I’m recruiting for 2 of my clients right now. Recruiting isn’t something that I do very often; as a rule I’ll help with a strategic or difficult to fill role if I’m doing other work for a client and they’ve had challenges in the past. Often this will go hand in hand with my teaching interview skills training and becoming, generally, the bouncer at the door that insures (or tries to) an issue-free pipeline.
Right now, I find myself talking to candidates every day. Sometimes I virtually fall in love in the course of the conversation. I became so invested in a candidate I placed a couple of weeks ago that I felt sure I would be more disappointed than she if my client selected someone else. Someone I spoke to this week was so personable, so charming, that I welled up when I sent him a (personalized) “no fit” email.
While those magical, sparkly, matchmaking conversations are why I do this work on occasion, they are not the norm. And so for your benefit, job seekers of America, I present three foibles from this week. And, my suggestions for not irritating a hiring manager or headhunter and, hopefully, landing a sweet gig.
1. The Salary Range.
Many pros will disagree with me, but really. Would you walk into the Whole Foods and say,”I’d like to pay somewhere between $1-$3 for this apple”? No you would not.
If you want $80,000 a year, don’t say $70,000 – $90,000. I’m not going to offer you $90 when you’ve told me you’ll take $70. Just say “I am looking for a minimum base salary of $80,ooo” and then stop speaking. Trust me, if I want you and my client can afford you, you’re getting $80,000. If I want you and can’t afford you, I’ll lowball you. Don’t tell me what your lowball number unless that’s the offer you want.
2. Premature eThankyouation.
There is something that feels disingenuous about receiving a thank you email twenty minutes after the interview has concluded. In my 20s, after a date in NYC, it was sweet to have a text pop up when I emerged from the subway. Its less endearing to get an email sent from the elevator as a candidate leaves the building.
Speedy thank you’s often don’t contain commentary specific to the conversation we have just had and feel, instead, like formulaic politeness (do you keep a draft saved?). If you’re going to write the thank you email, best to wait until the end of the business day and write something that demonstrates insight and reflection.
3. Answer the question. And by “the,” I mean “my.”
Interviewees often have stock answers, anecdotes and examples that they want me to hear. Practiced responses are acceptable if they answer the question posed, but they rarely do. When I ask someone to tell me about a time they have had a difficult team member and how they dealt with it and they respond with a story about the biggest deal they have closed, I begin writing a grocery list in my head. It has fixed priced apples on it.
Go forth, don’t be annoying, get hired.