April 2012: So, now you know.

The executive search & selection industry relies heavily on confidentiality. Information about a company’s hiring plans or names of candidates are closely guarded to keep ahead of competition and recruitment is, often, a silent process.

This also means that candidates sometimes have to work twice as hard to know what’s in the consultants’ mind.
So it came as no surprise when a recruitment consultant made a comment that “Candidates need to focus on questions that we do not ask directly.”

I caught up with her to understand a few of the ‘unasked questions’. You’ll see why direct questioning will not work – the right answers are too obvious! That’s why consultants read between the lines and make their own assessments and why it’s important for you to guide the process in the direction you want.

It’s not just during the interview. From the word go, consultants are looking for answers to:

How serious are you about change?

What she said: We meet many jobseekers who are looking for ‘something better’ without defining what ‘better’ means. Sometimes candidates apply when they face an issue with their current job – a change in organisation structure, a new boss or a lower than expected increment. But when they actually receive another offer, they realise that it is not what they were looking for. The candidate may withdraw at the last minute, and hours of HR time will get wasted.  From the start we are looking to see: has the candidate really thought through why he is looking for a change?

She suggests: Look for opportunities to explain your career objectives. Talk about how the job that you are applying to or interviewing for will take you closer to your goals.

Executive & Career Coach, Anamitra Chatterjee, is in agreement as he tells us that candidates should be clear as to why they are looking at change. In our newly launched Career Q&A column in the HeadHonchos’ Lounge, he responds to a question on whether a higher financial package is good enough reason to change. Get his perspective here>>

Is this the best candidate profile from among all applicants?

What she said:  It is daunting to hear a candidate confidently tell us they are the best candidate for the job. Candidates know their own strengths and take it for granted that these are clear to the hiring team. At any point there are excellent profiles out there and you should not under-estimate the competition. We know you believe that you fit the job, but that’s not enough. We want to hear why you are better than anyoneelse out there.

She suggests: Let the HR team know what gives you the edge over other candidates. Perfect your resume and clearly communicate your advantage over the competition. Build information about your USP into your answers during the interview.Now that you know what’s on the consultant’s mind, don’t wait to be asked these questions. From the beginning of the selection process, demonstrate exactly why you are the one who need to go into the next round.

Uday Sodhi

Chief Executive Officer | HeadHonchos


Let’s talk careers. We’re keen to hear from you.

Interested in being a guest blogger? Write to us on lounge@headhonchos.com

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