August 9, 2019

Practicing Patience When You’re The Top Candidate For A Job

by Scott Thompson

I just completed a recruiting project for a Commercial Lines Service Supervisor with an agency that ended up hiring the very first applicant. That’s great news, right?! Yes, it is, but it was also an exercise in patience for me and the candidate. Most of the time you’d assume the process would go very quickly when the perfect person shows up immediately- bing, bang, boom – it’s done. That’s not always the case. Maybe you’ve found yourself in this situation… waiting a long time when all indications point to you being the top candidate for a job.

Why Do You Have to Wait? Because Companies Fall in Love With "The Process"

Companies need a predetermined interview schedule to ensure a successful hiring process. Most of this is predicated on interviewing multiple people. The idea works great in a vacuum, but it’s harder to play out in real life. Ultimately, after a certain length of time has passed, companies cannot define ‘enough candidates’ and move forward. You’re stuck in limbo until that time comes.

How to Practice Patience & Lock Down the Job for Good!

Here are my suggestions on what you can do to maintain the lead position while the company is working through its other interviews.

  1. Provide References

Never include references in your resume (unless required with an application). They are a powerful tool in future steps of the interview process. Sending that list gives you an opportunity for another positive touchpoint between interviews. The more contact that you have (within reason) the better chance to build a meaningful relationship.

  1. Share Supporting Info

Prepare and share supporting information.  Were you recognized as Employee of the Month for outstanding service?  Does your book of business have some interesting aspects to it that make you look good?  Do you have more information about yourself that was only briefly discussed during the interview?  Post-interview is the time to sprinkle in this info.  Always make sure to call first and ask for permission to send it along!

  1. Connect on Social Media

Connect with the interviewers on LinkedIn is the easier tip on this list. LinkedIn’s platform is viewed as socially acceptable from a professional standpoint and will not be off-putting. Facebook, on the other hand, is a coin toss and should be avoided until you’ve been hired. Double check that your LinkedIn profile is updated and accurate.

      4. Ask Questions and Remind Them of Your Timeline

Last, but not least, keep in touch with questions about the position, benefits or a job description depending on what information was not covered in the interview. A gentle reminder about your timeline creates a sense of urgency without painting companies in a corner. If they aren’t ready to make a decision, and feel like you have a deadline, they may tell you to pursue the other role. However, a soft timeline with a reminder on vacations, ideal start date, etc. is very effective.

Patience is the art of playing the game in a process you didn’t create. Do your best to not be perceived as overly aggressive or persistent. A good rule of thumb is for you to initiate communication 1x/week. Remember that companies still have businesses they are running which always trumps hiring.  While waiting three weeks between interviews will seem like an eternity most likely they see the process as moving quickly.

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