I wrote an article the other week discussing interviews and how companies were going about them; and therefore, candidates should change the way they look at them, prepare for them and get them! You can read that article here.
Today, however, I’m going to talk about the process of screening candidates. Traditionally, when a company is sifting through their short list of potential candidates they do a screening test to see if anything untoward, something that went unnoticed or unmentioned crops up, and this is easier to do than you might think. However, companies have shifted this process from the post-interview stage to the pre-interview stage in many cases. But what does this mean for candidates looking for a new job? It means you’re not going to get an interview, even if you truly believe you are the very best person on this earth for that job, if there is anything online that could be seen as damaging.
Companies don’t want to waste their time interviewing people who are not suitable, so recruiters (either internal or external to the company) are spending more and more time on the preparation stages of job interviews, ensuring that only the very best candidates get to interview. But what kind of things could be seen as damaging? Well, times do change and whilst drinking alcohol was once a big ‘no no’, it is now looked at much more lightly, but only within reason; a picture of you passed out on the floor of a nightclub probably won’t go down well, but one of you enjoying a cold beer on holiday should be fine.
As I discussed in the previous article you must look at the interview as a bigger process than the 20 or so minute chat you might get to have with a company, and also you must look at it from their point-of-view. By doing this you’ll be preparing yourself for every eventuality, pre interview and during. Think about how you would want to seen and ensure that everything is done to make this a reality. If your Facebook profile is public and has status updates, comments or pictures that could be damaging then delete them, or at least prevent them from being in any way public – you can always change this once you’ve landed a job; companies have much more leniency on employees once they’ve gotten to know them. Clean up your LinkedIn profile – a valuable tool in your job search. Search for yourself on Google (other search engines are available) and see what comes up. Anything not-so-desirable? Delete it! And if you can’t, well, do your best to prepare yourself for it being addressed in the interview, if you get that far.
Next week I will be discussing how best you can deal with job rejections, so that article will help you to better understand the steps that you can take if you have found yourself more than once in a situation with no job and no interviews.
In the mean time, share your experiences with us by commenting below!