When applying for a job, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the person about to interview you is also working for someone, be it for themselves, for clients or for their employers.
Recruiters Are Employees, Too
As an employee, your performance is measured by how well you do your job: Your pay is based on how productive you are, and your tenure is dependent on the ratio of people you hired over the number of those hires who quit. In short, recruiters also have to make sure that what they do translates to the bottomline of their companies, or they will suffer the same fate as the people they interview.
Forming Impressions Is Lightning-Quick
So, how do recruiters find the proverbial needle in a haystack? You can take first dibs on the recruiter’s cluttered desk piled high with applications by making an impactful first impression. “Evaluating social others requires processing complex information. Nevertheless, we can rapidly form an opinion of an individual during an initial encounter,” concluded Daniela Schiller, the lead author of the research paper titled “A Neural Mechanism of First Impressions.” The researchers argue that the human tendency to form opinions of others based on the first few seconds of the meeting is hardwired into our brains.
How To Make It Easy For Recruiters To Get YOU A Job
With that in mind, here’s how to make science work for us and make it easy for recruiters to spot a keeper in one sitting.
Charm Recruiters With The Walk
1. Dress the part. Research into the culture of the company whose lobby will likely be your work environment in the foreseeable future. If your prospective employer is into hedge fund management, coming across with your attire as somebody competent sends the message that you can be trusted with other people’s money.
Even if the job you apply for does not require you fiddling with other people’s wealth, conveying trustworthiness in how you dress leaves an initial impression that you will make a dependable addition to a company who banks on clients’ trust to keep the business going.
Dressing to impress also means that you should hand in an impeccable CV. Nothing says professional better than a grammatically spotless and easy-on-the-eyes resume. If you are not confident with coming up a convincing one, use a professionally crafted resume template to make things easier for you. It’s like food presentation: the more attractive your tray, the more appetizing your dish.
2. Arrive fresh. No matter how creaseless your suit or slicked back your hair, you wouldn’t ace the first impressions test if you come in looking haggard or hassled.
Dressing the part would also require you to put on your bravest front no matter how bad the traffic you had to endure to arrive on time, or desperate you are to get a job that you came to the interview without sleep. By leaving whatever mental baggage you have at the door, you will be able to focus on the immediate task at hand. After all, it’s not the recruiter’s business to listen to your tales of traffic or financial woes.
3. Charm everyone with a ready smile. You wouldn’t know if the person who opened the door for you would be the same person to determine your fate for the next few days (or years). So, smile at everyone you meet, and not just at the person who you thought was the receptionist but was actually the boss manning the front desk.
Engage Recruiters With The Talk
4. Use clear and concise language. It bears repeating that fillers do not only make you sound unprepared, they also easily annoy the listener. To minimize your tendency to rely on verbal nonsense, anticipate possible interview questions, and answer them in the clearest language possible. Simple and honest will do, because you don’t have to think of elaborate schemes to impress the other person.
5. Speak the interviewer’s language. Resist the temptation to make your recruiter feel clueless by industry jargon, or to pull ahead of him or her at a rate of a hundred words a minute (this is not a typing test).
By keeping pace with the recruiter’s rate of speech and choice of words, you unconsciously send out the signal that you are willing to adapt to your current environment and get the feel of things first before you make a spectacle of yourself. By being sensitive to your social weather, you convey skills that are essential when working with a team.
6. Show some personal color (but do not splash it to the recruiter all at once). It can be a boring job to speak to people who seem to be repeating the tired script of “Hire me, I’m great!” What makes you exactly great at what you do? Is it that rare ability to diffuse tense situations with well-timed humor? Or is it your fondness for mountain heights that allow you to look at problems from different perspectives?
7. Speak on an even keel. You can be enthusiastic without sounding over-stimulated (so go easy on coffee on the day of your interview) and eager to please the first recruiter you come across. In the same vein, sound composed even though you are desperate to land the job and on the verge of admitting defeat. No matter where you are in your emotional spectrum at the moment, the recruiter looks at you as a ‘product’ for possible placement.
You can be excited or anxious as you step into the interviewer’s office, but if you are able to compose yourself and come off as memorable while presenting your most relevant skills, you will have better chances of coming back as an employee.
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