And now a break from the usual Digital Media posts. Today we’re going to talk to you about the interview process.
As a recruiter at L2TMedia, my job is to identify the right candidate for the right role. Regardless of whether or not someone gets the job, my goal is to ensure that every interaction throughout the interview process is a good experience for everyone involved. My recruiting style is a direct reflection of my personal experience as a candidate as well as a hiring manager, so I’d like to share some tips to help provide a great experience from the other side of the interview desk.
Qualifications Matter – Most job descriptions are written to grab your attention and to make you want to join a team. However, the second part of the job description is equally important. The qualifications section is where an employer lists the things a candidate needs in order to be successful in the role.
Job descriptions are reviewed and re-written as jobs change but employers know who will be successful in a role. If your experience doesn’t reflect the qualifications listed in the job description, you may not be the right fit. But if you believe that other experience you’ve listed is relevant to the qualifications we need, make a note of that in your cover letter to explain why. Yes, I read every single cover letter that is submitted, always.
Details Matter – I know this seems like a no brainer but you’ve likely seen posts on LinkedIn from HR professionals calling out candidates for spelling or grammar errors and I’ll repeat it. All jobs require some kind of an attention to detail and thus, paying attention to spelling and grammar and formatting are very important. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, have a friend or family member look over your resume or application before submitting it.
Fill In The Blanks – While the workforce increasingly becomes more flexible regarding an employee’s physical location, unless it is noted in the job posting that the position can be done remotely, assume that a position is on-site in the location listed in the posting.
If you don’t live within a reasonable commute of that location, please include a cover letter to let me know that you are open to relocation for this position.
Fill In The Blanks Part Two – Do you have a large gap between jobs? Are there are lot of short stints on your resume? These could be seen as “red flags” in a quick review by a recruiter or hiring manager. When I struggled after being laid off three times in three years during the recession, I knew this didn’t look good so I added (laid off due to company downsizing) or (company closed) next to my end dates as a means to quickly explain what could look like job hopping. Also, please feel free to make a mention of it in your cover letter if you need to.
Be Prepared – Congrats! We loved your resume and cover letter and have reached out for a phone screening. Now the ball is in your court. If you’ve applied to several positions, go back to our website and revisit the job posting. Take notes about how your experience lines up with what we’ve said that we’re looking for. Poke around the website and learn a bit about what we do. We are enthusiastic about our business and want you to be enthusiastic to work with us! Come with a few questions for us. Ask us about specific duties, about what the team is like, what it’s like to work in beautiful Evanston.
Be Professional – While some of the most relaxed working environments exist within the marketing and advertising space, the interview process is our first exposure to you so make that first impression count! During a phone interview, try to stay away from “umm” and “you know” and under no circumstance should you ever use profanity.
If you are invited to an in person interview, dress nicely and pay attention to grooming. Bring a couple of copies of your resume in case the interviewer misplaced theirs and bring a pad of paper and a pen. In person interviews can be stressful so come prepared with questions and take notes during the interview. We assure you, this isn’t rude. You are interviewing us just as much as we are interviewing you!
Be Yourself – I cannot stress this enough. Who you are every day is who we want to see. While we understand the inclination to be your ‘best self’ in an interview, if the ‘best self’ that you show us in an interview is a million miles away from who you are every day, that disconnect is a potential problem for both of us. Cultural fit within an organization and a team is hugely important and who you are, who you really are is going to play a big part when we see that your personality would fit in wonderfully within the team.
Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about openings here at L2TMedia!