Getting short-listed is the first hurdle when job hunting. After receiving an interview invitation, don’t celebrate yet.
Here are four tasks that will help you be a successful candidate:
1. The clicking point
It’s true that hiring managers take seconds to go through a CV and make an informed decision on whether or not you’re worth an interview. Some may be impressed with just one experience or skill in your CV. So when invited, find out where you are clicking with the employer. It may be that you have acquired a new technical skill, implemented almost similar projects, handled the same clients, led a new product in the market that they want to start selling, etc.
Once you click, talk more about it while giving examples and success stories in the ‘tell me about yourself’ question. Then you shall stand out from the rest. Ensure you link some of the examples that are related to the type of job you are being interviewed for especially in terms of the problem solving around the job environment.
2. Why is this position vacant?
A candidate once asked me that. You don't need to ask this question in an interview. Finding out the organization/ company work culture is significant. Some companies out there will never give you a full contract after 4 months of probation. Look at their employee retention rates. If you find that almost after 4 months the position is advertised, that's a signal the work environment is not good.
Some workplace environments can indeed make you hate being in formal employment, especially if you meet managers with poor leadership skills. A good workplace culture that inspires and intrinsically motivates employees is the one to go for. If you join a toxic environment or an organization whose values you don't Conform to, it can affect your career in the long- term. In short, do a background check about them and know a little about what they value.
3. Sharpen your salary negotiation skills
Don't go for an interview when you don't know the salary scales in the market. That's why some companies insist you write your current and expected salary when you are doing an application. The reason is simple, to know if they can afford you or if you are within their recommended scales. For example, with Covid-19, some positions have been re-advertised with less salary, and you need to be very keen not to stick to your last payment.
It's always recommended you quote a reasonable range and allow for negotiations. Resist the temptation to over quote or underquote. Depending on your skills and experiences, some organizations are likely to pay you a little higher to utilize your expertise without your knowledge. That's why some contracts are not renewed, because you set the base for the next person.
4. The simple things
Take time and find answers to most asked questions. For example, what is your greatest weakness or strength?
Don't be overconfident. However, always be assertive, with just enough confidence.
The writer is a Project Management Consultant.