There are certain aspects of the job interview process that you should already be well-aware of. You should know that you need to arrive 10 minutes early. You should know what kinds of clothes you need to wear and what questions will be expected of you to answer. However, there are several strategies you can implement to drastically improve the rate at which you receive interviews and your success rate for actually landing the job. Abide by the following tips in order to make yourself a much more viable candidate to employers.
Strategies Before the Interview
Most companies post job openings on online forums, so the internet is your best friend when it comes to learning about new opportunities. You will likely be told to send your application via email or an online form, but once you have done this, there are other steps you should follow. Plenty of research should be conducted into the company to learn more about the culture, but you should also see if you have any connections within the company. Perhaps there is someone who went to the same school as you, and if there is, then you can connect with them and ask about their experiences with the organization.
You can also contact someone before you even apply and ask if they have any advice on what you should include within your application. Once you have gained a contact within a business, you can include their name on your cover letter and mention how they helped you learn about the job opening and any addition advice he or she provided you.
Even if you are not planning on going in for a job interview any time soon, it can be extremely beneficial to ask your new contact for an informational interview. These types of meetings are conducted by individuals who are looking to learn more about a particular company or about a field in general. These interviews are a chance for you to ask questions that are relevant to company culture and what is expected of individuals within the business. These interviews are also great for someone within the company to get to know you better so that when a job opening does come up, they are likely to refer you.
Strategies After the Interview
If you actually land a job interview, your work is not done until a decision has been made. Once your meeting with the hiring manager has concluded, you should ask about their timeframe for making the hire. You might be told that a decision will be reached the next day, or it could take a week. Knowing this information will help you know when a good time is to touch base in case you do not hear back. If you are told that it will take a week to hire someone, you do not want to call after four days to see how the decision process is going. This will just make you come across as a pest. After seven days have passed, call or email on the eighth day to simply reiterate your interest in working at the company and to see how progress is going. You may be told that there was a setback so it will take a little longer, or you may not hear anything. Touching base is perfectly acceptable, and it can be a great way to show your dedication.
Another post-interview strategy is to line up other interviews while you are waiting. Being confident that the interview went well and you are a good candidate for the job is great, but it is also important to be realistic. There are numerous factors that go into the decision-making process, and just because you have the skills and experiences required does not necessarily mean you will be offered a position. If a really good job opening comes up, do not avoid applying just because you are still waiting to hear back. Feel free to apply, and if you do get this job you already interviewed for, you can politely turn down an interview for the other job.
Planning ahead and being pragmatic are important characteristics to have while you are on the job hunt. You should do your best to make yourself the best candidate possible for a job while also not putting all your eggs in one basket. By following these strategies, you will become a much better job applicant.