Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
Surviving the Interview Process
July 1st, 2009
As hiring authorities realize they can afford to be more and more picky in their choice of new employees, the hiring process has slowly turned into an obstacle course. Candidates are being asked to complete tasks, answer questions, and take tests in order for employers to evaluate their candidacy. Candidates that meet the job requirements on paper still may not have enough specialty experience as their competition. With the vast amount of applicants available, hiring authorities can hold out for a “rock star” candidate that will not only meet specific job criteria, but most likely have a background above and beyond what they are looking for.
Hiring authorities want to make sure they are getting the best candidate as they look to hire a new employee in this down market, which, in turn, has made the interview process more extensive than in previous years. Initial phone interviews have begun to demand productivity statistics, business philosophies, and even insight into an industry, which used to be saved for the final interview round. Nowadays, a candidate has to be prepared for anything within the first phone call. This initial pre-screening could take up to an hour and a half and may be the only chance a candidate has at landing an in-person interview, therefore candidates must not take this initial call lightly and be prepared for a full interview.
The interview process itself has become more rigorous as hiring authorities are eager to narrow down candidates to their ideal fit. The hiring process has transformed from a simple conversation to personality tests, practice board room presentations, and industry knowledge that only a veteran would typically be expected to know. How is critical process affecting the job seeking population?
Not only are job seekers overwhelmed with stress, financial burdens, depression, and much more, now they are put through rigorous interview process that potentially will psychologically drain them along with taking the majority of their time. In many cases, a job offer is still not extended to the individual after a month long interview process. Candidates should remember to take care of themselves physically, mentally, and psychologically. Candidates should prepare for the interview by role playing with friends and utilize their networks to gain insight into the hiring process at the companies they are applying to. Candidates need to keep a realistic mind that they potentially could be putting in all this time and effort and still not get the job; however, by keeping a positive outlook and viewing each interview as more practice and an opportunity to network, candidates can learn to stay focused and optimistic in their job search. During the interview, a candidate that has practiced breathing exercises, eye contact, and quick answers to obscure questions will perform well in the interview.