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We all struggle with the mystery of the job hunt. What is the company thinking? Here are some answers to some common questions.

Question: Did they receive my resume?

Answer: Yes.

As a recruiter, you need to find the right person. It’s your job. That means opening yourself up to every opportunity that presents itself. This means that sometimes, you really do have to sort through hundreds of resumes per job. That’s what I do at work. You’d be surprised how many applicants we get for each job that we recruit for (it’s actually a lot lower than you would think), and when we do get a high volume, I’m that chick behind the computer screen opening everyone’s resume.

Question: Why is the same person asking me the same questions over and over again?

You told them once about your responsibilities at Company X. Then they invited you in for an interview and asked you the same question again. Why?

Answer: They want to hear how you communicate your thoughts.

If they were asking simply for the sake of getting details and information, they would definitely just write down the information and pass it on to whoever needed it. What interviewers really want to get is a sense of your excitement and passion about the work that you do, and how clearly you can articulate your experiences. This also gives them an idea of how involved you are with the work that you do.

Question: What do people look for in an interview?

Should I suit up? Should I dress business casual and look like a friendly person? Should I rehearse my answers, or will that be too obvious?

Answer: You.

That’s all interviewers want to know. They want to know who you are. They know that you can do the job – that’s on your resume and they phone screen for that. What they really want to know in an interview is if you’ll be a good personality fit for the rest of the company, or at least the team that you’ll be working with directly. I’m not saying that you have to be incredibly friendly – some work environments are very individual and closed off, and they need somebody to put their head down and work. You can’t really know this until you start working for the company, so my best advice is to just be yourself (and dress how you would normally dress for work if you were to get this job). You’ll get where you want to be.

Question: I can totally do this job. Why didn’t I get it?

We always get this feeling. We read the job description and we can do it with our hands tied behind our back. Then we don’t get the job anyway. Why?

Answer: Overhiring is not always the goal.

Companies want to make the best fit possible so that their employees will stay in the company and they can avoid any future unnecessary on-boarding costs for another new employee. This means that you can be overqualified for a job because, quite frankly, you’ll be bored.

Got any other questions for me? Comment below or tweet @vanessayylam.


Image courtesy of Bilal Kamoon via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).