Every co-worker and customer alike eventually meets that one employee that begs the questions, “How did you get this job? If you were the one they hired, what were the rejects like?” Sometimes, those are not exactly unfair questions. Employees should embody a company’s values and culture. After all, customers will inevitably perceive them as brand representatives bearing the management’s full faith, confidence and endorsement. Therefore, if you can confidently sum up your company’s core goals and principles in 60 seconds or less at the drop of a hat, you actually already have a solid understanding will or will not leave a sterling impression and add value to your team. Fortunately, those golden qualities have likely already shone through from the time each candidate submitted a resume.
A perfect cover letter will respect the hiring manager’s time by describing the position each candidate wants to fill, why that individual fits the company’s needs perfectly and exactly how they will fulfill the job’s requirements on a dependable basis in around 250 words. The shorter, the better. A dash of unique personality never hurts, but this isn’t an autobiography. Hiring managers often peruse dozens of resumes when filling staff shortages. Anything more than a half-page introduction to the actual CV is likely overkill and filler, as is excessively formal language and passages that suggest disingenuous enthusiasm in place of having actually researched what the company stands for in its field. There is a fine art to making a compelling case as the single best-qualified candidate for the job without underselling one’s finer attributes or, at the opposite extreme, thinking this interview will really be all about the candidate personally instead of what the candidate can bring to your team.
Applicants who complete tangible, practical sample projects demonstrating their skill sets in a similar setting to the jobs they want to fill belong at the top of any shortlist for interviews. They have clearly demonstrated an appreciation for tailoring their actions as though what they want is already theirs and will likely hit the ground running from the first day on the job. Actions speak exponentially louder than words, and a portfolio of representative work says, “I care more about accurately representing exactly what I can do than impressing you with my college transcripts, sycophantic praise for your business or even my meticulously worded resume. Why tell you what I can do when I can show you directly?”
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The MBTI test was originally conceived during World War II to help women enter the most satisfying careers possible during the global conflict and beyond. When properly applied today, it remains a valuable tool for determining whether the foundation of a candidate’s personality indicates a strong likelihood of success in a given job. It doesn’t predict or guarantee performance. Results are not foolproof. Most importantly, the MBTI test should not definitively make a hiring decision for you. By applying nascent psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s personality theories, this tool designed to help people better understand themselves can certainly help you better understand how to help an employee succeed, identify ways to help teams work together more effectively and promote hiring diversity over discrimination while still meeting virtually all contemporary requirements for useful psychological tests.
Saying “Thank You”
What happens after an interview can say as much about a candidate’s character as anything the individual could say before or during your meeting. Reminding an interviewer of a conversation about filling a job will make the particulars of a candidate’s impression and the interview itself easier to recall. A simple thank-you note can also clarify any missteps or forgotten bullet points that might have otherwise wounded a potential hire’s chances of landing the job. However, that simple, respectful show of gratitude conveys professionalism and respect that deserve to open the door for future communication. After the interview, the candidate might have even gained a deeper understanding of what the job entails and wish to further elaborate on what they can bring to your team. No matter the setting, there is nothing wrong with refining one’s stance based on newly acquired information. That is the mark of not only a stellar employee but the stuff of great leadership.
No hiring process is perfect. Candidates will sometimes read exactly what a manager wants and say all the right things but conceal fatal personality flaws until their actions make them impossible to overlook. That doesn’t make every interview a complete gamble. Discerning high-quality job candidates often comes down to paying attention to an interviewee’s performance at each step and knowing how to assess the sum of their parts once the screening gauntlet has concluded.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.