consider the time spent finding someone willing to meet your price tedious or depressing, you just might find someone who takes your own estimate of "self-worth" seriously.
BUt it depends what you want, too. You couldn't pay me enough to screw around with spreadhseets. Personally, I nee challenges. I need to see the effects of what I do, bad and good, and feel that what I contribute changes things -- ideally for the better. I need to compete and I like to win tangible and intangible rewards -- primarily in the forms of market share, peer and customer recognition, and a solid reputation.
I'm pretty confident I could make 3x or 4x what I make now shaing the money tree and playing the image game. And hating it.
Figure out what you want most. When you go the interview, set your needs (in tangible form) at negotiation time. If those things you said you value are really important to you, you won't abandon them. If you find you're willing to abandon them for the right offer, either you don't know yourself very well -- in which you should resist the offer and re-examine your goals -- or you've been persuaded to accept someone else's goal over your own -- in which case you should resist the offer and ask yourself what happened.
People hire lots of schmucks every day and make more money off the kind of acceptance that derives from not really knowing what nyou're after. Still others make a great deal of money by persuading others that money isn't as important to them as it is "to the company," blah blah blah. Which of course may be true. But if money isn't important to you, you can work anywhere and do anything you want.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
For my current job (5 months now) I got offered a contract on the 2nd interview after about 10 minutes.
Job before that I was offered a contract when the CEO called me on the phone (while I was on the way home from another job interview with another company) after the first interview. I quit that job because I wanted a fulltime job (that one was for 4 days) and I had some doubts as to the survival chances of the company.
Job before that (which was terminated when the company went bust) I was offered a contract after the second interview (I had been invited by them).
In the intervening period I'd had several interviews on invitation. Quickest one I was offered a contract 15 minutes into the first interview. I didn't take it again because the company seemed less than stable to me (which turned out to be correct, I heard later they didn't survive the year).
As to the number of applications, I stopped counting. I think I sent out well over a hundred and went to maybe 30 interviews before I was hired somewhere...


42
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

I'm pretty confident I could make 3x or 4x what I make now shaing the money tree and playing the image game. And hating it.

Why? I was thinking about the same thing. I came to the conclusion that playing the game isn't so bad....
E.g.,
Project lead of new product; paid 100K to put up the image and get things done. Client happy because they got a "first rate", and expensive consultant. 10 weeks later product completed.
Project lead of new product; paid 50K to get things done. Client SO-So happy; they didn't get a "first rate", and expensive consultant. 10 weeks later product completed.
Difference:
not playing the image game: net lose of money, client less happy throughout process.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
30 interviews before you got work, that must have knocked your confidence.
Tony
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Take your age, divide it by your # years experience and then multiple by pi. This is how many interviews you need to go on before you get a job.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Anselm Paulinus
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2003
Posts: 389
I read somewhere that interviewers decide on a particular candidate within 2 secs of the interview; I re-read to make sure it was 2 secs (NOT 2 mins) that was written - the writer might have exagerated a bit, I do not know but I still wonder what you know about someone within 2 secs. My conclusion is that hiring managers make up their mind on whom they were going to hire even before the start of the interview process; answering the questions that were put forward to you could enhance your chances if you were one of those they have in mind, else you aint got no chance on earth to be hired. To add to this, I discovered that in some companies I worked in the past, it seemed the job was preety much mine with the first question that was put on to me. The writer might as well be right.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:

Why? I was thinking about the same thing. I came to the conclusion that playing the game isn't so bad....
E.g.,
Project lead of new product; paid 100K to put up the image and get things done. Client happy because they got a "first rate", and expensive consultant. 10 weeks later product completed.
Project lead of new product; paid 50K to get things done. Client SO-So happy; they didn't get a "first rate", and expensive consultant. 10 weeks later product completed.
Difference:
not playing the image game: net lose of money, client less happy throughout process.

I didn't mean to suggest I run some kind of discount service; I don't. I simply meant to say if I was less interested in doing the kind of work I do the way that makes me feel best, and doing it the way customers want it to be done, I'd make more money.
That's not meant to say I don't do very well now. I...get by.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15662
    
  15

Well, I think I had about 7 interviews between my last job and the current one. It was the 4 months between each one that hurt.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
30 interviews before you got work, that must have knocked your confidence.
Tony

It did. What kept me going was that I kept getting asked in by companies seeing my CV online without me ever having to send a letter.
But nothing is as frustrating as the one time I went to an interview only to find the rejection letter when I got home. It had been sent 2 days before the interview and HR hadn't even notified the interviewer (who'd all but invited me for a 2nd interview on the spot).
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

It did. What kept me going was that I kept getting asked in by companies seeing my CV online without me ever having to send a letter.
But nothing is as frustrating as the one time I went to an interview only to find the rejection letter when I got home. It had been sent 2 days before the interview and HR hadn't even notified the interviewer (who'd all but invited me for a 2nd interview on the spot).

Hmmmm. I had perhaps 20 interviews between jobs and didn't feel that way, perhaps because I understood just how difficult an employment market it was. An interview is a compliment. It means you are employable enough to have in for a talk.
Two caveats. First, I *landed* three jobs before I actually began one. Two consultant gigs fell through, one due to business conditiona and the other due to the war in Iraq. Getting a job is good for one's confidence though it's frustrating as well. Second, toward the end it was extremely obvious that it was only a matter of time. I was consistently placing in the top 2 or 3 according to the headhunters. Sooner or later I was going to be #1. And so it proved.
It's critically important to keep your confidence up, and getting a lot of interviews can be a reason for confidence.....
Tara Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 36
I have changed jobs 5 times so far in my career. The hard thing was to get an interview. Once I got the interview, I got the job offer most of the times. As a matter of fact, I only remember not getting an offer a total of three times in the last 12 years.
interview #1 I was fresh out of school and the company president wanted some one w/ experience even though the technical manager liked my skills.
interview #2 This company truly felt that I won't be a good fit (due to lack of appropriate experience on my side.) I knew that, but still did the interview anyway because the company was working on a hot technology I wanted to get into.
interview #3 Had layoffs right after interviewing me and told me that they could not afford to hire me at that time.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
my main problem is (and knowing it makes it no easier to handle) that I am not a good talker.
I'm very bad indeed at selling myself, at least when talking to someone face to face.
That's why I get invited to interviews a lot but often get no further. When talking to tech staff only it's not that bad, but once the HR people get in it's over.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Tara Bhattacharjee:
I have changed jobs 5 times so far in my career. The hard thing was to get an interview. Once I got the interview, I got the job offer most of the times. As a matter of fact, I only remember not getting an offer a total of three times in the last 12 years.
interview #1 I was fresh out of school and the company president wanted some one w/ experience even though the technical manager liked my skills.
interview #2 This company truly felt that I won't be a good fit (due to lack of appropriate experience on my side.) I knew that, but still did the interview anyway because the company was working on a hot technology I wanted to get into.
interview #3 Had layoffs right after interviewing me and told me that they could not afford to hire me at that time.

Five jobs, eight interviews. You're probably not adventurous enough in what you go for....
Seriously, I think it's advantageous to interview for things which you are interested in but unlikely to get.
I can't remember how many times I've gone on interview #2. Landed a few of them too. Did a few of #1 while getting started. Landed my first job that way.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Tara Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 36
I did not say that I did not turn down offers. I have done my share of #2, I still got offers. Believe it or not, the above there were only three instances when I didn't get a final offer.
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44
How many interviews to land work ?

One.


Jamin Williams<br />SCJP, SCWCD
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
my main problem is (and knowing it makes it no easier to handle) that I am not a good talker.
I'm very bad indeed at selling myself, at least when talking to someone face to face.
That's why I get invited to interviews a lot but often get no further. When talking to tech staff only it's not that bad, but once the HR people get in it's over.

Indeed, HR people =
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
my main problem is (and knowing it makes it no easier to handle) that I am not a good talker.
I'm very bad indeed at selling myself, at least when talking to someone face to face.
That's why I get invited to interviews a lot but often get no further. When talking to tech staff only it's not that bad, but once the HR people get in it's over.

Get the book called Knock 'Em Dead 2004: Great Answers to over 200 Tough Interview Questions, Plus the Latest Job Search Strategies (Knock 'Em Dead, 2004)'
It will tell you what the HR people are really looking for when they ask those tough questions.
Jamin
 
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