From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

February 2014
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2014 Interview Preparation.
Filed under: Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:09 pm

I liked Louise Garver’s checklist  2  for preparing for interviews in 2014

Opportunity (job description)
Company webpage (news, products.competitors)
Network (who in your network is connected to this firm)
Google the firm (, etc.)
Investment review (when you work for a firm you are investing your
                                    life’s energies in the firm and its people)

Interviewers profiles/ affiliations
Your personal self assessment
Match between your strengths and the job requirements
References (keep them informed)

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Negotiations. I. Compensation and Benefits Package
Filed under: Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 4:48 pm

Benefits should not be the reason to agree to work
at a location or company or sector, but it does factor
into ranking opportunities.  It is better to establish
and confirm these on going into an interview, than
finding out after you are on the job 3 months.  [It is
true things can change a lot between an offer and
working in place.]

There are several perspectives on overall compensation
packages.  I talked today with one high level technical
manager who thought.when an offer, a good offer, is made,
to a highly qualified and desired candidate, it is either
accepted or rejected.  No room should be made for

Another hiring manager thought that an offer should be made
quickly but that there should be some consideration for
negotiating, like hiring bonus at start up or a 5% higher
amount, since many candidates who receive attractive
offers will want to negotiate.  Round numbers:  Offer
$100K, but be willing to go up to $105, or offer a
sign-on bonus that also pays the taxes on the bonus.

Each candidate needs to examine the whole suite of
benefits and establish what is best for their family situations. 
It is often not easy to determine a dollar value for
insurances and vacations and motivational awards.

One company, for example, offers a strong package including
health, life and injury, disability insurances, retirement income
and business travel insurances.  A flexible spending
account, domestic partner coverages, children till 26,
401(k) plans with matching, and a personal investment
planning seminar series.

A number of sites have on-site medical, on-site car,
immunizations, fitness, gyms and credit unions.

Competitors present 4 weeks of vacations per year (+ week
between Christmas and New Years) [vs. 2 weeks], and
recognize the importance of work life balance supported by
health and financial wellness programs.  They also
emphasize learning and development (’lunch and learn,’ tuition
reimbursement and mentoring programs)  and state of the
art research facilities.

Louise Garver also points out several benefits that could
be included in a negotiation discussion, including
 flex-time schedules,
 expedited review, and
 ”informed value” of stock options.

The outcome of the importance of each of these factors
could be different for different people and at different
times in each person’s career lifespan.  These kinds
of determinations should be estimated before an on-site
interview. Think about asking questions of the HR
manager developed to confirm importance.

Preparation is key on these.

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