In the December 6, 2011 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader who helps seniors find jobs shares an “interview invitation” one of his clients received. It’s a landmark! Why don’t more employers do this? Join me below to discuss other ways employers can help you get hired.
I’m a training and placement specialist and a long-time subscriber. I’d like to share an e-mail one of our clients received confirming an interview. I’ve changed the identifying information, but otherwise this is exactly how it was written. I love it when employers tell us what they expect. Too often, we are left to guess. What do you think of this approach to interview invitations?
Senior Employment Center
[Letter received by a job applicant]
You are confirmed to interview on Thursday November 17, 2011. You will be interviewing for the Mechanic position with XYZ Compost Services, Inc. The meeting will take place at the address and time listed below
1234 Main St
Akron, OH 44313
10:00 am – 11:30 am
[name], Vice President, Operations
[name], Manager, Process Control
[name], Electrical Engineer
During your interview, you should expect to be asked behavioral-based questions where your responses need to be specific and detailed. Be ready to share several examples from your past experience — jobs, projects, teams, volunteer work — where you demonstrated strong behaviors and skills, and think in terms of examples that will show off your selling points. Be sure to come prepared with both positive and negative examples.
To learn more about XYZ products and services visit [our website].
Contact me with any questions.
Director, Human Resources
Here’s the short version of my advice: (For the entire column, you need to subscribe to the free newsletter. Don’t miss another edition!)
Gee — Imagine that! An interview invitation that includes the actual names of interviewers a candidate will meet and talk with. Most employers won’t disclose this information for fear that the candidate might actually call them prior to the interview. Perish the thought!
That’s right, employers don’t want anyone bothering their managers with questions about an open job — least of all people who are about to invest their valuable time in a job interview. It’s better to let the applicant show up guessing what the employer wants, rather than help a candidate get hired by sharing a clear set of expectations. (The alternative for managers is to Open the door.)
Why don’t employers do everything they can to help you get hired? (For that matter, why don’t managers invest heavily in Interview futures, rather than shop for talent at the last minute?)
Most employers don’t want to tip their hand about what you will be asked in a job interview. That would be giving it all away and it would destroy the element of surprise! Why enable candidates to prepare before they interview? Better to let them show up wondering! Do these same managers also give their employees surprise assignments without any suggestions about how to do the work?
Employers behave like total dopes when they schedule interviews. It’s a rare employer that actually helps the candidate prepare. My hat is off to this organization — it clearly believes that helping a candidate succeed in the job interview will help it make a better hire.
But I’d take this further. As an employer, I would:
- Call the candidate in advance, on the phone, and suggest specific resources the candidate should use to prepare for the interview.
- Offer to let the candidate talk with team members to ask questions so he or she can prepare fully for the interview.
- Conduct a “cook’s tour” of the facility prior to the interview, so the candidate can see firsthand what the work — and the business — is all about.
- (…this last suggestion is only in the newsletter… Don’t miss next week’s edition. Sign up now. It’s free!)
Some employers might scoff that this would be a waste of time, and claim that the purpose of the interview is to discuss all these things. I say bunk. A good manager would never blind-side an employee with a work assignment. A good manager would encourage and help an employee prepare in advance, to help ensure success. The point of a job interview is to expedite hiring a capable candidate — so why not help ensure success by prepping the candidate? It’s all the same challenge: to get the work done!
This edition of the newsletter is intended to be more even more interactive than usual. Please help extend my list of what an employer can do to help a candidate prepare for an interview — and to help the candidate succeed.
What would you like to see employers do to help you get hired — and to help themselves efficiently fill a job and get the work done? What would you add to the list of helpful information offered by the employer in Chris Walker’s example? Is anything “too much,” or how extreme could an employer get?
Special thanks to Chris Walker for sharing “a live one” from one of his clients. This is a great topic — especially if hiring managers are out there “listening!”