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Rule 13

This Rule is one of the most difficult to enforce. However, it is one of the “key” Rules, so mastering it now pays off handsomely later. How does this apply to the world of work, from a Job Fairy perspective?

First, when a potential employer calls you about a position, you cannot interview the same day. You need at least a couple days’ notice. One to two days should do it for a phone screen. Once they want you to come in for a face-to-face interview, another 3 – 4 days is the minimum interval. You should try to schedule it no sooner than a week from your phone screen.

Suppose you interview with them on a Friday, and they want to have you come in for a second interview on Monday. Do not do it, no matter what kind of good feeling you have about the company. Push that second interview back a week. Make them wait to see you. This will ensure that they worry about getting you. That they anticipate bringing you in. That waiting for you figures into their discussions of other candidates. It also helps your chances of being interviewed last. That is the strongest position for being hired. Second strongest is being the first to be interviewed.

The Shocking Pink Fairy had this situation happen recently. She did a first interview on a Friday, then the company insisted on a second interview that next Tuesday – right after a long holiday weekend. She tried to schedule it for later, but they insisted that they were going to make a decision that week and that they could not wait. So in she went. The better part of a month passed, and finally she heard out of them – they had selected another candidate. Now, she had already taken a job elsewhere – and let them know that she had done so because she never did hear out of them. And that she was really happy there. (OK, they did deserve the smackdown.)

Later, for another position, she did it the right way. She deferred the phone screen for this next job for a couple of days. Then, when she went into the interview, several days later, she made sure she was the last to interview. The managers made their decision as soon as she left the building; she was not 15 minutes away from their office when her recruiter called and told her she had the job.

That is how it is supposed to work. Do not fall for recruiters or hiring managers who all but promise you the job in the interview. This is so that you will open up and be “honest” with them about how much you make, where you have really worked – things like that. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Be gracious but non-committal during the interview process. Remember, you have your pick of positions… or at least you act as if you do. So you can take them or leave them. They would be lucky to have you.

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