Today’s post comes out of a question asked by a client whose organization is being restructured and the new department boss is putting certain employees through the process of re-interviewing for their old jobs. Needless to say, those employees who are being re-interviewed are going through the paces while those who are not are feeling uncomfortable and fears of Pink Slips are making rounds.
If you are in a similar situation right now, my immediate suggestion to you is to keep things in perspective and be prepared. It is not an immediate firing situation. There may be behind the scene changes that you are not aware of and roles and job descriptions are changing as well. There might be new opportunities within your department or a lateral move.
It might also be the right time to finally update your CV and start looking for another job if the present one has stopped challenging you. Whichever way it goes, don’t freak out and instead prepare for the re-interview with these action steps:
Work on your attitude and ambivalence towards the re-interview
Try to see the big picture. The organization as you know it has changed and when the big wheel changes, the placement of cogs and other parts of the machinery are also changed. So instead of feeling angry or humiliated, use this interview as an opportunity to show-case yourself and the value that you have been bringing to the organization. Find out more about the process and areas that will be covered and come prepared.
This is not a first interview for a new job but one where an assessment is being made whether you still match the job description. The re-interview might just result in your being given a more challenging role or transfer to a position that might really use your experience and knowledge and if all goes well, perhaps an increase in pay.
Maintain a positive attitude and start working on how you can bring out your experience and knowledge. Think of it as an annual appraisal if it helps you to calm your nerves. Don’t gripe to anyone about the upcoming interview at the water-cooler or canteen. From my own experience, I can tell you that times of reorganization and restructuring tend to make people insecure and you never know who will go behind your back and squeal on you to win a brownie point to keep their own job.
At the re-interview, demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your job. The interviewer would be looking at your competencies and skills but also at your soft skill-sets. Your ability to work in a team and pull to get a job is as important as the knowledge that you are bringing to the table. If there is an outside chance that the organization has also advertised the position, then the onus is on you to prove why they should keep you and not bring in the new guy.
Prepare for your re-interview
In addition to your attitude, I recommend taking the re-interview seriously. Make sure that you are able to present a strong business case as to why you are a good match for the job.
One way of preparing is to get a copy of the new job description and check if you are still meeting the core competencies required. Note these down and start compiling a list of examples that you can use if situational or contextual questions are asked. Make a note of situations and tasks where your input was critical to successful task achievement.
Are there any new competencies and requirements? Think about it and strategize how you can show that these new requirements will not affect your ability to perform. Take initiative -enroll for a relevant course and mention it when you are being interviewed.
Note down any competencies or skills that are not included in the job description but which you possess and know that they are important for doing the job. This will come in handy if you are asked why you are the best candidate for the job. Give yourself the advantage you deserve!
Another good source for preparing for the re-interview is to go through your previous performance appraisals and make notes of your achievements. If your boss is going to be involved in the process and if you enjoy a good rapport, consider asking him/her more about the process and find out what they are actually looking for. This information will help you prepare better to showcase yourself as the right choice.
An important part of your preparation is to collect supporting evidence to back up your assertions and claims. You do it in your CV; you need to do it here as well. Think in terms of money that you might have saved the company, new clients you brought in, processes or tasks that you rationalized, recommendations and appreciation received from clients or colleagues, awards or commendations given to you by the company – examples along these lines.
Prepare for the unknown by getting your Ducks in a row
In addition to the above 2 tips, there is a third one – the back- up tip. Different organizations handle their restructuring in different ways. Now what happens if you are really fighting to avoid the Pink Slip?
The first thing you need to check on is the HR Policy of your organization as well as your employment contract. Different countries have different employment laws and if there is a redundancy looming ahead, make sure you know your rights and compensation due. It helps to know where you stand and what you can negotiate. Many companies do try to help employees find new jobs. Don’t burn your bridges, if a Pink Slip is coming, negotiate a win-win situation and move on.
If there is a happy situation where you are going to be getting a new job or retaining the old job with more responsibilities, do ask about the salary and benefits. Do a bit of research outside of your firm and in the industry to find out what pay and perks are given in your industry.
Last but not least, use this exercise as a chance to update your CV – the one thing that is always on the back-burner when your job is secure. Look around to see what else is available within your organization or in the job market because when you are proactive and in control, you not only ace the re-interview but also avoid freaking out.
Now it’s your turn.
If you have ever been through an organizational restructuring and had to re-interview for your own job, how did you handle it? What tips can you share with other readers?
Written By: Vatsala Shukla
Photo credit: Look At Me Doing My Job! by Bobbi Jones JonesFollow Me
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