Thursday, June 12, 2014

10 thoughts on getting hired

One of the neat and unique things about my position is my role in human resources and personnel. This part of my role affords me the opportunity to participate in the hiring process all the way from developing a job description, creating the job posting document itself, selecting and contacting those who we will interview, arranging the interview process, sitting in on the interviews, providing input and feedback on the possible candidates, and lastly, contacting those we've selected as well as those who aren't quite right for the position. Needless to say, I get to see the entire process from start to end.

So, based on my experience, here are five things you can do that will help you get hired, and five things that won't do you any favors when it comes to getting hired.

Get hired:

1). Be energetic, be positive, and be confident about your abilities. You got the interview, which means you've already done something right, so now it's time to capitalize on what you've done and sell yourself.

2). Have a predetermined list of strengths/accomplishments/things you are proud of already thought-out and rehearsed. Obviously you don't know what questions you will be asked in an interview, so having a predetermined list of topics you want to make sure are discussed and brought out is a must.

3). Be humble but not too humble. Remember, you don't know everything and even if you do, nobody wants to hear you are the best and most knowledgeable person about everything. Recognize that you bring a certain skill-set and you will add value, but don't shy away from saying you don't know about something or that you are willing to learn more about a possible topic.

4). Tell stories... yes, of course you are going to get peppered with questions, but don't just stop with a one sentence answer to the question. Tell relevant and applicable stories that show you are human and that you can validate the comments you are saying. These stories make you real and give your interview life... plus, everyone enjoys a good story. (Bonus, tell a story that makes the interview committee laugh)

5). Follow up the interview with a thank you call, thank you email, or thank you letter. It's classy and it says a lot about you.

Don't get hired:

6). Say negative stuff about your past/current employer... the reality is, it might feel good to say how you truly feel, but in the end, if you are talking bad publicly about your employer, then the fear is naturally going to be if you are going to talk about your prospective employer behind its back? Be safe, and stay positive and focus on your own personal growth... not on the short falls of others.

7). Show up not dressed appropriately... I'm still amazed at how often this happens. I still believe the saying that you dress for the job you want... not the job you have. You won't be remembered for being overdressed, but you will be remembered for being under dressed.

8). Don't know about the job or read the job description well enough to know exactly the job you are interviewing for. Job description postings are shared for a reason, so please read them and prepare yourself based on the job description, not on the job you want or think it should be.

9). Look down the entire time and provide no eye contact to those who are interviewing and speaking with you. Yes, interviewing can be nerve wracking and intimidating, but you want to demonstrate confidence and presence, so be sure to look up and make eye contact.

10). Don't ask any questions. Sure, you don't need to ask 100 questions, but even if your main questions get answered during the interview, come up with something to ask or talk about when asked if you have any questions. When you have good questions, it says a lot about you and the research you did about the position and it solidifies your commitment to the position.

Good luck and what would you add to the list?