How To Get A Dream Job In A Highly Competitive Market

  • Published on:
    February 8, 2021
  • Reading time by:
    5 minutes
How To Get A Dream Job In A Highly Competitive Market women on topp

It is a competitive job market out there now. There are more applicants applying for each role, and the candidates are more experienced and qualified than they have ever been. Here are 5 of the latest trends in recruitment and how to prepare for them, so you can shine through the interview process.

1 Video interviewing

If you haven’t interviewed for a job in a while, be prepared for most of it to be conducted online these days. It could be months before you go into an office or meet a colleague in person.

When invited to partake in a video interview, prepare! Do your company research, people research, and practice some trial questions. Download, install and test the video software they use (both audio and visual) prior to the call. Ask a friend who uses the same software to do a test run with you if you haven’t used it before.

Ensure you have key contacts phone numbers handy too. You don’t want to be searching through your phone at the last minute trying to find a number to call if something has gone wrong.

Prepare like you are going to an interview. Look great from the hips up. I know a few women who wear heels to video interviews to make them feel like they are at a real interview. Make sure your lighting is bright but not glary, with your computer camera positioned at the best height and angle to see your face clearly. Choose an appropriate quiet space or location for the interview. Be aware of what is behind you on screen as they might be conversation starters.

Be ready to start on time. Start dialing in 5 minutes before. You can always sit quietly and read over your notes before the meeting starts. Have a glass of water handy as you don’t want to have to run off halfway through the interview.

Once the call has started see if you can hide the video of yourself. It is natural to look at yourself but if you can hide it do. It will help you talk directly to your interviewers and you get into the flow a little easier if you can’t see yourself. 

Video interviews can feel a little awkward but give it your best shot! After all, it is easier and more realistic than just a phone call. 

2 Short question video interviews

Being invited to short questions video interview stage is a great start to the recruitment process. This is normally used when there are a couple of stakeholders from the business involved in the recruitment process, as they will watch the videos to see who they are taking into the first round of face-to-face (or video interviews).

A short answer video interview gives a business a great introduction to you. They might ask you to give them a one- or two-minute overview of yourself or ask you to answer 3 to 4 one-minute questions.

You will have a minute between the question being asked or shown on screen and you having to record your answer. Write down a couple of dot points you want to discuss. Put the post-it note near the camera so when you speaking to the camera it appears as natural as possible. 

Smile. Be upbeat. Answer their questions to the best of your ability. See if you can talk about how your interests and values align with their business, and why you want to work for them. 

3 CV scanning

Since the pandemic and various job losses, more people are applying for roles than ever before. Many companies are therefore using a CV or resume scanning software to scale down potential candidate lists. There are ways you can beat the algorithm and give your CV the best chance of making the list of candidates to be invited to the next stage.

Many organisations that use CV scanning are doing large recruitment drives like government organisations or graduate recruiters. It is said that CV scanning enables a more diverse talent pool to be interviewed as it removes the unconscious bias that can happen in recruitment over CVs. 

You can tell a lot about a person from their CV. It is important to ensure your CV and covering letter is full of the keywords that are used in the job description or advertisement for the role. Nowadays, algorithms can also cross-match your LinkedIn profile so ensure keywords are used there too and both are up to date and aligned.

The software is a robot and has been taught what to look for so ensure your job titles and places of employment are clear within your CV and profile. Time in roles also need to be detailed and employment gaps explained as the computer is trained to pick up numerous changes of roles or short employment periods.

4 Discovery discussion

A discovery discussion is the new, less formal interview. This meeting can sometimes be conducted by in-house recruitment or the hiring manager if they are particularly interested in someone.

Sometimes a discovery discussion is due to word of mouth of someone being available. From time to time there is a role available, or one can be created. Occasionally the interviewer is just future-proofing for one of their teams by getting to know who else is out there. HR might be chatting to a few people as there might be several roles coming up in the organisation. Discovery discussions are great but don’t always expect a job to be offered!

Discovery discussions focus more on your CV than a typical interview. The interviewer might want to know more about each role and why you left and what learned along the way. They might also want to deep dive into your longer-term ambitions to see how they align with their business.

Treat a discovery discussion like any other interview and prepare as much as you can about the company and the person interviewing you. Discovery discussions can lead to great things and is the modern coffee catch-up.

5 Meet with a team member

Being offered to meet with another person on the team is a great stage in any interviewing process and is normally a final stage. This isn’t a new trend, but has regained popularity again, especially since working remotely.

This stage is extremely helpful if you are joining a team that has incentives and bonuses if goals are met. This gives you a real opportunity to understand the opportunities within the business. 

No matter who you are meeting with, come prepared with lots of questions. Ask everything you might like to know such as typical hours, office meetings, regions, targets, paying out of compensation schemes, or use of technology. The more you know in advance of the position, the easier it will be if you are fortunate to be chosen for the role.

From this type of meeting, you can learn a lot more about the real culture of the team and the business. Does this place feel like a good fit and somewhere where you will excel? Can you work in this team? How does the team member talk about the team and the business? How long have they been there? What is their favourite part of their role? 

The team member you meet with will report back to the boss at the meeting, so ensure you also tell them why you are interested in the role and how the business aligns to your interest and values. You need to sell yourself to them too.

Each business has different interview processes. Make sure you are prepared for every stage. Help yourself shine and win your next role!

Alicia Cohen

Currently, a freelance consultant, Alicia has over 20 years of the UK and Australian experience in professional and corporate roles within sales, management, and leadership. With post-graduate qualifications in publishing, communications, training and directorship, Alicia loves to chat about all things business, women’s affairs and digital.

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