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You must have heard that ‘success comes with sheer determination, hard work, consistency and the right skill-set’ but that is not the complete sentence. The writer missed ‘luck’ from the equation.
We often neglect this fact but sometimes it is the only thing that shapes our life. Pokemon Go was a success. Did they plan for it? Nope. That was luck. Stubborn tech geeks may say they had Google powered servers that were planned to take the load – but guys, I am not talking about the backups – it was luck that led to the success and of course the right timing.
Chai wala rose to fame. What was there other than luck? Whatsapp started the messaging app, Line copied and survived, Viber copied but vanished, luck made one survive. Anyway coming back to the topic…
The passing Ramazan, I applied in 10 different companies, was interviewed – twice at some of them – and was rejected from all. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure why the rejection streak was unending, but then I began to see a pattern. Most of the companies that were rejecting me were having the same ways. Below is a list of things I noticed and these might help you get recruited – unless you are out of luck.
1. Don’t waste time on those that can’t negotiate salary
Most of the companies I interviewed with were looking for candidates that can work for less. I did this mistake and I would advise you not to do it and the mistake was that never ever go for an interview unless you are absolute that the company can afford you.
Most companies I interviewed with were looking for workers that could work in less salary while I was asking 20 percent more than that. A trick that HR managers often play to get more candidates for the job is that they don’t tell the salary range.
When you ask them ‘what are you offering for the position?’ Their reply is ‘you have to come for the test and then we will tell you.’ Why would someone want to go for the test for the job unless he is not sure if the company can actually afford him/her?
2. Always be on time for the interview
One company deliberately rejected me just because I arrived late. What happened was: I got a call from the company and they called me an hour before iftar – as the interviews were in Ramazan. Now it was partly my fault and partly the fault of Karachi traffic but I didn’t make it on time. I was 30 minutes late. And when I went most of the HR staff had already left and the ones interviewing me were already pissed off.
They didn’t take the test and tried to ask questions which were not relevant to the job description.
3. Your dress matters a lot! (Unless you are a pretty)
There was this one company where I asked the manager to give some feedback on my interview with him. And he said, ‘your shoes’… ‘They look really dirty.’ Your dress matters a lot. In fact, it can even help you get to the interview table faster.
PS: At this same interview, a girl who came 20 minutes after me, was interviewed before me. Just because she was ‘a girl’ and was not having dirty shoes.
4. Research the company and its culture
Another mistake I made was not to research the company services properly. The managers are never impressed by a person who doesn’t know the company services. You can see in their eyes that they have already rejected the candidate when they ask him ‘do you know what the company does’ and the candidate replies ‘I did check the website but I didn’t really get it.’ You need to search thoroughly and ask references or people working there. Finding them on LinkedIn isn’t so hard now.
5. Don’t assume the HR would read your resume
Okay, I am not too audible at interviews. I assume that my resume will be read by the HR or the hiring manager because I have listed all about my accomplishments and experiences there. One thing I saw was that the companies hired those who were looking more confident – even if they had less experience – and were clearly explaining their current job duties.
6. Skills, Confidence and Determination matters, but luck matters the most!
Malcolm Gladwell has written in Outliers, if you have the right education you can get a job if you have the right education and an influential background you can get a good job and if you have the right education, an influential background and are lucky, you can go places!
7. Build yourself as a brand
Companies won’t take you seriously if you are applying for a content marketing position and you do not have a website with your name in the domain name. They simply won’t! In fact, the hiring managers will doubt your abilities even if you have ranked hundreds of sites.
You need to learn how to market yourself and sell yourself. The world is a tough place and as Ashraf Chaudhary says, “selling is an art and anyone can learn it”, you need to learn it to sell yourself. Or else, how would you sell your company products? Unless of course, you are applying for engineering jobs – still then you need to market your projects.
You need to make yourself a brand by practice, hard work, polishing your skill-set and let the God decide the rest.
And Last But Not The Least, never give up
Rejection is a part of life. Life doesn’t go like a straight line, there are crest and troughs just like our heartbeat. So brace yourself for the worse and hope for the best.