Win your way to an Interview

Ange Connor

Making an outstanding impression and getting noticed when applying for a job isn’t just about nailing your application and then acing the interview. The recruiter is or has made assessments about you and your suitability for a position before they even read your application and before they meet with you for an interview. Standing out from the crowd at this stage of the recruitment process is key to ensuring you are invited in for an interview and make a memorable impression on the recruiter. That way you’ll leave the recruiter looking forward to meeting you at interview instead of leaving them with doubt in their mind before you even come face to face.

Here’s my top tips for making a positive impression and winning your way to an interview:

Ring and enquire about the job BUT ask intelligent questions 

I know everyone knows to ring the person who is listed on the bottom of the job advert, however so few people make the effort to do so and then even less people execute that conversation well. Don’t simply call and ask questions that you could answer yourself from what’s detailed in the job advert. For example, I often get asked how do I apply? This one always concerns me as it’s clearly stated on the bottom of the advert, that’s not making a positive impression. This is your opportunity to ask a couple of really intelligent questions that shows me you have done your research and gives me an insight in to you and what you have to offer. You want to leave the recruiter wanting to know more so they are looking out for your application to come through.

Follow the instructions on how to apply 

I’m not a fan of the “apply now” buttons on online job boards where you can simply shoot off the generic resume you have uploaded as part of your profile. In my opinion if you are genuinely interested in the position you’ll submit an application that shows you have made an effort to tailor your application. A couple of lines typed into notepad and submitted with your resume does not count as a covering letter and it looks appalling. If there is a PD available; get it. If it says to submit a resume AND covering letter submit both and make sure the covering letter is specific to the position you are applying for. If it says submit a key selection criteria response, as painful as they are, you have to do it. If you don’t follow the instructions on how to apply it’s not worth your time clicking that apply now button, you are setting yourself up to receive an unsuccessful letter.

Be on the ball and ready for the recruiters call 

If you are applying for jobs you need to be prepared for the recruiters call at any time. Chances are they are going to call out of the blue and either ask to arrange an interview time or ask to have a chat to you about your application. Sounding vague or distracted is not going to help your chances of getting to the next stage. If you have been caught off guard or if it’s a bad time its ok to say so. Simply ask if you can call them back at another time, schedule the time and make sure you call them back. The quickest way to destroy your chances at this stage is by saying something like “sorry which job is this, I’ve applied for 20 this week can you read me out the job advert or tell me what this job is doing.” This kind of comment makes me want to hang up the phone on the spot, a recruiter wants to see that you are genuinely interested in the job you have applied for.

Applying for jobs and going through the recruitment process can be hard work and time consuming, sometimes it feels like a full time job in itself. However if you want to stand out from the crowd and win your way to an interview it’s the little things that count and make a difference. Make sure the recruiter remembers you for all the right reasons.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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