Tag Archives: interview

Nonprofit Radio for August 31, 2012: I Had A Great Interview But I Didn’t Get The Job & Storytelling

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Tony’s Guests:

Susanne Felder
Susanne Felder: I Had A Great Interview But I Didn’t Get The Job

Susanne Felder, a consultant in outplacement at Lee Hecht Harrison, says there’s more to getting a job than having a good resume and interview. We’ll talk about research; confident networking; panel interviewing; dodging salary questions; and what to do in the last 30 minutes before your interview. Recorded at the Fund Raising Day conference in June in New York City, hosted by the Greater NYC Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Rochelle Shoretz
Rochelle Shoretz: Storytelling

Rochelle Shoretz, founder and executive director of Sharsheret, has a compelling story herself as a two-time breast cancer survivor. Sharsheret has built a culture of compassionate storytelling to help its members through their cancer diagnoses and treatments. Rochelle will share ideas on identifying storytellers; supporting them; giving them multiple ways to share; helping them through this very personal process; and why it’s all worth your time.


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When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern

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Here is a link to the audio podcast: 107: Storytelling & Devine Devices. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get it automatically.

The Elusive “Perfect Fit” Employee

mid section view of a man holding his resume

In the midst of our recession, lots of nonprofit jobs have been shed, which puts lots of qualified people on the street competing for a small number of jobs. That has created a buyers’ market for nonprofit employers, and I’m hearing dismaying stories from job seekers that organizations love their qualifications but are holding out for the holy grail: the “perfect fit” employee.

Just recently I got an email from a nonprofit that concedes they’ve met a number of strong candidates, but is still holding out for the perfect fit. They went on to ask would I now give additional thought to their search, to come up with even stronger candidates I may know, as if I held the very best people in reserve when my suggestions were solicited a month ago. “Yeah, in the last 30 days I’ve met three people who are better than all the people I’ve met in my 13 years working around nonprofits.”

Actually, now that I know how particular you’re being, I regret subjecting my initial referrals to your unwinnable contest, and I certainly will not put anyone else through it. You want a second round of candidates, even better qualified than the strong candidates you’ve already seen? Bite the bullet and hire a recruiter. That referral I’d be happy to make.

Better still, stop. Hire one of the strong candidates.

The job I’m looking at has 15 bulleted qualifications and an equal number of sub-requirements. A few are boilerplate, like “team player”, “highly organized” and “effective communicator.” I can’t imagine there are more than a handful of people who meet all these 30 requirements, and how many of those are in transition? How many of those in transition will see this posting? And accept the salary, benefits and location? Give it up. You won’t find the perfect fit.

Businesspeople in a meeting


To go a bit further, and echo advice I’ve given clients, don’t look for a professional fundraiser who has “established relationships within the philanthropic community.” That’s a euphemism for “has a Rolodex” and is appropriate only to a board member search. A professional fundraiser isn’t going to leverage for your benefit relationships she’s made through employment in other nonprofits. That’s unethical and unseemly. When she leaves your employ, would you like her to do that for her next employer?

To those looking for the perfect fit, I say, “Stop.” Your expectations are unreasonable. Hire the best strong candidate you’ve met and let them grow and mature into the position and learn what they don’t already know. Stop looking for the “perfect fit.” Perfection doesn’t exist.