1) Willingness to go the extra mile (literally): It’s a tough job market out there and, while interviews can be done these days by phone or even Sykpe, it’s always more effective to meet face-to-face. Candidates who live in a different city from where the job is and take the initiative to get on a bus/train/plane to come interview in person show a true desire to get the position. Recently, I saw two potential hires who did just this — took the bus from their hometowns, each four hours away from New York City, to show up in the flesh for an interview. Another one, who was a plane ride away, offered to fly in for an interview in case her distance would affect her chances of being hired.
2) More than just a working knowledge of the company: It’s so easy now to pull up a company’s website, set up a Google alert to push relevant news into your inbox and/or follow the company or its officials on Twitter. You can also look up your interviewer on LinkedIn or Twitter to find out his or her professional and personal background/interests. Just don’t bring up every detail you read in the interview (i.e. How’s your daughter feeling? I understand she was sick.) or you’ll seem like a stalker. But coming prepared with information about the company, its recent announcements and what makes it unique and you’ll demonstrate an enthusiasm and genuine interest in working there in particular (versus just wanting a new job).
3) Mastery of the English language: Sounds obvious, right? Well, I’m serious. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve received a cover letter, resume or thank you e-mail with spelling or grammar mistakes in it or had a job candidate curse or use bad grammar in an interview. Recent examples include a note with “you’re” spelled as “your”; a cover letter that said “I am a highly motivated individual who possesexcellent communication skills” (um, maybe not!); and the much-too-frequent use of the phrase “me and her.” All of the above are instant turnoffs. Keep in mind that anything you write or say to a potential employer should be carefully worded and crafted so you come across as intelligent and well-spoken. Have someone else read it before you hit send or, if you can’t do that, set it aside for an hour or a day and then read it aloud. Whatever you do, don’t rely on spell-check alone.
4) Persistence (in a positive way): Again, you don’t want to be a stalker but following up with an e-mail and/or a handwritten thank you note is a good idea and will keep you top-of-mind for a potential employer. Checking in on the status of the hiring process or offering to come back in and meet with other members of the team demonstrates that you’re truly interested in the position. If you read a positive article about the company where you’re interviewing, it doesn’t hurt to drop a note to the HR person or interviewer you met with to congratulate them — it shows that you’re doing your research and staying up on company/industry news.
Article written by Jessica Kleiman and posted by Quay Appointments.