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The Interviewing Introspective

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The Interviewing Introspective

As an executive recruiter, I have seen people dealing with some of the hardest decisions in their lives—making a job change. It is not an easy decision, and it is in every sense a life-changing event. I wanted to give you five questions to ask yourself while you’re in an interview process. These questions will help you do an on-going introspective that will help you make a sound decision.

Money aside, do I want the job? : One of my favorite questions to ask a candidate is, “Money aside, do you want the job?” This is probably the most important question for any executive recruiter. I wanted to share this question with you so that you can ask yourself throughout the interview process. Ask yourself, “If they were to offer me the exact money I am making now, would I accept?” If your answer is “yes,” then you clearly see that the situation at the new company is better than where you are. If your answer is “no,” then I would suggest doing some serious soul searching to see if you should be in the interview process.

Is this a lateral move? : I feel blessed to say that I’ve helped many companies hire hundreds of people, and I would guess that between 75-85% of them changed for the same title they had in their previous position. Are all of those lateral moves? I would argue that they are not. If the overall situation is better at the new company, then moving for a like title or like pay is not a lateral move. I would call it a strategic move. The blunt direction I would give you is if you wouldn’t make a change for a like title with a like company for like pay, then you really don’t have enough pushing you out of your company.

Would I accept a counteroffer? : If you would answer “yes” to this question, then I would wholeheartedly recommend pulling out of the interview process. If changing jobs does not alleviate the pain you are feeling in your current job, then go to your manager and see what can be done to better your situation. If you wait to have this conversation until during your resignation meeting, then you are risking staying at a company where the relationship is irreparably damaged. If the problem can be fixed at your company, go and try to fix it, but don’t run from it. If you’ve tried and it can’t be fixed, then it’s time for a change.

Which job would I chose if I were unemployed? : When a candidate is struggling with the decision of staying at their company or joining a new one, I often ask what they would do if they were between jobs. If you answer the new company, then it becomes apparent that they have a better overall opportunity. If you answer your current employer, then my professional advice would be to stay. I would also recommend that you pull out of the process before an offer comes from the new company. Turning down an offer is a very good way to burn a bridge, but bowing out professionally before an offer comes secures the relationships you’ve built during the interview.

Is this move going to be easy to explain in the future? : I try to get my candidates in the mindset of thinking long-term. If they get the job their seeking, what might be on the horizon for them in X amount of time? At that point in time, if they are in an interview, how the switch from company A to company B be perceived by the interviewer? Is it explainable? I also advise my candidates to actually build out what their resume will look like if they get the job. Sometimes seeing it helps make the decision one way or another.

I hope by asking these questions to yourself you’ll make a sound decision. A job change is never easy, but getting the answers to these questions are vital to see if you’re heading in the right direction.

Michael Pietrack

About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).

What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.

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