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Keeping Your Cool in Job Interviews; Twice as many Interviews per Placement vs. Pre-Recession

More applicants (than in previous years) for each position makes the process difficult for the applicant as well as the employer. Companies are now more reluctant than ever to hire essentially due to economic uncertainty and the hopes of finding an employee meeting a mile-long list of requirements (also known as a purple squirrel). Stress is high on both sides of a process that now takes longer than ever.

As companies cut budgets, the budgets for recruiting have also been cut; more recruiting is done by people less experienced in interviewing versus the pre-recession interviewing process . Budgets for training are also minimized. Employers are searching for an employee who will require no training despite the fact that a period of adjustment including lower productivity is inevitable.

Hiring managers, whose positions and departments may be threatened by poor hiring decisions, often minimize risk by not hiring—even after several rounds of interviews. This wastes the time of the interviewer and the interviewee.

Eight interviews for a position that would have required three or four (prior to the recession), is becoming the new normal.

Many interview questions, in an effort to be quirky, are rather demeaning to the applicant. For example: “How many cows are in Canada?” Employers are in the power position and have nothing to lose by requiring applicants to jump through numerous hoops.

Practices vary by company, industry, and location; although the number of interviews is higher, many of the interviews are even longer. Getting through the process during normal, pre-recession circumstances was trying, but with increased frequency and length of interviews, applicants are finding the stress difficult to manage.

These changes to your mindset may not only help you deal with the stress; your positive attitude can set you apart—improving your chances of being the winning candidate.

  • The odds are in your favor: You’re still being considered for the position. Instead of dreading a fifth interview, consider the fact that it means you’re still in the running and closer to winning.
  • 75% of applicants didn’t even hear back from the employer in 2012. Not only were you contacted, you’re still being considered.
  • You still have a chance: Budget cuts mean employers need to minimize activities that hurt productivity. Time is money, and they wouldn’t spend time with you if there was no value to spending time with you.
  • You still have some control over this process. Making yourself the best candidate is easy when you’re prepared. Knowing your strengths, how these qualities can benefit your employer, and how to present this information in response to your interview questions (to highlight why you’re the best choice) is what takes you from qualified candidate to employee.

Knowing what sets you apart from other qualified candidates is made easier with assistance. Contact CrossRoads at 317-842-8881 for a FREE consultation.