Stories of Outplacement: Interview Strategies – Terry

· by Julie Blackmon

Julie is one of our Career Transition Coaches in our Outplacement group. She brings over 10 years of recruiting experience to her role. Julie has been with HTI since 2011.
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Caution: U-Turn Ahead! How to Adjust your Plan with Short Notice


When I first met Terry, we were conducting a large outplacement program at his employer.

Many individuals at this facility had extensive tenure. In contrast, Terry had only been there about 3 years. Even so, he was much more comfortable with the job search process and interviewing than most of his peers. He had a clear idea of his strengths and the types of organizations he would fit well within. He painted a great picture for us to strive toward in his outplacement program.

While he had a pretty good handle on job searching and interviewing, Terry still participated in all the training offered in order to continue to improve.

Several months prior to Terry’s end date with his facility, he started going through the interview process with one of the parent companies. Ultimately, he was offered a position which was attractive, but would necessitate a relocation. Terry and his family came to the decision it would be a good move after discussing the options. So, he stopped pursuing employment locally, and began preparing for relocation.

Fast forward a month or two, and Terry came to let me know some exciting news – his daughter was pregnant with his first grandchild! Then, the next week, his daughter-in-law announced her pregnancy as well! All of a sudden, moving several hours away from the family, and two new bundles of joy didn’t seem quite so attractive.

So, with about 3 months until his end date, the plan changed drastically!

He informed the parent company of the family change and began aggressively searching for a position closer to home. All of a sudden, those training sessions really came in handy!

One of the things we cover extensively in our outplacement training is interviewing skills. Terry took everything to heart and sat down with his wife to hone his skills. When he came in after his first local interview, he told us that he didn’t hear a single question in the interview that he wasn’t prepared for, so the interview was a breeze! He continued applying and interviewing for the next several weeks.

One strategy Terry took seriously was applying and interviewing for positions he wasn’t crazy about based on the job description. If a company that he was interested in posted a job he qualified for, but he wasn’t wild about, he would still apply and interview. You just never know what a company has in the wings when you get to talking with them. On one such interview, the course of the interview shifted after the company realized some more of Terry’s background. Then, instead of a fairly lateral move, they were discussing a promotional opportunity that would utilize Terry’s skill set more fully that the position he went in to interview for.

Within the next week or two, as a result of all of his interviewing, he was fielding multiple offers at once.

This truly allowed him to look at each offer individually and find the best fit for him and his family.  Ultimately, Terry selected the opportunity that allowed for a promotion. Terry knew he would be up for the challenge and could bring positive change to his new employer.