Jobseekers consistently complain that one of the most frustrating aspects of job search is the endless interviewing and then not receiving an offer. And then not knowing why. As somebody who has watched thousands of offers over the last several decades there’s so many things that job seekers don’t know about hidden criteria that is not in the job posting.


Many job seekers do not realize that well run organizations typically will analyze their recruiting conversion rate. The recruiting conversion rate is the percentage of candidates who advance to the next stage of the recruitment process. This analysis is very important because it measures recruiting efficiency. If the top of the recruitment funnel is robust but none of the candidates make it past submission to the hiring manager or interviews with a hiring manager, the process is broken.


The recruiting efficiency model is a good model for job seekers to reverse engineer into their own model – which I will call the Candidate Interview Efficiency Model. The end result of interviews is a job offer. If your ratio or percentage is low when it comes to converting to offers, then you know that your process is inefficient. Wasting your time and money, plus increasing your exposure.


What do I mean by that? If you are a working professional, it’s a risk to interview. Why? Because job searches are not always confidential. If you apply online, sometimes that can be disclosed by back door channels. Disappearing for a PTO day to interview can raise red flags. So interviewing adds an element of risk and potential for improvement to your careers.


One of the biggest areas of risk and inefficiency is from the number of people you may be required to meet or speak with over the course of the process.  Clearly, the more players, the bigger the potential for leaks.


The time involved in a typical interview process sadly is increasing.


Top Tips to Getting An Offer


If you are going back for round after round of phone calls and interviews with the hiring manager, here’s the conversation you need to be having with the potential employer.  Ask both the Recruiter and Hiring Manager exactly which evidence they are seeking to confirm and what they still do not know that they need to verify in order to move forward.


Ask for the Criteria


For years, I’ve advised candidates interviewing onsite to ask this in the interview. Towards the end of the interview, ask the interviewer “What do you still not know about my skills and experience for this job that would stop you from moving forward with me?”


What you’re trying to do is help the hiring manager identify key criteria that they are using that is not always in the job description. The criteria most likely will be related to corporate culture match and is job related.


Communicate With Your Recruiter


The net top tip to getting to yes in an offer is to have a strategy and advise your Recruiter. If you are asked to continue to return for additional add on interviews, including rounds of phone interviews, you should discuss with them openly. Typically this means that the hiring manager and the team still feel that they are missing critical evidence for skills that are vital to success in the job.  Prior to each interview round, it’s absolutely fair to ask the Recruiter to do a quick prep call to review the information and evidence and experience that you should be prepared to discuss in depth.


Sometimes, companies will interview a person, and then hold out for perfect. What I call passing on the possible, waiting for the perfect candidate who probably doesn’t exist. The hiring manager will continue to keep the job open and require the Recruiter to schedule additional candidates. This dynamic is absolutely a major frustration for Recruiters especially when they are forced to go back to the original candidate. Many times the original candidate already accepted another offer, was insulted by how they were treated and may have hit Glassdoor in the interim to dish some dirt.


If you are asked to interview with a cavalcade of people, it’s OK to confirm each person’s role in the process. Many times, it’s just “a meet and greet” to get a buy-in. Your goal in those meetings is to absolutely make the person feel comfortable with working with you, build rapport, be appropriate and find a way to find common ground and commonality. Those meet and greet interviews are not for you to show that you know more than that person. They may be peers or direct reports. Rapport building is the key.


Negotiate Offers Like A Pro


When you are dealing with offer negotiation, getting to yes involves being a savvy player when it comes to understanding how company compensation systems work. Companies have a process for determining where you fall in their range based on your experience plus an analysis of internal equity. Meaning they have to be very careful about hiring people in way above their peers who have been receiving just 2% raises for years. So above all, work with them.  Usually the HRBP or Recruiter will match your education and number of years of experience so that they are equitably identifying where you fall in the range.  It’s not the Wild West when it comes to comp and you want to work for an organization that actually has internal controls with internal and external equity.


Final Thoughts On Getting To Yes


Be nice! That’s right. Compensation negotiations are not the time to show your aggressive side. You can be assertive while being respectful and strategic. Phrases to avoid while negotiating:


I have to take care of my family.

I’m below market and need to make it up in this job change.

My partner (uncle, sister…..insert random family member) told me over the holidays that I’m underpaid.


Recruiters have heard it all. Believe it or not, many Hiring Managers are hampered by internal equity issues just as much as external forces on compensation ranges. It’s not always bad to make a relatively lateral move to open up a brand new career at a great company. Think about it.