If you learn what human resource professionals and companies are really looking for, you can beat the odds and land that next job. There is a set of rules (written and unwritten) and the better you know these rules, the better you can compete. There are also a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of getting the interview and job.
You are missing out on job opportunities by not identifying someone within the company to refer you for the positioned you are interested in. Take advantage of social networks and reigniting old connections. You will be surprised how many first, second and even third connections you might have to a company.
Internships & Experience
If you are a recent graduate or have been out of the game a few years, experience wins attention. So, instead of focusing on your academic achievements or worrying about gaps in employment, be sure to focus on past experience and highlight your internships. Employers will especially appreciate your experiences if you can show relation to the position you are interested in.
Prepare for Interviews
The preparation for an interview starts before you even get the interview scheduled. Research the company you are interested in applying to. Most people skip this step and then forget to do it when they get an interview. Start with the company website, look over the background information, mission statement or anything that can help you better understand the culture of the company. Not only will this help you in the interview process to formulate your answers, but it will help you decide if this is a good fit for you. It is so very important to research and learn about the organization before applying.
The phone interview should be taken just as serious as an in-person interview and unfortunately many job applicants are not prepared for a phone interview. Start the interview by making sure you answer the phone on the agreed upon time. Be enthusiastic, but polite, and don’t start chatting as if you were talking to a friend. It is easy to get caught up and almost too friendly on the phone, but it is still just as important to maintain a high level of professionalism. Do some preparation for the phone interview like making a little cheat sheet for yourself, include interesting facts that you learned about the company and how you can relate to that. Make sure you slow down and take your time, be sure to have a full conversation with the participants, do not forget to listen and you do not need to dominate the entire conversation. Most importantly, make sure you end your phone call on a positive note
Lastly, send a thank you note. You do not need to send a fruit basket or anything elaborate but do not forget, this stage is about making good first impressions. Definitely send a thank you even after a phone interview, the fact that you are doing this all via phone makes the follow up even more critical. It is so important to let the interviewer know you appreciated them taking time to talk to you and that you enjoyed it and that you are invested in the process.