Hiring Manager Secrets: Digital Advice
Technology now plays a bigger part than ever in how we look for and apply for jobs. If the thought of a potential employer Google-searching their way to your most embarrassing exploits makes you cringe, or the "e-mail vs. handwritten thank-you" debate keeps you up at night, take some tips for making a good digital impression before and after your interview from HR professional Tim Silver.
First off, what is the role of a Human Resources representative?
In my opinion, an HR rep is more than just a liaison between management and the legal department. The primary role of an HR rep is to ensure that employees are protected and to support and develop programs to enhance the day-to-day job experience and engagement of all employees.
The HR interview can be an intimidating part of the process. Can you give us some "behind-the-scenes" interview techniques one can expect to encounter in an HR meeting?
I am a firm believer in behavioral interviewing, which is an interviewing style that focuses on a job candidate's past experiences and facilitates the discussion of specific circumstances and incidents, the actions the candidate took and the behaviors associated, and the direct impact of the candidate's action and behaviors on the overall outcome (short- and long-term) of the actions. The questions are linked to competencies which have been identified as essential components to performing the tasks associated with the job. Typically, questions begin with: "Give me an example of a time when …"
What should people applying for jobs expect in today's tech-crazy age?
Due to new technology, you often have to upload your resume online into a database. Often, a system will read it (and screen it) electronically from there, so make sure you always have a formatted Word document for e-mailing and printing out, and a text file that can be easily uploaded without worrying about the format.
What if you do the unthinkable and e-mail someone using the wrong company or name?
If you accidentally e-mail someone the wrong cover letter or use the wrong name because you are applying to multiple jobs at a time, a follow-up e-mail and apology might still get you an interview. If you don't e-mail at all, we'll probably still notice your slip and will definitely not call you back.
What are some good tech "don'ts" to keep in mind when applying for a job?
Your e-mail address should be professional. It should not be the nickname your friends use for you, or include your favorite celebrity crush. Your outgoing voicemail should not have 45 seconds of "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie I got that once! It should be professional and include your name.
Is it OK to send e-mails regarding an interview or job from your mobile device/phone?
If you're sending a thank-you e-mail, you don't need to send it five minutes after you leave the interview. It is inappropriate to send an important e-mail that will read "Sent from my BlackBerry" on the bottom, so skip sending an e-mail from your phone to follow up or thank someone for seeing you for an interview. Only when dealing with matters that are time-sensitive is it OK to send a quick e-mail from your mobile device.
How do you know what is the best medium and way to follow up after an interview?
When finishing an interview, always ask what the next steps are in the process so you know when is the most appropriate time to follow up. Unless told otherwise, you should always follow up with HR to find out "what's next" or who you need to contact next. Regarding an employee following up on their interview or checking the status, that's something better handled via e-mail. While some applicants believe that multiple phone calls and follow-up e-mails will be viewed as eager and enthusiastic, they often come across too aggressive and unprofessional.
After an interview, do you think it's best to send a handwritten thank-you note? Or does an e-mail pass muster?
Handwritten thank-you letters are very important. E-mail is OK, but taking the extra effort to handwrite and mail a thank-you letter sets applicants apart from one another. I would also recommend referencing something personal from your interview in the thank-you note.