Just Lost Job - Coping/Job Hunting Advice Needed


Unless you’re west coast, stay traditional. Black or navy suit. Black shoes. White or light blue shirt. Darker tie with a simple pattern. Pocket square optional, but white linen if you do. No one will hold it against you if you overdress a bit. If you underdress, however, people remember and wonder if you took the interview seriously.


Huzzah sir, huzzah!


Remember that they saw something in you that they’d are looking for or you wouldn’t be having this interview. Remember that some of them have already gotten together and talked about you and said yeah he looks good, let’s bring him in.

Major Gifts? Is this a job where you are working with big donors? Sorry for my ignorance, just trying to understand what the job is.

First impressions are important. Calm, self confident but not arrogant. Listen. Really really listen to what people are saying and asking. Do your homework and ask good questions. Remember, you’re interviewing them too. It is not good for you or them if you get the job and it’s not the right job for you. Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know - but here’s how I’d find out.

Remember that they want to fill the job and they are hoping you will be the one. Smile. Put the interviewer at ease. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Also, in addition to understanding your technical capabilities the interviewers are looking for a person they like. So smile, be engaged, be real.

Good luck!


@legowarrior rather than feel like an imposter when you interview, maybe you should try to think about why they want to interview you. Think about the skills you can bring to the position from your experience. Maybe they felt that they needed someone with a different perspective in order to shake things up or to achieve a different level of success from what they are used to

Think about how your perspective would differ from a “traditional” candidate for the job. That’s the special sauce that you would bring to it.


Major Gifts Officer is someone that handles large donors, and depending on the organization, it might be someone that gives $2,000 or over $100,000.

From my research, it is someone that researches possible donors, reviews their past donations and their interests, and tries to get them to donate to your organization. Then, you follow up with notes, events and the like to keep them happy, because many become reoccuring donors.

Also, I guess the position would be responsible for all the buildings at a universities with silly names.

Anyway, it sounds like an interesting job.


I’ll keep that in mind. Anyway, I have suites to iron, and shaving cream to buy (just ran out this morning). Also, I have to find my shoe polish…


The only thing I’ll add is that, at least at the universities I’ve worked at, Development folk have to look sharp, all the time. I’d definitely go with the dark blue or black suit, tie, shiny shoes, etc. Your job will be to impress.


If you’re interested, our primary Development Officer at my organization made an even more long-distance transition to Development (from being a Music Teacher) and may have some insight into the sorts of things that crop up in it. I’d be happy to pass your name and email info over to her if you’re interested in talking to someone who’s held a number of related positions over the last decade or so. Happy to introduce you as a “friendly acquaintance via gaming” :)

Anyway, if you think that might be helpful, shoot me a PM. . . and if not, no worries!


The interview went really well. I had done a ton of research on the Major Gifts Officer, had about 5 or 6 questions ready, and I knew the School really well.

I was about 10 minutes early for it, and the interview went about 35 minutes late. What was a nice surprise was that one of two people interviewing me was my former adviser (although I usually went to a different professor for advise). He remembered me, and had a good impression, including the fact that I married another of his students and had kids.

Anyway, it wasn’t so much an interview, instead it was a conversation about how the campus was going data driven, since he had moved from teaching into the provost office. I’m not sure what influence he will have on the process, since I don’t believe he’ll be directly responsible for the hiring, but I’m sure it can’t hurt.

In addition, the first and last part of my interview was the senior major gifts officer (there are three people at the office, I guess I should be lucky the title isn’t junior major gifts officer) who would have a supervisor role and function. I tried to hammer home how my working independently with clients would be a boon to the position and towards the end, he came out and said that they liked my skill set.

One of the questions that I was asked was about the shift in careers. I think my response was pretty good. I wanted more interaction with clients directly, and I realized the most fulfilling part of previous position was working with participants, and helping them with retirement, and that I needed a job that gave back more to the community as a whole.

Now, I still have one more set of interviews on Wednesday (which will include the VP of the Major Gifts Office), and I’m under the impression that I am the least experience in the field of the 4 candidates. I’m also not the only alumni going for the position.

In addition, there is a second round of interviews after Wednesday with just the top two candidates.

Anyway, I’m off to write out my rough drafts for my thank you email that I plan to send out tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Absolutely wishing you luck man!!! Nicely done today :)


Good luck, lego!


Best of luck! It sounds like you’re doing great though.


So the question is, should I find a tie with school colors? Usually green and white.


Is that necessary? Probably not. Is it a cool touch? Absolutely. I say go for it ;)


I missed this as I was camping over the weekend, but congrats man!!


Good luck man, I’m rooting for you. Yes, get yourself a green/white tie if you can find one, that would be a nice touch.


I haven’t lost my current job and, while it’s far far from perfect, it pays well and offers good salary growth potential in the future. However, due to my latest project being mismanaged (Severely underestimated fixed bid contract. Not the first one I’ve gotten bitten by either with this company so now it’s looking like a pattern), I’ve been somewhat seriously looking for new opportunities on and off for the last month or so (as much as my lately 60+ hour work week schedule has allowed). Not to sound ungrateful for my current position. It beats being unemployed and even some of the gigs I’ve had before by light-years for sure, but why settle for “not shit” or even “half way decent” if there’s a chance I could get something better? I figure at a minimum it pays to keep an ear to the ground to get a feel for what’s out there at least every now and then.

With that as my inspiration I started searching last month and have my first potential hit. I received an email earlier this week saying that a certain online retailer that you probably have heard of wants to schedule a phone interview. This was somewhat surprising to me since I completed a coding assessment test for them last week and didn’t even finish the last question in the time limit. Worst part was that it was only a two question test. Granted they were long questions that required non-trivial amounts of code to be written and I did get over half way through implementing my solution, but I figured not finishing was probably a bad sign. Knowing it was somewhat likely I would not finish in time and trying to put my best foot forward, I tried to hedge my bets and made sure that I clearly commented my code and layed out exactly what my thought process was for the entire solution including the parts I didn’t finish hoping that would be enough for them to overlook the incomplete code and I guess it worked!

Even though it’s just the early first steps of the process and more than likely nothing comes of it, but I can’t help feeling excited. It’s an interesting feeling going into an interview, even just a phone interview, and being very interested in the job, but not really needing it so if things go sideways then I can just shrug and try to make sure things go better next time.


Interviewing with Unnamed Online Retailer is an interesting experience, I’ve done it a couple times myself. Didn’t really go anywhere but I got lunch out of it and I consider that a wash.


I’ve known you now for a while. I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll do great. And if you need any help, there are plenty of people here willing to help, so don’t forget that. ;)


So, my second day of interviews is done. I think a did a great job, but there is still one more round of interviews to go, if I am selected as part of the top two candidates.

My interviewer was a bit less enthusiastic then on Monday, but that could be just the nature of going through 4 candidates and spend probably 2 or so hours with each, and now having to consult with 5 or so other people, each having spent an hour with each the candidate. Anyways, my fingers are crossed and I will let everyone if I made it to round 2.