Every day, we come across both highly ineffective and effective job hunters. Rather than focus on the missteps, let’s take a look at some steps you can take to land that next HR or payroll position you covet.
Do Your Research
While everyone knows this should be done, it seems like an area that gets neglected all too often. And what is research? It is certainly more than taking ten minutes to peruse the company’s website. This should be a basic task that you (and your competition) complete. The candidate that sets him/herself apart will dig for the nuggets that not “just anyone” can find. This can be found in places like press releases, annual statements and earnings reports and a simple Google news search.
Perhaps the most effective source for researching a company is your own network. Use LinkedIn to find someone who works for the firm either connected directly to you or through a colleague. Invite him/her out for a coffee and uncover what you can. Learning about the company you will interview with from the “inside” will give you an inside edge and insight as to how your skills can best serve the company and the HR/payroll position.
Listen and Adapt
Depending on what you have riding on it, interviews can be stressful. You no doubt will have talking points and answers for anticipated questions at the ready. There’s the problem. If you go into an interview with a mental checklist of things you want to cover, you may miss out on what the employer wants covered – and who do you think is the more important party in this transaction? I’ve seen lesser-qualified candidates fly through the interview process because they listen and answer the questions asked… not the questions they want to answer. A good example is watching a seasoned politician answer an obvious question on a controversial topic with a canned, talk track. It is annoying, right? Successful candidates engage on an interpersonal level with the interviewer.
Accentuate the Positive
Be upbeat and positive. If the job turns out to not be for you, you can turn it down if you get an offer. No matter the shortcomings of the job, you have a chance to, at the very best, get a great opportunity and at the very least impress someone who might be able to hire you in another capacity in the future. Too often, candidates will enter an interview with some negative aspect of the job (pay, title, etc.) impacting their attitude and approach. And if something comes up that “bums you out,” stay professional and deal with the negatives later.
Remember, if you are on the lookout for a new HR or payroll position, actively or passively, make sure Willory has an updated copy of your resume.