Post # 1
I’m writing this post just to vent a little, but I definitely welcome any advice on how to ace a phone interview. I’m in a weird position where I was accepted into a fellowship program, but they can’t guarantee that you’ll get a placement. Basically, they have an extensive interview process for the fellowship, accept people they are confident they can place, but don’t know how many partners they’ll have each year or what they’ll need, so you still have to do “fit interviews” and have an organization accept you.
I’m currently in New York and my placement will be in the Boston area. I had a phone interview last week and it went well, but I could tell they weren’t 100% sold. Today, I got an email from the fellowship organization that they decided to go with someone else. This placement was exactly what I want to do and sounded amazing. The fellowship people are still working on finding me a placement, but it’s always hard to deal with rejection. I hate phone interviews because they’re pretty much always awkward, but I don’t have much of a choice. I asked the fellowship coordinator if she had any feedback that could help me for future interviews. She said that they really liked me, but the other person had more experience in a specific area they needed. She doesn’t think there’s anything I could improve upon because the interview went well.
Do you think it’s appropriate to email the people I interviewed with directly to see if they have feedback? I can’t really apply for other jobs until I know for sure if I’m going to get a fellowship placement because I signed a contract with them that I am committed to the fellowship program. If I do break the contract there are no financial repercussions, but it could damage my reputation in the field. This fellowship pays much more than most jobs I’m qualified for (I work in nonprofits, so the salaries suck; the fellowship org supplements the salary), and I’m just so stressed out and worried that I won’t get a placement, which would mean my FI would have to pay more than his fair share for our bills and expenses.
TL;DR I didn’t get a job that seemed perfect and I really wanted, and I need to mope for a bit about it.
Post # 2
TGold: Ok, so you’re missing some critical information here. As it stands, I don’t think you should reach out directly to the organization that chose someone else — it’s not appropriate and won’t gain you much. There’s a reason they are going through the fellowship process.
1. How long is the fellowship for? i.e. how long are you committed to getting a placement through them?
2. If the fellowship pays more than most jobs you’re qualified for, what’s the financial issue? You’re still getting paid since you got the fellowship.
3. If you don’t get a placement, how does that prevent you from getting another job?
4. What do you have to lose by interviewing outside of the fellowship? Just because you get an offer doesn’t mean you have to take it. And if you get another offer, you have options.
My FI had an awesome job he had just started — great brand name in his industry, awesome benefits, the whole nine yards. He got into a conversation with another company and ended up getting an offer. They held his offer for months because he wanted fulfill his obligation to his first company. Once he accomplished what he set out to do, he was able to make the switch without burning any bridges. It worked out well for both organizations and for his career.
Just something to consider.
Post # 3
bitsybee: Thanks for your input! I think you’re right that I should start interviewing – I can always explain the situation if they offer me the job. To answer your questions:
<br />1. The fellowship is 10 months, meaning that the fellowship organization funds your position for 10 months and provides professional development and networking opportunities during that tame. However, after speaking with people who are in the program now, it seems that over 90% are offered permanent positions and stay with their placement.
2. If I don’t get a placement, it’s the same as not getting a job. I would not be in the program and would not get paid. The fellowship organization acts more like a staffing agency in that respect.
3. If I don’t get a placement once their placement process is over, then I can accept another job with no repercussions. However, if I accept another job before their placement process is finished, they really frown upon it and may tell people negative things about you for breaking the commitment.
4. If you interview with a placement recommendation, they want you, and then you turn it down because you accepted another offer, it’s basically the same situation as above.