By Fareed Musa Fataki
Liking means more than talent. The days of standing in line and putting decals on widgets are over. People don't hire you because you're capable. They hire you because they want to work with you. If you don't get along, and get along well, the interview will probably be fruitless. Unless, of course, you applied for the "Assistant Placer of Decals on Widgets" position...
Actions speak louder than words. Your actions in the past -- relayed in story form -- will tell the employer much more than any generic response. Your stories will give the interviewer the tangible examples he or she seeks, and they will convey a very strong sense of your individuality, making you stand out more.
The most important first step to getting a job interview is getting past the recruiter.
Recruiters are usually your first contact with a potential employer. And they often decide whether your resume/ CV lands on the hiring manager's desk or in a far-off filing cabinet.While it's important to know the basics of what recruiters do, you also need to know what they DON'T do. After all, you don't want an inappropriate request to ruin your chances for an interview.
Here are four things you shouldn't ask of a recruiter.
Don't Be Overly Friendly
Sure, recruiters are usually warm, friendly and helpful. After all, it's their job to put you at ease and guide you through the hiring process. But they're professional colleagues, and it's crucial that you never forget it.
Think of the recruiter as a respected coworker and treat them accordingly. Be friendly, but not overly casual or familiar. It's wise to keep personal conversations, jokes and physical contact to a minimum.
After a tough interview with a hiring manager, you may be relived to see a recruiter's smiling face. Don't be tempted to let your guard down though; you're still "on," even if the interview has ended.
A useful rule of thumb: Don't say or do anything in front of a recruiter that you wouldn't say or do in front of your boss (or your mother).
Don't Expect Career Coaching
Bring an insane amount of (intelligent) questions. Nothing feels worse that not being prepared. If you don't bring loads of questions, you're not prepared. At some point, the interviewer will ask you what you want to know. For the record, you want to know everything. Be curious. Be interested. Be engrossed. Ask your question, and then get ready to listen. Don't think of what you're going to say next. Just soak up every word like a giant sponge. The more questions you ask, the more you'll get out of the experience. And as a bonus, they'll know you care deeply about their business. When you care about what they care about, you both start to align, and that's when the magic happens. The recruiter's goal is not to help you get a job. It's to help you navigate the hiring process at one specific company.
Recruiters aren't career coaches. It's not appropriate to ask them to help you craft your cover letter, edit your resume or plan your career path.
You can ask questions about the company or industry in general, but try to relate your questions to the job you're being considered for. And save your best, most thoughtful questions for the hiring manager -- that's who you need to impress most.
Don't Ask for Insider Information
There's only one job candidate you really need to worry about: You. Be persistent. It's incredibly easy to get lazy, give up and feel sorry for yourself.People will turn you down, never call you back, and forget your name over and over again. None of that matters. What matters is perseverance. If you can't handle losing a few battles along the way, you're in for a tough road ahead. Getting a job is like winning a war. It takes patience, planning, time, effort, dedication and a little bit of luck. The chips will fall your way sooner or later. If you stay persistent, you'll at least give yourself a chance to catch them.
Though it may be hard to resist, don't ask about who you're up against for a job. Recruiters generally won't share information about other candidates. And asking for specific details about the competition makes you look insecure in your own skills.
However, questions about the hiring process or the position itself are fair game. Here are a few questions you can feel comfortable asking:
• Are you still interviewing candidates?
• How large is the current pool of candidates?
• How would you describe the ideal candidate for the job?
• Is there anything I can do to make myself a stronger candidate?
The best way to get an edge on the competition? Make yourself a more competitive candidate.
Don't Request Special Treatment
Although you may wish you were, you're probably not the only candidate for the job.
And, while recruiters are often happy to help, their aim is not to be your advocate to the hiring manager. Their aim is to fill a position.
Never ask a recruiter to put in a good word for you with the hiring manager. If they think you're a strong candidate, they'll probably sing your praises anyway.
Also, don't ask them to relay a message to the hiring manager for you. Instead of saying, "Tell So-and-So it was very nice to meet him ...," send a thank you note.
Taking the initiative and speaking for yourself shows the hiring manager that you're capable, confident and conscientious.
Remember, if you treat the recruiter well, chances are they'll treat you the same way.
Focus on their needs, not yours. It's tempting to sell ourselves, to talk about how great we are, and to show off our past experiences. But guess what. No one cares. What they really care about is how your "amazing ness" will translate into success for their company. Don't focus on your talents; focus on what your talents will do for them.
Blogging will give you a HUGE leg up. Blogging forces you to analyze, collaborate and create solutions. It also gives you plenty of ideas for improving customer experiences, businesses and relationships. These skills (among countless others) will give you confidence, poise, energy and know-how when it comes time to explain yourself. Your insights will be sharper, your thinking will be deeper, and your ability to express your opinions clearly and concisely will be much stronger.
These few tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more we can learn from each other about the interview process as a whole, so please feel free to share.
I will be more than happy to receive your comments, suggestions, and subtractions before my next article. My sincere appreciation for those who shared a line with me when compiling this Article; all I can say is keep it up, we have a duty to show our young generation the right way and approach to getting the desired job. Thank you for your comments in the last artcle.
The writer is the Deputy Director for Establishment/ Human Resource, with the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation; he is also a Consultant in Peace and conflict resolution as well as a Researcher. You may contact him through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him hi on +249(0)955001557/+249(0) 126689429.