Friday, May 31, 2013


Did it go well? I don't know. I was interviewed by the head of the organization. He asked some questions I wasn't prepared for and a few that I wasn't. I inserted the little speech about why I wanted to leave my current position later in the interview, since he asked, "why do you want to come here?" instead of "why do you want to leave there?" He talked a lot! I let him max his talking, not interrupting or inserting myself, though that was hard! For the first 10 (?) minutes he explained the interview process and talked about the organization. They're interviewing six to eight (six confirmed, two more in the works) people and will go to the second round with about four. He kept talking about the second round as though I was already there ("you'll be talking to the board and the staff..." etc.)--but I know that's sort of the way people talk in interviews--as though getting the job or getting to the next round isn't conditional on how you do in the interview. I don't really understand that. But maybe they've already decided I'm going to the next round just on the strength of my application materials? The crazy thing is that they want to announce who will fill the position at their big annual event, which is less than four weeks from now. I wouldn't actually have to start in four weeks. Then they'd immediately launch into a major internal reorganization. Not ideal, but better to be part of it than otherwise. I don't know how they're going to make such a big decision so quickly, but I guess everyone works on deadlines or they don't get anything done at all.

I wonder if the speed works in my favor. I do know the incumbent, so he can vouch for me (but will he?), but I am lacking in organizational leadership experience. On a tight deadline, maybe you'd want to bring in someone who had been in a similar role before? Then again, given the plan to completely change the internal structure, maybe they'd prefer someone with less fixed ideas about how things should be managed--someone who you could raise up as you saw fit. I know I can learn all the things that I don't already know about how to do this job. Can they see that? Do they want to take a chance that my strengths will outweigh my (minor) weaknesses?

It does seem that they want someone coming from a research orientation who would move more into policy. The incumbent is a policy guy who has moved into research. I'm their person if they want the research depth. I can learn the rest.

I was asked about my experience supervising staff, so thank goodness I had an answer for that. I was NOT asked about the fundraising stuff, but I did volunteer that I'd be excellent at grant writing, and received a nod and smile of approval. I also wasn't asked for any references. Curious.

Gee whiz, I hope I get to the next round! In the meantime, since I failed to ask him questions and that's bad, I need some follow-up ones to put in the thank you email. Suggestions?

Grateful for: a chance.


  1. I'm always surprised, even doing interviews of people to come into my current company, at how quickly the process moves. Glad you'll know soon and sounds like it went well. I'm no help on follow-up questions though, but even if you don't have any for an email, I'm sure you'll have some for the next round ;)

    1. I sent a nice email and didn't ask questions. I'll be sure to have some ready if I make it to the next round. :)


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