How can a job candidate make a lasting impression and stand out during a mass hiring process?
Looking to make a career move or just getting started in this turbulent job market? You know nailing the interview is crucial, but do you know how one goes about doing just that? Making a strong impression is imperative to landing the position of your dreams, and these 12 recruiters and hiring professionals shared exactly what they’re looking for in a candidate during those precious moments.
- Do Your Homework
- Personalize your Follow-up Message
- Think Like an Applicant Tracking System
- Flip the Script
- Recognize the Hiring Manager’s Previous Work
- Leverage Video & Social Media in your Communications
- Reference & Offer Solutions to Company Challenges
- Find & Reinforce a Connection
- Be Sure to Send a ‘Thank You’
- Always Arrive Early to Every Interview
- Tell a Relevant & Useful Story
- Align Yourself with the Corporation’s Core Values
Do Your Homework
If you’re trying to stand out in the crowd of candidates applying during a mass hiring event, do your best to research as much information as possible before your interview process. Learn about the company’s culture and values and tailor your answers to reflect how you can make a great fit for the team.
Also do as much research into the hiring event itself to see which individuals from the company are conducting interviews. This way you can figure out great questions to ask the interviewers at the end of the interview to show your initiative and real interest in the organization.
Brandon Brown, GRIN
Personalize your Follow-up Message
After your interview, it’s best practice to follow up with your interviewer, especially if you want to stand out among other candidates. Send an email thanking them for taking the time to chat with you, but personalize it a bit. Bring up something that stood out from the interview, such as what you learned about the company’s culture. Or, if the interviewer mentioned something about going on vacation soon, wish them safe travels and a fun vacation. LinkedIn is also a great place to connect with the recruiter. The point is to keep the relationship going even past the interview, as this shows you’re truly invested in the position and the company.
Jacob Dayan, Community Tax
Think Like an Applicant Tracking System
Most companies that do mass hiring rely on an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) Keyword Research function to go through the resumes of thousands of applicants, so make sure your resume is optimized and relevant to the job position you’re applying for. Include keywords lifted directly from the job posting.
To optimize your resume, think like an ATS: look at the job description and make sure each sentence contains at least one of those keywords; use numbers wherever possible (e.g., 10 years of experience); include any special skills or certifications that may be mentioned in the description; include metrics wherever possible (e.g., $1 million in sales). Getting hired requires first being noticed, which cannot happen unless your resume is accepted.
Gerrid Smith, Joy Organics
Flip the Script
Turn the tables. Have a list of questions prepared to ask the hiring manager. The more questions the better. That way, if some of them are answered during the interview, you still have some left over to ask. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than a candidate who comes prepared and who has clearly done their homework.
Feel free to ask not only role-specific questions, but also questions about the company and the interviewer themselves. Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. While a company is trying to make sure you’re a good fit, you should be determining if they’re a good fit for you.
Isaiah Henry, Seabreeze Management
Recognize the Hiring Manager’s Previous Work
To leave a lasting impression, establish admiration for the hiring manager. For example, compliment them on previous work, such as planning a large-scale event, getting published in a top-tier publication, or even something as small as an earlier LinkedIn post. Professionals rarely get recognized enough for their accomplishments—this is a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd and be memorable.
Cesar Cruz, Sebastian Cruz Couture
Leverage Video & Social Media in your Communications
Level up your communications if you want to stand out in a mass hiring process by utilizing video and social media posts. If you send a resume and cover letter, include a link to a one- to two-minute video where you introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Personalize this so they know you have genuine interest in the company and position.
If you’ve got a few bucks, subscribe to a video email service that generates an animated email to embed in your email to drive more clicks to the video. Additionally, engage some of their social media posts. The hiring manager may not see your comments, but other stakeholders at the company may notice them. This could help you to build rapport with various decision-makers and give you the edge you need.
Dennis Consorte, Snackable Solutions
Reference & Offer Solutions to Company Challenges
Inquire about the most significant challenges faced by the company, and reference back to these problems throughout the interview process. This displays your ability to be a team player and eagerness to collaborate to improve the organization. Interviews are no different than marketing a product—sell your skills by addressing company problems and sharing unique solutions.
Breanne Millette, BISOULOVELY
Find & Reinforce a Connection
One way of standing out, and making an interviewer remember you, can be to find some commonality, and way of building a connection. You may by chance see something on the wall when you’re waiting at reception, or in the office when you go in, which can act as a conversation starter. Maybe they studied at a specific university? Maybe they come from the same city as your grandparents? It doesn’t have to be something major, but that little bit of commonality may make all the difference.
Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen, Formula Swiss
Be Sure to Send a ‘Thank You’
After completing an interview be sure to send a thank you message. This is especially effective in a mass hiring process because a simple ‘thank you’ brings the candidate back into the mind of the hiring manager or recruiter after the interview process is over. The easiest way to do this is to write a short email or LinkedIn direct message to the interviewer reiterating your excitement for the role, what you will bring to the table, and the process moving forward.
Also, the thank you does not need to be as traditional as sending a letter. Candidates can send a ‘thank you’ accompanied by coffees or donuts for the office, but be sure to not go overkill. Strike while the iron is hot, and be sure to send that thank you within 24 hours of the interview.
Bryor Mosley, Southern New Hampshire University
Always Arrive Early to Every Interview
One of the best tips for a job candidate to make a lasting impression and stand out during a mass hiring process is to arrive early to every interview. Many job candidates still tend to forget this important principle even today!
When you arrive 10-15 minutes early to an interview, this shows not only the interviewer that you’re eager, professional, and ready for applying to the position, but it also brings the possibility that a person who works there will notice and reference your punctuality to other co-workers later. Being early to an interview also shows your punctuality which is a huge asset for interviewers as they will realize you can be this punctual and professional as a member of their team, which can increase business reputation and success.
Amy Adlerstein, Canvas People
Tell a Relevant & Useful Story
Every interviewer’s nightmare is separating grain from chaff in a mass hiring process. That’s why, apart from routine preparations, it’s most important for a candidate to find a way to make a lasting impression on the interview panel and stand out from the rest of the run-of-the-mill candidates.
Based on my experience, I feel the one best tip for a candidate to achieve this is to don the robe of a master storyteller and relate a unique experience from his earlier workplace that underlines some of his best qualities like cognitive thinking, on-the-spot decision-making, skill to convince others (superiors/colleagues) and ability to endure tough situations. The approach also proves helpful in processes where freshers are hired. Here, a candidate can speak of some grave situation from his school days or a medical emergency in his family he had to handle independently. This will convey how his abilities were tested to the fullest and how he came out a winner.
Pravin Walunjkar, Swapnil Pate SEO
Align Yourself with the Corporation’s Core Values
The most effective strategy to stand out during a mass hiring process is to consider how your values align with the corporation’s core values. When you conduct research on a company and its brand, you will be able to learn about the core values of the organization, such as whether it prioritizes equality in the workplace, sustainability, determination, etc. You can use this to your advantage by evaluating what skills and experiences you have that match the company and its values.
For example, if one of the core values of the organization you’re applying to is communication, you can highlight experiences such as successful team leadership or working with a team remotely in your interview or on your resume. The employer will recognize that you share the same values, which can truly help you stand out in the process.
Rameez Usmani, The Stock Dock