We all know the typical things recruiters look for in any job candidate. But there are also some unexpected ways they go about assessing your skills. Here are a few specific tricks hiring managers, potential bosses and recruiters use to determine what’ll happen once you’re out of the interview and on the job.
Big data. Today, recruiters can use tools that aggregate a candidate’s online presence, scouring profiles, forums, shared projects, and posts to form a more comprehensive picture of your skills, interests, and behaviors. What they say is true: be aware that the things you do online in “public” places should always be things you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing.
Receptionists. Yes, hiring managers often refer to office receptionists to get a little more information about how you behave when in front of people you don’t necessarily expect to be evaluating you. Some companies even go so far as to have receptionists fill out their own evaluations of candidates during their brief time in the lobby. So even though it seems obvious, always be courteous and put your best face forward for everyone.
Checks for consistency. Recruiters often check to see if claims on your resume and other professional materials match up with your actions online. If you claim you’re one thing, but the organizations you belong to and job boards you frequent say another, they’ll question your legitimacy.
Surprise tactics. Potential employers sometimes like to get you out of your comfort zone, to see how you’ll react when you’re caught off guard. They may call you after hours, or interrupt you in the middle of an interview panel or test, to see how you handle it. Whatever your potential employer throws your way, it’s okay to be genuinely surprised – just go with the flow, and above all – always be polite.
References you didn’t provide. If a potential boss or hiring manager knows someone you worked with or for, they’ll often reach out, whether you included this person on your list of references or not. That’s just the reality of the small world we live in – word of mouth is your best form of advertising. So even though we all have people we didn’t exactly jive with, do your best to never burn bridges.
Are we missing anything? What are some other screening tactics job candidates should be aware of during their search? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.