So, finally, you receive a call to schedule an interview.
All your efforts have paid off. A person calls you to schedule another interview. This is a huge compliment! You were selected from dozens or, at times, hundreds of people who applied for the very same position. You typically feel elated on one hand and apprehensive on the other. The reason is clear. You know that the real test lies in the interview process.
Even if you think you interview well (because you’ve gotten jobs in the past!), the interview represents a big challenge. Over the past several years, the business climate has changed dramatically, and at the same time, the market has gotten flooded with highly qualified candidates. Interviewing is a skill that can be improved through hard work and preparation. There are so many applicants for only one opening that the process has become extremely competitive. You need to outshine your competition. Unless you kept your job search skills honed in on job market developments, you’ll most likely need to improve in this area.
So, what to do? You can do your own research and preparation via the Internet. Millions do so, but that process can take weeks or even months. Instead, you could hire a career coach! The career coach’s job is to prepare you for the upcoming competition. Such coaching will shorten your search as well as teach you how to do things right and how to avoid making costly or even, at times, fatal mistakes. The coach might also assist you in negotiating a better compensation package, which will more than make up for what you paid for coaching services.
Think of it in terms of sports: All professional athletes have coaches even though professional athletes are highly skilled. Why is this? Since the coach has no bias, he will point out to you not only your strong points but also your areas needing improvement. He will guide you to attainment of your goal.
What’s important to the hiring manager?
A hiring manager considers several factors. For example, he will review your professional background and your career progression. He’s also going to question your accomplishments as described on your resume. Be prepared to elaborate on those accomplishments once prompted in your interview. In addition, of course, your education and credentials will likely weigh heavily.
It is a huge plus for you if you were referred by a trusted source. Why is that? It’s because the roles in the interview process are well defined: This is a transaction between you and the hiring manager. You are tantamount to a salesperson with the intent to sell yourself. The hiring manager is the buyer. His job is to select among several salesperson candidates. He is not inclined to buy everything the salesperson wants to sell. However, if a trusted person recommended you, then the hiring manager’s scrutiny is significantly minimized, thus dramatically increasing your chances of being hired.
What happens at an interview?
In preparing for a big interview, it might be helpful to take on the mind-set of someone who has just finished one. After an interview is over, you will have many questions in your mind: How did you do? Were you able to provide the right answers? Defend your liabilities? And convince the hiring manager that in your past positions you not only did what he needs done but, more important, also did it successfully? Was that job performance successful because you said so? Or because it was recognized by others? Recognition by others is what convinces a hiring manager that you performed with distinction.
Once the interview is over, you must follow up. Your thank-you letter should address any questions the interviewer may have about your candidacy. It’s up to you to find out what they are. When you’re asked, “So, do you have any questions for me?” ask the interviewer about your candidacy for the position. After all of this, the only big issue remaining to be addressed is whether you’d fit harmoniously into the organization. This fit issue has a lot to do with the chemistry between a candidate and a hiring manager.
So, why is the hiring process illogical?
As you can see, today’s hiring process is lengthy. A candidate uses logic throughout the application process, but the involvement of many people over such a long time can sometimes lead to an illogical result. Furthermore, in most of the cases of rejection, the truth is not revealed to the candidate because of the potential trigger of a lawsuit. Therefore, the only logical conclusion from the candidate’s point of view is that the process is illogical. However, an understanding of the entire process can equip you and help you through.