The Interview Record

The Interview Record

One of the things that those in job search transition learn very quickly when they seek advice from job search support groups or career coaches is the importance and value of networking. The searcher learns there are four basic methods that one can use to find a job. Two of the methods many of them know, yet they quickly learn they’re very passive in their approach. Applying for a job through online job sites/answering ads, etc. is an approach where you send your qualifications to the appointed address and wait to hear a response. An equally docile approach is to elicit the assistance of a recruiter with the anticipation that they will do the leg work for you, and line you up for connections with perspective employers. One soon learns that this approach is also filled with frustration as recruiters are looking for the “perfect” candidate to present to hiring companies. After all the hiring company is who is paying the recruiter and not the job seeker, so if you are likely not to be what the hiring company is seeking, the recruiter is not going to advance your candidacy very far.

The other two approaches, Networking and Direct Contact put you actively in charge of your search. You are the one who seeks out individuals with whom you would like to speak.  You are the one accountable for identifying companies with which you want to connect.  And, the quicker one realizes that TALKING TO OTHERS AND LETTING THEM GET TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY HAVE TO OFFER, the more oomph that goes into their search.

Yes, talking to a large number of individuals, (and unless one is extremely lucky it will be a large number of individuals), will be time consuming. It also often involves talking to some of the same individuals multiple times during your search as it progresses. How does one remember what was said during all those conversations?  How does one remember to keep track of who may have been the right contact for this company or that type of opening? One tool which can assist one in managing their search, (whether it is for a job, lining up a volunteer position, looking to build a business or whatever worthwhile vocation you are pursuing), is the Interview Record form. The Interview Record is an easy way to summarize and track those conversations.

So, what types of items should one capture?  Certainly you want to capture with whom did you speak and their contact information (address, telephone numbers, email).  How did you first get in contact with them?  Did someone else refer you? Did you make the contact initially through letter, telephone, email? About what issues did you speak? What advice did they provide to you? What are some of the key points you want to remember about meeting with them?

While termed the “Interview Record,” it just does not have to be used for formal job interviews. In fact, more of your conversations in the early stages of your search will be with networking contacts that may lead you toward companies and potential job opportunities. A major part of the form also includes the expectation of having frequent follow-up contact with the individuals to whom you speak. Too often many hinder themselves in their search by contacting an individual once, either obtaining information and moving on, or being frustrated if they deem that the contact may have not been as helpful as expected.  Relationship development through connecting with people takes time. Circumstances change for both you and the individual who becomes your contact. A follow-up phone call or letter may take place at a time when there is a need in one or both of your lives which you may be able to address.

So, in both building networking skills and also to assist you in both building and remembering your contact base, give strong consideration of using an Interview Record or similar tool to capture your networking meetings. It may just be the difference in keeping you in touch with the contact you need that may move you toward that next great opportunity in your life.