Resume Help/2nd interview


I have just gone through a day assessment for a job that I really like. Great news is that I have got through the first round and have been invited back for a 2nd interview. To be honest I didn't think I would get through the first day.
The job is customer service manager for a college. The customer is outside businesses.
I am thinking of putting together a business plan for the interview. I have done these before but not sure where i should start this time.
I want to have hand outs etc for the interview.
What do you think.
Where should I start.
The interview is with a board by the way next week.
Any help you can offer would be great.

I'm thinking a business plan should not be to specific and easily adaptable in case it doesn't fit their ideas.
What questions do you think they may go for and what response do you think.


Hi Paul,

Congratulations!  You must have done a lot right to get to this point, so let's see if I can be of help to you so you can be successful in the second round.

I think your idea of a business plan is excellent and I'm sure you'll do a good job putting one together since you have some experience doing this.  I often recommend to my clients that they prepare a portfolio for use in the interview portion of the process, so you are thinking along the right track.  

The first thing I would recommend you do - unless you have already done this - is to be certain you have all the names of the individuals on the search committee (or board).  If these are the same people you met at the first-level interview, this should be relatively easy.  If the committee will be different, then you'll need to do some research.  See if the HR department (or whoever is scheduling the interview) can give you names if you don't already have them.

Next, research each of the individuals on the board that will be interviewing you and find out everything you can of a professional nature about these individuals.  What is their specialty?  What is their background?  Where did they go to school?  What position do they hold at the college and what are their day-to-day responsibilities?  These things can help you prepare a business plan that is tailored to resonate with the  board members.  Remember that EVERYTHING you do in an interview needs to link your skills and talents with the needs that the college wants to have filled.  What specific skills do each of these board members possess that you can, in some way, work into the business plan?  You want to personalize this to hold their attention AND demonstrate that you have the interests of the college and its needs at the heart of your business plan.  As you go through the plan with the committee, make passing reference to those items you have incorporated that mesh with the background of each of the board members.  In other words, this should be a business plan that accomplishes multiple purposes.  It demonstrates that you are capable of putting such a plan together, it shows that you have the interest of the college foremost in your mind and that you know how to focus on those interests each time you work with an outside business in your capacity as service manager.

Be certain as you present the plan that you constantly mention the benefit to the college of each facet of the plan you have put together.  i.e. "This part of the plan will be of enormous benefit to the business by doing XYZ but it also benefits the college by meeting your ABC goals" or something along those lines.

Try to anticipate the questions your plan might generate and be prepared to offer specific solutions to whatever concerns they have.  I think your idea of having an adaptable plan is very good so be sure you have alternative paths to suggest in the event some of your specifics raise concerns with the board members.  In fact, one tactic to offer in response to a concern or criticism is to begin by saying "I thought of that also, so I think we might be able to do _______ which would accomplish the same goals as ABC but would be more efficient and less costly in the long run" ... or something appropriate.  It sounds like you have the right tactics in mind, so I would say that as long as you have alternatives to present and come across as flexible and not married to every proposal you make, you'll do fine and demonstrate the thoughtfulness and initiative that the college will appreciate.

If you have the resources, make up a copy of your plan for each of the board members, put a cover on it if you think it appropriate, and be sure you have checked your narrative and numbers for accuracy and consistency.  Go over it with a colleague or someone who knows something about your plan so they might offer an outside point of view.

Finally, if you have a choice, request to have the very last interview slot.  The data tells us that the last person to interview is more than 50% likely to get the job.  They simply remember you with more clarity than earlier candidates.

Good work so far!  I hope my comments have been of some help; I wish you the best!

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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