How Knowing What an Employer Wants Can Make You the Perfect Job Candidate
By Melanie Szlucha, contributing writer from Redinc, LLC
If you're getting close to landing a job in the wound care field, but not sealing the deal in your interviews, you can learn a lot by figuring out what the facility you have applied to really wants.
Evaluating Your Interview Success
When evaluating how well the job interview went, don't think about it from YOUR perspective. Your perspective doesn't translate into a hill of beans relative to the hiring facility's perspective.
Here's what I mean.
Many times when I talk to health care professionals and ask how the interview process went, they'll tell me about how great the job was, the location was perfect for them, the facility seemed to like them, etc.
None of that means anything when it comes down to evaluating your own performance in the interview and candidacy for the position you are seeking hire in. Trust me. As a hiring manager – and the one making the decision as to whether or not you'll get that job – I can "seem" to like anyone, but I wouldn't hire just "anyone" to work with me 40 hours a week for the next 5 years. And I might genuinely like someone, but I may not think they're really able to do the job or have the necessary skills for the position. There's a difference.
In approaching a job interview, you need to figure out what the company really wants, and then how you fit with their ideal candidate. That's all that matters. They couldn't care less that it's what you want or is a great commute for you. That won't determine if they offer you the job.
They will make you an offer if you're the candidate they've been looking for, based on the criteria they've established for the position. Doing your homework ahead of the interview by revisiting the job description and exploring the facility's website, even asking questions of the hiring company in advance, will help you determine early on how to promote yourself as the ideal candidate for the position.
The Key Question You Aren't Asking Your Interviewers
During the interview, the best thing you can do for yourself is to ask the person(s) conducting the interview, probably three-quarters of the way into the interview (after you've established some genuine rapport), either how you're comparing to what they're looking for, or how they would describe their ideal candidate, or even if they have any concerns about your experience.
I just heard an audible gasp from many of you...WHY would she recommend that I bring up objections to my candidacy? I want interviewers to focus ONLY on how perfect I am for the job!
Well, guess what? When you leave the interview one of the first things a prospective employer is going to discuss are the ways that you're not a fit for the position, usually after they discuss the ways that you are a fit for the job. Trust me, health care employers are brutally honest. The positions they're hiring for require a specific skill set and the right person to work effectively within a team environment and often hands-on with clients/patients.
This honest internal discussion post-interview is based much on the same factors you would evaluate when making a major purchase in your life. Do you trust the salesperson? Do you think that the appliance/car/new roof will live up to your expectations? Now that you've looked at a few products, exactly what ARE your expectations? They're evaluating "purchasing" you.
So the worst thing you can do is leave a job interview without having figured out exactly what the employer wants, because then you'll have no idea if you come close to being that, and that's your goal. You need to get a handle on how you compare to their ideal candidate for the position, and address their concerns while you're still in the room. This will provide you with the opportunity to clarify any points that they may have missed in your background.
What Happens if You're Not the Ideal Candidate for the Job?
Objections to your candidacy do not mean GAME OVER. They mean: convince me or clarify for me some points I may be missing, and then we can proceed.
THEN you'll really understand how well an interview went and what the likely outcome will be. And honestly, as a hiring manager, I tend to like those candidates more because I was able to have an honest conversation with them. They may not end up being a fit for my needs, but I will go out of my way to help them connect with someone who may need them.
And if you don't get the job...you could still walk away with some really warm prospects for an even cooler opportunity.
About the Author
Melanie Szlucha has been a hiring manager for over 15 years, and a career coach for 6+ years through her company Redinc, LLC.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.