30 Jan 2018
Time is something we all wish we could have more of. We never seem to have enough to get everything done that we would like.
Take finding a new job. You’re unhappy/dissatisfied/know you could achieve more elsewhere. You start applying, get some interview requests and then realise – you don’t have any time to interview.
Finding time to add something to a diary is a tough task. We fill our lives with fun, we have family commitments, we need to work late. I know this, my clients know this, and my candidates know it.
However, securing a new opportunity where you are going to spend at least 40 hours of every week and have the dramatic impact on your life you hope – requires a commitment of time. Time to research the role, company and interviewers. Time to be able to travel to the interview, attend it and get back to work or home. Time to provide your feedback. Time to do this again subsequent rounds. Time to be able to evaluate an offer and ask any questions.
When beginning a process, it is important to look at your diary for the next few weeks and be able to highlight when you can interview. You will almost certainly have to miss the occasional boxercise class, dinner with friends, be able to leave work at least promptly if not early, not be able to bathe the kids one night and finally – complete a final round interview during normal working hours which may require taking a half day of holiday.
This might all sound like common sense but if you’re a recruiter reading this – I can guarantee you have a story of a candidate that has cancelled, postponed, been late or needed to leave early from an interview because they planned badly.
As frustrating as this is for the recruiter, the impact on your application could be more significant than mere frustration.
Your recruiter – there to guide and advise you through the process. To fight your corner, secure you the best salary, benefits, job title or whatever is important to you. You need to work together as a partnership and being unreliable by postponing or cancelling interviews is going to harm that trust.
Your future employer – first impressions last. You demonstrate your commitment, reliability, time management skills and attention to detail during the interview process. Failing at these simple first steps can create an impression of someone who is not committed, unreliable and unable to prepare for tasks that are supposed to be important to them.
Ability to perform – ever walked out of an exam and thought “If only I’d revised more?”. The same goes for interviews. If you prepare for an interview by arriving ten minutes early and using your phone to go on LinkedIn to see the interviewer or check the company website out – you haven’t set aside enough time to perform at your best when you’re sat in front of your potential new boss.
Decision making – under pressure, decision making falters. Candidates often leave the pros and cons of different offers to the very end of the process. Giving time to reflect and feedback effectively after each interview helps in a couple of important ways. Firstly, it means that you know which job you really want before your final round ensuring you do everything you can to secure that role. Secondly, it means you have had all your questions answered when presented with an offer and the decision should be a simple one. Too often I have seen candidates who say they will make a pros and cons list at the end of a process, over a weekend where they have a big night out, a massive hangover, need to speak to their family to make the choice but they’re on holiday etc. When given a short period of time to decide which job to take – often the wrong choice can be made.
We’re all human, however, and if the worst happens and you are running late or need to postpone your interview, try and do this as early as possible by phoning your recruiter. If they don’t answer – leave a message, then text them and then email them. We all know accidents happen, people get burgled, your boiler breaks, you get injured playing chess, you contract dengue fever, your husband booked a surprise meal at Five Guys etc. Clients will understand (mostly) – just make sure it only happens once if you want a good shot at securing the job.
So, to really commit to securing a new job means creating time to prepare, to interview, to feedback, to reflect and to decide on what is right the choice for you. This means making some sacrifices in the short term to change your life for the better.