Ask Yourself First…

Should you be considering opportunistic hiring in your current situation? Ask yourself these questions first.

Continuing with the theme of the last three weeks with the 10 most asked questions of a recruiter, I wanted to share some additional questions that you need to ask yourself as you begin to prepare for your opportunistic interview. I want to emphasize the word opportunistic because the way you prepare and present yourself and your ideas are different than a traditional interview. Briefly in a traditional interview, you’re asked why you are looking for this particular position. In an opportunistic situation, you get to tell them what you can bring to the table, how you can bring that to the table, and why you are necessarily looking to make a change from your current situation. Those three questions of what, how, and why are the crux of this blog.

#1: Why Now?

The first question deals with why you are currently kicking the tires and looking at other opportunities. Most of all, my candidates are gainfully employed but there’s something gnawing at them causing the desire to look around. The first question is dealing with this current and substantial problem; the problem that’s causing you to want to leave your current situation. Once you can identify in your mind what is so sizeable that’s causing you to leave, then you can go ahead and share what it is that you would be looking to do exactly at the new firm. What is it that is lacking in your current situation that can be addressed in your new potential situation? Just to give you a brief idea: is it platform-related, management-related, credit-related, or something else? Identifying precisely what is causing you to entertain making a move is crucial.

#2: What About Your Current Situation?

The next part deals with the question: What are you personally willing to do to make it the way you want? Are you willing to leave your current situation to enhance your future? Are you willing to give up your tenure at your existing firm and start fresh with a new firm? This is a question that really needs to be addressed carefully, since this will be an area that you will delve into greatly while talking to a hiring manager in your first interview. If they cannot see that you are willing to do what it takes to rectify the problem you identified in the first question, then most likely there will not be a second interview. However, if you’re able to share what you’re willing to do, why are you willing to do it, and how you’re willing to do it, then there will be a second interview.

More What Questions About Your Current Situation!

The third question: What are you willing to delegate and not have to worry about anymore? More specifically, what am I willing to no longer do in order to make it the way I want it? If in your current role you were doing too much administrative work and not getting the opportunity to be in the rainmaker role that you want because you’re stuck doing a subordinate’s role; that is something that you want to share with your prospective new firm. The reason you want to share this is because you want to make sure that you will have the support staff that you need. Plus, you don’t want to go from your current situation to one that will resemble what you’ve just left.

#3: How?

The last question which is probably the most difficult one is: how can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it? This has to do with the issue of serving two masters while you’re in between leaving one position and starting a new one. Why am I asking you to think about this now prior to your first interview? It’s because it is probably the most difficult process.  You have accepted an offer, but you are still at your present company, so can you handle the day-to-day mental stress of serving potentially two masters?  If this is too hard, then moving forward with interviews should not be your plan. It is time to fix what is wrong in your current situation. However, if you can serve two masters, then pursue looking for a new opportunity.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.