If you’re looking for a job, chances are this will disappoint you. Being on the job hunt has become more complicated, more time consuming and more stressful.
But there are ways to use the challenges to your advantage and take advantage of the lengthy process to ensure you get the best result that will advance your career brilliantly.
At the same time you’re hearing about a talent revolution, including 43% of executives who expect to increase headcount, job seekers report increasing difficulty finding a new position. In fact, 71 percent of people say the job search process is more complicated than they expected, according to a survey by The Harris Poll conducted for Bloomberg.
Finding a job is a lot of work, and 48 percent of people told Bloomberg they’ve applied for more than 50 jobs, and 63 percent have been looking for more than six months. As a result, 66% said they wished they had started the process sooner.
In addition, 72 percent are frustrated by the unresponsiveness of companies that ignore applications or fail to fulfill them, according to a Bloomberg survey. In a related Monster survey, 90% of people said they had encountered ghosts, and 73% of respondents reported losing faith in the system.
In addition, 69% of people in the Monster survey suffered from mental side effects and 12% from physical side effects such as fatigue (84%), sleep loss (82%), stress (77%), anxiety (75%), depression (67%), feeling unsatisfied (46%), brain fog (39%) or exhaustion (30%) – due to the job search process.
So many interviews
Despite the stress, people understand and are willing to go through interviews and selection approaches. In fact, 83% think more than one interview is appropriate, but 41% say two should be the maximum number of interviews, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals.
By comparison, 40 percent of hiring managers report that candidates should expect at least two interviews, and 15 percent say five or more are the norm at their company, according to the Express Employment Professionals survey.
With so many interviews, how can you use them to your advantage?
1. Be selective
One of the main advantages of multiple interviews is the ability to be selective and make sure that the company and the team are right for you. In fact, the Express Employment Professionals survey found that people value multiple interviews for the opportunity to ask additional questions (56%) and get information about the position (56%).
Use the time and the interviews to ask each interviewer lots of questions and compare the consistency of the answers you get. Also, direct your questions to your interviewer by asking about the direction of the company with a senior executive and the nature of the team with a team member. Ask the hiring manager about the job you will be doing. And consider asking about the company culture with many of the people you talk to—to get a holistic view of what it would (really) be like to work for the organization.
2. Let your personality shine
Another way to take advantage of a long process is to demonstrate your character. Hiring managers (50 percent of them) told Express Employment Professionals that advanced interview processes allow them to better assess candidates’ personality (50 percent) and skills (48 percent) and ensure fit with company culture (47 %).
During the whole process, be yourself. You’ll want to work for a company where you can express your skills, talents and personality – so being authentic will help you and the employer ensure the best fit.
Also, show grace and patience in the process. Be responsive and communicate your continued interest. Organizations are looking for people who are resilient and who are team players – so when you display these qualities, you will attract the interest of employers.
3. Evaluate the team
A longer process can also help you assess the team and your fit with others in the company. Job seekers in the Express Employment Professionals survey said they appreciate meeting other employees at the company (47 percent), and 41 percent of hiring managers appreciate a longer process to get other employees’ opinions on prospective colleagues.
When you’re interviewing, you’ll want to impress team members, but you’ll also want to assess your own fit—whether you want to work with the people interviewing you, learn from them, add value to a team, and grow with the group.
4. Be patient
The time required for multiple interviews can also be a disadvantage, adding time to the process (52%), causing delays in finding a job (45%), adding costs to the job search (39%), risking accepting another job offer work in the interim (32%) or fatigue or frustration with the process (27%), according to jobseeker responses to the Express Employment Professionals survey.
But you can keep perspective knowing that investing time in your job search can pay off in finding the job that best fits what you need and want in a given position. Remind yourself that even when the process takes a long time, it’s still less than the time you’ll want to spend in a great role at a great company where you can grow your career. You are making an investment in yourself and your future by the time you spend in the process.
5. But don’t be too patient
While being patient and resilient, also pay attention to how the organization manages the process, as this is a reflection of the culture. If it takes a long time, but the company keeps you informed, in touch, and transparent, these are all good signs of how you can expect to be treated as an employee.
Hiring managers admit that a lengthy process can have the downside of leading to subjective decision-making (26%) or biased results (24%), so it’s wise to be careful about the experience you have with an organization – and to consider better offers if you are repulsed by the organization’s approach.
Also, remember to keep your options open by applying for different jobs. When you only have one alternative, the longer time frame can be especially frustrating. But when you have multiple oars in the water, you can maintain momentum on many fronts—and more easily maintain a positive attitude.
It’s worth the wait
The ongoing process is difficult, but you can use it to build your personal resilience and maintain hope. When you bring optimism to the experience, it will help your own well-being and be a positive beacon to employers who will want to make you part of their team.
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