Heather Monahan is one of those badass women who does it all. She’s a mentor, motivational speaker and mother. Her goal is to empower women and help them be the best that they can be. From feeling your best, to looking your best, to doing your best, Heather is here to encourage you to be the most fulfilled woman you can be.
After 17 years working in the media business and hiring talent, I have come to realize that many women haven’t been taught simple hiring tips that can make all the difference in an interview.
To help demystify the interview and hiring process, I’ve compiled my top tips to help you get hired.
Be Social Media Savvy
In order to get hired you need to set yourself apart from the pool of potential candidates. One way you can do that is to spend time finding out all that you can about your target company, employees and most importantly, the hiring manager by accessing Linkedin and Google. I promise you this: very few people take the time to complete this step— and this step is a game changer!
Sharing feedback like this during the interview makes the interview more about the interviewer and shows that you have a genuine interest in them. This is the key to success in dealing with people—especially when you’re trying to get them to like you!
You can never—and I repeat, NEVER!—send a resume with a cover letter to a hiring manager and expect a response.
Managers are receiving hundreds, or possibly thousands, of candidates via email every day. When it’s you who is in charge of hiring, it’s a daunting and tedious task to have to review the dredge of standard resumes that overload your inbox. In my experience, there are always a few people that stand out and get my attention.
The standouts are the candidates that find someone in my circle who knows me. They have done their homework to see who we have in common, and they’ve applied pressure to ask someone for an intro.
Know Your Unique Value Proposition.
In order to differentiate yourself from the other candidates that made it to the face-to-face interview round, you need to be able to articulate simply and specifically what it is that makes you unique, valuable and the obvious hire for this position.
If you don’t already know what your UVP is, you need to determine it.
Once you have them listed, compare them to what the company is looking for. It is imperative that you find a way to align your talents with their needs in order to illustrate the fit.
If you don’t know how to find your unique value proposition—and many of us struggle with this—I suggest you do what I did: Reach out to others that you work with (co-workers, employees, people you trust that know you well) and ask them to give you two specific things that make you unique.
I’m often shocked by what I perceive as a lack of preparation on a candidate’s behalf. For instance, showing up to an interview without multiple resume copies comes off as being ill prepared; you never know how many managers are going to join the meeting!
Also, it’s amazing how many candidates don’t bring examples of their work or references to share on site. Remember, the minute you sit down to be interviewed, you need to be in selling mode.
Interviews are about selling yourself: Your skills, your experience, your personality. Be able to answer basic interview questions. Research possible questions online, write them down and answer each one. Practice them out loud. It’s painful, but it will increase your ability to retain the information ten fold!
You’re in charge of your interview performance. Always use personal experiences and stories from your career/school to illustrate examples of prior behavior and success. Take the time to do this well, and to let your personality come through, and you will blow the manager away.
Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself speaking into your smartphone, or have a friend quiz you on your questions. Do whatever it takes to feel comfortable and confident for your interview.
You will never get the information you need in order to close this deal if you don’t ask direct questions. I have seen many women get nervous in this phase, even when they are the most qualified for the job!
I suggest looking at other experiences in your life where you felt nervous but were able to overcome the nerves. I keep a short list of accomplishments top-of-mind and readily available for me to pull from. Sometimes, it’s as simple as remembering that I completed a workout on the treadmill at a speed I thought I couldn’t possibly achieve.
It also can be a different kind of win, like remembering how scared I was that my son would suffer as a result of my getting divorced. Now, seeing him thriving and realizing I made the right decision gives me confidence in the face of other challenges.
Whatever adversity you have overcome, use it now to power you forward through the nerves you may be feeling. Only you can make this happen.
Some good direct questions to ask are, “How do I compare to your other candidates? What skill set is specifically imperative to have with this position for you to be happy? What happened to the person that previously had this job? What would I be able to expect from you as a boss?”
Go For the Close.
No one will get a job if they don’t go for the close. Repeat after me: “I will not leave the office of the hiring manager without saying this: ’What else do you need to know about me in order to offer me this job? Are you the only person that will be making this decision and if so, will you be offering me the position?’”
You can frame this question many different ways, but the bottom line is you need to ask for the offer. If it makes you uncomfortable to think about doing this, consider the alternative:
You will not get the job unless you ask for it.
Just as you did with your other prep tips, practice asking for the offer until it becomes second nature. Once you remove the fear, there is room for excitement at the prospect of getting the job!