What if I said I know an incantation that will transform you into a must-hire candidate? What if five magic words, simply said, could bring you good fortune?
What are these five words?
“I’ve taken the liberty to…”
Of course, this short sentence alone won’t mesmerize recruiters into automatically hiring you. They are simply the introduction to the real magic: the homework you’ve done. They are the means of showing the recruiter how prepared you are for this interview. These words, more than any other, demonstrate to the recruiter that you’re there to win this job seeking competition.
While your use of this phrase would obviously be tailored to the specific position you seek and the needs of the company, examples of how best to use this magic include:
- “I’ve taken the liberty to… create a marketing plan that will help us get to the next level” you might say as a marketing professional
- “I’ve taken the liberty to… build an analysis of our competition”, a business development professional might use as an introduction
- “I’ve taken the liberty to… review your current social media plan, and I’d like to show you how we can make a huge impact in a short time…” a community manager may say
Whatever your situation, and the company’s needs, through these five words and your short presentation – you are now in the driver’s seat; you have now turned a routine interview process into a mutually-beneficial conversation.
You’ve gone from boring… to magical!
Here are a few points to remember when invoking “I’ve taken the liberty to…”
Keep It Simple
Your presentation should be no more than two pages, and two to three minutes. The recruiter may not work directly with the subject matter in your presentation – so multiple layers of detail are likely too much. Also, remember you’re still in an interview; a concise presentation is respectful of the interviewer’s time.
Before the interview, practice! Know your idea, the material and the time it will take to present, perfectly. Anticipate the recruiter’s questions; create answers – and practice them, too. Remember, you chose to use this magic – and now your presentation skills will be considered in the overall evaluation of your candidacy.
Don’t caveat your presentation! No “Now, you guys might already be working on this” or “This may not be something you need, but…” Whether they already are, or if they don’t, doesn’t matter. Your idea – along with a solid presentation – will show the recruiter that you’re a creative, top-tier candidate willing to work hard even before you have the job.
Make the Presentation Relevant
Make the most of your five to seven magical minutes by ensuring you have, indeed, done your homework – and that your idea could benefit the company in real life. This can’t be a display of “false hustle” or an “Ooh, look at me! I can present” moment. The presentation must be based on your thorough research of the company – and their competitors and industry. (Much more involved than just reading the “About Us” page on the company’s website.”)
Keep the presentation simple… no need to bring your laptop or have the recruiter pull up a website on their computer. And you’re certainly not going to take a projector with you. On high-quality paper, print at least two copies of your document; one copy for the recruiter and one for yourself. This will enable you to discuss your plan without awkwardly having to lean over the recruiter’s desk or the interviewing table to point out details.
Use the Presentation as Follow-up
At the conclusion of the interview, confidently offer to email the document to the recruiter. The recruiter will rarely say no, giving them a reason to open and read your post-interview “thank you email” with anticipation – and, among all candidates, you’ll keep your magic top of mind.
Is this magic incantation and its accompanying presentation more work than the average candidate does to prepare for an interview?
Yes! That is what you’re counting on!
The average candidate won’t take their preparation to this level, propelling you above your competition. Magic or not… in the eyes of the recruiter, you are now the “must hire” candidate.
About the Author: Dave Ellis is an original member of the YouTern team and is instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). Dave serves as YouTern’s Content and Community Manager, and enjoys his role as the company’s “Man Behind the Curtain”. In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter!