You’ve applied for many positions. You’ve networked your way into other job opportunities. You’ve even landed some interviews.
But as for second interviews? Let alone job offers? Nothing. Zilch. The sound of crickets fills your e-mail inbox (if sounds could fill your inbox).
What’s Going On?
You’re getting interviews and that’s a good sign because hiring managers and recruiters don’t contact you for a meeting (even if it’s “just” a phone interview) unless they feel you have most of the skills, background and education they seek. (In fact, the average job opening receives 118 applicants, with only about 20 percent of them receiving interviews.)
So that’s good. But no call backs? That’s bad and chances are it is you (and not them).
And while you don’t want to hear it’s your fault you’re not getting second interviews and/or job offers, it’s actually good news: it means it’s something you’re doing – or not doing – and you can fix that.
4 Things You’re Doing (or Not) That Are Costing You
The mistakes you’re making generally boil down to four things. Take a look below.
- You don’t understand the real reason companies hire people.
Businesses hire employees because they need problems solved. They need someone to fix the problem of answering the phone. They need someone to take care of the marketing issue. They need someone to fix the no sales conundrum. They need someone to run the computer, balance the checkbook, make the widget, and so on.
But most of us tend to think “Hey, I’m a nice person and I can do the things you need. So hire me!” And then we wonder why we didn’t get the job.
And the reason we didn’t get the job is because another candidate understood why companies hire employees and made sure the hiring manager knew that she could fix that hiring manager’s problems.
Employees cost money – up to 80 percent of a company’s gross revenues. That’s a big chunk of change. So to be hired, you need to bring more to the company than what it costs to keep you there. You may say, “Well, I’m not in sales, so I don’t bring in anything.” But you do: if you save a company money, that’s making money (shorten a process; retain more customers, keep the computers running so the company doesn’t have to get new ones, etc.).
So you need to know and articulate what value you bring to a company: how what you know and what you do and how you do it will save/make the company money.
- You didn’t understand what the company does and how your skills could help it.
This is a very easy fix: before ever applying to a company, do some research. Check the company’s website, Google it and read articles about it. Find out is mission, if it has one; its goals.
The absolute worst thing you can do is arrive at an interview and say something along the lines of: “What is it you guys do?”
- Not saying – and showing – that you want the job.
Before you say “Well, I’m there to interview; of course I want the job!” understand that actually asking for the job as you shake the interviewer’s hand is extremely powerful: “Tenisha, my five years in accounts payable will help you ramp up your A/P needs the day I arrive. I would love to work with you and I hope to hear from you soon.”
What’s more, if you sit in the interview slumped in your seat, grunting your answers, looking at your watch, not asking questions, and so on, you’ve just shown the hiring manager that you could care less about the job. Instead, be interested in learning about the company; ask questions as to its future; do that research we mentioned and talk about something you read about the company’s goals, and so on. In other words, show enthusiasm.
- Not following up properly.
Sure, you no doubt know that you need to send a thank you note to your interviewer. But most people don’t, to their detriment. And of those who do, the thank you is….a “thank you for meeting with me.” And while that’s nice, remember what your job is as a candidate: show your value.
Your thank you (handwritten or sent in an e-mail) after an interview is another chance for you to showcase how hiring you benefits the company. It also can help you clarify a point, or make a suggestion. It also allows you to, once again, ask for the job!
Need some help in getting second interviews? How nice it will be to tweet #IGotTheJob! Let the talented recruiters here at Helpmates help you get the interview…and the job offer! Call or visit a Helpmates branch near you today.