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How to improve your chances for getting an interview

Have you applied for numerous jobs but don't get invited for an interview? It is frustrating and demotivating, especially if you don't know why.

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Have you applied for numerous jobs but don't get invited for an interview? It is frustrating and demotivating, especially if you don't know why.

We have gathered a few pointers and resources for you to understand the hiring process better and improve your chances for getting an interview.

The hiring process in most organisations is a very simple one:

  1. The organisation opens a campaign

  2. They receive applications

  3. They review applications and shortlist the best

  4. They arrange interviews with the top candidates

  5. They make a hiring decision

Depending on the employer this process can take from a few days to several months. (When you don’t hear back immediately, have patience!)

If you don’t get to stage 4 - the interviews, this means that your application has not managed to convince the recruiters. The following four points will help you to navigate past the most obvious pitfalls and learn how you can make your next application stand out.

1. Apply for the right kind of job

This is one of the most common reasons why people are stuck on step 2 of the hiring process. Too often people try their luck with jobs that just aren’t the best fit, and therefore the top spots go to those who actually have the right background + a great application.

Tip: Don’t waste your time in applying for jobs that clearly are not a good fit for you. Rather go after jobs that you have a realistic chance of getting. Do your research and focus on building the skills and experience needed to grow towards your dream job.


2. Follow instructions

Always read the job description and instructions carefully. The company will ask for certain experience and skills. Make sure you describe how you meet their requirements in your application.

Example: A company is hiring a sales manager and requests a proven track record of meeting sales targets. Answer this in your CV (and repeat it in your cover letter) by writing how and when you have met the targets in your current or previous jobs. Also, pay attention to details. If the company says, “No phone enquiries”, calling and insisting on speaking to the hiring manager will most likely work against you. 


3. Find that special something

Even if you applied for a job that suits your experience and background well, your qualifications may be identical to those of many others. Especially for entry-level jobs, which usually don’t have very specific requirements. In a situation where it is easy to fulfil the qualifications, you need to think of how you can exceed the recruiter’s expectations. Perhaps you can underline a specific experience, or describe your motivation more in detail.

Example: A café is looking for customer service staff. We can assume that most serious candidates are familiar with the basics of this type of job. A candidate can stand out for example by explaining their fascination and knowledge about different types of coffees, and by so doing, impress the employer with their genuine excitement and motivation.

4. Proofread

Never press that ‘Send’ button before you have proofread your application, preferably multiple times. Nothing turns a recruiter off more than a poorly written application. Even if you were qualified, spelling mistakes make you look sloppy and disinterested.

Tip: Ask someone else to read and correct your application before sending it.



How to write a cover letter - course

Tips for a perfect CV - course

And once you get that interview... 

Succeeding in a job interview - course

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