I teamed up with a few members in the group, of whom are also managers within the industry. I received their honest feedback on how they make the final hiring decisions. Here's what they had to say...
Are you receiving a lot of interview offers but not getting the job afterwards? Chances are it's not all bad news, it sounds like you most likely have your CV in good standing. If you're not always getting this far, here's some things you should check according to managers:-
1) Do you have multiple degrees with no examples of experience? If you haven't used your skills effectively and have no real-world examples to show, this could cause an employer to decide against even giving you an interview opportunity.
2) Unprofessional or illogical presentation of information. This is a document that should be easy to understand, interest will shortly be lost if this is not the case.
3) Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar - have you checked this? Check using an app such as Grammarly.
4) Too many pages. Especially if you are an inexperienced or junior candidate, don't flood them with unnecessary information.
5) Unprofessional Email Address. It may seem obvious, especially in the IT industry, but a professional email address can make all the difference. It requires minimum money & effort these days to register your own domain too.
6) Be honest! Don't list anything on your CV that you are unable to do. Employers would much prefer to know firsthand that you might need a bit of training than catch you in a lie.
What is expected of you as a candidate and what is usually assessed the most at interview stage?
1) Be honest! Have the courage to say that you don't understand something. You're only human, and experience only plays a part of your success in getting the job. Nobody knows absolutely everything.
2) Communication Skills. Speak clearly, be confident but modest. The ability to hold a conversation goes a long way in showing your ability to present yourself. Understanding nonverbal cues is also an important skill to master. Watch their body language but, at the same time, be aware of yours. It can speak a thousand words so you want those to be positive and not negative.
3) Personality Fit. For a lot of employers, they will make a judgement on whether you would be a good fit for the existing employees. Being a good 'fit' for a position doesn't always mean that you have the ability and experience to carry out the job duties, but also have the right combination of character traits and personal goals that fit with the values of the company.
4) Be respectful. Listen and be present. If someone is talking, give them the courtesy of listening. Address any mistakes you make with kindness and be thoughtful of others' feelings.
5) Attitude. Have you ever been asked a question such as “the CEO's assistant calls you and says the toaster is not working, what do you do?”. With an IT mindset, and a willingness to serve, the best answer you can give is “is it plugged in?”. Some answer “that’s not my job” and others spend too much time troubleshooting when they could bring in the proper team to assess. Simply by asking, you understand there is some basic troubleshooting to be done, and if that doesn’t work you can help them find the correct team that will help. That is the can-do attitude that they want to see.
6) Don't be late! If you turn up late to an interview, you've given them a bad impression of timekeeping and responsibility before even walking in the door. Most would've made their decision before you get there in this case.
7) Presentation is key! Dress appropriately for the interview, be aware of your body language and avoid distractions. Avoiding eye contact is a big red flag for many, and conveys the message that you are disinterested.
8) Technical Understanding. Having a technical understanding of the job you are applying for is vital. By using technical terms yourself in the correct contexts, it shows that you have a good personal understanding and proves that you have previous experience.
9) Ask questions! Not only does this show that you are enthusiastic and forward-thinking, but it also implies that you are genuinely interested in the company and role you are interviewing for. Especially if you ask questions related to the company or its history, showing that you have done research. This can also imply that you are already imagining a future working in this position.
10) Be aware of the job description. Pick up key words from the job description and use them within the interview during conversation and your answers to questions. The interviewer will subconsciously pick this up as a positive thing and could help you become a closer match.
11) Be Yourself. This is what you do best without needing to think. Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Remember that everyone will have gone through the same situations before and managers were not always managers from the start.
Multiple Candidate Clashing
You're in a position whereby another candidate is equally skilled to you. What do the hiring managers do from here in terms of elimination processes?
Interviews are normally the biggest part to play here in assessment of the candidate. If you've stayed true to your word and performed well at interview stage, chances are you are in with a very good chance.
In companies that have also ran a practical or theory exam prior to interview stage, a candidate that performed worse in the knowledge exam could be chosen over the better performing candidate based on their personal skills. Remember, the company is hiring a person and not a set of skills/CV.
Best of luck with your job hunt. You can do it!
We are soon launching our new Job Board, which will always be free to list. Positions are also posted in the group frequently. Your perfect opportunity could be around the corner!