The job interview process can be a stressful time for job candidates. After all, you invest your time, your effort and intense preparation to impress the decision-makers. Everything seems perfect. They invited you back for two, maybe three job interviews. You met with the team, the decision-makers and the HR Department. They even provided you with a tour of the plant. They’re not going to waste time providing a tour if they’re not serious about hiring you. Right?
Here are typical scenarios that happen once the top candidates have been interviewed.
Q: The interview went very well and the decision-maker seemed so interested in me. Then, I didn’t hear back for weeks. When I did hear back, I discovered I did not get the job. What happened?
A: It is important to understand what happens after the job interviews are completed behind the scenes. This period of time is when the organization will complete its due diligence process, including reference checks, credit checks, criminal record checks, and “back door” checks. If there are any red flags or if any one of the interviewers is uneasy about you, this may be enough to tip the scales in the favor of your competition even if you are perfectly and ideally qualified for the job.
Essentially everyone you meet during the interview process needs to feel that they can implicitly trust you. Your body language, your choice of words, your performance in the interview and your references need to align with your value proposition. If there is the slightest sense of unease about you and your credibility, it may tip the scales against you.
Some surprising statistics about the post-interview selection process and insight that you will never have access to as a job candidate.
- According to research 25% of references that you provide to employers during a job search will not be favorable. Ensure that you know what your references will say about you. Have a conversation with them about the position and your suitability for the opportunity. Provide them with a copy of your resume and the job posting. Remind the reference of work you and he/she did together. Prepare the reference for the conversation with the employer.
- Understand that 70% of organizations will check academic credentials. If you have claimed to have a degree on your resume and the reference checking company uncovers that you were one or more credits short, your credibility will be compromised. Do not make false claims on your resume because this may disqualify you from the selection process.
- Since 9/11 organizations want to ensure they know who is on their premises and that they do not have a criminal record or any other reason to disqualify them from the selection process. Criminal record checks are common and 80% of companies are now completing them. You may be able to have a record “pardoned” depending on your area. Consult a lawyer if necessary.
- You only provided three references. Your competition provided five references and the reference checking company was able to successfully contact three of those five in one afternoon. Because you and your competition were neck-in-neck, the person who could be “verified” first won. Companies want at least three references to verify your credentials. Providing more than 3 ensures the consultant will get what they need faster.
- Back-door references are completely out of your control. Ensure that your reputation and your “brand” in social media is positive and professional.
Due diligence is a critical component of the corporate risk management process. Companies will always look for reasons not to hire someone they do not know. Ensure your credentials are impeccable and tip the scales in your favor by preparing your references for a pristine background check that delivers the results you want.