6 months ago by Leanne Scaletta

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting an Interview

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You’ve received a response for the job you applied for, and unfortunately, you didn’t get an interview. You also didn’t get any personal feedback which can cause frustration for a lot of candidates.

It’s easy to overthink the reasons why you weren’t successful when you’re in the dark. Often, this results in negative beliefs about your abilities that simply aren’t true.

We want to help stop that from happening. Learn the most common reasons why people don’t get through to the interview stage, gain better focus for your next job application and increase your chances of landing your dream role.

You’re Up Against Stiff Competition

For every role we recruit typically over 100 candidates apply, all of whom possess similar qualifications, experience and skills.

A study by Interview Success Formula found that the average number of people who apply for any given job is 118. And the market isn’t going to get less competitive any time soon.  According to a survey by Glassdoor, our specialist sectors (Digital, Tech, HR and Marketing) are among the most desirable in the UK for 2019. Competition is fierce and you have to truly stand out to be considered.

This means a recruiter has to condense a mammoth amount of applicants into a small list. Only candidates who tick every box are usually considered.

Here are examples of common criterias people fail to meet:

  • You don’t have the sector experience the client wants
  • You don’t have sufficient experience using software that’s integral to the role
  • Your location is too far away
  • Your job history isn’t favourable i.e. you’ve had multiple roles in a short period of time
  • You haven’t got the right number of years experience
  • You have in-house rather than agency experience
  • The client may be looking for niche skills which you lack
  • You have B2B experience when the client is looking for B2C specialists (or vice versa)

Knowing these reasons give you better focus the next time you apply for a role. You can start looking for vacancies that are more suitable to your skillset or make sure your CV is tailored specifically to the role you’re applying for, increasing your chances of succeeding.

Challenging the  Brief

Sometimes the client has a preference towards one candidate over another. But these decisions are confidential – we’re not privy to this information so we can’t feedback to you. We do however challenge the brief to help the client get the best talent and to try and ensure our candidates aren’t rejected on unreasonable grounds. That means questioning the person specification, the sector experience they require and even whether the role can be fulfilled using part time or flexible working.

We do this because we have our clients AND our candidates best interests at heart. We want the best person for the job and to help you land your dream role.

But, like all other recruiters, we don’t make the final decisions. If the client privately prefers one candidate over another because they are based in the right location, for example, that’s impossible for us to influence.

How to Improve Your Chances of Success

We understand that it’s incredibly frustrating when you don’t get personal feedback. Sadly, because there are so many candidates, most recruiters don’t have capacity to pick up the phone and talk to every applicant personally (the time it takes to reply to every applicant on a single role would equate to a 40 hour working week).

We can however help you improve your chances next time around. It might be that your CV simply needs refining, for example. If you think this might be the case, here are some tips on how to improve your application.

Scrutinise the Job Description

Read the job description twice, underline the requirements you can meet and cross off the ones you can’t. Are there any deal breakers you can’t meet? Perhaps there’s another role that better suits your skillset.

Tailor your CV

If you meet the essential job prerequisites, you need to prove this on your CV. Be specific, for instance, does the role demand exceptional communication skills? Give real examples of how you’ve perfected this skill in your past roles. Or perhaps the vacancy is industry specific. Highlight your relevant experience to demonstrate your suitability.

Bring Your Best Skills to the Fore

Before you launch into your job history, make sure your CV stands out to a potential employer by emphasising your strongest skills. As above, ensure they are relevant to the role you’re applying for: use the same keywords included in the job description if you possess the right skills.

Include the Right Personal Details

Is the role you’re applying for location specific? A recruiter needs to be able to assure a client you’re based in the right area. Always put your address at the top of your CV to eliminate the guesswork. You also need to be easily contactable. Include your mobile number, email address and website address (if applicable) beneath your full name.

Explain Gaps in your CV

Are there any significant gaps in your job history? Explaining them coherently will make it easier for a recruiter to judge whether it affects your suitability. You don’t need to write a whole paragraph on why you were out of work – a short sentence will suffice.

Be consistent

Keeping your formatting simple and uniform will make your CV easier to digest. To ensure consistency, use the same size font for headings and body content, keep the spaces between sections equal, avoid using different colours for your text and stick to either bullet points or dashes (don’t use both!).

Consider what you’ve learnt here for your next application and your ideal role will be just around the corner – we’re sure of it!

Hungry for More Job Hunting Tips?

We are also constantly sharing new information to help our candidates. For heaps of crucial insight on how to nail your next job application or interview, visit our website. You can also follow us on Twitter for regular updates!