After conducting 1,500 interviews over 15 years, I still remember the candidate who did these 3 things.
I have been interviewing candidates for 15 years. You can imagine that I have seen many different things and heard thousands of different answers, can’t you? However, one person still stands out to me to this day. I still remember him very well and exactly what he did because it had a major impact. It may not have led to a job offer, but he came across extremely well, and when you read on you’ll understand why.
1 – Tailored interview preparation
The candidate had clearly researched the company. During the interview, he mentioned relevant points related to the organisation and the position he was applying for. In one instance, he mentioned that he had seen my Linkedin profile and noticed that I have a particular interest in “Diversity Recruiting”. He also noted that he had successfully implemented a couple of initiatives that increased their diversity of candidates and built a conversation around our common interest.
He proved that he takes the time to carefully study his audience prior to any important meeting, and makes the effort to adjust his approach accordingly.
2 – Acted as a protagonist
Shortly after the interview, I received a note from him saying that the company’s values resonated very well with his own beliefs. He had reviewed the company’s standards, and the ones relating to commitment, innovation, and excellence really resonated with him.
Again his attitude reinforced his speech when it came to his level of engagement, empathy and attention to detail. It was clear that he admired the company and this was not just ‘another job’ for him. If he invests this much time and energy in the company as a candidate, imagine his dedication as an employee.
3 – Referred another candidate to me
Unfortunately, in this case, the location proved to be an issue and he wasn’t offered the position. Although he wasn’t hired, I received a very strong CV from him for another professional from his network that eventually got the job. This showed me how strong his character was and that he was appreciative of the opportunity to interview. I also learned how gracefully he reacts in an adverse situation, and how well he handles frustration.
I’m summarising this one-month recruitment process that involved three rounds of interviews into three bullet points. It goes without saying that he also had very strong answers for each question addressed. Even so, what made him stand out from a very qualified crowd was the way his personality shone through. I have no doubt that you have your own unique way of connecting with people and making an impression. It is important to show your personality during the interview process and bring your strengths and competencies to life without having to use those clichés and stale interview answers.
In conclusion, it is a process, not just a one-hour interview. We have so many opportunities to interact with the decision-makers and make a good impression. Make good use of the time and you’ll ace your next job interview.
Amanda Melo is an IT Recruitment Consultant with Collins McNicholas Athlone. She specialises in a number of roles that can be found here.
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group