Job Search and Interview Misconceptions
10.29.12 | Job Search & Career | Sean Cashman, Senior Consultant at Treeline Incorporated
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As I speak with candidates, I often hear misconceptions about what and what not to do when in the job search and the interview process. I have taken the time to bullet point some of the most common ones that I hear.
Job Search Misconceptions:
- "Job Boards are the only way to get my resume out there." False. Job Boards are a useful resource but they are very limited. My recommendation is to use the Job Boards as a compass to point you in the right direction of what companies are hiring. But do not bother submitting your resume through them - instead, hop on LinkedIn, Data.com, ZoomInfo, etc. and hunt down contacts for you to connect with and get your resume into the appropriate hands.
- "I shouldn't contact the company because the Job Posting said not to call or email in regards to this opening." Treat those tag lines as 'No Soliciting' signs. We are sales people and we ask for forgiveness, not permission. I am not saying to be a pit bull, but be a sales person and get your foot in the door - when it is done right, it is attractive to sales leadership. And if the company gets turned off by your efforts to connect, you probably don't want to work there anyway.
- "I don't put all my quotas and achievements on my resume because I like to bring that up in an interview." The whole point of a resume is to get your foot in the door for an interview - companies hire the person, not the paper. BUT, if you are not bragging and putting every little win you have ever had as a sales person, then you are missing the point and you are probably not getting interviews because you are holding onto achievements that a hiring manager wants to see...ON A RESUME.
- "I only want to work with one recruiter - that should be enough." And sometimes, it is...but if you are working with a recruiter and you are not getting the success or the opportunities that you want, talk to other recruiters. You can't work with all of them, but find a group of recruiters that align well with your search and network with them. Just like sales, the more lines in the water - the better.
- "The office environment is casual so I am not going to wear a suit and tie." False. You are trying to get on the team, you don't wear the uniform until you are on the team. Until you do that, you are on your own team and that team is always the best dressed person in the room. The only time you do not wear a suit and tie is if the interviewers instruct you to dress down for the next meeting. There are no other exceptions to this rule.
- "I don't need to bring any hard copies of my resume, I emailed it to them." False. When you go to an interview, 1st interview or a final, you always bring at least 3 hard copies of your resume. You never know who you could meet on the fly. It is better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them.
- "Some of the first questions I ask in a 1st interview are about benefits, training, and sometimes I bring up compensation." No. This is important information to gather in an interview process but you do not bring this up in a 1st interview. You want to figure out the role, the company, and the culture first - position yourself in a good light for the role, the company, and the culture. Prove that you are an asset - then you want to find out about comp and benefits. Remember, this is sales - we talk price last.
- "I don't want to turn anyone off that I meet with so I let them wrap our conversation and talk about next steps." False. This is a sales tactic but this tip proves effective for any interview for any role. Close the conversation and make sure to get any concerns or questions that the interviewer may have on the table. Answer those concerns and find out what the next steps are. This accomplishes a few things; it allows you to know where you stand with the interviewer, you get the chance to clear up any misunderstanding about your background, you are able to articulate your interest in the role and then you are able to find out what the next step looks like. And hiring managers are looking for this as well - they want you to be closing them. If you are closing them in the interview process, then you will close when you are selling for them.
These are only a few misconceptions and my hope is that this may have cleared up a few things for those of you who are on the active job search. If you have any questions about these or other misconceptions, do not hesitate to get in touch with anyone on the Treeline team.