tough callsOne of the hardest parts of being a recruiter is telling a candidate who is excited about joining a company that they didn’t pass the interview.

Almost every candidate I speak to right after they interview tells me that they thought the interview went great and that they would be a great match for the company.

That response has become so common for me that I cringe almost every time I hear it because (many times) when someone tells me that, it seems they never pass the interview.  This makes it harder for me to go back and tell them that they aren’t going to get their dream job.

While many candidates take the bad news in stride, others don’t.  Some have even become defensive and argumentative, saying things like, “why don’t you lose my resume” or, “feel free to never call me again.”

I even had one person email myself and the management team a downright nasty email and instead of signing it “sincerely”, he wrote, “not sincerely.”

But the one action that some candidates take that always amazes me is that some of them come back and attempt to prove to me why they should have gotten the job.  Many even proceed to give me supporting documentation which I am assuming in their mind correlates to why we must hire them.

Here’s what those candidates don’t seem to understand.  I’m not an appellate judge.  This isn’t a court of appeals.  By the time you have interviewed a recruiter has virtually no say in the manner of whether you get hired or not.

Stating your case to me at this point is akin to talking to yourself because you were already given your chance to prove yourself to the hiring manager and for whatever reason you failed to convince the hiring manager that you were the right person for the job.

We all know that in order to be successful in an interview you must thoroughly understand the company and the position for which you are applying to.

But during the interview, many candidates fail to understand what the hiring manager is really looking for in a candidate, why that experience is important, and what the hiring manager wants the candidate to accomplish.

If you are unable to understand what the hiring manager is looking for you will be unable to prove to the hiring manager how your background and capabilities will enable you to become successful for that particular position.

Some basic qualifying questions you can ask to help you understand the hiring manager’s expectations are:

  1. What are you looking for in a candidate, and what do they have to do in order to be successful?
  2. What do you hope to accomplish by filling this position?
  3. What are the major goals/initiatives you would like to see accomplished?

Once you have these questions answered make sure you go over how you and your past experience can help the hiring manager accomplish those goals. After you’ve done that test, close the interview by asking questions like:

  1. Is there anything else you would be looking for a candidate to do?
  2. From everything that I went over, does it seem like I’m the type of person you are looking for?

If the hiring manager pauses and doesn’t seem to want to answer, ask if there are any concerns and then address them.

Lastly, remember to send a thank you note.  Most people don’t do that anymore but it’s always a nice touch, and hiring managers always seem to remember who went out of their way to make a good impression.

Follow these steps so that hopefully no recruiter will be forced to listen to your meaningless appeal on why you should get the job-  because you will have already proven your worth to the hiring manager.

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