Subscribe

Forum

Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby PG » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:22 am

I will start with saying that this is turning into one of the best discussions we had on the forum for a while so thank you Nate for starting the thread and driving it forward and also to DX and others that are contributing

Going into more specific comments I completely agree with your Points about networking, the hidden job market and things that managers often complain about in candidates. However, I dont agree with all your conclusions from those points.

Partially based on local Culture the way of saying no will be different and again I agree with your Point that it has similarities with a sales job and I will use that as an example. At a previous Company I worked for we had a US sales rep that I would describe as someone who pushes to hard. He had excellent Reviews from his boss who actually in a conversation with me said that he loved the way this person conducted sales and also behaved in other disussions. He then asked me about how I thought about it and if also didnt find him very convincing. My response to that was that if this person would have shown up in my lab with the attitude he had I would probably have thrown him out and I would have tried to avoid dealing with him in the future. Obviously as a job seeker you dont want to push things to this Point. Rather you need to know when to back off. This can be different in different countries, with different companies and different personalities. Backing of to early might cost you the position that you are applying for while backning off to late may cause complications also for future positions with that manager or even Company.

If I meet with a candidate for an actual interview we usually spend 30-60 minutes with that person. For managers and other key positions it may take longer time. However if I meet or talk by phone with someone who is just potentially interested in a job and it has not yet moved to an interview 10 minutes or less is probably Close to what you can expect from most managers and this is a lot of time as compared to the time spent on the average CV for an advertised position.

Nate W. wrote:You believe that personality and behavioral traits are weighed more that skills and expertise in hiring decisions. In my experiences, I believe skills and expertise are given more consideration than soft intangible skills. The manager hires you to get a job done not necessarily to hire someone they like or who might be well like among the team. Further, senior managers are more likely to consider skills and expertise objectively and manage any behavioral issues as they occur.


Personally I agree with DX and would say that it the complete opposite.Although experience and skills are important personallity is key to a successful hire. With increasing experience both from hiring and managing people I find myself putting more and more emphasis on the personallity. Training someone to perform a specific assay or other task is easy as compared to changing someones attitude and changing someones personallity is often almost impossible. Usually it is relatively easy to find several candidates with sufficient skills for a position and then it comes down to softer skills. As always there are exceptions and there might be some specialist positions for which you really need the person with the highest skills and need to accept other things such as social skills being more limited. I also have a quote from a CEO from a telecom Company on this topic. His statement was that if you have someone in yor staff with the right skills and the right attitude you should promote them. If they have the right attitude and the wrong skills you should train them. If they have the right skills but the wrong attitude you should fire them.

I will come back with more comments in a later post.
PG
 
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby D.X. » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:19 am

Nate W. wrote:
I am curious about your background and area of expertise within the pharmaceutical industry is? Some times you sound like a HR director or an industrial psychologist than a scientist. I enjoy the exchange and the contrast of opinions.



Hi Nate,

I smiled when I read your question, it just reminded me on how far I've come since my days in the lab.

My area of Expertise is centered on working with others across functions to integrate and leverage cross-functional expertise to develop and execute commercially sound strategic plans that aim to deliver business objectives. My functional allocation have been in Medical Affairs and Marketing, both functions that depend heavily on leadership-by-influence competencies to align others to identify and share resources to advance common objectives. However, functional allocation does not exclusively define how I work.

I sound like an HR director or corporate psychologist because when it Comes to working with People as I noted above, (to include hiring them) it is about leveraging and ensuring appropriate utilization and deployment of human resources (their Expertise and Talent) and ensuring a culture that supports Performance and excellence, that is defined by the behaviors you're looking to nurture, support, and leverage. And naturally as one grows in the career, the ability to do the above becomes fundamental to achieving success - in any industry really. And over time a combination of Hands-on experience linked with formal training helps - and with respect to Job seeking and interviewing - well i've been a quite a few companies and have been on both sides of the interview table (and continue to be). So yes, as you climb in career you do get to, and have to, wear different hats such as HR, psychologist, mentor, coach, supporter, manager, and leader.

So getting to you underlying question, I've had and continue to have front row seats to the elements where discussing here. And certainly doesn’t mean I’m not science-focused and not still a scientist at heart – but I’ve evolved to understand what is needed to survive and do my job(s) effectively.

A few touch Points you referenced - with respect to that Expertise and Personality balance in hiring decisions - PG nicely illustrated what I would have said. This is not to say a hiring Manager will trade complete lack of Expertise, not at all. But I'll suggest that our opinions are different due our sectors and experiences - I can't deny your experiences right? PG suggested there may be cases where expertise may trump a personality for some specialist positions – I would see these in highly technical spots where interaction with others is not a key need to get the job done. But over achingly I recommend to follow what PG said.

PG also nicely illustrates that Balance on how far to push and trying to make that call on when to continue pushing or to back off when it comes to pursuit of an opportunity. The Sales example is a good example and illustrates the Need to be attentive to the environment, situation, and personalities. You can definitely push to the Point where you can harm future opportunities and your credibility. And this is meaningful because this can be a very small world.

Regarding you comment on hiring managers not being any more busy today than in the past – in my sector I’d have to wholeheartedly disagree. We have become more resource constraint and have to do less with more. When you read about company downsizing in terms of FTEs, there is not a compensatory decrease in business expectations and rather than seeing a reduced work-load, rather quite opposite what is generally happening. Organizations are becoming flatter, less hiarchary, meaning more middle and senior management are covering more operational and tactical activities in terms of time-spend. Sure outsourcing is in play but that does not equate with lower work-load or responsibility, rather a shifting of some resource capacity to tasks for which we are still held accountable. So enter more time focused on project and budget management with few resources, if any to delegate. So now that valuable share of voice that job seekers are looking for and the time to find the right candidate becomes even more challenging. So when you do get time with a hiring Manager, besure to thank them for their time, ask them how much time they have, and you should be the time-keeper to respect that time - it will be appreciated.

And this is not just anecdotal advice, this is exactly what I’ve been through – trying to compete against organizational priorities and resource limitations to deliver on the exact same performance expectations. And then not only does this conversation related to managers time and trying to find job and interview opportunities, but also relates back to what PG and I are saying, the need for the right talent to navigate these constraints – so again back to the soft-skills as a fundamental asset. And this is not just my company, but exactly the same in other pharma companies (via my partner and dear friends who are in other pharma’s).

And finally regarding you point on “ If you had met a prospective hiring manager for less than ten minutes (as I described), w/o reading a resume, what can a manager reasonably assess about your personality in order to eliminate you from a job candidacy? What personality conflict can they come up with” - Well you’re right and then well a bit incorrect. Sadly as you noted, and realistically people do make judgement calls within the first few seconds they meet you. And even after they’ve read your resume the do the same, the resume and invite to interview does not make you immune. I won’t dwell here but I share a quote: “first impressions, are lasting impressions”. And meeting a new boss is no different than a first date. Your gut check within a few seconds will tell you if you’re going to go home alone or with company for the night. Hopefully with your date and not your boss. (he he). Way of the world and that’s a factor too. C’est la vie.

Regarding your proposed dialog with Jane, I would challenge that you position yourself as an experienced patent analyst with life science background, save the rest, you run the risk of sounding too academic. The rest of the dialog is generally fine, you may want to ask the question about her time earlier and also reference the conversation you had with her boss and mention you have an understanding that there is an open or emerging position in her Team and that you would like to explore and discuss if you'd be a fit etc.

Best,

DX
D.X.
 
Posts: 1129
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:29 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby PG » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:55 am

An example of pushing to hard. This is actual conversation that I overheard in the subway so it only contains half of the conversation but I Think that everyone can fill in the gaps themselves. This is an actual conversation except for that I translated it to English and removed a couple of specifics.


Hi, my name is XX and I got a no thank you reply to my application for your position. I know that I got this reply from HR but would like to talk to you as the hiring manager about why you did not offer me the position.

....

Yes that is me and I Believe that I am an ideal candidate for the position and that you should offer it to me. I know that I have all the skills required and you cant possibly find anyone better.

....

Not a good fit for the position? How can that be? I know that I have very good technical skills and my personallity really should be a good fit for workign with you.

.....

I Think that we should continue this discussion because you are making a serious mistake when not hiring me. You will loose out on a highly skilled coworker that would be willig to work hard for your Company.

....

I dont understand how you can not see that I am the ideal candidate. If you dont hire me it must be due to that you dont understand how good I am or you might be discriminating against me due to my YY

....

But I am the ideal candidate. At least we should Schedule Another meeting so that we can continue this discussion face to face rather than by phone.

....

I really dont understand how you can deny me another meeting and want you to reconsider your reply

....

You seem to be hearing what I am saying so you obviously have to be a bit stupid in not understanding that you should hire me for this position. I want to talk with your boss since he will Think that it is obvious that I should be hired.

.....
.....

ARE YOU COMPLETELY STUPID? SEND ME AN E-MAIL TODAY WITH A NEW MEETING TIME. IF YOU DONT I WILL CALL YOUR BOSS AND CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION.

end of conversation.


I am not sure whether I was most surprised that the applicant in this case actually said what he did or that the manager on the other end of the call kept it going for so long.
PG
 
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby Dave Walker » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:47 pm

@PG
Wow, is that a real conversation!? That person has seriously impressive/sociopathic phone skills.

@Everyone
I wanted to make a quick comment if that's okay.
#1: I don't think there's anything wrong in getting a final answer from the Director (who is the ultimate Hiring Manager, yes?) if you want some closure. A brief phone call would spare you the thousands of words exchanged here, I think :)
You may not get closure for legal reasons, which has been discussed on this board before. But at the very least you can better understand the way things are at this institution.

*****
This situations reminds me of when I have a perfect sale lined up, and then I just lose it, out of nowhere. Whole books have been written about exactly this topic -- a failure to understand the situation, to connect with the players on a deep level.
"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
User avatar
Dave Walker
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:25 am

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby Nate W. » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:01 pm

PG wrote:An example of pushing to hard. This is actual conversation that I overheard in the subway so it only contains half of the conversation but I Think that everyone can fill in the gaps themselves. This is an actual conversation except for that I translated it to English and removed a couple of specifics.


Hi, my name is XX and I got a no thank you reply to my application for your position. I know that I got this reply from HR but would like to talk to you as the hiring manager about why you did not offer me the position.

....

Yes that is me and I Believe that I am an ideal candidate for the position and that you should offer it to me. I know that I have all the skills required and you cant possibly find anyone better.

....

Not a good fit for the position? How can that be? I know that I have very good technical skills and my personallity really should be a good fit for workign with you.

.....

I Think that we should continue this discussion because you are making a serious mistake when not hiring me. You will loose out on a highly skilled coworker that would be willig to work hard for your Company.

....

I dont understand how you can not see that I am the ideal candidate. If you dont hire me it must be due to that you dont understand how good I am or you might be discriminating against me due to my YY

....

But I am the ideal candidate. At least we should Schedule Another meeting so that we can continue this discussion face to face rather than by phone.

....

I really dont understand how you can deny me another meeting and want you to reconsider your reply

....

You seem to be hearing what I am saying so you obviously have to be a bit stupid in not understanding that you should hire me for this position. I want to talk with your boss since he will Think that it is obvious that I should be hired.

.....
.....

ARE YOU COMPLETELY STUPID? SEND ME AN E-MAIL TODAY WITH A NEW MEETING TIME. IF YOU DONT I WILL CALL YOUR BOSS AND CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION.

end of conversation.


I am not sure whether I was most surprised that the applicant in this case actually said what he did or that the manager on the other end of the call kept it going for so long.


PG, this is easy because the candidate is being unreasonable and tactless. I never implied or said that one should insult a prospective hiring manager. You can be persistent and assertive w/o insulting your potential new supervisor. In this case, rather make statements which consists of many unknown and insulting assumptions, I would have reemphasized the strongest skills and expertise that I bring to this position, especially those I think would help this supervisor. The problem that I see at this point from a sales perspective is that we are making a huge assumption about what are the needs of this customer (i.e. supervisor) and the problems they face. This is true when we draft a cover letter or tailor a resume in response to an ad; we make these same assumptions. However, to ascertain what those needs and problems are, we potentially compound the problem by using the ad as a roadmap to answer these questions. Often our assumptions based on an ad, are incorrect because the ad often doesn't capture the specific needs or requirements of the manager. Ads are often drafted by HR, not the manager, and subject to strict company policies and EEOC regulations. The problem here is what I call "lost in translation" and why responding to ads is so ineffective. The likelihood of success of responding to ads is less than 1% (Lou Adler; louadlergroup.com and other estimates range from 1-4%). So, how do you find out accurately what the customer needs and goals are; to correctly address the concerns of the supervisor when drafting a cover letter or resume? The answer is networking and therefore, why it is much more effective (70-80%). Steven Covey said that sales is all about understanding the needs of the customer and providing solutions for their needs. How can this be done without networking or merely based on an ad?

Wouldn’t searching for a job be so much easier if candidates knew what a manager wanted and their needs as well as some understanding of the problems they would like to address with this position. I contend that this can’t be done effectively without networking. In lieu of this information, it is merely a guessing game.

However, problem with networking is that many people hate doing it, think of it as an unfair way of finding a job, or they don't like being on the receiving end of a sales pitch. Now let’s update that list of conventional advice on trying to find a job:

1) 70-80% of all jobs are found through networking
2) A majority of jobs are not advertised (i.e. hidden job market)
3) The success rate of responding to ads is about 1-4% (i.e. a response, not a hire)

The other possible complications of finding a job are computer aided screening of resumes based on keywords, recruiters in HR lacking subject matter expertise screening resumes, and hiring based on personality traits not skills and expertise to do the job well. We will ignore these other complications to simplify the arguments. If you are one of these people who dislike networking as described above, get over it because it is probably one of the most effective ways of finding a job and it is probably one of the most effective ways of finding the right candidate for a position. That's why I am saying to managers that they shouldn't give a cold shoulder to a polite request for an informational interview or an enquiry about a specific job, especially considering these three job statistics. To those managers who disagree, I say how else do you find a job?; networking odds look pretty good.. For HR executives who want to argue about the effectiveness of networking versus other recruiting methods, I say give it a rest; candidate networking helps you fill open positions. I'll come back to this point later.

Back to the scenario that PG outlined, the next obvious mistake the candidate made, besides insulting the manager, was not asking open ended questions to get at what the customer's needs and goals for this position are (especially in terms of required skills and expertise). The scenario that I am talking is subtler than PG’s example. I am talking about when you know you are qualified for a position at a target company. You compare your background to others in the group using LinkedIn. Then you draft a cover letter and tailor your resume based on what you think this supervisor’s needs are which fit with the skills and expertise you have. The letter and resume are well written and you background compares favorable based on employee profiles. In your cover letter, you make a polite request for an informational interview or consideration for an open position. For an open position, you also submit your documents to HR beforehand. However, when you follow-up with an email or phone call, you get no response or a less than forthcoming response. They might briefly talk with you but they avoid providing you with any useful information:

1) Are there any openings?
2) Is my background competitive based on your expectations?
3) Would you seriously consider my application?
4) What are your requirements (i.e. skills, expertise, and competencies) for this position?

It is almost like they are playing games. They would encourage you to apply but will never let you know the answers to these questions. A no is never in their vocabulary and a candid answer is probably asking too much in their mind. Often, I don’t push it based on my feelings about their degree of candor or openness (or lack of). However, I am wondering whether my reaction to this situation is correct. This is where self-doubt creeps in and you wonder whether it is you. Then you take it personally when there is a no response versus a more candid and open response:

1) Thanks, we have no openings.
2) Thanks, we have no openings but I’ll consider it.
3) Thanks, we have no openings but I’ll consider it. You are qualified. Send an email in a few months. Maybe we will have an opening later.
4) Thanks, you aren’t qualified for any openings in this group
5) Thanks, I like your background and skills but I am looking for X.
6) Thanks, you are not qualified for any positions in this group and I don’t expect any openings soon.
7) Thanks, if you had X skills and competencies I would consider you.

These replies are answers that I have received previously in my job searching efforts. It takes only a few minutes to give a candid answer; even if you have a candidate like that in PG’s scenario, give an answer like this and they are most likely out of your hair. Most candidates are not going to pester you insistently but they don’t want to waste their time with a manager who will never consider them or even give you an honest answer. Even though I am disappointed by these answers, I can respect their candor versus the manager who says nothing informative or plays games. Only about 15% of the times, I will get a candid reply. Over the years (esp. post 2008; Great Recession), I have noticed more managers regrettably who feel no obligation to answer questions about openings no matter how well qualified the candidate is, how enthusiastic they are, or how politely they handle the request. In the past, I usually had no problems with networking. So, why am I not able to reach the 85% of all networking and/or job enquiries? These enquiries are about positions for which I am reasonably or well qualified. Then I thought it was my personality or demeanor but I have been active and successful in many volunteer activities within the local community. Thus, I would like to use this thread to breakdown this problem as a sales and communication challenge. Hopefully, with your participation I will find a solution to this problem. Maybe this will help another forum member.

Now, I am thinking that I am just afraid to network more assertively and to push back on objections. Further, maybe learning more about sales and marketing techniques would help me to reach the 85% of non-responders. As I have said before, I respect a candid answer versus silence and tend to pull back or take it negatively when I can’t reach someone or get a candid answer. Maybe I am looking at this problem all wrong; with a non-responder, we don’t have enough information to draw a reasonable conclusion. It could be the expertise of the candidate, it could be the communication skills of candidate, or it could a personality issue with the manager. Who knows at this point? After much reflection, I contend the problem is that the candidate must make assumptions about the needs and expectations of the hiring manager, which are often incorrect. Networking seems to be the only way a candidate can accurately understand what those real needs are. But if the manager is not receptive to such networking efforts, how do you get a job?

Presently, I am reading several sales books and communication books to see if I can implement certain strategies into my job search. To use the sales analogy here (i.e. the customer is the supervisor), I would guess that there are several stages to the sales process, appropriate for the job search, that are done in a certain order:

1) Engagement
2) Discovering the customer's needs and goals
3) Addressing the customer's needs and goals
4) Dealing with objections

PG's scenario is so obvious in what the candidate did wrong that it really doesn't apply. When networking and/or chasing down an open position, these stages appear to be required to get an interview. I say nonsense to those HR recruiters who say don't call (i.e. our managers) if you are interested in working at our company but who agree that networking is the key to finding a job. How can I tell if my background is consistent with the wants and needs of the customer; based on a well written job description by HR, really? Most likely the person who wrote the ad had to confer with the manager to clarify certain points or maybe he didn't. Or the job ad used was such a template that it nowhere near describes the skills, expertise, and/or needs of the supervisor accurately. I doubt the manager had any say in the writing of the ad. So, then (HR) internal recruiters go on social media like LinkedIn saying that applying online is the only way to a find job and downplaying the effectiveness of networking but also saying it is sometimes important (see Lou Alder blog and thread below). Which is it? Now you wonder why people don't come to HR or ask them any questions.

Thus, how do you find out and understand the needs of the supervisor accurately? Guess what, the only way to do this right is to network by calling or emailing (with the preference on emailing first with a resume or professional summary and then calling to warm that lead). I believe that to get a job interview you must go through these sales stages (1-4) and this can't be done by just sending in an application (i.e. cover letter and resume). But what if the prospective manager doesn’t want to participate, how do you engage this person. Based on my results of 85% non-responders, I think engagement is the hardest step of the process. However, I realize people can be irrational and emotional about jobs. Sales is an art form that deals with typical patterns of human behavior and helps alleviate the irrationality of human decisions.

Somehow when networking you need to engage the prospective manager such that you have gained their trust. This needs to done concisely and with the upmost respect for the manager’s time. I don’t have a good answer about how to this or some typical sale approaches to gain this trust of a prospective manager. If this is done correctly and you have gained that trust, the rest of the process will go smoothly often with little or no objections. I only have a few ideas based on my experiences which I will share. One needs to develop a brief script (< 5 min) that conveys who you are and what you are looking for professionally based on the background of the audience and possible shared interests. Look at their LinkedIn profile or biography if posted online, send them articles on topics which might interest them, smile into the phone when talking, always be polite, invite them for a career talk at the University, invite them for a luncheon at a Rotary or alumni meeting, or get the help of their administrative assistant. My goal here is to get them to talk shop about the profession and have them ask questions about my background. Gaining the trust of the prospective manager is the key to the process. Another successful strategy is getting referral from above your target and prospective manager. Have some near or in the C-suite provide you with a referral to someone in that organization who you can talk about X. This is how I got my last job when I wrote a nice letter to the CEO of a law firm with of about 100 employees. How can this be done at a company that is considerably larger (e.g. Biogen)? Ever since the Great Recession of 2007-2008 and 1% GDP since then, US professionals have cared more about themselves than helping anyone who might be unemployed, underemployed, or changing jobs. Perhaps, your understandable if things aren't going well in your career. This is probably the "real" reason why it has been so difficult gaining the trust of managers when networking (not the excuse I am busy; that's a common sales objection). Just to make my point with an analogy, when you are sick or not feeling good about some part of your life, like your career, do you care about helping others, probably not? Anybody have any ideas on engaging the 85% of non-responders?

A few points should be said about which managers you show identify as a person of interest. Start at the top and work your way down but don't go too high; try to use the referral from above strategy. Think a referral from the bottom gets noticed? Board members, investor relations, and public relations are great starting points who can get you the right introductions. I can't say enough about how invaluable a third party public relations firm is; make friends with these people! Don't start with friends or colleagues who work at that company or in the same field as well as don't talk with current company employees that might be considered your peers. Why? This is your competition. In a tight job market, are you going to help your competition; probably not, you probably want to send them elsewhere on a wild goose chase, especially if you don't know them that well? To be effective in your search, you need to talk with a manager who is in control of a budget and has the right level of authority. For a PhD or MS with some experience, start looking at the VP or director level trying to identify who runs X group. Call the operator if needed. Then start networking at this level.

By going to the top, most likely you eliminated any dysfunctional personalities (i.e. a sociopath). People in these positions are probably reasonable and well mannered. If they were jerks, they probably wouldn't have been promoted; they would know what it takes be promoted in terms of people skills. Thus, for the job candidate politely looking for information and a job, these managers are more likely to be receptive to a networking enquiry. I have found that the inexperienced or less senior manager is more likely be less receptive to the same networking enquiry. A further benefit by going to the top is that, if you gain the trust of this more senior manager, they are likely to make a hiring decision unilaterally without the opinions of others. Often that decision is more objective and transactional; based skills and expertise (vs personality traits) than the decision of the junior level manager. I don’t a good explanation for these observations. However, I have asked several senior executives that my family knows personally about this (e.g. former Nabisco COO for twenty years, the CEO of a major airlines, Executive VP at Cargill, COO at a major airline company). They agree with these observations and that networking is the right approach.

Once you have the face to face interview with the manager of interest and you have his trust, suppose now you are the good and inquisitive salesperson. I need to understand his what his hiring needs are and what goals he hopes to solve with this hire. If I know what his goals are, I can gain probably a good understanding of his problems and maybe some insights in how he wants to solve these problems. Since this forum is mostly concern about alternatives in the for-profit private sector, I’ll assume that every hire has a monetary component. In other words, how will this hire contribute to either increasing profits or saving the company money. So how do I get him to talk shop with me where he shares his experiences and asks me about my background. I say first do your homework about him, the group he leads, and the company. This way you are armed with some intelligent questions beforehand. Personally, I like to read the patents of the group, the SEC Edgar reports, business intelligence reports (if I can get them; sector or company), and any internal documents published by the company. Ask open ended questions to get him talking to where there is a mutual exchange of information. Show excitement and energy when talking. Compliment the manager if they have done something fascinating or remarkable. Then ask specific questions about the group and possible jobs if the conversation is going well. This may seem awkward and some inexperienced managers may not like this, especially if this meeting was arranged as an informational interview. However, most experienced managers will know that an “informational interview” is really a conversation about jobs and will steer the conversation towards jobs or careers anyway, if they have a good impression of your background. Also, experienced managers are more transactional with their hires where decisions are based more on competencies and expertise than personality traits versus behavioral attributes (e.g. work ethics or honesty). I can provide some examples of this and it only makes my point that one should start at the top. I am sure there are others sales approaches for determining the hiring needs and expectations of this manager at this stage of the sales process. At this point, you should have all the accurate information about this manager’s hiring needs, required skills, expertise, and competencies, as well as some understanding of the problems he is trying to solve with this hire; to make a good case for your candidacy. The third step of addressing the manager’s needs and goals is the easiest part of the process. Here you are trying to provide solutions for the customer’s needs given your background and skills.

By now, if successful, you have reached a point where you might receive some pushback or objections by the manager. The manager hopefully will express those concerns verbally rather than trying to close the conversation or by not being receptive to further discussion. I believe moment this is key point in the process and a lot depends on how well you established trust. Sometimes not obvious, the decision here is know when the customer “just hasn’t been sold” or has a legitimate concern. A cleaver salesperson will be able to dig out those objections and can easily recognize the typical excuses (i.e. the product is too expensive or I don’t have time). Excuses meaning reasons not to make a commitment that have nothing to do with you or the product you are selling, in this case that’s you. The intuitive salesperson will recognize these excuses and have ways to get at the heart of the matter. I am always amazed at how many interviews are not conducted like a sales presentation and negotiation (even for a sales job). However, job interviews are the same and same excuses are often given but rarely discussed in a job interview. If the customer “just hasn’t been sold” but he seems receptive to further discussion, I say continue selling with some thoughtful questions. I think there is a sales approach known as consulting selling that is helpful with this. This is where I am not the most skilled in these types of negotiations and dealing with objections. Often, I tend to shy away and sometimes become frustrated rather than defend my qualifications with an assertive and intelligent answer.

In this process of a finding job, which is akin to the sales process, we make inaccurate assumptions about the hiring needs and expectations of the manager. To get at the real hiring expectations and the problems facing the manager, one must network which requires more than submitting a resume to HR. Networking for a job is nothing more than a sales presentation and negotiation. Throughout this process, you are going to receive conflicting messages, which can be verbal or non-verbal in nature, and which has to be addressed to move foward. Unlike a sales presentation, managers more reluctant to talk about their concerns but these concerns are the same as the typical sales “excuses” which require further discussion to get at the real reason behind the excuse. When selling your yourself for a position, you are going to get these mixed messages which amounts to a hurdle to overcome and to do so a candidate might have to cleverly and politely push through these obstacles with a prospective manager to move forward with one’s candidacy. Unless the customer says no I am not interested and/or provides a candid answer, I would take the non-responder situation as a I am “just not sold yet" scenario.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140325 ... eader-card

This thread supports my observations about the negativity surrounding networking and how HR feels about the topic. I thought the ideas by Lou were good. To those critics of networking in this thread, I say how else do you find a good job; the odds of networking seem pretty good compared to anything else. HR don't be a hypocrite when you probably found your job by networking, right!
Last edited by Nate W. on Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nate W.
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby MDM » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:46 pm

You can sell yourself well, have all the requisite skills, be a good fit for the group, and check most of the boxes but a hiring manager may not feel too enthusiastic if they feel that the position they are trying to fill is not your ideal choice or if you are going to use that as a short-term stepping stone and bolt as soon as a better opportunity arises. It takes time and money to go through interviewing candidates and bring them on site. Then you have to invest time on training a new hire, either on technical skills or just on how things work in that department or both. If I've had a lot of turnover in my department in a certain position for whatever various reasons in the past, I might be inclined to hire someone that I feel is going to provide me some long-term stability, even if I have to put in a little more effort up front in training. The stability might be a little more important than filling an immediate need with a superstar with a high probabability of not staying long. It's like trading for a superstar in the middle of the season that is due to become a free agent at the end of season and you have no guarantee they will stay. It depends on the circumstances and the needs of the hiring manager and what compromises they are willing to make. You sounded more interested in working with the VP rather than the director. Maybe the director got this sense and is worried you might bolt once the VP has a position open. Working on hiring someone new is a major distraction from all of the other activities you need to get done. Some places have very rigid application procedures and don't get too excited about talking to candidates unless you've gone through all the hoops to demonstrate you really are interested in the position. I've had resumes sent to me before from other colleagues for candidates that they thought I might be interested in hiring. They might be perfectly fine, but they might not be quite what I had in mind and I have five other potential candidates that are. Sell yourself as best you can but don't take it personal if you don't get further consideration. You don't know all of what's going on behind the scenes and it may have nothing to do with you. I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask why you weren't chosen and if the hiring manager can provide any constructive feedback to help you.
MDM
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby Nate W. » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:37 pm

MDM wrote:You can sell yourself well, have all the requisite skills, be a good fit for the group, and check most of the boxes but a hiring manager may not feel too enthusiastic if they feel that the position they are trying to fill is not your ideal choice or if you are going to use that as a short-term stepping stone and bolt as soon as a better opportunity arises. It takes time and money to go through interviewing candidates and bring them on site. Then you have to invest time on training a new hire, either on technical skills or just on how things work in that department or both. If I've had a lot of turnover in my department in a certain position for whatever various reasons in the past, I might be inclined to hire someone that I feel is going to provide me some long-term stability, even if I have to put in a little more effort up front in training. The stability might be a little more important than filling an immediate need with a superstar with a high probabability of not staying long. It's like trading for a superstar in the middle of the season that is due to become a free agent at the end of season and you have no guarantee they will stay. It depends on the circumstances and the needs of the hiring manager and what compromises they are willing to make. You sounded more interested in working with the VP rather than the director. Maybe the director got this sense and is worried you might bolt once the VP has a position open. Working on hiring someone new is a major distraction from all of the other activities you need to get done. Some places have very rigid application procedures and don't get too excited about talking to candidates unless you've gone through all the hoops to demonstrate you really are interested in the position. I've had resumes sent to me before from other colleagues for candidates that they thought I might be interested in hiring. They might be perfectly fine, but they might not be quite what I had in mind and I have five other potential candidates that are. Sell yourself as best you can but don't take it personal if you don't get further consideration. You don't know all of what's going on behind the scenes and it may have nothing to do with you. I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask why you weren't chosen and if the hiring manager can provide any constructive feedback to help you.


Perfectly reasonable. Why not just tell the candidate what you are thinking, like the those responses I provided (1-7) versus the silence. Yes, I think I would be a better fit for the VP given my background, expertise, and age. Also, I sense some feared competition from the director if she hired me; this is a gut feeling but I don't and she will not talk with me openly.
Nate W.
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby Nate W. » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:50 pm

Dave Walker wrote:@PG
Wow, is that a real conversation!? That person has seriously impressive/sociopathic phone skills.

@Everyone
I wanted to make a quick comment if that's okay.
#1: I don't think there's anything wrong in getting a final answer from the Director (who is the ultimate Hiring Manager, yes?) if you want some closure. A brief phone call would spare you the thousands of words exchanged here, I think :)
You may not get closure for legal reasons, which has been discussed on this board before. But at the very least you can better understand the way things are at this institution.

*****
This situations reminds me of when I have a perfect sale lined up, and then I just lose it, out of nowhere. Whole books have been written about exactly this topic -- a failure to understand the situation, to connect with the players on a deep level.


The director is the hiring manager for several assistant roles but the VP suggested to me that these positions might be "overqualified" given my background. Further, the VP told me that he wanted to consider me for a senior licensing associate which he inferred was in his group. This senior position is not available yet and will probably be advertised soon. This is why I think the VP is more interested in my candidacy than the director. However, I know that once the senior licensing position is available, there will be several licensing associates from the director's group competing for the senior position with the director's full support. I'll stay in contact with the VP and not the director.

I don't know if this means anything by the director's title is acting director; which means this person might be gone soon or her position is a temporary one. Might explain her behavior?
Nate W.
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:29 am

Nate, congratulations on posting the single longest post that has ever appeared on our forum. You've provided some excellent thoughts. Generally, the shorter posts are read here, but I think you got a fair amount of traction.

The only area where I would disagree with you is that we've seen far more networking success with the "peer + 2" philosophy -- that is, people of roughly just a year or two ahead of you (or three or four, etc) who can take your networking call for what it is -- an inquiry into what it's like to work in X company, and how that person managed to break through and find employment. All those questions that forum participants have, such as "What's it like on a daily basis to be in Business Development?" or, "What skills were most attractive to the company when you went through the interview process?" and so on. There are no barriers to reaching this level of staff, and they are compensated (sometimes in a very large manner) to share your CV with the hiring manager.

That said, if you can reach a more senior staff member - the VP of Research, for example - it could certainly represent an opportunity as you say to take networking to a different level. I've had people tell me that even reaching out to an H/R person can sometimes be effective -- not in pursuit of one particular position, where the conversation is very directed to "Send me a CV and we'll get back to you", but where the conversation can be more like "What we find attractive in candidates for jobs at the entry level." Questions to HR about culture, about who succeeds and who doesn't (traits and work styles, etc) are good ones to develop, because you'll need them eventually anyway.

Also, reaching out to recruiters is something that falls into the networking category. But it's very difficult, because headhunters are tied to their desks/phone for 12 hours a day working on their assignments, and taking time out to discuss generalities with job seekers is on the bottom of the pile of priorities. Sometimes, reaching out to a recruiter is best done via a referral from someone else -- "Susan, Yash Patel over at XYZ Biotech told me that you've done quite a lot of work with their company and that you are a respected resource. Do you mind taking five minutes for a brief introduction?"

Always happy to see the topic of networking come up on the forum, although I don't think there's much to the topic of "Jealousy" -- that's a very unique personal situation encountered here by few, I would imagine.

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7862
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Dealing with Jealousy When Networking and Interviewing

Postby PG » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:56 pm

Yes the coversation I wrote actually happened. I dont Think I would have stayed that long on the line if I was the hiring manager.

I cant say that jealousy is never an issue but I Think that it is very rare and that in most cases even when jealousy could be an issue the most frequent explanation is something else. Regardless what the cause is I dont Think there is much you can do about it. If the Company representative doesnt want to work with you as an applicant there is usually very Little you can do.
PG
 
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests