Dependability is a trait that all companies look for in potential employees. Why? Think about it – if you need to hire someone to do something for you, like fixing wiring in your home, will your first choice be an electrician who came with excellent recommendations, or one with a history of showing up late and doing poor quality work? It is likely that you will choose the one who seems to be the most dependable and qualified, because the safety of your home and your need for electricity depends upon it.
It’s no different when companies are hiring; they too have an important job that needs to get done, and they need to be able to count on whomever they entrust it to, because the future of their business and the success of their team depends on it. You can have a dazzling personality and great professional experience, but if a hiring manager has doubts about whether you can be depended on to consistently show up and consistently perform your job to the best of your ability, they may decide that employing you would not result in a stable, successful partnership.
Don’t leave your job search success to chance – follow these simple tips to inspire confidence in your dependability:
One great way to put your best foot forward AND ease your pre-interview jitters is to prepare for your interview. Carefully read through the job advertisement and do some research on the company – their website is a great place to start. This research will help you with the second phase of your interview preparation: practicing discussing your work history and answering common interview questions. Being knowledgeable about the job and the company will help you develop a greater understanding of what they are looking for, so as you’re answering their questions, you can ensure that you discuss your most relevant experience, skills, and traits. Practicing some of these responses beforehand will help you feel more confident and ready to communicate why you’re the best person for the job.
If you’ve been asked to bring a resume, transcript, or any other additional materials with you, print them out in advance and put them somewhere you will see them before you leave for the interview so that you won’t forget them.
Show Up on Time, Focused, and Ready.
Setting the expectation that people can count on you is important, especially in the early stages of the hiring process – hiring managers don’t have much information about you at that point, so their observations of your behavior during the process play a significant role in their decision making. So show up on time, be ready to talk about your work history, and focus your attention on your interviewer. Plan on shutting your phone off upon arrival to your interview and checking any personal issues at the door. This will help you minimize distractions so you can be fully engaged and make the best first impression possible.
Follow Through with Agreed Upon Tasks in a Timely Manner.
If the company requests that you take additional steps after the interview, such as providing additional information or completing assessments, that’s a good sign – it means they’re interested in you and want to know more! But don’t get too comfortable yet; be sure to follow through with these tasks in a timely manner. Think of it like completing your first work assignment – would you approach that with the mindset of ‘I’ll get to it when I get to it’? Of course not! You’d prioritize it to show that it’s important to you, that you can rise to the challenge, and you can be counted on when it matters most. Now is the time to show them all of those desirable qualities and establish yourself as a reliable and dependable worker.
Maybe you found a different job, maybe you’re no longer interested, or maybe life circumstances changed and pursuing this opportunity no longer makes sense for your situation. It’s okay to change your mind, but whatever the reason, be respectful by promptly notifying the employer. This not only helps prevent wasted time and effort on their part, but also helps you preserve your reputation with that company. You never know when another job with that organization might become available, and if you’ve proven yourself undependable by disappearing on the hiring manager, it’s likely that door of opportunity will be closed to you.
Communicate in Advance.
Make sure you are communicating important information in a timely manner so that both you and the employer are on the same page throughout the process. For instance, if you’ve accepted a job interview, but your circumstances change and the schedule that was advertised will no longer work for you, contact the employer to discuss those changes prior to the interview. Maybe they’ll have another shift or job opening they could consider you for, maybe they won’t – either way, they will appreciate that they can count on your honesty, and you’ll both be better off knowing where things stand before investing more valuable time and energy.
Similarly, if you have concerns about the job or work environment, don’t just keep them to yourself and hope for the best – discuss them during the interview so that you can get more information and make an educated decision about your employment. This will help you prevent entering jobs or work environments that aren’t a good fit for you, enabling you to focus your search on jobs you can thrive in.