In this post, I want to focus on your actions during the application process before you get in front of the hiring manager. What if I told you that half of the interview is already complete before you meet anyone? Moreover, what if I told you that the company’s hiring manager has already made up their mind as to your employment fate before they meet you. Well, this is the reality and the more you know, the more successful you will be securing your ideal job!
Of course having a clear, compelling and professional resume is key to get the attention of the company you are interested in working for, including professional email addresses, career objective or cover letter, etc. These are key to getting contacted from the company. Now, what happens?
You will be contacted by the company’s human resources department, hiring manager or by an agent that is representing you. How many times can you remember being asked for your availability and soon after providing it, have been asked to interview on a different time and day? What if you are currently working and they ask you to interview this coming Monday at 10:00AM? Do you reply with acceptance and emphasis you are looking forward to meeting with them, or do you reply that you cannot make this time and day and are only available from 7:30PM?
Of course the company is looking for the most convenient time and day for them, but please note, they are starting the interview process! How are you communicating with them? Is your email professional, free of typos and with proper punctuation, etc.? They are evaluating how you communicate now. Moreover, they want to see how flexible you are and how you are able to manage and accomplish simple tasks. If you are not creative enough to make it to a requested interview day and time, they will most likely get the impression you are not resourceful, or are not flexible. They want flexibility and commitment from the first request they make and I strongly advise you do everything possible to accommodate.
Social Media, LinkedIn, etc.
This has been mentioned in many posts, but as it is so important, needs special reminding. Be extremely careful on the image you have created for public consumption. Does your Facebook page consist of unflattering pictures or are not professional. The company is looking at how you represent yourself to the world. The company will then decide if you are the person they want to represent them and the company. This is all done before you arrive to interview!
Arrival and People you pass
Always, Always, Always be aware of your actions on the day of the interview and everyone you pass. The number of failed interviews that have nothing to do with your ability to do the job is extremely high. Before entering the building, did you drop your cigarette on the sidewalk? Someone is always watching. When you entered the building, did you properly greet reception staff and thank them when leaving? Trust me, they have input as well. You could have had the greatest interview in the world but if you failed to be professional with reception or administrative staff, it will get back to human resources or the hiring manager. You never want these people to report that you were rude, condescending or inappropriate. Everyone you meet or pass is critical to your success and it is important to be polite and professional! Smile and say hello to everyone, it could be the president of the company you pass in the elevator!
Always be aware that the interview process starts with your application, the interaction with the company and then to the actual interviews. Make sure you are prepared at every step and be polite, professional, flexible, and gracious! Ensure you manage everything to get your ideal job. If yes, the actual face to face interview will simply be confirmation as to why it is a great fit for both you and the company!