Job Search With the “New Normal” 7 of 8

Image of two people standing in an alleyway underneath a balloon shaped like the number eight. Representative of our eight part post for the job search with the new normal.
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on
A golden seven is represented on a blue field. Representative of the seventh part of this job search with the new normal blog posting.
Photo by Miguel Padriun on

POSTED BY: Don Oehlert
Managing Partner,

Legalshield Services

“Practical advice on your next career move.”

At we have a formalized methodology concerning the job search process. We’ve written an eBook about it entitled “The Not Just for Executives Guide to Job Search.”

The eBook is shipping now – send an email to to get your copy. It’s $19.95. We accept PayPal and Venmo currently, and more payment options will be available soon.

We are working on assembling video coursework, whereby you can review our coaching offering at your own pace, in your own time, at your own home. There isn’t really a timetable for this yet, but know that we are working at a feverish pitch, writing the scripts for each segment right now.

All that said, any way you look at it, there are a number of concepts to learn about when you are job hunting. One of the initial questions we repeatedly get from our clients now – and those we have worked with since 2004 is – “when are we going to work on my resume?”

And we’ll agree – that’s the first thing that used to pop into our minds as well. At least before we learned that there are many steps to navigate before you get to the point where you can write an effective resume.

There are also many tools that need to be created to implement a successful job hunt or career search. We’ll go over some of them over the next few weeks as we advance through our 8-part series on career progression.

First in the series – Part 1:

As a refresher, the main point of the first week’s post was “When You’re in Job Search, You’re in Sales.”

In case you missed Part 1 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Second post:

…you should know how to figure out what companies you should target, and why.

In case you missed Part 2 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Third post:

…you should know how to network effectively, and why you’re doing it.

In case you missed Part 3 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Fourth post:

…you should become better at interviewing as well

In case you missed Part 4 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Fifth post:

…outline your success stories in such a manner as to be compelling

In case you missed Part 5 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Sixth Post (last time):

…you should know how, how often – and when – to follow up on things

In case you missed Part 6 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

Seventh post (this time):

…the difference between Positional and Informational Interviews

This is not as simple as it sounds, but it is a basic tenet of job search.

The fundamental difference is that you use Informational Interviews to help you complete your due diligence regarding the companies that have the jobs available that you may want to go for. In other words those jobs that you want a Positional Interview for. I say “you may want to go for” because your Informational Interview may show something that you hadn’t thought of before, or you couldn’t see from the outside.

Informational Interviewing is done with networking contacts that you’ve made recently perhaps, or they could be with someone you’ve known for years. Both are valuable in their own right.

You’re best-served by networking into a company during this phase of your search. This helps you so that you can find out who does what, where, and for whom. You want to find out what its like to work at a particular company. If you already know that you are a “wild-wild-west” type person, and the target company is very buttoned-down, it will not be a good match for you. You want to find out before you get hired there, so you won’t have another hole in your resume to explain later.

Having said that, I can hear some of our readers saying “but I’ll do anything!” Continuing, “I just need to get back to work!” And we understand that philosophy, pragmatically.

We certainly understand that bills need to be paid and food needs to be purchased. In that case, you may find it more amenable to take a non-career job to help keep up with the bills rather than take the wrong career-trajectory job for you.

Especially in this environment.

Preparing for both types of interviews is very similar. You will do a lot of background searching for contacts, competitors, the CEO’s name, and so on. Say the target company is a public company, you’ll want to visit the site and download their 10-K reports. Dig through the EDGAR database, and see what you can find out about your target company. Read the CEO’s message in the beginning section of their annual reports and 10-Ks.

In the CEO’s message you will find information about what they consider to be their competitive environment (many times called “headwinds”), their plans, and what they are most proud of. With that information, you can begin to craft intelligent questions to ask of the Informational Interviewee. Much of this background research will be useful during the Positional Interview as well, so keep a record of it so you can use that work again.

Positional Interviews, on average, last about 40 minutes. If they go longer than that (which is expected the higher up the chain you get), that’s good news. That means the target company found something in your UVP that sounds interesting.

Note that there is a bit of Informational Interview fatigue going on these days – especially now that many companies have laid off a significant portion of their workforces. You may only be able to get the target Interviewee on the phone or on a conference call. If that is offered, jump at it. If nothing else, you will get practice for your higher-value Positional Interviews. Many of these are starting out as video conference calls these days, because there are so many available candidates for each position available (this is why you need to be very clear on your USP/UVP messages, and have a spectacular, unique resume).

Now you know that the average Positional Interview lasts about 40 minutes, and that the Informational Interview should last around 20 minutes, and no more.

Finally, hold them in a very convenient place for the other person.

And you buy the coffee, too.

Future posts in the series will include:

…a wrap up of this series, and an offer to become an exclusive client of

To purchase our 129-page eBook, “The Not Just for Executives Guide to Job Search,”use PayPal above, or drop us an email at <>. It’s $19.95 by itself.

There is also a “Companion WorkBook” available for $9.95. In it are 16 pages of templates and ideas for job search tools you’ll need to run an effective career transition. To get it, drop us an email at <>.

If you’d like them both at this time, upgrade your order as we discuss above, and we’ll send you both books for $24.95. This is a 16.7% discount off of SRP.

As soon as your credit card clears (we use PayPal as our clearing house), we’ll email you the book(s) you’ve purchased.

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