By Gary Jones, Owner of Pines Career Services. We offer Premium Resume Coaching and Interview Preparation at a discounted price. Be sure to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more helpful content.
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Best. Interview. Ever.
Several months ago, I recruited a candidate (we’ll call her Sara) for a QA Engineering position at a small but up and coming company. Sara’s strong interviews and journey from being one of 50 candidates to earning the job offer is a great lesson in persistence and drive. I am looking forward to sharing her story with you, and how you can benefit from her interview approach.
When I saw Sara’s resume for the first time, my reaction was tepid. Sara did not have Team Lead experience which the position required. It was definitely worth giving her a call because she had an intriguing background despite, on paper, not having some of the required qualifications. As you’ll see later in this post, I was very excited after our phone call about passing her resume along to the hiring manager.
Sara Was Prepared:
I called Sara and she was clearly prepared for my call. She asked me questions about the job description which showed me she thoroughly read it prior to our call.
The best advice I have for job seekers is when they apply for a job, be ready for that phone call. It is a big turnoff when you call a candidate and they simply forgot they applied.
Sara was Relentless:
I was honestly worried what would happen if Sara didn’t get this job. Why? Failure was not an option was according to Sara’s outlook. Employers love candidates who go for the brass ring and show they want the job more than all others vying for the role. Employers are humans like everyone else and they feel secure hiring job seekers that truly want to join the organization.
Sara researched the company. She checked out employees LinkedIn profiles to learn more about the team. She conveyed what she liked about the company and how she could picture herself thriving in the company and why she is the best candidate.
Her type of research will come in handy when employers ask “do you have any questions?” You need to be ready to ask, otherwise, it gives the clear impression you were not ready for the interview. If you ask specific questions about the position and company, it not only gives you vital information but the hiring manager will be satisfied you are prepared for the interview.
Sara made an effort to Connect with the Interviewers, and it worked.
The manager’s feedback after Sara’s interviews gave me hope she was going to get the offer. They mentioned it wasn’t a traditional Q&A format, but found themselves just having a regular conversation with her.
Sara let her personality show, and again, she came prepared with questions. In her interview, it was a 2-way street of communication between her and the managers. You may have the best personality in the world, and make an earnest effort to connect, but not everyone on the other end will be open to connecting.
My thought is if you put the best version of yourself out there, then it’s the manager’s loss if it didn’t work out. It’s okay to be yourself and show everyone what makes you great.
When faced with adversity after the interview, Sara did not give up and acted
Now what Sara did following the interview will rarely work out, but hey, this is a true story so I’m giving you full disclosure.
Sara was not offered the position after the interview. What? Here I am talking up Sara for this entire post and she didn’t receive an offer?
It came back to the original sticking point: she did not lead experience required.
The manager; however, said they were not offering her the position at this time. As a Recruiter, my ears perked up at the phrase “at this time.” So, I went back to Sara and reported they are not making the offer but be patient because you are still an active candidate.
Sara wrote a “thank you” letter to the employers and told me she was going to adjust it and make a direct case why she is the best person for the job despite not having lead/management experience. Now, I knew this was the equivalent of throwing a “hail mary” pass in football hoping to score a Touchdown at the end of the game. With that said, I was trained in this industry to always exhaust all options before giving up—-what the heck, give it a try!
Two days later, the Employer came back and offered Sara the role. Sara was beyond thrilled of hearing the news and we were both insanely satisfied the hard work paid off in the end.
Sara never gave up.
Be like Sara.