I think Tinder has ruined the hiring process. I have a few friends who go on a 30-minute blitzkrieg of right-swipes before we go out at night. It’s a numbers game. If you connect with everyone, then maybe someone will connect with you. It doesn’t go any deeper than that, and I kind of get it.
The same depressing phenomenon happens when we post a job listing—we get hundreds of replies that are so cookie-cutter, so copy-pasted that I can just tell we’re on the other side of someone’s rapid right-swipe. To the point that our postings have become so specific and obscure that just the subject line tells me whether you’ve read it. Unfortunately, there could also be some brilliant applicants out there who have fallen into the auto response trap. So how do you dazzle us with your sheer brilliance and talent?
Let’s assume you’ve already followed our application instructions to the T. I’ve seen your online portfolio, you sent your CV in PDF format, and your response contained many nuggets of humor and personality that made me spit coffee all of over my keyboard. I think i’m falling in love. I’ve swiped-right and now I have fingerprints on my Macbook screen. It’s time for our first date…er..I mean interview (HR if you are reading this, this process is purely professional as per section 3.7 of the Employer Handbook). Here are four handy tips to blow us away in an interview and land the gig.
2.) The element of surprise: I’ve seen your portfolio online. No need to whip out your laptop or iPad, or log on to our WiFi and show me your website in person. That should be your backup if I have any specific questions. What I would love to see is something I haven’t seen yet. Keep one ace in the hole, a passion project, something you’re doing on the side and surprise me. It could be a mixed-media masterpiece of amphibian foot imprints, but whatever it is, I want a glimpse into your creative mind.
3.) Confidence: This is a tough one, and honestly I probably wasn’t the most confident interviewee when I went through this (or at least my CEO likes to remind me). But where nerves kick in and confidence falters, rehearsal may prevail. Usually the standard line of inquiry is in order with the rare odd-ball question to throw you off your game. Have a backup of personal information. What do you like to do? What inspires you? For some reason those always seem to be the questions people fumble over, so just outline your answers in your head.
4.) Follow Up: This is the piece the “higher ups” go nuts for. We call it “old school” or a “thing that nobody does anymore,” but seriously, a simple thank you email goes a long way. I can’t count the times that our CEO has asked if a candidate sent a thank you. A “no” usually leads to a muttering of expletives, and a “yes” means you’ll probably be taking my parking spot. Too easy. If you actually send a printed thank you note or leave-behind piece, you can take my spot and my car. (Seriously. But I drive a motorcycle and park next to a dumpster.)
Oh by the way, we are actually hiring! If you’re a Mid-Senior Designer then do all the things in the third paragraph and send to firstname.lastname@example.org