We are all navigating a very interesting job market right now, from candidates to hiring manager. People throw the term around “candidate’s market” and that may be the case. Inflation is rising, salaries are up, and there are more open positions than there are candidates right now. This is leading candidates to believe that it is “easy” to get a job and if they just show up to the interview, they’ll land an offer. Unfortunately, this is not the case, your effort still matters in today’s job market.
The biggest piece of advice I can give candidates is put yourself in a position to say “no”. If you don’t put the effort in, you won’t put yourself in the position to even be offered the job.
Candidates want to jump the gun on salary negotiations, counter offers, etc. because the candidate market is so tight, but this is best done when you receive an offer. You have a lot more ‘pull’ when a hiring manager believes in you and is on your side. This helps ensure they’re willing to go the extra step to make negotiations work.
People also may go into the interview process, not completely sure whether they want the job or not, which is completely normal! The interview process is the time for both candidates and hiring managers to vet each other and determine if this is a mutual fit. This doesn’t mean go into the interview unprepared, unenthusiastic, and unprofessional. Put yourself in a position to say ‘NO’.
Here are the four tips I give all candidates:
- Research, research, research! This doesn’t mean check out the company website for 3 minutes & move on. Learn everything you can about the company from their website, news articles, LinkedIn, etc. and bring this knowledge with you to every interview.
- Ask questions! Questions are the best way to show a hiring manager that you have done your research & due diligence. Questions show that you are interested in the company and willing to take the time needed to learn. This doesn’t mean two questions at the end of the interview, but many questions throughout the entire interview. Make the interview a conversation and not an interrogation.
- Network. So many candidates miss this crucial step. If you reach out to current or previous employees of the company on your own, this will put you above most other candidates. Not only do you get to learn about the company from someone who works there, but you now have an employee on your side that will surely tell the hiring manager that you have connected.
- Finally, close the hiring manager at the end of each interview. Ask if the interviewer has any concerns or additional questions for you, then ask if they plan to move you forward in the process and what next steps will be. This shows the hiring manager that you are passionate & actually wanting to move forward. After the interview make sure to send a brief, but detailed, follow-up thank you note to the interviewer.
There are many other ways to make yourself stand out in an interview process, but these 4 steps are weighted heavily. So if you thinking about interviewing for a job, remember, put yourself in a position to say ‘NO’.