Have you ever accepted a job, only to realize it was not what you expected? Have you ever felt you aced an interview and never heard back? These are only two problems that can be resolved by quantifying throughout your job search.
Today we will address how to effectively quantity job descriptions and requisitions, hiring managers’ level of interest, your level of interest and confidence, where you rank, and priorities of your future manager.
Let’s Begin With the Job Description
If you have access to a job description prior to your interview, it more than likely it is a brief description of the job and a laundry list of mandatory soft and hard skills that could cause you to be screened out. If the person leaving the job was employed for more than 18 months, chances are they utilized all the talents of this past employee. Too often, they use the same job requisition written before this person was hired, so the additional talents they utilized are not listed.
Think for a moment about a job that has four primary areas of responsibility. Unless you are told what percentage of the time you will spend on each area, you would assume each represented 25%. However, it would be a much different job if one area consumed 90% of your time and the other three areas only consumed 10%.
During interviews, ask the talent acquisition professional, recruiter, or hiring manager to break the job down into percentages. This will provide you with a much more accurate description and you have a clear understanding of the job.
Have you ever left an interview knowing you were going to receive a job offer and then heard nothing? During your interview is not the time for you to determine your level of interest because an interview is an audition, not a fact-finding mission. You want the interviewer to envision you in the job, so you receive an offer. It is only after an offer is extended that you determine your level of interest.
It is vital to determine the interviewer’s level of interest. They often say things like, “You’re a great candidate”, “You’re the best person I’ve interviewed” or “You’ll be hearing back from us” which leaves you to believe you will receive a job offer. There are questions that will help you determine their level of interest. The best question you can ask at the end of an interview starts out with a commercial on yourself and will quantify the employer’s level of interest.
“I’m very interested in working for your company and feel confident in my abilities to do the job. What is more important is what you think. Do you feel I have the experience and credentials that would qualify me for this position?” You now don’t talk until the interviewer responds.
Normally, they will start out with what they liked about you. You then listen for the word “but.” Anything that follows this word are the reasons you may be screened out. You then proceed by saying, “I can understand why you may have that concern, let me explain why that won’t be a problem.” You then overcome all objections if you want to remain in contention for this job.
After each step in an interview process you must quantify two things. Your interest level and your level of confidence. Take time to debrief yourself after each step in the interview. Write down the pros and cons of each interview so you are focused on facts vs. emotion. This is especially helpful when you have scheduled numerous interviews.
When determining your level of interest, determine if you feel you are a fit for the company culture and core values. Determine if this job is a logical stepping-stone in the progression of your career. Will the job require you to stretch, develop personally and professionally so you become more marketable?
Then determine your level of interest and level of confidence on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest rating. If you are not a 10, ask yourself why? When you debrief yourself and determine your interest and confidence levels, you have greatly increased your chances of making the right career move for you.
During your interview process, determine the target date to fill the position. If you are early in the process, you could be forgotten, unless you effectively follow up. Determine the next steps in the interview process and timeframes. When you follow up, always refer to the dates you were given.
If they have been actively interviewing, ask where you rank among the individuals they have interviewed to date. So often you feel you’ve aced the interview, only to find out they have two candidates who they feel are stronger than you. In that instance, ask what you could do to enhance their interest level of you. Often, they will share why they feel other candidates are stronger and this provides you with an opportunity to overcome their concerns.
Too often traditional job requisitions do not share how you will be evaluated after six months or a year. When I’m obtaining a job requisition, I always have the hiring managers break it down into percentages. Next, I ask them for five performance objectives, explaining that I need to know how this person will be evaluated after 6 – 12 months. I want to only present potential hires who will become engaged and retained employees, and the performance objectives give me a clear picture of how my candidates will be judged.
There is often a big disconnect between the job requisition and lists of needed experience and credentials and how the candidate will be evaluated. They often ask for skills that are not going to be utilized and do not ask for skills that would be necessary for the new hire to receive a stellar evaluation.
When you clarify performance objectives, it leaves nothing to the imagination. You know exactly how you are going to be evaluated. This could either increase or decrease your level of interest in a job, but better you know this up front vs. finding out after you are hired. The potential employer will be impressed that you are asking how you will be evaluated. This displays your determination to succeed, if hired.
When you implement these ideas and quantify throughout your interview process, you empower yourself. You then place your efforts and focus on companies that are the best fit for you, as well as them!
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