Every employer wants to hire people that can work well with a team – but how do you demonstrate that you’re a team player before you’ve even got your foot in the door? Showing a potential employer that you possess this quality goes beyond just saying the right things about how you’ve worked with teams in the past – you’ve got to walk the walk by being cooperative throughout the application and interviewing process. Here are a few simple ways you can use cooperation to inspire trust in your ability to thrive with a team:
Follow the Specified Application Process
Applying for the job is your first chance to demonstrate that you are cooperative and able to follow directions, so be sure to seize that opportunity to make a great first impression. Employers often specify how to apply right in their job advertisement – common methods include emailing a resume, applying through the job board the ad is on, or applying through a portal located on the company’s website. Read through the ad carefully and follow the process they’ve asked you to. By doing this, you not only send the message that you’re cooperative and paying attention to detail, but you also help expedite the timely processing of your application by sending it through the preferred channels.
Answer Questions Honestly
Being friendly and cooperative in the interview is one of the best ways to keep the hiring process moving in a positive direction, and being honest is an important way to demonstrate cooperation. For instance, if you have schedule restrictions that interfere with work hours, it’s important to communicate that information as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are not setting yourself or the company up for success, because you are knowingly putting yourself in a situation where you will not be able to fulfill the job’s requirements. Being honest will prevent disappointment and frustration for everyone in the long run, and it may even help you uncover a more suitable opportunity – the company may have other schedules or alternate positions available that better meet your needs. You can’t know for sure until you have that conversation!
Follow Through with Each Step
The need for cooperation doesn’t end after the interview – hopefully you’re just getting started and will soon be part of a mutually beneficial employment partnership! To keep the hiring process moving in that exciting direction, cooperate with the company by following through with any additional tasks you’re asked to complete. Whether the employer has asked for additional details, arranged for you to complete a physical or drug screen, or requested that you complete required documentation, they’re asking these things of you because they want you on their team, and they need your help to make it happen. You’ve come this far, so don’t give up now!
Respect the Hiring Timeline
When you’re excited about a job opportunity, waiting to hear back from potential employers can be stressful. It’s okay to follow up on the status of your application, but be sure to do so with respect for the hiring timeline laid out by the company. The best way to ensure you’re doing this is to ask at the interview. Both “How soon are you expecting to make a decision?” or “When should I expect to hear back from you regarding your decision?” are perfectly reasonable questions to ask. Then, in the spirit of cooperation and professional courtesy, honor that timeline. Calling or emailing repeatedly, especially before the established time frame is over, will not make the process move any faster – and can even be seen as disrespectful. If the hiring manager stated they wouldn’t be making a decision for another week, follow up once if you haven’t heard back after that one-week period.
We get it – it can be uncomfortable to tell a potential employer that you have decided not to move forward with the hiring process. However, they understand that life happens, and they won’t take it personally. Whether you’ve found a new job, decided to move, or your circumstances have changed and you’re not quite ready or able to start working yet, the best thing you can do to is to be upfront with the employer as soon as possible. Whatever your reason may be, they will appreciate your straightforwardness so that they can move on to other qualified applicants and keep their hiring process moving in a productive direction. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you haven’t burned any bridges, and can still benefit from open doors of opportunity with that company should you decide to apply again in the future.