Finding a job is difficult for everyone. It's a feeling you'll have in common with every person you'll meet (which is a great talking point, by the way) which means there's a lot of information and advice to help you in your search for a job. Among all the advice, there's a general tried and tested approach to getting hired with the company you really want to work for and here's that technique to getting hired for you to use.
1. Treat job hunting as your full-time job
No matter your situation, if you're unemployed or currently have a job and are looking for a new job, you generally should be treating your job hunt like you would a business venture or project - bringing focus, attention to detail and creativity. You should be aiming to apply to 10-20 jobs per day making sure to personalise each application to the role and the company you're applying to - more information on that in the next point.
When you first start applying for jobs you should mention this to as many family and friends that you can. Use your network of close connections to help open the doors that you might not know or find out through job boards. In general, having soft introductions to hiring managers from people you know is the best route for a successful start to an interview because it means you're not being screened out simply from your application for an initial interview.
2. Personalise your job applications
To increase your chance of getting your application approved for your first interview, you should be taking the time to alter each cover letter to the company's business and the role you're applying for. It's useful to write up a template cover letter that goes over points you want to bring across in each application with space to add information specific to each company. It might sound obvious but re-read your cover letter with each application to make sure you've spelt the company's name correctly, for small grammer and spelling errors and that there's no misinformation.
3. Prepare for each step of each interview
Everyone has their own way on how to prepare for a remote interview but there are some common practices you should use in your own interview prep.
Generally, the first interview you'll have is a phone or video call with the company's hiring manager. Many people don't spend a lot of time preparing for this stage but it's just as important as any later stage interview. This is where you need to sell your soft skills and personality. The hiring manager will be looking to find out whether your personality will fit in with the general company culture and vibe. There are a few common questions asked by hiring managers, mostly questions about you, your motives for joining the company and salary expectations. It's useful to have answers ready for these questions to prevent yourself rambling or repeating yourself. Here's a list of common questions you can prepare for your first interview:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What do you know about the company?
- Do you have any questions about the company or the role?
- What are your salary expectations?
After this first stage, you'll likely be speaking to the head of the department of the role you're applying for. Here you can ask more specific questions about the role and responsibilities you'd be taking on. You need to show a vested interest in the company and the product or service they're providing. It's recommended that you come up with one or two conrete improvement ideas that you've noticed from researching the company from an angle that's relevant to the role. It shows genuine interest and incentive which is qualities that all companies look for in employees. This will make you stand out from other applicants and keep you in their mind if you follow up after the interview with your improvement proposal.
We have a blog post with 7 tips on how to make the remote interview process smooth and stress free. Click here to read .
4. Get as much interview practice as possible
You'll feel nervous in your 1st interview and your 100th interview. The nerves are unlikely to ever go away but what you will have by the 100th interview is more confidence in the interview experience. You'll will have answered many of the same questions over and over, have completed many tests and take home tasks. So as you progress with your job search, you'll become better and better at each interivew which is why it's recommended that you apply to as many jobs as possible. Apply to jobs at companies you don't really care to work for and jobs that you're under qualified or over qualified for.
For all these jobs, you want to be applying and interviewing with the ones you don't care much about. This way, you'll be less nervous because you don't have much interest in the outcome of the interview so after a dozen of these interviews, when you're feeling much more confident, you can start applying to the jobs you really care about.
5. Do a retrospective after each interview
While you're doing your practice interviews at the very beginning, you'll want to be running a retrospective on each one to figure out what you can do to improve for the next interview so it's a good idea to voice record the interview calls. What you'll want to be looking out for when you listen back on these recordings is:
- How often did you stutter, mumble or hesitate?
- Did you repeat yourself or go on a tangent?
- Did you ask enough questions to the interviewer?
- Did you sound engaging and enthusiastic overall?
The answers to these questions will give you a good start on where to focus your time on improving your interviewing skills. It would also be really helpful to ask your interviewer for feedback if you don't make it to the next round of interviews. If you're in the very early stage of interviews, most of the time they give a very generic response but you can always respond asking for specifics. With this feedback, you'll be able to double down on the areas that let you down and reduce that feedback list with each interview!
6. Keep track of the jobs you've applied for
To increase your chances of being hired you need maintain a good level of organisation throughout your job hunt because you'll have applied for dozens of jobs so having an organised list of the roles you've applied for will make the process a lot easier. We'd suggest the following information is useful to track for each role you apply for:
- The roles you've applied for
- The status of the application
- The cover letter sent with the application
- The current stage of the interview process
- The salary expectation
- The assignment or task to complete
- Feedback from the interview
You can track this information using any software you want but we really like the interface and features of Huntr . You can create your own columns, each application is displayed as one card and the important information you want to track is included in each card. Take a look at the demo before signing up for free and getting started.
Good luck in your job hunt! Take a look at the remote jobs open in Europe . You'll only find high quality job postings from companies offering their employees the best benefits to help you live a better life. If you don't find any relevant job postings in Europe, expand your search and browse the remote jobs worldwide .
If you'd like advice or infomation on another area of interviewing or applying to jobs, get in touch with what you want some help with at firstname.lastname@example.org