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  • Writer's pictureMatt Chung

The Surprising (but Crucial) Truth about Job Interviews (and Job Search)!

Updated: Jan 19

Do you feel that your job interviews are hit-and-miss or do you get surprised by your results sometimes?

There are unexpected truths about job search that can catch even the most prepared candidates off guard. These are the hidden factors that can sway an interviewer's decision, regardless of your qualifications. If you're unaware of these insider tips, you might waste countless hours working on less important things, only to miss out on the crucial steps that truly matter when pursuing that dream offer.

But don't worry, I got your back. In today's post, we'll be unravelling three game-changing facts about job interviews. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to prepare strategically, impress the interviewer, and maximize your chances of getting the results you truly desire. Let's go!

  1. It's not the most qualified person who is hired

Have you ever wondered why it's not always the most qualified person who lands the job offer? It's because interviews are about much more than just qualifications. They're about convincing the employer that you're the right and the best fit for the role.

Many job seekers mistakenly believe that the strongest candidate always gets the offer. But in reality, a few short meetings during the interview process can't fully determine a person's true strength.

Consider this scenario: You have an amazing skillset, a perfect 10/10. But when it comes to effectively expressing yourself and selling your strengths, you're at a mere 3/10. Do you think your employer will perceive you as 10/10 or 3/10? They will only be able to see you as much as you can show them!

Instead, it's the most convincing person who secures the job. It's the person who understands the employer's needs and is able to present their skills and experience as the ideal solution. It's the individual who positions him or herself as the best-equipped candidate to solve the company's problems and meet their requirements.

This means, you can't just show up at an interview and say whatever comes to mind at that moment. You only have 30-60 minutes to convince the employer. Like any important business meetings, client interactions, or presentations, it's crucial to prepare for the interview.

To maximize your chances and become a candidate who consistently stands out, start by clearly understanding the employer's expectations - the job description is an excellent source of information for that.

And then, decide how you will present yourself as the ideal candidate and prepare for the main or difficult questions in advance. These steps will directly impact the outcome of your interviews.

  1. What you do not say is more important than what you spesak

When it comes to job interviews, we all know that saying the right things holds great importance. But here's something many people overlook: what you choose not to say can be just as crucial, if not more so. Knowing what to avoid mentioning is essential to preventing detrimental effects on your interview.

You see, every word you utter or withhold carries weight. Hiring managers have a genuine fear of bringing the wrong person on board. Naturally, every candidate will tend to present their best selves and only speak good things about their qualification. Therefore, interviewers are constantly on the lookout for signs or indications that the person they are speaking to may be the wrong choice.

For instance, any comments that suggest a lack of interest in the role, potential job hopping soon after, or dishonesty will raise red flags. Mentioning career goals that are misaligned with the position, such as pursuing a slightly different type of role in the future or wanting to start a business, even if they were just mere passing remarks that you didn’t even think much about, can be perceived as warning signs by employers.

Another common mistake is disclosing a weakness that happens to be crucial for the job. It's not just limited to answering the typical "What are your weaknesses?" question; it can occur at any point during the interview. Whether directly or implied, if you mention a weakness that the employer considers substantial, they will likely doubt your qualifications for the job altogether.

To avoid jeopardizing your chances, it's vital to prepare your responses thoughtfully. Always try to think from the employer's point of view and anticipate red flags that may arise during the interview. Understand the job requirements and align your responses accordingly and relevantly. By strategically navigating the conversation, you can ensure that you avoid unnecessary pitfalls and present yourself in the most favorable light.

Before the last point of the unexpected truths about job interviews, if you found this video helpful, please click the like button below and subscribe so you will not be missing out on the latest tips that could just be what you need for your next dream offer!

  1. A (Good) Thank-you letter matters!

Now, onto our final point: the underestimated power of a well-crafted thank-you letter. Many job seekers fail to recognize just how crucial this simple gesture can be in decision-making, even if subconsciously.

During my recruitment career of over 15 years, I've seen how hiring managers genuinely appreciate a thoughtful follow-up, and how it can ultimately influence the final outcome.

Now, where a thank-you letter shines most is when the decision factors are closely balanced.

Of course, if you completely botched the interview, no amount of eloquent writing will salvage the situation. However, when feedback is mixed, and the interviewer is on the fence about advancing you to the next round, a well-crafted letter can often tip the scale in your favor.

The same goes for scenarios where two or more candidates possess similar qualifications and are vying for the same position. Taking proactive steps to express your interest and follow up can make all the difference in such situations.

One of the qualities that impress hiring managers the most is the proactivity that potential employees demonstrate. It shows genuine enthusiasm and dedication to the opportunity at hand. That extra effort can leave a lasting impression, setting you apart from the competition.

But here's the critical fact: not just any thank-you letter will do the job. It needs to be relevant, concise, and to the point. And here are essential factors when drafting your thank-you letter:

First, keep it short. Stick to just three paragraphs. Start with a brief introduction, expressing gratitude for the interviewer's time and consideration.

In the main body, make it 100% relevant by referencing the specific discussion points from the interview. Reiterate why you believe you're the right person for the job and, if necessary, use the opportunity to correct any inaccurate information from the interview. You can also supplement the discussion with additional details. Whatever you choose to do, stick to one or two ideas only. Anything more will likely be too long or distracting.

Finally, conclude the letter with an ending paragraph where you express your continued interest and politely ask for the next steps.

One more thing, timing is everything - the more you delay in sending the letter, the less effective it will be. Aim to send your thank-you letter within one or two days max after the interview. This will showcase your ability to take prompt actions and genuine enthusiasm in the position.

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