March 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio March 2003 Current Issue
March 2003 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Dawn Penfold, president of The Meeting Candidate Network Inc., 245 E. 25th St., Suite 9C, New York, N.Y. 10010,


  • List the skills required by the hiring company, and list the skills you have that meet those requirements.
  • Research the company on the Internet; know the industry and who your possible competition is.
  • Ascertain what problems you can solve for the hiring company.
  • Prepare and memorize a “sales pitch” for when the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself and explain why you are the best candidate for the job.
  • Be prepared to answer questions such as, “What have you done in this situation&?”
  • Prepare a mental list of questions to ask the interviewer about the company, the industry and the specific position for which you are interviewing.
  • Research the salary potential, and determine whether this position is a good opportunity.
  • If the salary is lower than what you earned in your previous position, work out a budget to determine what is financially feasible. Determine if other assets (flex time, a shorter commute, educational opportunities, etc.) would make up for the reduction in pay.
  • Prepare or update a list of references. Be sure all contact information is current.
  • Put together a portfolio of your work. Include material from special events, meetings and conferences, as well as any forms (banquet event orders, registration formats, etc.) you have standardized or streamlined.
  • Refresh your memory regarding previous programs. Know properties and facilities used as well as key contacts. Be prepared to discuss prior events in detail.
  • Print out and bring several up-to-date copies of your résumé on high-quality paper, along with a copy of your references.
  • Bring directions to the interview, the phone number of the office and the names of the people with whom you are scheduled to meet.

  • Arrive early enough to be able to freshen up if necessary, and turn off any cell phones or pagers.
  • To make a good initial impression, greet the inter- viewer by name, and be sure to offer a firm handshake.
  • Smile often and maintain eye contact.
  • Relax, listen, use good posture and enjoy the conversation.
  • Learn as much as you can about the company or association. Ask detailed questions based on your pre-interview research.
  • Ask what the company is looking for in a quality candidate, and translate your skills to this criteria.
  • Provide examples of your past accomplishments and how they could be applied to the organization.
  • Outline explicit reasons why you are the ideal candidate.
  • Focus on the points you have prepared without sounding rehearsed.
  • At the conclusion of the discussion, thank the interviewer and determine the next step.
  • Ask for a business card for your files and for following up.

  • Within one day, write a thank-you note to each person you met. If a decision is being made within days, e-mail the letter. Preferably, if time allows, handwrite it on quality note paper and send it via standard mail.
  • If you do not hear from the hiring company within a week, follow up with a brief letter reminding the interviewer of your interest and qualifications.

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