Interviews are going to be more difficult right now than they were two or three months ago. When you’re actively looking for a new job, you can’t take anything for granted. You have to bring your A-game and stand out.
Why is the job market changing?
The United States is at a turning point in the labor market. Now, with hindsight, corporate executives, hiring managers, the federal government, economists, and investors are realizing that too much money has poured into the economy, creating an artificial bubble. Some of the signs are startup companies — with no revenue or profits to speak of — that have quickly scaled to billion-dollar unicorn status on paper.
Stocks hit precarious record highs – defying gravity. There was a cryptocurrency and NFT frenzy where novice investors viewed their investments as a get-rich-quick opportunity. The sugar rush from financial incentives only lasts for so long, leading to a crash of sorts. The US is already starting to revalue assets.
Netflix, Peloton, and a host of other tech companies saw their stock prices — which hit unrealistic stratospheric levels — come back down to earth. It’s reasonable that companies will take time to re-evaluate the new landscape. This means cutting costs and being more mindful when hiring. They will likely seek to scale back the number of new hires given the uncertainties caused by geopolitical events, inflation, supply chain disruptions and the end of government-backed stimulus packages. There have already been several companies, particularly in the technology space, that have downsized.
With that in mind, you need to be smart with this new temporary environment to manage the expectations. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to make interviewers’ lives easier. That means you have to sell yourself smart and make the staff love you. Here are some hacks on how to get noticed.
Let the interviewer know you’re interested
Many job seekers think that playing hard to get is the way to garner attention and interest. That might work in dating, but in today’s job market, it’s fizzled out. Interviewers want to know that you want the job, are excited about the opportunity, love the company, appreciate its culture, use its products and services, and genuinely feel this would be a great home.
At the interview, use your voice and body language to show interest. Be positive, motivated and enthusiastic. When the opening occurs, say clearly, “From everything I’ve read, researched, heard from others, and learned in this interview, I am very interested in the opportunity.” As the conversation progresses and you still do Feel the positive vibes, tell the interviewer, “I like everything I hear about the job, and if you were considering extending an offer, I’d happily accept it.” have the skills, background and experience for the position and will likely accept an offer. It makes their life easier.
What’s really going on behind the scenes
There are many things behind the scenes that you may not know. When an offer is created, it needs to be carried out by a number of people within the organization. The HR department, the hiring manager, the group manager and others contribute their opinions. The compensation package must be tailored to the individual. The interviewer and those involved in the process want this to succeed.
If all the hassle of preparing an offer is later met with a rejection from the candidate, it could make interviewers look bad and lose political capital. Managers will wonder why they didn’t read the person better and resent that so much time was wasted. You will question the abilities of everyone involved in the process.
If you let the hiring manager know you’re accepting the offer, they’ll be relieved that they have someone to come on board. This does not mean that the company will stop interviewing you. However, when you’re up against others who are more cryptic about their interest in the role, the interviewer chooses the person who they know will accept the offer, so they don’t have to worry about things blowing up after weeks of putting it together an offer only to turn it down.
Ask smart questions
“What question should I ask at the end of the interview?” is a pain point. Job seekers wait in dread for the interview to end until the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Instead of focusing on being in the present moment, the person is distracted trying to come up with some smart questions to ask them can ask.
Instead of going through this trauma, prepare a few questions already. There is no reason to wait until the end of the interview. Instead, ask questions when it feels right. If the other person says something you don’t understand, ask for clarification. If the interlocutor says something that appeals to you, feel free to dig deeper and show your interest. Think of the interview as a conversation you would have with family or friends. It should be a real, organic, collaborative, back-and-forth conversation.
Some smart questions to ask are, “Why did you decide to invite me to the interview? What about my resume convinced you that I was right for the role? What would I have to do to be successful in this job?” These and similar questions make the interviewer think of all the qualities, background, experience, education and talents that you have. By answering your questions, the hiring person will be satisfied that you are the right person for the job.
Show that you’ve done your homework
It’s a big turn off when an applicant arrives unprepared. An interviewer thinks poorly of a candidate who is unaware of the company’s mission statement, important developments within the organization, or who has not adequately read the job description or researched the company and its employees.
You want to lead by letting the interviewer know that you are knowledgeable about the company and the requirements of the job posting. It is appreciated if you can clearly and concisely match your background to the requirements for the role. This makes life even easier for the people you are talking to, because your homework and diligence will show them that you are very interested.
Establish times that are best for the interviewer
Of course, you want to schedule an interview when it best suits your schedule. To show that you are respectful and polite, shift to the days and times that work best for HR.
When asked about your availability, say, “Thank you for inviting me to this interview. I’m excited about the opportunity and look forward to meeting you.” Then add, “I understand you may be interviewing multiple people and you may be very busy. Please let us know what days and times work best for you and I will be happy to schedule my time to suit your availability.” have a negative attitude even before the interview begins.
Conclude the interview with a call to action
After the interview, remember to tell them, “Thank you. It was nice to meet you. I’m glad you chose me. I look forward to the next step.” Be bold and follow: “Could you please let me know what the next steps are and who I will be meeting with in the following rounds?” By making these statements, you frame that context in which you are interested and gently prompts the interviewer to think about the next interview. If they offer the names of the people you’ll be dating, it’s beneficial to look at their profiles on LinkedIn to get a sense of their background and look for commonalities that can serve as icebreakers.
As you prepare to leave, provide a closing note that reminds them of your relevant attributes by saying, “It has been a pleasure meeting you and learning more about the opportunity and the company. When I first saw the job offer, it felt right. Now, even more than before, I can say that my background, experience and education would be a perfect match for me. I look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for your time. It was a pleasure!”