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Old 07-03-2013, 02:50 AM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,676 posts, read 3,055,286 times
Reputation: 3132

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I have a few questions. I have been reading threads for the past few hours and gotten some info that I need, but wanted to get more. There's a point to my history, I swear. If you want to skip it, scroll down to the bolded "my questions".

I am moving to OR in a couple of weeks, so I figured apply for what I want while in CA, apply for everything once I get there.

So, I applied for this one job. The recruiter emailed me saying, "the job you applied for is closed, however, if you're still interested in working for our company, there's an unlisted upcoming position that I'd like to discuss with you". I thought to myself, wow, they contacted me, awesome!!! I emailed back we set up a phone interview/screening a few days later. This was my first phone interview ever. It was like a typical first interview.

She really likes me for this specific position. Yay! During that first phone call, she asked me for my salary requirements. I told her after researching what I could, with the change in cost of living, my range is $50-60k. I figured a range is better than a flat number. It also shows them I'm flexible, without putting myself too high or too low. No salary range was listed with the job, however, she said, "let me check the range". She said the range is approx. $42-50k, then asked me if I'm flexible. I told her I was, however, the low end of the range probably won't work. She said, "with your experience, I don't see a problem with starting you at mid-range or higher". Okay. That's awesome. I have no idea how much say she has in all of this, but hey, she's my cheerleader right now, so yay.

I then was sent a skills test. Aced it. She reiterated that she felt I was perfect for this position based on my personality and experience. She asked me to come to OR for an interview (previously she said Skype may be an alternative, but said the manager wants to meet me in person). She stated that she will find out if it's okay for the company to pay for my trip. This is for an Exec. Assist. position. That's awesome! Shows me they want me (I hope). They are going to pay for me to fly up. I go in next week.

My Questions

Interview: I'm flying up, renting a car (on my dime, I think, since I need to run errands), and will meet them at 1pm. They told me to expect to be there until at least 4ish. What are they planning? What's typical? A "second interview"? Maybe a tour? What else that could take 3 hours?

I am going to change somewhere after my errands since I don't want to wear my suit all morning and on the plane. Would it be tacky to bring in a backpack versus a purse? I don't want to have to carry a purse and possibly a backpack, plus my garment bag (actually, that'd be 3 carry-ons, so that wouldn't work anyways).

Any advice on looking "fresh" by 1pm although I'll have been up and on the go since about 5am? Maybe I should just take my happy drug (legal Rx, don't ask).

Any general advice? I've never been on an out of state interview before.



Negotiations: So, she's already stated that starting me at mid-range shouldn't be a problem. Should I negotiate for the upper to top of the range? I'd like to make at minimum $45. If for some odd reason, they can barely give me that, my friend was saying to negotiate other things like, 401k matching, health bene's (if they're not 100% paid for), bene's for my animals (they offer animal well-being care)? What else can I negotiate? It's not gov't so I'd think almost everything is negotiable.

Any general advice? Never had to negotiate before as I'm usually starting at entry level, and obviously with this job, they seem to really really want me. Or that's what I feel.


Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:17 AM
 
1,102 posts, read 1,571,841 times
Reputation: 1136
A lengthy interview isn't uncommon for non-entry level jobs. You'll probably meet with HR, the direct supervisor, members of the team, etc. Does this positon report to only one department? If not, you'll probably meet with members of the other departments as well. Ask for an itinerary/agenda so you know what to expect.

I would advise against bringing a backpack to the interview. Do you have any other bag that's more professional looking? A leather tote? A larger satchel? You mentioned possibly renting a car. Leave the large pieces of luggage in there. As for looking 'fresh', bring some powder and oil blotting papers. I'm not sure what the weather is like out there right now, but over here in the East, it's sweltering.

Are you familiar with the area already? Map out exactly how to get to and from all locations you need to be. Plan out your day, and give yourself a lot of cushion-time. Print out paper copies of maps and save directions on your phone.

Traveling far for interviews can be very nervewrecking. Not only do you feel pressed for time, unfamiliar with the new environment, you also get the usual interview-jitters. Plan on getting there a little early, relax, and go in confident. Remember that this is you interviewing them as well. Will they be a good fit for you? Are the offering what you need for career advancement? I think a lot of people forget that interviewing goes both ways. Ask a lot of questions so you can determine that this is what YOU really want.

As for salary negotiations, always aim a little higher, but make sure it's within reason. Save this discussion after you get an official offer though. If they ask you during the interview, give them a range of what is acceptable to you and say you are somewhat flexible. I wouldn't give a firm agreement to anything though, just yet.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:22 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,719,990 times
Reputation: 4944
another thing you can negotiate is vacation time. or a better parking space. hours (say if you'd rather work 4 10s, or you want to work one day from home, or something like that). health insurance and retirement are not generally negotiable.

i've never heard of employer benefits for animals - are you saying you know that this company offers that, or just that some companies do? i don't think i'd bring that up unless you know they offer it because it'd be pretty unusual.

as nifear said, a 3 hour interview is probably going to be a few interviews in a row with different people. i had an interview like that sort of recently at a university and it was the head of the department, the 2 professors who would be my supervisors, and then 2 people at the same level as the job i was applying for. they may also be consolidating what would normally be first and second interviews since you're traveling.

that is awesome that they are flying you out, by the way. definitely a good sign, at the very least of how they treat their employees but also potentially what they think of you as a candidate.

Last edited by groar; 07-03-2013 at 06:31 AM..
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:28 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,788,649 times
Reputation: 16147
Maybe I'm not understanding. If you are renting a car wouldn't you just leave all your stuff in the car during the interview. Why would you have to bring in a backpack?

My guess is most places will not negotiate on health benefits or 401K. Those are generally set policies for everyone.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,998 posts, read 8,421,179 times
Reputation: 15608
Longer interviews like this you often consist of several interviews with different people with whom you will work closely. Your potential boss for an hour, hr for 30 minutes, a group of people you will supervise for 30 minutes, the CFO if you have budgetary responsibilities, that sort of thing.

Some of these interviews will be repetitive. The same questions will be asked by different people. Smile every time, answer fully every time, and tailor your answer a bit to the interests of the person you are talking to. Remember, even if this is the third time you have been asked the question, for each interviewer it is the first.

The interviewers are looking for consistency, endurance, and for everybody to get a feeling for your personality.

Two changes of clothes is necessary. Your daily run around clothes and an interview suit. Scope out a place you can change, such as a clean restaurant bathroom, apply fresh deodorant, and you are good to go.

Your change of clothes and airplane reading stays in the car during the interview.

Hopefully their starting range of 42-50 is just a negotiating ploy. You can certainly ask for more, but their are so many factors that go into salary that it is beyond the scope of a forum to address them well. Vacation can sometimes be negotiated, other benefits rarely can.

Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:12 AM
 
18,933 posts, read 9,646,556 times
Reputation: 5303
- Do not bring anything but a portfolio that contains your resume, a notepad, a pen and any relevant certificates or transcripts you may have.
- Suggest you fly there one day earlier and sleep in at the hotel.
- Suggest you NOT negotiate the salary during the first interview. Salary, vacation and benefits should be negotiate after they make an offer. Rarely a company would negotiate benefits though.
- If you aren't expecting the company to pay for relocation, don't even bring it up.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,719,990 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeexplorer View Post
- Suggest you NOT negotiate the salary during the first interview. Salary, vacation and benefits should be negotiate after they make an offer. Rarely a company would negotiate benefits though.
good advice, i assumed the OP wasn't even thinking of doing this, but rereading the first post, i'm not sure whether or not she is.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,697 posts, read 3,125,013 times
Reputation: 1535
If you're going to be moving to this area, why not stay a night or two at a hotel and use the off time to check out your new city? It would have the added bonus of giving you a place to keep all your stuff so you didn't have to worry about lugging a backpack into your interview.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,676 posts, read 3,055,286 times
Reputation: 3132
Quote:
Originally Posted by nifear View Post
Does this positon report to only one department? If not, you'll probably meet with members of the other departments as well. Ask for an itinerary/agenda so you know what to expect.

I would advise against bringing a backpack to the interview.

Are you familiar with the area already? Map out exactly how to get to and from all locations you need to be. Plan out your day, and give yourself a lot of cushion-time. Print out paper copies of maps and save directions on your phone.

Plan on getting there a little early, relax, and go in confident. I think a lot of people forget that interviewing goes both ways. Ask a lot of questions so you can determine that this is what YOU really want.

As for salary negotiations, always aim a little higher, but make sure it's within reason. Save this discussion after you get an official offer though. If they ask you during the interview, give them a range of what is acceptable to you and say you are somewhat flexible. I wouldn't give a firm agreement to anything though, just yet.

Good luck!

I never thought of asking for an agenda, good idea. Even if they can give me a verbal breakdown of what will happen, it'll be nice. I looked up the weather, oh lovely, 95 degrees. WTF! Fingers crossed for cooler weather, yikes. That's going to suck in a suit. Thanks for the makeup tips. I'm going to need it. I'm thinking when I change clothes, I'll put on my makeup. Need to scope out someplace. No, nothing more professional except a purse. I may just use my purse. Garment bag will definitely stay in the car. I am familiar with the area, however, I will have maps printed out as you suggested. Good point about getting their early to calm down, collect myself, etc. They've asked me my range already, I gave it to them. Their range is lower. But thank you for all the great advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
another thing you can negotiate is vacation time. or a better parking space. hours (say if you'd rather work 4 10s, or you want to work one day from home, or something like that). health insurance and retirement are not generally negotiable.

i've never heard of employer benefits for animals - are you saying you know that this company offers that, or just that some companies do? i don't think i'd bring that up unless you know they offer it because it'd be pretty unusual.

as nifear said, a 3 hour interview is probably going to be a few interviews in a row with different people. i had an interview like that sort of recently at a university and it was the head of the department, the 2 professors who would be my supervisors, and then 2 people at the same level as the job i was applying for. they may also be consolidating what would normally be first and second interviews since you're traveling.

that is awesome that they are flying you out, by the way. definitely a good sign, at the very least of how they treat their employees but also potentially what they think of you as a candidate.
I didn't think you could negotiate 401 or bene's, but like I said, never done it, so that's why I asked. I'm writing this down. Negotiate vacation, hours, etc. Thanks. As for the bene's for animals, you get a discount on wellness/health stuff for animals (say, like vaccinations, vet visits, etc). I"m thinking if it's something across the board, it'll be non-negotiable. Too hard to adjust for one person, kwim? As for the interview length, that's what I'm assuming too, but I like the idea of asking for an agenda. I think I'll go that route. Thanks for the advice!



Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Maybe I'm not understanding. If you are renting a car wouldn't you just leave all your stuff in the car during the interview. Why would you have to bring in a backpack?
I am renting a car, however, if I can only take 2 items as carry-ons, the first item is my garment bag with my suit. The other is.............what? A purse? A backpack? I have to choose. A backpack is more versatile for the trip. A purse is more professional.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeexplorer View Post
- Do not bring anything but a portfolio that contains your resume, a notepad, a pen and any relevant certificates or transcripts you may have.
- Suggest you fly there one day earlier and sleep in at the hotel.
- Suggest you NOT negotiate the salary during the first interview. Salary, vacation and benefits should be negotiate after they make an offer. Rarely a company would negotiate benefits though.
- If you aren't expecting the company to pay for relocation, don't even bring it up.
Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, although they offered, I can't fly up the day before, so I'm flying up that morning, early. I just need to make sure I get some good sleep the day before. I plan on negotiating salary when they bring it up, so definitely not the first interview. I asked, because they already asked me my range and just in case they brought it up then, or very soon. This has moved very fast (like within 2 weeks already). I've already told the company that I don't require relocation expenses (even this paid flight up was a nice surprise).



Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Longer interviews like this you often consist of several interviews with different people with whom you will work closely. Your potential boss for an hour, hr for 30 minutes, a group of people you will supervise for 30 minutes, the CFO if you have budgetary responsibilities, that sort of thing.

Some of these interviews will be repetitive. The same questions will be asked by different people. Smile every time, answer fully every time, and tailor your answer a bit to the interests of the person you are talking to. Remember, even if this is the third time you have been asked the question, for each interviewer it is the first.

The interviewers are looking for consistency, endurance, and for everybody to get a feeling for your personality.

Two changes of clothes is necessary. Your daily run around clothes and an interview suit. Scope out a place you can change, such as a clean restaurant bathroom, apply fresh deodorant, and you are good to go.

Your change of clothes and airplane reading stays in the car during the interview.

Hopefully their starting range of 42-50 is just a negotiating ploy. You can certainly ask for more, but their are so many factors that go into salary that it is beyond the scope of a forum to address them well. Vacation can sometimes be negotiated, other benefits rarely can.

Good luck.

Great advice on answering questions. Gotta remember to keep on smiling.
I'm thinking of going to the mall restroom. I hear they're very nice. That or maybe I can sneak into a hotel's lobby restroom? Hmmm. If not, I can go to my friend's mom's house. But would rather not, only because that woman can talk! So, I shouldn't bring in Fifty Shades of Gray to the interview? ;P i'm kidding. Thanks for all the advice.



Thank you everyone. This has really helped me a lot. Great advice and thanks for letting me know that things like health bene's and 401k's usually aren't negotiable. I guess that's why higher ups negotiate things like car allowance, yeah? I appreciate it. I want to feel prepared when I go and obviously, I can't "go home" and get anything.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,676 posts, read 3,055,286 times
Reputation: 3132
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
good advice, i assumed the OP wasn't even thinking of doing this, but rereading the first post, i'm not sure whether or not she is.
Nope I wasn't. As I had stated, they brought up my range. We discussed theirs. She told me what she felt was fair. That was not a negotiation, just talking. I doubt they'll bring money up, however, the reason I asked is because the reason the position is open is the person who they hired lied about their skills, so they reopened the position.

From the day they contacted me to telling me they want to fly me out, it's been 7 business days. I know they want to fill the position fast. I really don't think they'll bring up salary as I'm sure they'll want to discuss how I did in-person first, but you never know. Also, I want to be prepared if they call with a verbal offer, say, the following day. Again, this has moved very fast, so I want to be prepared.
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