Dear candidate, how old are you really?

How do recruiters know how old you are irrespectively of your age? And we don’t refer to calculating your age based on when you graduated! Here are examples of smaller and bigger signals that candidates send without being aware that they are actually doing it.

Interviewer: When would you be able to have a Skype interview?
Candidate: I prefer to meet in person.
I: It is our policy to conduct first interviews over Skype.
C: Oh.. that’s OK. I prefer to travel 2-3 hours. No problem.

Why do some recruiters insist on web based interviews?

  • they don’t have a permanent office and only rent space for 2nd round in-person interviews
  • the recruiter wants to see how you deal with technology as the first interview with the client is via web conference as well
  • interviews over Skype are shorter and more effective from a screening point of view
  • we are in the 21st century – why not take advantage of the tools?
  • it’s cheaper

More examples of what candidates say:
Hmm… Skype? I’ll use my daughter’s account. [Create your own.]
Ok… I’ll ask my partner how to use it. [Think it. Don’t say it.]
I can’t use Skype / Zoom / etc on my work computer. [Use your private one or your mobile phone.]
Oh my… I haven’t used it for a long time. [Think it. Don’t say it.]

And despite the awareness that they are not too familiar with the tool, they fail to prepare properly:

  • fail to test the software (especially on Windows, where the update can take more time which means that you’ll make the interviewer wait unnecessarily)
  • fail to test the hardware: microphone, web cam. And although most interviewers remind their interviewees to prepare headphones for better sound quality, they don’t do it anyway
  • treating the interview as a “less important” one as it’s not in person and therefore dressing more casually or not adjusting the environment properly. [Tip: do not sit in front of a window]

Other signals in no particular order:

LinkedIn vs. Facebook: not understanding the difference between these two entirely different media. And not knowing how to behave on them, e.g. liking your own content.

Netiquette: making basic mistakes in email correspondence. There are still professionals and experienced managers who don’t know how to use cc and bcc or that CAPSLOCK means screaming. Overuse or misuse of emoticons.

The magic world of IT: not everybody is aware of the difference between operating systems and compatibility between text editors. We had once a FURIOUS client who thought we had sent him four different CV ideas, out of which two he completely hated. Unaware that the .docx version was not compatible with the Apple text editor that showed the text all scrambled up. Some have never used “track changes mode”.

Live online collaboration tools: nobody expects anybody to be an expert in them, but to want to try. Most tools are completely intuitive and allow for deduction and correlations, e.g.: there are usually several ways to access GoogleDrive: not just through the invitation email. We regularly have clients who keep re-sending us links to a shared document that we collaborate on.

Overall awareness / paying attention in the following areas:

  • figuring out how privacy settings work (LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • when receiving a calendar invite to an interview, not seeing / realizing that the dial in data or links to download software are in the detail section – hence being late or entirely missing interviews

What kind of a candidate are you? Up to date? Is your job search taking longer than expected? Would you like to review it and identify areas of improvement?

If yes, send an email to Bichl.Sandra (at) Subject: Blog / Career or click here.

Please note: the Skype call of approx. 45 min is confidential, non-obligatory and free of charge.