When all is said and done, how you communicate during the recruitment process will have a great influence on whether or not you are the successful candidate. This will certainly hold true in highly interpersonal roles (such as sales or customer service). It may be less relevant in technical roles, but it will still play a very large in how suitable you are perceived as a candidate.
The great thing about this is that each and every candidate has the opportunity to really positively impact their application through the way they communicate during the recruitment process. Professional, positive and thoughtful communication can potentially advance a candidates application beyond those who are more qualified and experienced. On the flip side difficult, vague and negative communication can negatively impact even the strongest resume.
Here are some examples of good and bad communication that can have an impact on your application.
Communication that positively impacts your application:
Answering the phone in a positive and professional manner. First. Impressions. Count. If you have applied for a job expect and be prepared for the “unknown number” to be a recruiter. Answer the phone and speak positively – tone is more important than words.
Showing interest in the recruiter/manager and company beyond what’s on the company careers page. Search online to find relevant news and profile information about your interviewer and their company. Work this into your interview to build rapport and show your high level of interest as a candidate.
Asking for honest feedback, and really mean it. Candidates who show an understanding that they have flaws give a great impression of their own self-awareness, and suggests they will take on feedback and training well.
Having a thankful attitude. Thank the recruiter for calling you, thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet you. Follow up with an email 24 hours later to thank them again. It shows your positive side, your polite manners and puts you in a really positive light.
Communication that negatively impacts your application:
Making it difficult to be reached. Recruitment activity is often fast paced with many moving parts, so being hard to reach can mean you don’t even make it to the phone interview stage.
Being slow to follow up. If the recruiter or line manager is waiting for you to get back to them with information (e.g. availability to meet or reference details), taking too long and needing to be prompted will frustrate them and give the impression you are not organised, or not interested.
Being vague or inconsistent with information. As a candidate it is important that you speak confidently. Know the specific dates of employment and provide specific examples of work completed. Conflicting dates or vague answers will leave the interviewer suspicious.
Speaking negatively about anything. Never “bag out” your previous employer, and avoid complaining or telling the recruiter how to do their job. Vent your frustrations to your friends, not to your interviewer.
As a job seeker remember that every interaction you have during the recruitment process leaves the employer with an impression. Embrace this and use it to your advantage – you have the opportunity to really improve your chances through professional, positive and thoughtful communication.
The Candidate Coach