Searching for a job can be frustrating. You sift through endless job boards and alerts to find the opportunities that look right for you. You send in an application and then wait wondering if you’ll ever get a response. But then, the phone rings and you have a first round phone interview with HR. If that goes well, you’ll wait again to hear whether you’ll be invited for the next round. Those are finished and then it’s wait again for a decision. Yes, the process can be frustrating and candidates need an immense amount of patience.
What about hiring managers? We often hear from our clients that they too have to suffer frustrating delays. They have to wait for approvals, review lots of applications for candidates with just the right set of skills and experience, find extra hours in a busy work week for calls and interviews, and coordinate multiple calendars, changes in schedules and other interruptions.
3 things you can do to help.
In addition to having empathy for the hiring manager and the HR team, what can you do to help cut down the delays and frustrations and, at the same time, stand out as a superior candidate?
1. RESPOND. Don’t leave anyone or anything hanging in the process. There are great job search organizing tools and apps available to help you keep tabs on all the elements of your hunt. You need to show a high level of interest to keep your candidacy top of mind, and, whether it’s a recruiter or the hiring manager, they need to know you are serious. Even if you’re not actively looking for a new position, use the opportunity to learn more about the role and the company and either share why it might be a good fit for you – or might not. It’s a way for passive job seekers to let recruiters and hiring managers know what might appeal to them in the future.
2. BE PREPARED: Ask questions and take notes during interviews about what follow-up items might be useful (writing samples, a portfolio, references) and have them ready. If you’re given a writing test, beat the deadline to return it. Stay aware of company news – getting in touch when news breaks about the company can make you stand out in the interview process.
3. SAY THANK YOU. This is the easiest tip of the trade. Always, always, always send a thank you note to each person you meet in the process. If you send them right away, even snail mail will get there in plenty of time to show that you’re interested.
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.