A few days ago, I told my husband the story of my brother and his unique approach to interviewing and finding a job. With perseverance, creativity, preparation and bit of luck, he landed the opportunity of a lifetime!
Like so many other people adversely affected by the staggering economy, he was laid off several months ago resulting from a reduction in force. Adding insult to injury, the layoff occurred two weeks before Christmas, and the family’s holiday cheer evaporated faster than ice on a hot day. The stark realities of my brother’s situation set in and he began the daunting, and often overwhelming process of finding employment. As a recruiter, I knew what he was up against and how hard it can be to stand out from a sea of other job seekers and grab a potential employer’s attention.
A short time ago, a recruiter contacted my brother to review an exciting opportunity with a growing firm. The recruiter provided the job description, which my brother reviewed, breaking it down piece by piece. This gave him a strong understanding of the qualifications of the position and specific responsibilities. Once the interview was scheduled, my brother knew that he would have only one chance to make a good first impression. Like many candidates, he began to research the firm, utilizing the internet and his personal network. Unlike most candidates, he crafted a 60-day plan using the job description, outlining personal and professional objectives that he planned to achieve during his first 60 days in the role.
While traveling to the interview, he was in an accident, caused by another vehicle that turned into his car. Though his car was not drivable, he was determined to show up for the interview. He called the recruiter, and asked the recruiter to bring him to the interview. In doing so, he showed the determination, resiliency and adaptability that companies love to see from their employees.
During the interview, he was asked to describe his first 60 days on the job. He responded by handing out copies of the 60-day plan he had written, and began to describe the various personal and professional action steps contained within. The interviewers were impressed with his commitment to keeping the interview, but more impressed with the detailed 60-day plan he had presented and discussed.
A few days later, my brother received an offer for the position, which he accepted. After accepting, my brother learned from the company’s hiring manager that team of interviewers was blown away by his performance, and that they had never before had a candidate as creative, prepared and focused. With the accident leading up to the interview, and then a productive and engaging conversation, it was an interview none of them would forget. It also serves as a lesson to recruiters and job seekers alike that with a bit of creativity and determination, an applicant can rise above the rest of the crowd, and be the needle in a haystack.
More than ever, candidates are seeking advice on how to build their resume, how to land interviews, and most importantly, developing interview skills that result in offers. If we spend more time coaching our candidates, it will pay off in the long run and everyone – companies, recruiters and candidates – wins!