Again, don’t get me started with irresponsible employers. Trust me – I understand. It’s hard not to laugh at someone asking you which animal you would like to be reborn after you die. No doubt you will find valuable insight into such issues. They just never tell us anything This is.

The high-standing, self-confident manager who tries to make the candidates feel like dirt. The interviewer pays more attention to his cell phone than you do. The recruiter immediately goes through a checklist but does not try to understand you as a person. Yes, there are many ways employers can fail applicants.

But there are also many ways that candidates fail potential employers. Here are a few of them.

“Your call is important to us” – or the art of keeping recruiters waiting

Please “Please wait while I handle your call”

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

We live in a world of instant communication. Whether via email, social media or just old phone calls, you can reach people quickly from any distance.

That influenced our social norms, also in recruiting. In the past it was probably okay for employers to wait a few weeks for all of those beautiful, parchment-printed, or better-typed, resumes to get into their mailboxes.

No more. Today, recruiters send an email and expect responses in hours, not days, and certainly not weeks. Business is not waiting!

Why don’t so many candidates answer right away?

For some, it’s really not their fault. Unfortunately, there is something out there called spam (email) which has led the providers of the world to come up with a number of algorithms to keep it from getting into your inbox. But sometimes they clean up your account a bit too clean!

I know. It has happened to me before. I got a would-be employer. Luckily they were good sports and sent me a reminder. However, it doesn’t always happen.

For others, it’s hesitation. “OMG, what should I answer? What will you say if my answer isn’t downright Shakespeare?” The natural tendency then is to wait for the answer to be PERFECT. So the answer is delayed.

And then there are other candidates who feel that employers, in turn, have to wait.

But here, too, our relationship with time has changed. Time is compressed, our attention spans have shrunk, and our patience is now minimal. That goes for pretty much everyone – including employers.

If your goal is to fail, procrastination is an excellent option.

Alternative interviews are for fools!

Employers are inundated with email. There are ads for services that promise to stick your resume everywhere.

As a result, many employers are implementing alternative methods of selecting applicants. After all, interviews don’t come cheap: they monopolize employee time and therefore have real opportunity costs.

I cannot approve of some of the methods. Artificial intelligence asks you questions and analyzes your reactions? No thanks, I’ll pass.

But is it asking too much to prove from an interviewee that he has the skills that he stated on his résumé? Is it an exaggeration to ask for a short essay, especially in this day and age when so many have decided cover letters are overrated? Is a request for a presentation of an organization’s products or services so that you can showcase your research and presentation skills a shameful free piece of work?

Note that if done correctly, these can be great tools to land the job. You may not be a top-notch Schmozer who can talk your way into any job, but clear, well-thought-out text can carry a lot of weight in a budding manager. Who knows, maybe this person feels like it’s a reflection of your professionalism.

It can allow you to stand out just because so many refuse to do these exercises. They may just ask for an interview or they may not take the assignment seriously, which is reflected in the poor quality of their results.

Isn’t it all a way for companies to extract freelance workers? I think that’s one way of seeing it. Here’s another one: the organization is trying its best to get to know you. Why? They desperately want to recruit and grow career-conscious people instead of hiring mercenaries.

You wouldn’t be interested in an employer like that, would you?

Interviews are about you, you, you … NOT!

“Am I not the most wonderful candidate? Yes, I am!”

Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

When interviewed, it’s easy to think it’s all about you. Eventually, most interviewers will shower you with questions about what you did and when: college, previous positions, etc.

But actually it’s not about the interviewee. It’s all about the interviewer.

No sane company requires its employees to interview someone without a clearly defined need. Employees are usually busy with their regular jobs and hours of conversations with candidates are associated with non-negligible opportunity costs.

So why are they doing it? Because they’re in trouble. They are looking for certain skills that they lack, or they need more minds to expand their range. This is exactly the situation in which any money appreciating sales coach would recommend thinking in terms of solutions. Here you are the solution – and your job is to make sure the interviewer gets it.

And no, this is not achieved by putting together a dog-and-pony show that is all about self-aggrandizement. But that seems like a well-kept secret. This would explain why so many candidates show up with little or no knowledge of the company’s products and services. This information is easy to find on the internet before the interview, but hey, you are not getting paid yet so why do the research?

Also, don’t prepare questions for the interviewers. You may come to the conclusion that you are actually interested in joining them. And if a junior member of the team is interviewing you or an assistant is meticulously preparing the meeting, don’t thank them. You might even want to snob them. After all, you never have too many enemies.

And see, your competition has beaten you at the finish.

A thank you to an interviewer? Bah!

Too cheesy thanks notes? No – they are effective!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Finally, here’s one last way to reduce your chances of getting a job: don’t send a thank you.

After all, why should you do this? You’re not Southwest Airlines, are you? “Huh?” Once I was traveling intensively between Boston and Washington DC. My wife was in the south and I wanted to see her as often as possible. Southwest was cheap. So I became a regular at the Manchester BWI run.

Now, on my birthday, they sent me a card. The CEO didn’t sign it; it was the same thing they sent thousands, I know. But that little gesture earned them recognition.

Oddly enough, I got hold of more than one ticket while working for a new employer and my job required extensive travel to the United States. Not for the fare (safe but not better) or the seat (usually uncomfortable). I think this card helped their business.

A thank you works the same way. But if your goal is not to take it easy on yourself, then by all means avoid sending out thank you letters. Instead, let the competition do it – and earn easy points.

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