A Job Hunter's Guide to Dealing with a Slow Interview Process
The line at the DMV moves faster than the hiring process at some companies. First, you fill out questionnaires and take personality tests. Then, you go through four or more interviews, after which they seem to lose your phone number.
Many experts agree that companies are taking longer to fill positions, and these extra steps usually add little benefit for either side. As a job hunter, how can you speed up the process and keep these delays from adding to your daily stress?
Try these suggestions for dealing with slow motion hiring.
Speeding up the Hiring Process
Employers may have thousands of candidates to sort through because it’s so easy to advertise and apply online. They’re also very concerned about making a sound decision. You may be able to get an offer faster if you can make yourself stand out.
These strategies can help you stand out from the crowd:
Research the company. Learn as much as you can about the company and the position from online sources and others who work there. Customize your cover letter and resume. Try to find out more about their typical recruiting practices.
Ask about next steps. End each interview by confirming what you need to do. Maybe the hiring manager has reservations that you can address. Maybe you need to prepare for another round of questions.
Send a thank you note. Try to send a thank you letter within 24 hours. Restate your qualifications and your appreciation for being considered.
Keep following up. Persist without being pushy. Call your company contact back if the waiting time is longer than they originally said. Ask if you’re still being considered.
Stay visible. You may also be able to stay in touch indirectly. Participate in social media discussions and association activities where your contact may be active too.
- Provide updates. Let your contact know if you’ve received another offer or think you may be close. It may speed up their deliberations or you may need to be careful to avoid taking yourself out of the running.
Dealing with Job Hunting Stress
On the other hand, there will be factors beyond your control. Keeping yourself motivated and relaxed will make your job search more pleasant and position you as a more attractive candidate.
Try these techniques:
Continue looking. Waiting is easier when you have other options. Until you have a written job offer you want, keep sending out applications and going on interviews.
Ask a recruiter. You might find it helpful to work with a recruiter or a staffing agency. They’ll share your interest in staying on track, so they can receive their compensation.
Join a club. Job clubs can be an excellent source of practical and moral support. You may also make contacts who can give you inside information and referrals.
Manage expenses. Are you feeling financial pressure? Adjusting your budget could give you more breathing room. Cut down on discretionary spending and try to supplement your income if that makes it easier to persevere.
Increase your qualifications. You can also use any extra time to strengthen your skills and extend your network. Take certification courses online. Do volunteer work.
Move on. Unfortunately, some companies don’t communicate well with job applicants. If your phone calls and emails are being ignored, it’s probably time to focus your energies elsewhere.
- Seek balance. Job hunting can be stressful. Set aside time for other responsibilities and activities you enjoy. Take care of your physical and mental health.
Job hunting may require more patience these days, but you can use that extra time to your advantage. Clarify your expectations and think positive, so you’ll be able to find your dream job and fulfill your career goals.