Hiring managers are in a tough spot. With smaller budgets and fewer hiring opportunities, every job offer counts. And the pressure builds when several people have their hands in a hiring decision and department executives focus heavily on significant ROI for new hires. A poor hiring decision is felt for months or even years.
That means hiring managers are cautious. And if they cross the line to indecisive, the interview and offer process can drag out for you, the job candidate.
Reduce their risk. Make sure you’re not a risky hire. Do a Google search on your name to learn what a hiring manager will see when she does the same. Review your profiles and shared content on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. The Internet makes the hiring process more transparent, so your resume will never tell your entire story. Know in advance whether you’re a risky hire, and support your online brand with positive content.
Be passionate and engaged. Recent job interview research reveals an important point: candidates who show a genuine passion for the job tend to get the nod over other applicants. The other key indicators for this are your “cultural fit,” personality, and style.
Penetrate the company in advance. Most candidates meet only those on the interview schedule and only on interview day. So penetrate your target companies before your interview. As a known commodity, you’ll have a head start on the “fit” question, because you’ll be able to better determine if and how you would succeed at the company. Plus, one of those staffers might offer a positive comment about you to someone on the interview team, which always helps your chances of landing the job.
Lead with your best. First impressions happen quickly, especially when it comes to whether you’re a good fit for a job. If you can’t connect with someone at the company before the interview, show your energy and deliver crisp answers. Be ready to tell great stories about your specific role at prior companies. When asked to “tell me about yourself,” provide information that illustrates strong and likable characteristics. And finish the answer with relevant examples of how you’ve made a positive impact.
Tap relevant and engaged references. Your references matter to hiring managers and HR staff. Be sure your references are both aware of the coming phone call and willing to help you. Preparing your references will pay off when you get that solid recommendation the hiring manager is looking for.
A hiring manager who truly believes in you, without reservations, will mentally chase you down the hallway as you depart. And that means he’ll fight for you when it comes to salary negotiation, too.
Want the job offer? Give that boss or hiring manager or recruiter all the right reasons to hire you.
Tim Tyrell-Smith is founder of Tim's Strategy, a site that helps professionals succeed in job search, career and life strategy. Follow Tim on Twitter, @TimsStrategy, and share his 30 Ideas Book with job-seeking friends.