As a job seeker, knowing how to interact with a hiring manager or recruiter plays an incredibly pivotal role in the hiring process. Even though an interviewing manager or recruiter might not be the final decision-maker as to whether or not you land the job, their assessment of your character, professionalism, and abilities will speak volumes during the application, screening, and interview process.

Here are four helpful tips for navigating the hiring process:
  1. Maintain Open and Honest Communication – Communication is perhaps the most critical component of the entire hiring process. Make sure your resume or CV are updated with your most recent work history before applying to the position. If you’re working with a recruiter, provide as much information and as many details as requested. Be especially forthcoming early on in the process when it comes to your education, current employment status, and certifications. Even if you’ve been unemployed for a while or are lacking in experience, being honest and upfront with a hiring manager or recruiter communicates your trustworthiness and helps prevent any future misunderstandings. It only takes one dishonest detail to spoil your chances with a future employer and lose their trust, so honesty is always the best policy.
  2. Respond in a Timely Manner – Part of establishing open channels of communication with a hiring manager is maintaining timely responses. Being prompt in your responses shows enthusiasm and communicates your interest in the position. If you’re going on vacation or will be difficult to reach for a period of time, be sure to communicate this beforehand with the manager or recruiter. Dropping off the map unexpectedly in the midst of the hiring process can result in missed opportunities, as employers are more likely to go with an eager candidate than one that’s passive in their responses.
  3. Don’t Overdo it on the Follow Up – Showing enthusiasm and interest in a position are key to landing an opportunity. However, excessive follow-up and “reaching out” can be both annoying and detrimental to your chances of establishing a good relationship with an employer. If a recruiter or manager provides a specific timeline of when they will be in touch with you, always adhere to that schedule.
  4. Respect the Employer’s Hiring Process – It may seem obvious, but in order to effectively navigate the hiring process, you must respect the employer’s process for assessing and interviewing candidates. As an applicant, attempting to “skip” the chain of command by bypassing a human resources manager to talk directly with the final decision-maker rarely works out in the candidate’s favor. Respecting the employer’s processes and following instructions lays solid groundwork for your candidacy. If working with a recruiter, understand that there are multiple processes going on behind the scenes. A good recruiter will be transparent and set expectations of when you can expect to hear back. Again, be respectful in adhering to the timeline the recruiter presents to you. If you don’t hear anything back by the time they specified, it’s OK to check in then and see how things are going.

Each recruiter and company will have their own unique hiring process. Regardless of the position you’re applying to, though, establishing open channels of communication and maintaining a professional demeanor throughout every correspondence are good policies for landing an interview and ultimately getting the job.

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