As we all know, some industries are going through round after round of layoffs. This leaves a lot of people on the job market. While securing an interview can be tough, here are some tips and tricks on how to secure and nail your next interview:
- Reach out to the hiring recruiter on LinkedIn
- If you apply for a job on LinkedIn, the company will usually provide the recruiter who is working on that role. It gives you an option to message the recruiter, but you have to have a LinkedIn premium membership to do that directly. In order to circumvent that, you can send the recruiter a connection request with an added note saying something like, “Hi [recruiter’s name]. I just applied to the [position], so I wanted to reach out and see if you need anything else from me. Given my past experience doing [relevant experience], I’m confident I can make a positive impact on your team. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.” You only get 300 hundred characters in the note, so make sure your message is clear, concise and to the point.
- Set your LinkedIn profile to “Open to Work”
- Recruiters use LinkedIn recruiter on the daily. Ever wonder how they find people? They can filter their search options with industry, location, graduation year, skills, keywords, schools attended and whether or not someone is open to work. To create your open to work preferences, simply go to your LinkedIn profile, hit the blue button that says “open to”, and select your preferences. This will give your profile a lot more visibility and will allow recruiters to reach out to you with opportunities at their company.
- Use keywords on your resume
- This is old and cliched, classic advice. Most companies use software to filter resumes. The most common way to do that is through keywords. What is a keyword? It is a specific word or phrase relevant to the open position. For example, if you are applying to sales roles, make sure your resume has words on there relating to the sales field. These can include words such as: sales, representative, development, prospecting, qualifying, quota or Salesforce. If you want to add more, leave a little room on the last line or bottom of your resume to put other keywords in white. That way, your resume will still pop up, even if you don’t have the exact words the system is looking for on your actual resume.
- Make sure to respond to every interview request that you are pursuing
- If you have secured the interview, make sure to email back saying that you have confirmed the interview. Make sure to also ask if there is anything you should prepare for and who you are interviewing with. Look up the interviewers so that you are familiar with who they are and their past work history.
- Ask insightful questions during the interview
- This one may seem like a no brainer, but recruiters often hear the same Googled interview questions. In order to make the questions unique and more personable, research the company and the industry. Know their competitors and ask how they compete with them. Study their case studies and ask how they plan to improve in the future. Recruiters are busy and speak to a lot of people everyday. Make sure to stand out by asking good and unique questions.
- Come prepared
- What does it actually mean to come to an interview prepared? It means doing thorough research on the company, what it does, the people who work there and the industry they are in. One of my go-to questions is, “to your understanding, what is it that my company does?” If the person gives an answer around the fact that they know that we are a staffing agency in the technology space, then I take that as a good sign. If they say, “you know I didn’t have too much time to look you up before the call, so I’d love to hear what you have to say,” then I know they came in un-prepared and half interested.
- Be specific in your answers
- Interviews are the time and place to explain yourself. Make sure to go into depth about your past experience. Say how you were measured, how you accomplished daily and long-term goals and how you overcame challenges. The worst thing you could do for yourself is to be generic in your answers. Be an oversharer with concrete and specific examples so that you can show that you can be successful in your next role.
- Be in a quiet place
- This may seem like an obvious one, but there are still interviewees who take interviews while at the gym or in a busy coffee shop. Interviews are your time to shine and to show you are professionally interested. While technology makes it so easy to work from anywhere, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should do interviews from wherever. Be respectful and find somewhere quiet to do your interview; trust me, your interviewer will appreciate it.
- Check back and Close
- So many applicants will go through the interview process answering questions without ever checking whether or not their responses actually addressed the interviewer’s question. Make sure you periodically check back with the interviewer with a simple “Does that answer your question” or “Did I give you enough information on this question”. Don’t forget to close at the end! When you’re asked if you have any other questions, a simple close should help get you over the line: “Based on my experience and our conversation today, is there anything that stands out to you that says I wouldn’t be a fit for this role?”
The job market is tough and competitive. Most of the job search is completely out of your control. However, there are some things you can control in terms of securing an interview and standing out in one. We hope these tips and tricks can help you throughout your search! If you are looking to join the staffing world, our team is hiring skilled recruiters and sales folks in San Diego. You can reach out to our Senior Internal Business Partner, Karina Carstens, at email@example.com to learn more.