Via a recruiter or direct application, having been reached out to directly or simply via a friend recommendation, you have started to discuss the possibility of working at a new company.
Congratulations, you are making good steps towards the next step in your career.
It’s very important as an applicant (or “candidate”) to manage the process successfully. Why? Well, for starters, it increases the chances of actually getting the job. Worst-case scenario, you don’t get the job but still make a very good impression, which will help you in the future.
Whatever the outcome, the importance of leaving a great impression should not be underestimated. Keep reading for some easy steps to ensure everyone involved in the process will remember you in a positive light.
The fact that you entered a recruitment process does not mean you should drop everything and only focus on that process. That said, your future should be equally important for you as the present (even a bit more important, in my opinion).
Expect to be asked availabilities for interviews during office working hours and don’t propose very late evenings or weekends when asked.
Of course, it’s not fair for your current employer to have an interview during the work day, so think about asking them if you can start work 1 hour late or finish 1 hour early one day. If that is not possible, maybe your lunch break could be a good time for a short interview.
The point is to make yourself available for interviews as much as possible (without any negative effects on your current workplace).
You need to communicate clearly and professionally across all channels with everyone involved, be it with the recruiter, HR Manager, CTO/CEO, etc.
Yes, you are busy, and so is everyone else. This is not an excuse for 1 line emails, poor grammar or taking interview calls in the middle of the street with busy traffic around you.
Particularly for software developers and programmers (maybe even more for other professionals), how well you communicate is equal, if not slightly more important, to your technical skills. The final assessment, the potential offer you will receive and how much you can negotiate all depend very much on your ability to communicate professionally.
Do take time to prepare for the interview, as much as possible. Even if you have been interviewed many times before, researching the company and the person you will be speaking too on LinkedIn and social media could give you an advantage (and it’s the minimum you should do!).
Being very good in your field is great; however, you need to remember they probably interviewed another 5 – 10 people with similar experience to yours. Why should they choose to offer you the job? How will you stand out from the other 5 PHP or Java Developers who applied for the position?
Be proactive. Research the company. Prepare a list of relevant questions. Actively match your skills with their requirements during the interview. Be nice.
We have explored ways in which to analyse an offer in other blog posts; however, it’s worth remembering a few ideas.
Firstly, the job you are taking will already have a huge influence on your next job(s). Be it the name (brand) of the company, salary level and other benefits, the projects you will be working on (and skills you will develop) or even the location; they will all determine your future career trajectory.
Try to refrain from focusing only on one aspect of the offer, such as the salary or a certain technology they use. Think well and assess each opportunity by all the aspects involved, before making a decision.
Remember that a certain degree of stability always helps. Making rushed decisions and changing jobs often during the course of a short period of time (12 – 18 months), will immediately raise questions from a potential employer who might have doubts regarding your commitment.
On a weekly basis, I have the opportunity to work with many IT professionals at different stages in their career.
The ones who are most successful always seem to be the ones who communicate very well and interact professionally.
It might be something they do naturally or something that they practice proactively. Either way, it’s something that we encourage each Caissa candidate to actively pursue, as part of our consultative approach.