"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

Avoid finishing second in the job interview process.

In a tight job market, there is nothing worse than hearing you were just barely beaten out by another candidate. Insert the famous quote from Ricky Bobby here, IF YOU AIN'T FIRST, YOU’RE LAST. While this may not necessarily be true in all walks of life, it certainly feels that way in a job search. After all, you have just been told “YOU DIDN’T GET THE JOB”.

As a recruiter, this is one of the worst phone calls we have to make. After all, we know how excited you were about the opportunity, the pay raise, or the new career. Many times, we get hit with the question of “Why?” or “What did the other person have that I didn’t have?”.

The candidate who gets the job is usually the one who does the extra things that the second place finishers choose not to do. Strong candidates consistently showcase how they are successful WITH THEIR ACTIONS. Doing these extras steps becomes even more important when we are relying on phone calls and "Zoom" interviews verses traditional face to face interviews.  

For reference, let’s look at a few REAL EXAMPLES of job search activity that put one candidate in the driver’s seat over another…  

Winning Candidate – Found a way to connect with three current reps working for the company and scheduled individuals calls with them to better understand the market, even though she was coming from outside the specialty.

2nd Place Candidate – Felt like his experience in this field meant that he knew “enough” about the job, and that those type of calls were not needed.  

Winning Candidate - Listened to recent company earnings call and was able to send a concise summary to hiring manager on things he was excited about that specifically pertained to this sector.

2nd Place Candidate- Assumed his thank you note a few weeks ago was “plenty of follow up”. Never came up with a creative way to stay in touch with manager.

Winning Candidate – Did not allow the pandemic to become an excuse. Took advantage of the downtime to get feedback from two physicians and two nurses that had used the focus product, and might eventually become solid customers.

2nd Place Candidate – Decided that the “polite” thing to do during the pandemic was to take an extremely hands-off approach (avoided doing anything proactive).  

Winning Candidate – Uncovered that the manager really needed someone in this role that could agitate the market and drive awareness. So, he created a mock-up radio commercial that could be used as an example with a key customer. Emailed the audio file to the manager as a reminder that he had the desired skills and understood the mission.

2nd Place Candidate – Revamped an old, generic “30/60/90 plan” that he had used on a previous interview for a totally different company.

Winning Candidate – Sent seven emails and three handwritten thank you notes to all those that helped him during the interview process. Thanked them for their support and endorsement. Found a creative way to find addresses and connect.

2nd Place Candidate – Emailed thank you notes to only 2 managers because he didn’t have the email addresses for anybody else and didn’t think it was necessary to thank someone who was “not a hiring manager”.  

Winning Candidate – Researched the background of the 2 regional managers involved in hiring decision. Used his knowledge of their history to strengthen the connection during the interview.

2nd Place Candidate – Seemed content “flying blind” on everything…knew nothing about who she was interviewing with. All of her “research” was something the recruiter mentioned on the phone.  

Winning Candidate – Provided consistent, immediate follow up with the recruiter and assured the recruiter that she was willing to go the extra mile to accommodate the hiring manager on interviews etc.

2nd Place Candidate – Sporadic communication with recruiter. Always seemed like he was inconvenienced by phone calls and too busy to do anything extra.  

Some of this may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many candidates simply get OUT-HUSTLED in the interview process. Many salespeople over-estimate their interviewing skills, and underestimate the importance of extra effort. Having a decent resume or being good at your old job is NOT A STRATEGY. Don’t leave it to chance, go the extra mile, finish first!  

Grow Your Vine! CrossVine Recruiting.

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