In October 2009, with 10% unemployment, and fierce competition, finding a job was a struggle for many. Now unemployment is at a low 3.9%, but job hunting is taking longer than ever. In the United States, it takes an average of 24 days to go from applicant to employee, with multiple interviews and interactions along the way.
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Why is the job hunting so much harder? With new technologies to filter through resumes, recruitment through social media and internet job boards, candidates have a hard time standing out from the crowd. Cover letters are nearly obsolete, and often go unread after being filtered through screening software. More than half of job seekers, both young and old, don’t bother to write a cover letter anymore. Here’s what to do when you finally land an interview:
The fundamental rules of interviewing remain unchanged. Arrive a few minutes early, but not too early, and never be late. Dress appropriate and show good hygiene. Talk about yourself in a positive manner, but don’t exaggerate your experience. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet in the company, and avoid distractions.
Everyone should know better than to answer their phone in the middle of an interview, you might consider leaving it in your car or turned off to avoid the temptation to check any messages or notifications. Whatever you decide, keep your phone out-of-sight while your visiting the company. Checking Facebook while your waiting for the interviewer may seem harmless, but it can look unprofessional to recruiters.
Saying something dumb in a job interview is sure way to get yourself disqualified. Avoid asking about pay before the interviewer brings it up. Don’t complain about your old boss or coworkers. Ask thoughtful questions that show your interest in the company. And be careful about complimenting others, so your remarks won’t be misunderstood.
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to think about how to show the interviewer you’re a good fit for the company. Show you can be a good fit for the company culture by being personable and easy to talk to. Getting to know a bit about the company before your interview is a great way to show your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The more you know about the company, the easier time you’ll have showing the interviewer you’re a good fit.
Read this infographic for more interview tips.