Scott Fiege, a recruiting manager out of our Buffalo branch office, shares his tips on how to land the dream job you are after.
You catch wind of the perfect job. Whether you are underpaid, underappreciated, would prefer a shorter drive to work, desire an elevated job title, or are soon to be relocating, this job could be a great fit for your needs.
You should know, for every position we post, we receive anywhere from 25 to 50 applications through sources like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc. We identify another 50 to 75 from our pipelines, and from job boards and LinkedIn. With all sources combined, there’s over 100 people interested in one job.
Considering these numbers, the odds of being granted an interview are not high. Even if you meet the required skills/education, hard skills alone won’t secure you the position. In most searches, the manager reviews at least 10 profiles to select for interviews, with a subsequent three to five candidates scheduled for appointments. And finally, only one receives the offer.
- What qualities set a preferred candidate apart?
- How do you increase your chances for an interview?
- What is the best way to secure a job offer?
My ten years spent in recruiting have taught me some tips of the trade that may help better your experience and move you toward your goals.
I’ve seen a lot of resumes and cover letters, and have sat through many interviews and phone screens. If you—as the applicant—cannot gather enthusiasm for your background, neither will I or another hiring manager. Is your resume up to date? It should reflect not only your experience, but your personality.
Motivation and excitement for the job challenge will set you apart during conversations with a recruiter. Keep ego firmly in check, but do illustrate your accomplishments with a friendly smile and attitude. Keep answers to no more than a minute in length and try your best to not interrupt the interviewer. Exhibit enthusiasm and mention the ways in which you are a team player with a broad interest in helping a department.
Are you aware of the most common interview questions and techniques used by hiring managers? Have you given thought to the financial compensation you would need in order to leave your current position? Are you confident of your market value? Are you clear on the manner in which you would decline a counter offer at your current employer? Have you familiarized yourself with the company websites and/or researched the background of the hiring managers prior to the interview?
This is where an applicant exceeds his/her competition. You should know, for example, that the company name is Sealing Devices, rather than Hearing Devices. Investigate the background of the hiring managers in case there is a friendly and common connection to mention during the interview. Dress for success in your most flattering and recently dry cleaned outfit. Practice answering questions in front of a mirror and role play with a helpful friend.
Use your connections or find common ground
Companies and hiring managers feel at ease hiring someone they know or referred over to them. They hire candidates with whom they share an alma mater, sorority, volunteer/community group, or other common connections. Some call it politics. I call it “well played.” Check out LinkedIn, or touch base with your network to determine whether you already have a valuable connection at the company for which you’d like to work.
Remember, interviewers are often nervous
Their job during the interview is to be tough, yet fair. Parts of the interview may feel disappointing or nerve-racking. True story: interviewers are sometimes as anxious as you are. They may not know the best questions to ask or feel they have an adequate handle on the type of candidate a department is hoping for. Your game plan may not go as expected. Roll with the punches, remain confident, and focus on what qualities paint you the best candidate for the job.
Become the solution
The most attractive candidates bring solutions to a void a company hopes to fill. Keep this in mind during the interview. Bring polished examples of your work and share wins from the past that could add to the organization’s productivity and contribute to a positive office culture.
Keep emotions in check
Interviewing can become emotional. You’ve spent money adding to your education, and time and effort in building your network and resume. I’ve heard many stories that inspired me to write up an offer that very second. We appreciate emotion—it illustrates to the hiring managers that you’re passionate about what you do. However, stay calm and present in the moment. Keep in mind that they are investing in you, and will prefer to move forward with a candidate driven not only by passion, but also by a calm and mature rationale.
There is a lot of talent out in the world, and we hope this helps you position yourself as a top candidate for your dream job.