In almost any aspect of life, procrastination is the enemy of success. That point most certainly holds true throughout the job interview process. The speed by which you work through the steps of a job interview process can greatly enhance your ability to ultimately land that position!
This is NOT only my opinion, it is fact. Over the years, I have had so many hiring managers talk with me on this topic. The speed in which a candidate completes tasks is very much part of the company’s evaluation of the candidate.
- Skill & Personality Testing: Have you been assigned any testing? Whether this is the first step of the process or the last step, it is imperative that you complete this promptly. Not “when you have time”. Not over the weekend. Are you interested in the job? Skip the gym that night, turn off the TV, and get it done within 24 hours. And then call the hiring manager back ASAP and let them know it is done. And ask for the next step.
- Scheduling Interviews: This one drives a Recruiter / Hiring Manager crazy! When given a range of dates and times to interview…ALWAYS select the earliest available date. And don’t make a hiring manager work around your schedule. You make your schedule work for them at all times possible. A hiring manager doesn’t care about the wedding you are attending this week, or your long vacation at the beach. Stay professional, figure it out, take a few hours off work, and make it work promptly.
- Submitting References: When asked for references (or before even being asked), gather a list of professional references promptly. The longer this takes, the more likely a hiring manager starts to wonder about you. Can you not find anyone that will talk positively about you? Are you hiding something? And not just gathering the references, but make sure your references return the calls and e-mails from the hiring manager promptly. Even though it shouldn’t, the references not calling back is a negative mark on YOU.
- Completing Paperwork: This may be something simple, maybe for a drug test, or for a background check. To you, it is nothing. But again…any delay on this basic task lets doubt creep in on your true interest in the job.
- Sending Thank You Notes: Never forget this step! And don’t procrastinate on this. Send it immediately after your meeting.
Trust me, these things ALL matter in the process. It is not always the best person “on paper” that gets the job. It is not always the person with the best sales numbers that gets the job. It is not always the person with the most outgoing personality that gets the job. Why is this the case?
4 Reasons Speed of Interviewing Matters
- Moving quickly through the interview steps will show the company your true interest in their company, and their position. Jumping all over each task, each step, makes you an excited and enthusiastic candidate. A hiring manager wants to not only hire the most skilled person…they also want to hire someone that really WANTS the job. Taking 3 days to complete a 15-minute personality assessment does NOT show your eagerness or excitement. Let me repeat this, as this is 100% true: Companies will often hire the less skilled candidate that has shown an extreme interest in the job OVER the extremely skilled candidate that the company has to chase during every step of the process. That is absolutely true of my personal hiring practices for internal people here at AllSearch.
- The speed at which a candidate moves through the interview process will also give a hiring manager a true insight into a person’s work ethic. You can SAY all the right things in the interview. That is easy. But if you struggle to complete a simple task like gathering professional references, how will you do when given a much harder task of generating 50 sales calls per day?
- How you move through the process will give an idea of your “sense of urgency” as it relates to getting things done. Often in sales, a high sense of urgency is a strong indicator of future success in sales.
- You are not the only candidate the company is considering for the position, no matter how good you think you are. If you are dragging your feet at any step of the way, you are losing ground to your competition. If you can’t get the next interview set, if you can’t take a few hours off work, if you can’t complete the testing…the company will not be waiting around for you. They will move along with the other more responsive candidates, and leave you and your chances to get this job, behind.
There is a phrase that we use in the Recruiting industry…”Time Kills Deals”. And we are reminded of that fact daily around here. The longer the interview process takes, the longer each step takes, the less likely we will be to secure an offer for our candidate. Time kills deals!
By Jason Connors, Co-Founder of AllSearch Professional Staffing – National Search Firm focused on placing skilled Sales Professionals in North America since 2002.