By Shea Ki
Did you know that the same moves you use to have a great night out on the town could help you get a job? Focus on these actions next time you need to get past the pre-screening process many employers now have in place.
Gain VIP access.
You often need to pass through an assessment online or an initial interview to get invited to a more in-depth interview. This screening may be on the phone with a recruiter, done with an assessment taken online, or a combination of both.
TAKE YOUR TIME at this level.
Do not let your frustration with the long and often boring pre-screening process get the best of you.
Keep your mood up and your patience strong. It may help to remind yourself of the celebration you will have when you cross the finish line to that job offer.
Be nice to the bouncer.
Every encounter leaves an impression. When you arrive at the job interview online or in person, be kind and smile to anyone you interact with. From the receptionist to those in the lobby, you need to be "on".
Many companies organize the interview so that you will cross paths with possible co-workers or other company representatives. By being friendly and still professional (not too chatty or too shy), you will help ensure your first impression is positive all around.
Bring proof of positive ID.
Besides your license or State identification card, there is something else just as important not to forget before and at a job interview. The employer is looking to confirm that you have a reputation for being reliable, adaptable, and trainable. Practice before the interview with someone that will give you objective and helpful feedback. This is the number one way you will be able to confidently share how you have been responsible, taken on a new situation, and learned new skills.
Employers also to want to make sure that your identity on social media is not all about partying, being sexy, or any risky behaviors. As soon as you start applying for jobs, be sure to do a social media detox. Clean up what you can that is out there publicly in the lands of Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter as well as when you "google" your name.
Secure your valuables.
Companies should not be collecting sensitive information such as your social security number unless you are at the point of being hired. Also be aware that questions about age, disabilities, and political affiliation may not be illegal, but are highly inappropriate for them to ask you.
Not all employers know where to draw the line. You can get past awkward moments by redirecting the interviewer back to your reasons why they should be selecting you.
Make sure they play your jam.
The employers and recruiters are running the show, but you can usually add to the playlist of what is being discussed. If a question does not come up that lets you share your strengths and value to the employer, create the opportunity.
One way to do this in the pre-screening phase is to have a closing prepared. Be sure at the end to wrap up the initial interview or formal assessment with a brief reminder (10-15 seconds) of WHAT SKILLS AND POSITIVITY you will be bringing to the position.
Don't leave when its getting good.
A sign that the job interview is almost over is when the employer asks you if you have any questions about the position. Often I've seen candidates so glad that the interview is over that they almost rush out of the door or zip right off of Skype! Instead, be sure to ask the employer at least two or three questions that help you gain more insight about the position.
This simple yet often skipped action helps you confirm if the position is right for you. Asking appropriate questions also shows the employer that you are engaged in finding out what is needed to do your best on the job.
Get contact info before "last call".
Be sure you do not walk out without asking for the contact information of those that interviewed you. You will need it for that genuine follow-up message you will be sending shortly after your FINAL job interview. In this rush-rush world, a sincere thank you email to often helps boosts your first impression. So many others will forgot to do it, not take the time, or assume it does not matter. A costly error.
Your thank-you note will make a positive impact when it includes gratitude for their time, something new you learned about the company during the interview process, and a specific reminder of how you will add value to their company. A thank you note to an employer should not be sent via text (email or hand-written is more professional). Spellcheck it before you hit that send button or put that stamp on it.
You will know you are past the pre-screening level when you receive notice of your next appointment. Don't put those feet up yet! You are closer but not in the "hired" club yet.
Use the time in between pre-screening and the next level of interviewing to prepare further. You can also read about ways to avoid tanking your job interview from a mini-series I recently wrote for Youth Time magazine.
Your turn: Discuss and share your tips or questions in the "Comments" below.
What tips do you have for getting past the pre-screening process of employers?
What have you noticed that is changing about the tools that employers are using for pre-screening?
Most of all, believe in you.
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