Career Tips

Interviews Go Beyond The Job Offer

By Lisa Parker

Landing a job is far from the end of the interview process. More people are realizing employment is a continuous effort of proving relevance, selling yourself to greater responsibilities, gaining credibility and building on an already positive impression. Sadly, I’ve met several laid-off professionals who may have been spared the pink slip had they taken the time to periodically explore all of the ways they could contribute to their employer’s bottom line.

Job seekers are well aware of the importance of selling prospective employers on their value now and over time.  We can’t get a job without showing how we can benefit a company, what makes us think we can keep a job without doing so? Many times it’s not that individuals fail to do their job well, they simply do their job without bothering to figure out how they fit the company’s vision for the future. It’s a shame to see companies lay-off staff and replace them with fresh blood when the existing employees could have adjusted and thrived.

Some may feel that companies should find more ways for employees to contribute to the organization. True, but why put the onus exclusively on them? Individuals who hold a portion of the reins have much more control of the outcome. Proactively seeking out ways you can help your employer be more efficient, profitable, visible and relevant increases the odds you will have a job tomorrow. Why rely on someone else, who may only view you as the (insert function) guy, to come up with new ways for you to be worthy of a paycheck? The company doesn’t have nearly as much incentive to reinvent you as you do. Sure, they do benefit from low turnover, but you are the one without a paycheck if they decide there are better options to spend money on.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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