Executives are pretty savvy when it comes to knowing how to navigate job search. But do they know the #1 secret to getting hired?
If you think networking is the answer, you are on the right path. If you think building social media connections is the secret, you have the right idea. And if working with recruiters is the best secret of all, you are partially correct. In fact all these guesses contribute to getting a chance to interview, but individually or collectively, they do not add up to THE answer.
The most effective strategy for getting hired, is to have a positive influence on the hiring manager. This, together with post-interview follow-up, is the secret combination.
Build a relationship with the hiring manager
One of your overall goals should be to build a relationship with the hiring manager. Try to engage him or her so you can identify what is important for them to know about you in the interview discussions. What is he or she looking for in an executive candidate. What impresses them about someone in an executive position? Finding the sweet spot may ultimately lead to a job offer because the hiring manager sees you as the perfect person to fill the position—the solution to their business need.
As you know, building relationships take time, so be patient, especially because hiring managers are generally cautious. They need to make the right decision, so they may move slower in the hiring process than one might think.
Never leave an interview without asking…
…”What are the next steps in the hiring process?” Hiring managers expect executive candidates to ask. Inquire about a reasonable time frame to follow up. Without fail, be sure to send a thank you note immediately after the interview. This small action is imperative and demonstrates that you respect the interviewer and the time he or she spent with you.
Post-interview follow-up is key
A follow-up phone call is an acceptable mode of communication to inquire about the status of the hiring process. While some interviewers will share where they are in the decision-making process, many won’t. However, if you are able to engage them on the phone, keep the conversation focused on building your relationship, and offering your help where appropriate.
Don’t be a pest with too many emails or phone calls, however, a follow-up note (sometime after the thank note has been sent) also helps reaffirm key points that match your unique skills and talents with the job requirements.
The executive that makes the best impression stays on the hiring manager’s mind. That person has the best chance of being called for another interview or offered the job.