Question: I’ve been told to expect a call for a telephone interview “right away”, but it’s been a week. When is it appropriate to call or contact?

Consider that you have no internal perspective on the culture of the company. What does right away mean? Could be a day, could be a month, could be that the interviewer or HR manager is out sick or on vacation. It’s just not information you’re privy to. You have to understand; you don’t know the internal culture of the organization. Reader: how would you define right away? Ask 10 people in 10 different companies how they define “We will be in touch to set up an interview.” and see what their responses are. By calling, you’re going counter to the company culture, and it could make you look desperate. It comes down to letting go and waiting, and keep moving on.

Consider also that you should have many interviews and not just that one in the pipeline.

Question: When is it appropriate to take notes at an interview?

The short answer: never. As soon as you take notes, you disengage from the conversation. It changes the dynamic of the interview from the focus being on interaction to one of you taking notes. Over the course of a 20 minute or one-hour interview, you will leave the impression that you can’t hold a conversation. The last thing you want to do is convey an inability to engage and be present in conversation.

The best course of action is to find a quiet place immediately after the interview such as a cafe or even your car, and write detailed notes while the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Value Inventory

Question: How do I position or represent myself to a potential employer? I was recently asked this question by someone who did her graduate work in molecular biology at MIT. She realized she didn’t want to pursue an academic career, and was interested in technology transfer. She decided to approach law firms that specialized in […]

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Welcome to My Blog!

I started it because people ask me a lot of questions about their careers. Those of you who know me (or will get to know me) understand that I have a lot of opinions, and I am passionate about moving careers forward. In fact, that’s what I’ve been helping people in the science and technology […]

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