5 Interview Mistakes That Will Sabotage Your Chances
3 Tips to Win the Interview Game: LinkedIn Launches “How I Hire”
What if you could get inside the minds of the top leaders about their hiring decisions and strategy? Given that the interview is inherently designed to screen you out, the better you can assess the hiring leaders’ styles and their needs, the better your chances are of meeting them where they are in their decision making processes.
LinkedIn is giving candidates some insight into this strategy this week, with a new series called “How I Hire.” This blog series captures what influential hiring leaders in the strongest companies believe to be essential about their specific hiring processes. Let’s take apart a few of their comments so you can assess your interviewer’s style and needs.
1. Time Frame to Assessment
What the Interviewee Thinks: When will they decide what think of me?
What the Interviewer Thinks: At what point in the process do I know this is the right–or the wrong-person?
Interviewee Solution: As the interviewee you might not know much about your interviewers’ personalities ahead of time, so you need to assess them as quickly as they are assessing you. Are they quick to ask you deep questions about your level of commitment, or are they asking all kinds of seemingly disconnected questions? This can help you decide if the interviewer is a go-with-the-gut rapid decision maker or someone who needs a dozen or more data points to come to a solid conclusion.
2. Intangibles Essential for Each New Hire
What the Interviewee Thinks: I have the technical expertise
What the Interviewer Thinks: I need a culture fit.
Interviewee Solution: Do your research, but not only on the company’s product or service. Learn how the current employees are like one another to figure out what makes the company unique from a cultural point of view. Read its mission and values statements. Find out where its employees volunteer their time. Learn what personality characteristics are vital for success in this company. Your answers to questions about your own personality and culture profile might stand up nicely to those of others interviewing for the same roles.
3. Being the Part–If That’s Really Who You Are
What the Interviewee Thinks: I’ve got to be my best because I need this job.
What the Interviewee Thinks: I need someone whose core personality fits my company and the specific role.
Interviewee Solution: Be yourself. The interview is your time to shine–or be instantly screened out. Those influential hiring leaders surveyed for this LinkedIn series seem to agree that they have preconceived notions about what a person should do/be like/project–and it’s up to them to fill the position appropriately. So while you should know the needs of the role and the corporate culture, you also need to be true to yourself. If you don’t fit at the beginning, don’t force the round peg into the square hole. Neither you nor your hiring leader will be happy.
Say “Thank You” for Your Interview
Congratulations—you got the interview, and you nailed it. Don’t forget to thank your interviewing committee within 24 hours.
You know you’re the right person for the job and you think you gave all the right answers during your interview. You’re pretty sure they’re going to call you back with the job offer.
You think you’re done with the interview process, but you’re wrong.
You forgot to send each member of the hiring committee a post-interview thank you letter. Your professional resume writing service can help you say “thank you” for your interview–and change the hiring manager’s mind.
Witness these recent statistics. Robert Half reports that only 5% of job seekers send thank you letters after their interviews. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) adds to this—their study said 88% of hiring managers report that thank you letters influence their hiring decision.*
So does this mean that 5% of the job seeking population has a leg up on the majority of interviewers who simply aren’t playing by the rules? When you acknowledge an interview with a post-interview thank you letter, you have a huge opportunity to accomplish three tasks.
- You thank the committee, individually, for their time. Until you are hired, you’re simply a liability in terms of the amount of time and effort that it takes to get you on board.
- You respond to the interview process, emphasizing how you can solve the hiring committee’s pain beginning on your first day at work.
- You tell the hiring executive that you want the job. Remember, we don’t get what we don’t ask for, so make sure that you are 100% clear about your enthusiasm for the role.
If you are not accomplishing these three goals in your post-interview thank you letter, you’re failing to participate in a critical aspect of the interview process. In fact, you might have lost the chance to reiterate your interest in the position or to add to the data you provided in your interview. Make sure you send an individualized, well-conceived, thoughtful thank you letter to every member of your interviewing committee–it’s an investment in time and effort that you will not regret.
*Data used with many thanks to Susan Guarneri and her amazing presentation at Career Directors International 2010.
Updated July 2018.