Just when the unemployment numbers were looking pretty good, along came the COVID pandemic. The result: millions of people are out of work, trying to make ends meet and wondering how they’re going to land their next professional role.
To make matters worse is with so many people out of work, landing your next job just became that much more difficult because the competition is fierce. Even those applicants who are highly qualified are struggling in their quest to land that new position.
The good news, however, is there are things you can to do help yourself standout. There are many characteristics that hiring managers look for in candidates that go way beyond your qualifications.
Here are six things to remember.
They don’t expect you to be perfect
Think about the last time you went on a job interview. You probably spent hours picking out the perfect outfit, preparing the perfect answers and put together the perfect looking resume. Hiring managers do expect a lot of things, but contrary to popular belief, one thing they do not expect is perfection. In fact, one typo on your cover letter, taking a little longer to respond to a question or other little imperfections shows them that you are human.
They are looking for someone with high EQ (Emotional Intelligence)
Being smart in the traditional sense is all well and good, but how do you interact with customers and colleagues? Do you think before you speak? Are you empathetic toward others? Do you make your point known or go with the crowd? EQ has become the new IQ and it is here to stay.
The most important skill they want you to have is being a problem solver
There are going to be many candidates who are just as qualified as you. The most important skill hiring managers look for is what you do when things go wrong and the pressure is on. Will you have a meltdown or be able to think of a potential solution with the resources available to you? Be ready for the question: Tell me about a time when things didn’t go according to plan and how you solved the problem.
It’s not what you say but how you say it
There will be many candidates who are well-qualified for the position. One characteristic that hiring managers look for is presentation skills. In other words, do you speak with confidence? Are you passionate? Do you offer personal experiences and stories to back up your point? Are you persuasive? Do you make and keep eye contact? How you speak is just as important as what you say.
They expect you to have some knowledge about the company
Do yourself a favor before you go on any job interview: learn a little about the company. You can be the most qualified candidate in the room, but if you show up and don’t know anything about the company, it shows that you are unprepared and leaves hiring mangers wondering just what kind of work ethic you really have. Familiarize yourself with the background of the company, what the current market is like, who the key people are and who are the company’s biggest competitors.
They expect you to send a thank you note
Sending a thank you note after your interview is always a good tactic. This must be done within 24 hours of your interview. It shows the recruiter that you appreciate the time he or she took to conduct the interview, and it also shows a lot about your character. It reveals how you may interact with clients and colleagues.
The job market is very competitive right now and candidates have to do everything in their power to land their next role. This means paying attention to the finer details and honing in on what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for. It also means really focusing in on your people skills. To be the next hire, you have to be the total package.
About the Author
Angela Civitella is a business leadership coach. She is founder of Intinde. www.intinde.com
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