By Caitlin Zbikowski, staff
My name is Caitlin Zbikowski and I’m the Manager of Talent Acquisition & Onboarding at The Mission Continues. Eight years ago, I began my search for employment. I was a Senior at the University of Missouri – Columbia (“Mizzou”). I aspired to work for a nonprofit organization in St. Louis (my hometown) after I graduated.
I had never heard of The Mission Continues before. They never came up in my searches. I had never thought about working with veterans, which was very strange because my brother was a post 9/11 veteran. After I started reading about their mission, vision and the programs they had to offer veterans like my brother, I WAS HOOKED! I really put my heart and soul into my application and interviews, so when I was extended an offer, I cried a little.
No more about me though. Let’s shift gears – talk about you – and what you can expect as an applicant.
WHY WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE
The scouting period begins on the first day the job post goes live on our careers page – and it ends on the day the job post is taken down. The scouting period will take about 2-4 weeks (depends on the position) and once the job posts comes down, that’s when we begin making selection decisions.
At this point, this is when we decide which candidates will be invited to advance onward to the interview stage.
Whether you advance or you do not advance, no matter what, you will be notified via email. Communication is incredibly important to us, so you will be hearing from us one way or the other! Please know and count on that!
HOW WE DO INTERVIEWS
It’s important for you to understand what the general makeup of our interview structure is. It’s not a perfect science; we don’t do it the same way every single time because we like to be creative and customize the interview experience per position. For the most part though, here is the roadmap we follow:
- INITIAL SCREENING: 30 minute phone call with the Talent team. We got to read about you — now we want to hear and learn more about you! We’ll discuss other important subjects such as your job search timeline and salary expectations.
- CAREER WALK INTERVIEW: 1 hour in-person meeting or video call with the hiring manager. In this interview, we’ll have you walk us through and tell us your story about your most recent positions. We’re interested in what you did and how you executed, and your strengths and weaknesses in these roles.
- THOUGHT EXERCISE: Assignment with 3-4 days to complete. This is a challenging, but FUN aspect to our interview process. Completing the thought exercise allows you to learn a lot about the role you’re applying for and our organization as a whole. It also gives us an opportunity to see how you would respond to a real-life project you’ll have to tackle in this position if hired.
- PRESENTATION/FOCUSED INTERVIEW: 1.5 hour in-person meeting or video call with the hiring manager and hiring committee. First we will have you present your response to the thought exercise. Then we will ask you questions that pertain to the position’s competencies. (Hint hint: The “Who We Are Looking For” section of the job description.)
- REFERENCE CHECKS: We call the 3 contacts you provide. We will not reach out to anyone you don’t want us to.
- FINAL INTERVIEW: 30 minute in-person meeting or video call with the team’s leader. This is an opportunity for you to engage with your “boss’ boss.” Get to know each other and ask questions!
Hopefully the rundown above was insightful, intriguing and helpful. We don’t want you to be scared by it — we want you to embrace it.
Be Your Best. For these interviews, bring
Be Connected. Similar to what I mentioned earlier (grammar & spelling is important to us), in the interview phase, a strong cell phone reception or wifi connection is absolutely necessary during the interview sage. To make the most of our time together, it’s important that you test out your service ahead of time.
THAT’S A WRAP
I know getting a job is a job. And because the Talent team understands that better than anyone, we want you to know your name, resume and story matters to us.
We hope you can see our core values and humility shine through when we communicate and interact; whether that’s via email or over the phone. We genuinely care about finding the right person to join our family at The Mission Continues, so we take our positions in this organization very seriously but at the same time, we want every job applicant to feel valued.
Don’t be a stranger. Let’s talk! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.