My Secret Hack To Impress Recruiters & Hiring Managers In Job InterviewsJ.T. O’Donnellon April 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm Work It Daily

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Over the last two months, I’ve been teaching this hack to my job-seeking clients as a way for them to blow away recruiters and hiring managers right before the job interview, and it’s so easy for you to do.

There’s a lot of competition out there to land jobs, and if you’re lucky enough to get a job interview, you want to do things to set yourself apart without acting desperate or overdoing it. This technique has been working every single time for my clients, so here’s what you’re going to do…

Create A Table

Once your interview is set up, grab the job description and create a table. In the first column of the table, list every single requirement mentioned in the job description. If it says five years of experience, that’s one. If it says demonstrate the ability to do communicate effectively, that’s another one. If it says you need a bachelor’s degree, that’s another one. Whatever they list in the job description, whatever the requirements are for the job, list those in the first column.

Then, in the second column, summarize in one sentence and quantify (using numbers if you can) that you have that experience. So if the job description is asking for five years of experience, but you have seven years, put seven years of experience in that second column. It’s just a simple sentence that quantifies and summarizes if you have that skill set and meet or exceed that requirement.

When you’re done, you’re going to have a table that demonstrates you’re a match for every requirement they have for the job. You’re able to quantify that you’re qualified.

Next, go through the document, and any place where you exceed the requirement that they asked for, highlight it in green. So now they’re going to see that not only are you a match for the job because you’ve got something for every requirement, but with the green, it means you’re exceeding expectations.

Save that document as a PDF and send it to the recruiter or hiring manager when you’re confirming the interview. Here’s an example of what your message should look like:

“Hey, I’m really looking forward to the interview on Tuesday. I took the liberty of breaking down the job description and matching my experience to it. I know you have my resume but I thought this might be easier.”

This is what a recruiter or hiring manager has to do when they’re interviewing you. They’re trying to inventory you against the job description, and if you’re reading a wordy job description and then a wordy resume, it’s very hard to do that. When you take the extra step to match it all up in this nice little document and even highlight where you exceed the expectations—mindblown every single time.

Now, here’s the bonus part. When you do this exercise and receive a job offer at the end of the interview process and decide you want to negotiate your salary, you already have the tools to do the salary negotiation. You’re going to be able to update this document after going through the interview process and say to them:

“While I was interviewing with you, in addition to all the things you asked for in the job description, you also wanted these things. So I added those to this document and here’s how I match that. So based on that, I was really hoping to make X. Would you be able to offer me a higher rate?”

Give them a number. You have your evidence. You have this document that shows what a great fit you are that you’ve been keeping track of throughout the interview process. It’s amazing because you’re just having a calm conversation around the facts. It helps my clients feel more relaxed, especially when I coach them on how to present this.

Most people won’t bother to create a table before their interviews, which is your competitive advantage, my friend. That’s where you can stand out. Try this technique and see how much it impresses recruiters and hiring managers.

Good luck, and go get ’em!

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