Part 2: If I were a candidate looking for my next career home…

by Kristin Lauderback on December 19, 2012

Now that you’ve done your due-diligence; updated your resume, gave your LinkedIn a good spring-cleaning and have made all the other necessary preparations to make a great first impression the time has come to not only secure your interview but nail it too.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, although I personally have been fortunate to only have been interviewed a couple of times in my life, I know what employees want. There are things you can say and do that could make or break your execution of a solid interview, and I have seen them all.  If I were on the job market today, once again, these are the kind of things I would do to make sure I secure the interview and succeed at nailing the job.

  1. I’d agree to meet every recruiter who contacts me. I know we are all busy and not all of us see the value in meeting face to face.  As a recruiter, I can tell you that I instantly remember the folks who I have met.  I don’t forget them.  I’d meet every recruiter as to not burn any bridges and so I’d get in front of as many employers as possible.  The more people you meet, the more opportunities that will be presented to you.
  2. I’d research, research and research again every potential client I’m going to interview for. Candidates who do their homework get instant kudos with hiring managers.  If I were going to interview at ABC Corporation I’d read everything I could find about them and bring my notes and questions to the interview.
  3. I’d keep a list of every place I’ve applied and every recruiter I’ve spoken with on hand.I know first hand that candidates get tons and tons of calls from recruiters and corporations.  I’d always carry a list of every recruiter I’ve spoken with and what companies I’ve applied for.  Many times I’ve called someone and they’ve said they “think” they may have applied or they “might” have been submitted.  Whenever I hear those red flags I don’t submit the person because I don’t want to risk a double submittal.
  4. When a recruiter submits me to a client I’d ask them how many they are presenting and where do I compare to the others. Most recruiters don’t tell you how many candidates they are presenting for an opening.  I’m not like most recruiters.  I always tell people that I typically present 3 per opening and if asked, I’ll explain how a candidate honestly compares to the others.  If you don’t know, you can’t grow.
  5. I’d return calls asap. I know this is tough because we all have lives.  However, if a recruiter is trying to reach you after you’ve been screened it’s usually to set up an interview, present a position or even better yet, to give you an offer.  I’d call everyone back immediately so my interview spot isn’t given away or worse, my offer isn’t given to the second best candidate simply because I wasn’t available.   As a recruiter, I have given away interview slots and offers because I didn’t get a return call for 24 hours.
  6. My references would be ready and willing to speak on my behalf and they would be constantly updated on who might call. As I mentioned, LinkedIn recommendations are fantastic.  However, you still need to have former bosses ready to speak on your behalf.  I would let my references know who will be calling and for what jobs I’ve applied.  I’d also ask them for their honest opinion about what I could’ve done better while I worked with/for them.
  7. I’d drive by the interview location before the actual interview date.  Being late to an interview is never, ever acceptable. It’s a very quick way to get automatically disqualified and labeled “irresponsible.”  If I were interviewing I’d drive by the building prior to the interview so my nerves wouldn’t get the best of me the day of the interview.
  1. My tattoos and body art would not be on display.  I personally have 2 tattoos which is quite shocking to a lot of people.  If you were to see me at work you would never guess in a million years that I have two.  They are always covered up and no, they weren’t mistakes that I made at 18.  I like them but realize that most employers don’t mind them as long as they don’t see them.  I’d keep my body art covered during the interview and after.  If I had a tongue ring, nose ring, etc. I’d remove them.

Kristin Lauderback is the Recruiting Director for the Modis Austin, TX office.  She’s been with Modis for 8 years and you can connect with her on  LinkedIn.

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