Job Search Tip
Companies you’ve interviewed with before
Companies you’ve interviewed with before but never worked for are a place to network that most people don’t think about. It’s really overlooked. It won’t work for everyone, but it will work for some and it will be extremely fruitful.
Let me give you an example: I interviewed with Thermo Fisher Diagnostics back in 1996 for a product management role in Houston, Texas. And actually, they also offered me another role within Fisher in a different area at the same time. But I didn’t end up taking either job. I took a job with Chiron instead.
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But, I did a good job of turning them down. I made them feel good about it. They were a great company, and I enjoyed so much meeting them and talking with them, I wished I could take the job, but this other opportunity was just better for me. But then, I continued the relationship that I had started in the job interview process with the two folks I interviewed with. And when I started recruiting, one of those folks was a customer of mine. So that was a relationship that held for almost 10 years, and turned out to be very profitable for me.
There are people you have interviewed with in the past who wanted to hire you. Maybe they made you an offer, maybe they didn’t. If they didn’t, maybe they just thought you weren’t ready for that. But now, it’s 5 years later or 10 years later, and you’re a different animal than you were then.
If you contact them now, they could possibly hire you. That’s reason enough to look them up if you’re in a job search. But even if they don’t have a spot and aren’t in a place where they could hire you, they could tell you what’s of value to you and give you the names of other companies that are probably hiring.
Most people don’t think of continuing a relationship with people they interview with but don’t work for. But I say that everyone who comes into your orbit is worth making the effort to keep in touch with. It doesn’t have to be a big effort. Just every so often (maybe every 3-6 months), just message them or send a short email to say “Hi” and maybe let them know about something they would be interested in: an article, an event, whatever. You could even work a few of these into your daily routine to make sure you stay on top of it. It’s worth the effort.
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