Don’t leave it all to the companies
What you should be doing to land a job
Every single one of us already had some experience with hiring processes: even if you started your own business after finishing up college, it’s impossible you’ve never been through one (yes, your summer internship “interview” is part of it).
A hiring process is a moment when you show yourself as a person and professional. It’s a marketing move. It’s the time when you talk about your brand as a person, as someone an organisation can count on. Having this in mind will allow you to put the hiring process in a much broader perspective. A person you meet today can be your client, partner, colleague, or your boss tomorrow. Impressions do matter. After all, we are all people.
There are countless articles to help people while they’re in a process with a company. Titles such as “5 great tips to prepare for your job interview”, “How to kick ass during your job interviews?”, “Why is Europass so démodé?”, “How to overcome Google tech challenges?” are quite normal to find when doing some research online. However, there are some simple rules or nice-to-have behaviours that will help you to be “that” person. Those little things you think no one gives attention to? Trust me. People do. We all do.
When someone asks me “can you give me some tips to this hiring process?”, my answer is always this:
Try to put yourself in the place of the person who’s hiring you: What kind of things would you pay attention to when hiring someone? Trust me. This works.
As someone who interviews, and interacts with both employers and candidates every single day, I started finding some patterns. Today, I’ll share with you some tips about your hiring processes’ organisation and the type of communication you should be having with the companies you’re engaged with. I’ll call this “Candidate Etiquette”.
Organise your hiring process
Sending your CV, writing your application letter, being interviewed more than once, having technical tests, all of this takes time. When you apply to a job (whether you applied or someone talked to you asking if you’re interested), you have to remember you’re going to spend time on this. A lot. Some candidates describe it as having another full-time job.
There are hiring processes that can take 2h per interview + 2–3 hrs per technical challenge, not counting the Resumé time + time you’ll take to study the company and the job.
- When you apply, consider people are going to ask your time for interviews and challenges. You better set up Skype, find time during your lunch hour, in the beginning,/end of days, or even miss a few working hours.
- Recruiters and hiring managers are often used to do interviews after work, but be flexible. No one’s going to interview you on Saturdays or @ 10 pm. I’d recommend you to not suggest it. Scheduling interviews can be difficult. Try to take a morning/day off or suggest doing it through skype.
- I also advise you to keep a maximum of 5 hiring processes at the same time, so you can stay in control of your hiring agenda. Avoid applying to 10 jobs at the same time because it’s going to be challenging to be prepared and fully committed to each application. Why not choosing wisely, instead of choosing everything?
- If you don’t have time to do a technical test or go to an interview, my advice is: be clear, don’t procrastinate and avoid letting the employer think you forgot them. You can send a simple message like: “I don’t have time this week, can I do it until day X?”.
You don’t need to share a list of excuses, go straight to the solution, and show them you really thought about this.
With these simple things you: a) prove to the employer that you’re committed and you’re not just buying time to finish another hiring process, 2) you show interest, 3) you demonstrate you’re a person who’s prepared, who weighs workload and limitations and is solution-oriented.
As we mentioned in this article, a hiring process is a two-way process, which means the goal is also for you to assess the company as well as the other way around.
The ultimate consequence of this is that you’re being assessed by not only the type of answers/technical skills you have but also by the way you put your interest on the table.
- Always. Always. Always know the name of the company, its core business and the job description. Did I mention always?
- Make questions. Don’t be afraid. Making questions shows interest and curiosity. However, I don’t recommend you asking the name of the company during the interview.
Some candidates tell us they’re afraid of asking how many steps the hiring process has. My advice is: ask, but wait until the end of the interview. It’s normal and people will think you’re interested. For example: “How many and what are the hiring process steps?”, “When are you giving me feedback?”.
Do you know that time during the interview when the recruiter asks if you have any questions? Yup. These are some examples of what you can ask but there are tons of other stuff too: methodologies, code practices, technical stack, company’s culture, how is their structure,…
If you don’t ask these, it’s ok. It’s not mandatory. Recruiters won’t think less of you. But, c’mon, if you’re not curious about your own hiring process, who is?
Tip: To help you on this, you can write down a checklist of the things you’re looking for in a company, and then, during the hiring process, you can assess it and check if they exist or not.
- Plus, one thing that’s super underrated but really important is the power of follow-up. If you applied or if you went on an interview and no one gave you an indication of a timeframe to give you an answer, you can simply ask. Send an email and ask. Of course, don’t send it in the day after the interview, but I’d say after the 10 business days mark you can do it.
Have in mind people assess your manners to understand if you fit in their teams and if they can count on you to talk and to collaborate in projects with your team members, team leads and clients.
In the end, what you must remember is that Hiring Managers and recruiters want the answer to this question: “Is this person the right choice for this position?”.
Summing it all up, even if people don’t say it, you’re being assessed in these little things. Behavioural aspects are as much important as technical or cultural. When in doubt, all these variables are going to be considered in the moment of moving forward or not with your application. Having technical skills are as fundamental as the way you treat your colleagues and your communication.
We all know there is a “shortage” of tech talent, but don’t miss a nice new job because someone didn’t like your attitude! We’ll help you, we got your back.
Last piece of advice: Be prepared. Stay focused. Aim for greatness.
Matching today with tomorrow,
Your Future.Works team