The Internet is full of career advice and job hunting tips. Just a quick search on your browser will yield you thousands of articles and sites – now the challenge is in knowing which one deserves your attention and which one deserves to be ignored. This could be tricky for both newbies and old timers as tips found on the web would often contradict one another. Thankfully, this article will help steer you in the right direction and help clear up some of the confusion. Here we’ll tackle everything from how to successfully raise the issue of pay during the interview to the best way to build rapport with your interviewer.
Stay put, take notes, and let this guide breakdown the most misunderstood job search tips out there.
1. “Establish a friendly demeanour with your interviewer.”
This is a common job search advice given to candidates, especially for those who are nervous about their interviews. A few would even suggest humouring the interviewer to break the ice. We say it all depends on the interviewer.
Remember that interviewers have different temperaments and would not have the same responses to attempts at humour. Some would act formal, even cold towards candidates (think of Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada”), while a few would act more cordial and friendly. Observe them first before deciding on the approach to take.
Candidates don’t all come in the same, neat package as well. There would be introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts amongst the mix of applicants applying for the same job. While some would have the comedic skills that’ll help them do well with this approach, others would be more subdued and joking would just come off as awkward and forced. Choose the approach that best works for you and the interviewer and stick with it. Flexibility is the name of the game here so be ready to adjust accordingly.
2. “Don’t tell a lie.”
It’s always a good idea to be truthful in all your dealings in life – after all, honesty is the best policy. Exaggerating, or worse, fabricating stories to make you seem more accomplished would do you no good while job hunting. Not only would you be painting a false picture of yourself to potential hirers, but HR always has a way of verifying the info you give them so you’re better off telling the truth. However, being honest doesn’t mean saying something inappropriate or controversial even if it’s the truth. It’s best to stay on the safe side, so avoid badmouthing your employer even when you’ve had the worst experience with him/her, and please avoid telling your interviewer about your strong opinions on controversial issues.
3. “Avoid asking about your salary during the job interview.”
Talking about money is often tricky, and a lot of candidates shy away from raising this issue during interviews. However, here’s a situation when talking about it can help do wonders for those involved.
More often than not, employers would actually come clean about how much they’re ready to offer job seekers from the get go. Have a look at the ads on our site and you’ll see lots of posts where salary information is offered to entice applications. Still, not all companies would do the same and there are still a few who would choose to withhold information on that subject. Knowing how much you’ll be earning is one of the factors you should consider before deciding to apply for a position, but what do you do if that crucial information is kept confidential during your search?
As with anything else in life, good timing is the key here. Hold off on raising this topic during the early stages of your application such as your first interview or screening, and wait until the interviewer raises the topic first. If not, then wait until you’re asked back for another interview before you can ask about pay. That’s because you’re already on better footing in the hiring process compared to when you were just starting out. Call backs at this phase means your chances of getting the role is getting better so salary concerns are more likely to be discussed at this point. There’s no need to be shy about opening up about your compensation and benefit needs at this stage.
4. “Mirror the words used from the job post and adopt the same to your cover letter and resume.”
Confused about what to put in your resume? This tip suggests using the same words and terms that appeared on the job ad on your resume and cover letter. It’s a way to present one’s self as the best match for the role. When done correctly – meaning it wasn’t overdone and was actually an accurate portrayal of your skills and experience – then this is a great tactic to adopt.
One of the best ways to approach this is to focus on the top three qualifications asked for by the job post and address the same three on your resume and cover latter. Make sure you have what they need and come up with your own pitch to promote yourself to the company. You can select a few terms and phrases from the post to incorporate into your documents but never try to copy them word for word.
5. “Don’t pester human resources about your application’s status.”
Of course no hirers want to deal with pesky inquiries or annoying candidates who would call day in and day out asking whether they were hired or not. But leaving everything to chance to wait around for a call isn’t the most productive thing for candidates to do as well. It’s perfectly fine to inquire about your application status after the interview, but do it with class and decorum. You might lose a shot at the job if you become that pesky job seeker every hirer would dread to deal with, so a quick respectful call or email would suffice in this situation.