“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” – Edmund Burk

I wanted to share a glimpse into my personal job hunting process in the hopes of showing how playing it cool as an applicant can actually  help.

At the end of June I had an informal interview for a position at a local bank. Everything went seemingly well; the hiring manager and I seemed to hit it off, so I felt pretty positive about how it went. The position hadn’t been finalized so there was no telling when I would hear word about the next step.

Flash forward to a month later when I still hadn’t heard boo about the status of the position. Rather than panicking I sent a friendly, yet professional, e-mail to the person I interviewed with expressing my continued interest in the position. She responded by letting me know the final details were being ironed out, but she was glad I was still interested.

Still with me? Two days ago I had seen the position posted online. Originally I had been prompted to send my information through a personal contact so it wasn’t common knowledge the position was open. There was a little part of me that thought I was no longer in the running. I was also tempted to reapply to get my name in the circulation through a slightly different path. My gut prevailed and told me to wait. If they wanted me to know what the next step was, they would tell me.

So what was waiting for me in my e-mail inbox today? An e-mail from the hiring manager I had been working with! She said had encouraged me to fill out the application in the hopes of still being interested in the position.

Now I am not naive enough to think I am a lock for this position. It was just encouraging to know that a little patience can yield positive results in the interviewing process!

Positive Thought of the Day :
“Waiting and hoping is a hard thing to do when you’ve already been waiting and hoping for almost as long as you can bear it.” – Jenny Ninno

“He prizes ambiguity; he loves to keep you guessing.” – Lionel Shirer

I have one more rant about hiring manager quirks then I will return to the Land of the Positive.

Dear Hiring Managers:

If you’re going to require an application as part of the hiring process, please state that in the job posting. I know you probably hear from a great deal of people who say they hate filling out applications when they don’t even get an interview. However, it can be just as frustrating to develop a personalized cover letter, polish up a resume, wait weeks only to find out you have one more step before even being considered.

So I ask you to be mindful of our time, as well. We will gladly go through the necessary steps of your hiring process. We just want to do it as efficiently as possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Job Hunters Everywhere

Positive Thought of the Day:
“Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.” – Sigmund Freud

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso

Today’s post is not a list.  It’s not even a rant.  It’s a plea; a plea to all hiring managers.  Stop making your application process incredibly long and involved.  I know that you want the cream of the crop to rise above those who, apparently, don’t have the intestinal fortitude to jump over each hurdle you put up.

But, heed my warning (I’m in a pirate-y type mood as I type this):  There are excellent job candidates who will not apply to your positions because they are a) content enough in their job to not spend hours of their downtime explaining to you how their 5th grade career day changed their lives or b) confident enough to know they can get their foot in the door with companies who are smart enough to fully assess a candidate through a well-written resume.

I am not telling you this because I am upset over having to fill out my job history on an online application.  I get that’s a part of the application process.  I am telling you this because having to explain, in detail, how I meet or exceed 20 different points of a job description on top of telling you why I would be great for the position is a tad ridiculous.

So, please reconsider your hiring processes.  If you are unwilling to read through a cover letter that is longer than a page, why should we be willing to write a manifesto just to be even considered for the position?

Positive Thought of the Day:

“Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy.  There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.” – Edward de Bono

“You aren’t learning anything when you’re talking.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

I’m a talker.  Always have been.  I clearly remember an interview I was conducting and seeing the interviewee’s eyes glaze over as I was rambling on about the cultural differences between the Midwest and West Coast.  Luckily, and hopefully, I have improved on my interviewing techniques since then.  Unfortunately, there are still a number of interviewers who do not understand that interviews are not forums for filibustering.  What to do if stuck with a long-winded hiring manager?

Vanna, if you please . . .

1. Be polite.  Eye rolling and interrupting isn’t going to speed up the interview or endear you to a potential boss.  Also, you’re not responsible for imbuing other adults with manners.

2.  Be succinct.  Keep your answers as streamlined as possible.  Engaging in a dialogue that flows is an important part of showing your personality during an interview, but try to avoid stacking stories, i.e. don’t tack on a personal anecdote that ties into the one your interviewer just told.

3.  Be in the moment.  Don’t let your mind wander.  Being an active listener is important in gaining insight to the type of supervisor or co-worker your interviewer might be, as well as the overall working environment of the company.  Also, you may be able to pick up on clues beyond what the job description states regarding the type of working styles and personalities he or she is looking for in a candidate.

4.  Be firm.  If you are working within a time constraint, e.g. you need to return back to your current job, politely let your interviewer know you need to wrap up the interview.  Something along the lines of, “I don’t mean to cut you short, and I certainly hope I have answered all of your questions.  However, I need to continue on to my next commitment.  If there is any further information I can provide regarding my background, I would love to set up another time to do so.” would work.

Interviewers need to remember they are hiring managers; not Oprah Winfrey.  Hopefully these four brief points will help you the next time you’re in it for the long haul!

Positive Thought of the Day:

“The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.” – Fran Lebowitz

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey

Congratulations to Everyone Who Completed the Fargo Marathon!!  Whether you participated in the 10K, Half-, or Full Marathon, you should be very, very proud of yourself!

Positive Thought of the Day:

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”  – Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” – Samuel Johnson

Okay.  I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful to those who have been coming here on a regular basis or surprised that people come here at all.  However, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Job Hunting has had its busiest week in its history.  This week there have been 103 visitors to the site; 85 on Monday alone!! 

I just wanted to say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for the support!!!”  What a great feeling to know what you are writing is reaching out to others.


P.S.  Don’t hug human resources without expressed written consent!

Positive Thought of the Day:

“Better understated than overstated. Let people be surprised that it was more than you promised and easier than you said.” – John Rohn