Are You Going To Lots of Job Interviews--But Not Getting Hired?: Learn The Hidden Reasons Employers May Be Rejecting You
Debra Angel MacDougall and Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park, authors of "The 6 Reasons You'll Get the Job" discuss the hidden reasons job applicants are screened out--and what you can do to stand out from the crowd.
Debra Angel MacDougall and Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park, authors of The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job: What Employers Look for -- Whether They Know It or Not discuss the hidden reasons why you may not be getting the jobs you are applying for.
Commitmentnow.com: What are some of the hidden reasons why a perfectly competent and qualified person won't get the job?
Debra Angel MacDougall and Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park: Most job seekers don’t realize that ability is seldom the reason people get hired. You can get screened out for lack of ability, but generally the top 3-5 candidates can all do the job, especially in this market.
The actual deciding factors are who the employer likes best, whose image and personality will attract customers or fit in with the team, who has access to a network that benefits the business, who already shares the company goals and is excited to help achieve them, or who they trust will look out for the company’s interest, not just their own.
To get the job offer, be pro-active about demonstrating ‘fit’ in these areas as well as competency and qualification.
Commitmentnow.com: What are the six reasons that enable a person to stand out and get the job they want?
Debra and Elisabeth: There are six areas employers assess, consciously or sub consciously, when decide who to hire and promote -- Presentation, Ability, Dependability, Motivation, Attitude and Network (PADMAN for short).
Each employer may prioritize them differently, but you will be judged in all six whether you are seeking a cleaning job, management position, or something else.
The six reasons are not particularly surprising, but how employers define them is. The key to getting hired is highlighting your selling points and minimizing potential problems in each area.
Commitmentnow.com: How does thinking like everyone else keep a person unemployed?
Debra and Elisabeth: Fear is the most common barrier job seekers face. Many of us doubt our worth, or at least our ability to convince others of it. Understandably, fear can lure us to job search in safe, traditional ways like the rest of the crowd, but in doing so, we get lost in the crowd. We suggest facing your fears and trying something new.
There are many ways to reduce fear around job searching, from taking a class or joining a group focused on getting hired, educating yourself about current search techniques and job opportunities, or getting a mentor or accountability partner.
When you feel overwhelmed, pick 3 simple things to do and when they are done, pick 3 more. You’ll be surprised at how many things you’ve done by the end of the day. You may even integrate exercise, journaling, prayer or meditation into your job search routine.
Once you’ve begun to manage your fear, you must think differently about job search, and search differently.
We recommend thinking like the employer (not your competition), targeting opportunities in the hidden job market and using side door techniques to meet and impress the person with the power to hire before you let them know you’re job searching.
Commitmentnow.com: What are some of the reasons a person is 'screened out'?
Debra and Elisabeth: Much of the ‘hiring’ process is spent screening people out, and in this market many people are competing for each job. Only 3-8 applicants from each stack of 100 or 400 resumes submitted will ever be seen by the person with the power to hire.
All the others are screened out by staff or computers that only have the power to reject us. Because of this, there are many reasons we get screened out, from being over-qualified or under-qualified, lacking the ‘right’ personality or image to lacking the right network.
They include criminal conviction, poor health, poor manners, and having been fired to lesser-discussed reasons like employer bias against a group you belong to.
We have identified over 250 reason we get screened outs. The good news is that all of them can be overcome using the 6 proven solution techniques in ‘The 6 Reasons’ which we wrote to help people get a job now. For every barrier issue you can name, there are people working in good jobs today who have faced and overcome it!
Commitmentnow.com: What are some tips on making a good presentation?
Debra and Elisabeth: A good presentation starts with the company and job you want to work for. Each employer defines it differently so find out how the companies you are pursuing define a ‘good presentation’.
Remember, presentation is not just what you wear, but how you wear it, hygiene, body language, and verbal skills, as well as eye contact, handshake, and how you carry yourself.
Employers hire positive, confident people, so it’s important to project positive confidence ... even if you have to fake it until you feel it.
TIP: Want to be seen as promotable from the start? From the first interaction with the employer, dress as if you are going for a job one level up from the job you are pursuing. A few cautions: 1) Don’t dress two or three levels up or you’ll look like you don’t belong in the job. 2) If you could be perceived as over-qualified, then simply dress for the job you want to counter negative assumptions about you.
Commitmentnow.com: Why is it important to look and act like you 'belong' at a company?
Debra and Elisabeth: Employers tell us that it’s easier to teach skills than fit. So, if you don’t prove you fit with their company and team, they’ll hire someone who does, even if it means providing some training. On the flip side, if you prove your fit and aptitude before they discover your lack of skills, they will often provide training.
Discover the company culture (their PADMAN) by:
· talking with current or past employees, vendors, or customers
· visiting the work site as a customer, or friend of an employee, or someone picking up an application
· calling HR or the department manager and asking questions about their unique needs
· reviewing their website, marketing materials, and Google search results
Commitmentnow.com: What are some annoying things a person could unknowingly do that ruins their chance of getting the job?
Debra and Elisabeth: Every employer will have their own pet peeves but, here are some things that annoy most employers -- being late or having to leaving early, smelling of alcohol or appearing under the influence of drugs, texting, taking calls, or not silencing your cell phone and chewing gum, eating, smoking or smelling of cigarettes during the interview, blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing before shaking hands, interrupting or contradicting the employer, talking too long (interviews should be conversations), sharing inappropriate stories, jokes or comments, swearing, and name dropping too much (keep it to 2 names per interview).
Commitmentnow.com: How can a person appear to be dependable?
Debra and Elisabeth: Employers will assume you give your best in the interview, and that it goes downhill from there.
Arrive on time, 5-15 minutes before the appointment, by doing a dry-run the day before if you are unsure how to get there where to park.
Share your great attendance record from a past job (‘I missed only 3 days in 5 years’) or why they can expect that type of reliability from you if you’re hired.
If you are the mother of small children and the employer finds out, share your childcare plan to minimize their concern that you will be absent every time your child is sick or school is out.
Dependability goes deeper than attendance and time keeping. It’s about working in the employer’s best interest which includes completing tasks on time, delivering what you promise, doing quality work, being honest and trustworthy, only speaking positively about your company and boss, and much more.
To get hired, demonstrate dependability throughout the hiring process, and share stories and accomplishments that highlight your dependability.
Commitmentnow.com: What if a person has a lousy job record, but wants to make a good impression and secure a second chance -- what can they do to deflect a bad work record?
Debra and Elisabeth: What caused your lousy job record and why won’t it happen again? If you haven’t resolved the issue that caused the problem it may recur. Once you are clear on why it won’t happen again, craft a good answer that minimizes the employer’s concern while reinforcing what they gain by hiring you. We suggest the step-by-step process in ‘The 6 Reasons’.
If your work history highlights your bad record, avoid submitting applications which will only get you screened out in the first round, and find ‘side doors’ that allow employers to get to know you and like the ‘new you’ before they learn about your flaky past. Employers often trust their intuition, so if they like you many will give you a second chance.
Commitmentnow.com: What is your advice for Moms who have been out of the workforce for more than three years and are feeling pretty nervous about getting out there again?
Debra and Elisabeth: Fortunately, employers are less concerned about this issue than many others. Their major concern is whether you are reliable. So acknowledge their concern, share your childcare plan (including when the children are sick or out of school), and remind them of what they will gain which counters any risk they are taking. Unsure what they will gain to outweigh the risk?
Consider how you can demonstrate you fit their PADMAN:
· Presentation: Do you offer the presentation, maturity, and manners that will appeal to their customer base, or reflect their company image?
· Attitude: Are you excited about going back to work, and encountering new challenges and new people? Does your personality reflect their customer base?
· Dependability: Do you have a childcare plan? Have your activities as a mom required you to manage time well so everyone gets where they need to be on time?
· Motivation: Can you show that you are current in the field by the articles you have read, seminars you have attended, or hobbies you’ve taken up? If not, read, attend or do it now.
· Ability: Are you eager to do your best, and learn their way? Do you have examples of similar activities in your personal or past work life that demonstrate you have the aptitude to learn quickly?
· Network: do you represent their target market? Could you attract their target market?
To Purchase "The 6 Reasons You'll Get the Job" click here.
About The Authors: Debra Angel MacDougall is the founder and president of WorkNet International Inc.
Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park is the president of WorkNetSolutions. Visit the authors at www.worknet-international.com