I’m interviewing candidates for two positions and am so glad to be on the other side of job search so I can share my experience and insights with job seekers. Here are a few observations from this week so far (and it’s only Monday!).
Make Time for the Interview, or Show the Employer You Really Want the Job: After interviewing about 26 people for a position one step up from entry-level, I was interested enough in more than half of them to offer a second interview. As usual, I offered a choice of times – this time only two times because the time line is getting short. Most people were quick to select one but some came back rejecting both times. Now I understand that it can be difficult to interview when you have a job. Yet there is that little voice in the back of my mind that says “this person doesn’t really want this job.” I am doing my best to put that voice to bed, but I will be probing a little deeper with those people to see how interested they really are in the position.
Get Skype (Because Most Employers Use PCs) for Your Next Interview: For the first time, I’m doing Skype interviews. Some people don’t have Skype. That’s OK, because it’s a new phenomenon. I wrote last year about how Skype interviews were in people’s future. The future is now. Get a Skype account now! Set it up. Test it out with someone, so you know it works on your computer and you are sure you can operate it. And pay attention to the next observation, to have the interview the right way.
Learn How to Interview Via Skype – and In-Person: Today’s Skype interviewee was terrific. She sent me her Skype address in advance. She answered promptly. She was dressed well – in a suit, with light makeup and jewelry – so it looked like she was ready for an interview. I was impressed that she had a light background set up behind her, so that I could see her well. And she knew to look at the camera instead of her computer screen, so I had a sense she was looking at me. And so we had a real interview. It was clear to me that she understood the technology and how to use it – which was a plus in terms of her qualifications for the position which will require use of technology.
For Heaven’s Sake, Proofread and Grammar-Check Your Application Materials!: A couple of applications came in today and I was disappointed because I found typos and basic grammatical errors in the written materials. If you don’t pay attention to details in your job application, I know you will not pay attention to details in your job. We need people who can proofread themselves and probably others, not people who will make more work for someone else in the organization. Even worse, the writing samples contained grammatical and spelling errors. One was a letter from an organization’s Executive Director to a foundation which I know very well, and it contained a whopper of a misused word in the second paragraph. Not only did the applicant not catch the error but the ED didn’t either. I doubt they got the grant, as no one appears detail-oriented at the organization.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. If you make a good first impression, it will stand you in good stead over the length of a relationship. So pay attention to these simple tips and you’ll make a good first impression on the recruiter and employer.