3 Questions Recruiters Ask Themselves When Interviewing a Candidate
Have you ever applied for a position that you thought you were not exactly qualified for? Or have you ever been interviewed for a job that made you wonder if the company misunderstood your resume? Meaning that they assumed you had no prior experience when, in actuality, you have had plenty.
If you are anything like I was before I “graduated” from interviewee to recruiter, you are amazed by how closeness with which companies try to match a resume they receive to their specific requirements. If I had to guess, I would say that you have probably missed some opportunities simply because your resume was not up to par and it has probably left a recruiter saying “This is absurd… how could this candidate even think he or she is qualified for the role?”
Before you send in an application for a job that appears to be far to “advanced” for you, take a look at these three questions that hiring managers often ask themselves when reviewing an applicant’s resume:
- Does this applicant’s previous experience match the role?
My job as recruiter certainly would have been simpler if applicants worked for the equivalent number of years that our listings “required”. But I soon came to realize that I had to be somewhat flexible when it came to that jigsaw puzzle. Suppose we were looking for someone with 5 years of experience and the interviewee had 3 – I would still pass on his or her resume to my clients anyway if they had other aspects experiacne which matched the clients needs.
Why would I do such a thing? Well, the fact is that in instances where applicants had less experience than we were anticipating, many of them had performed tasks that were far more extensive than the total number of years they worked would have otherwise indicated. We were aware that we were likely to miss out on somebody awesome if we actually ignored candidates simply because they didn’t meet the criteria for a certain number of years of required experience.
If you tick nearly all of the boxes for the job yet are short of the “required experience” by a few years, that should not be the reason that you hesitate to submit your application!
- Is the candidate interested in acquiring more knowledge on a continuous basis?
Discovering how much initiative each applicant took to acquire new skills always interested me. This was, however, an incredibly significant talking point each time we considered a candidate who was slightly under-qualified. As a matter of fact, I somehow liked people whose profile may have been less than ideal, but their track records showed that they have been consistently looking for opportunities to climb higher on their career ladder. It is true that there were several factors we took into consideration (we will delve more into that shortly). However, if a less-than-impressive resume landed on my desk, it became very difficult for me to overlook the fact that here was a person with incredible motivation to improve. I just couldn’t deny that applicant at least a phone screen to give me an opportunity to get to learn more about the candidate’s future goals.
If you feel that your next career step is beyond reach, it is advisable to demonstrate your willingness to learn (quickly) by taking online classes and enumerate them on your resume immediately.
- Can we provide support for a candidate who is not senior enough for the role?
As I went through the process of interviewing people, I frequently found myself facing a difficult dilemma… Often the applicants that my colleagues and I were excited about required more support in order to grow into their role than that which the hiring manager expected to provide. Prior to participating in any of these backstage recruiting discussions, I presumed that if someone took me into an interview for a position that I didn’t possess the necessary qualifications for, the company would blame itself for making a big blunder and dispatch to me a canned email of rejection.
However, this is not always the case. In fact, I can recall a few occasions when we met a candidate who, in spite of being a bit too junior, we just could not allow to go back to the open market. On some occasions, we would hold discussions on how we could give support to the candidate and make sure that he or he succeeds in making strides from the position of an assistant to a manager. Alternatively, we would create a totally new role to match the profile of the person, and also come up with a plan for the person to grow into the gig’s senior version.
If you are an exceptional candidate, companies need you! If possible, they will either tweak – or even create – a position so that they can actually hire you.
It may seem like a crazy idea to apply for positions which you are technically not qualified to forsay for example you are a maintenance engineer in a food manufacturing company and you want to apply for an Engineering Manager role in an FMCG company via a recruiter. Looking at a job listing that is far too advanced for you and saying “Well, I guess that would be great” is an easy thing to do. I do not mean to suggest that you should apply for a Manufacturing Director position if you are a Shift Manager at present, but there are tons of jobs out there that you are highly qualified for regardless of the fact that your resume does not precisely suit the job descriptions you are looking at each day. It is okay to apply for jobs that don’t match your resume. Nearly every recruiter is aware that it is not always possible to find the “ideal” match – just by reading a resume.
So, in closing, when you are submitting a resume for a job that you really want, do not discount your talents and worth. Instead, work hard to become a candidate that hiring managers simply can’t refuse.