I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at UTi Worldwide in December 2010.
Interview Details – I was initially contacted by the HR department and asked relatively generic questions in line with my resume. This portion of the process was "easy"; my resume was in line with what they were looking for and all questions were based on my resume.
I had a phone interview afterwards with the CTO, who asked very specific specific questions about my background and gave me information about the position. I believe what he was looking for at that juncture was someone confident and comfortable with themselves and what they had to offer. I'd say this part of the interview was "do I think I like this person and would they fit into my team?".
Next, I was flown out to the West Coast and met personally with the CTO and directors that morning. I chatted with all of them (not what you would call a standard interview), had lunch with one, and wrapped up with dinner with the CTO. I had an opportunity to ask a lot of questions, which I did. When you're moving across the country, you want to make sure it's a good fit in both directions. This part of the process was difficult; there's a 3-hour time difference, so lunch/dinner was 3 hours later than "normal", I had been meeting with people assessing me all day, and by the time dinner was over, it was midnight my time. At the conclusion of dinner, I was asked to prepare a proposal of how I would set up and organize the department based on what I had learned all day. It had to be submitted before I left in the morning.
This is, quite literally, the "best" test for a senior leadership position I've ever had, and to tell the truth, it was the clincher for me. I knew I wanted to work for the company as soon as they asked for it. It was really quite a brilliant request and I REALLY like to work with and for smart people. I found a printer at the hotel and put together a proposal (took me 3 hours) and submitted it the next morning before my plane left, meeting with a few other staff members for breakfast.
What they "learned" from that on-site process was how I presented myself, how I produce under pressure, whether I listen to and respond appropriately to my peers, and whether I would set up an organization that fit into their vision.
By the time I arrived back home, I was a zombie, but I was offered the job a week later.
Negotiation Details – The negotiation phase was easy; there was none. I was asked what I wanted, asked for something fair and in keeping with my level of experience and background, and that's what I was offered.
As far as advice goes, it's important to know what you're worth in the marketplace and neither ask for something unreasonable or sell yourself short. I've never had issues with negotiating; I have a bottom line and it has to be met or I don't accept the offer. I've walked away from job offers (even opportunities I found attractive); if someone can't pay you what you feel is fair at the outset, it's very unlikely that will change going forward. And nothing is worse than resentment and feeling cheated in regards to compensation; it can ruin what is an otherwise good job. Nor do you want to price yourself out of the market; it doesn't really matter if you want Y dollars if only one or two firms are paying more than X. That means employees at those few firms will have to die before their positions become available!
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