Do you really want a job?

Everyone is aware of how hard it is to obtain a job nowadays. Graduates are under huge pressure to find the right job from a limited pool of opportunity.

Recruitment processes and assessment centres are reported as highly competitive, selective and often ruthless. Graduates are presented as victims of a frustrating system, where intelligent and talented individuals are unable to gain an entry-level into the industry of their choice.

There is no doubt that there are limited opportunities for graduates in today’s society. However, what is surprising is the amount of candidates that recruiters experience where it appears that they do not really want a job. And put simply, if an employer can’t see that motivation, you will not be offered the job.

To begin with, recruiters are aware that candidates apply for a lot of jobs, and you may not immediately remember the full job description when we call you for a phone interview. However, from the moment you pick up the phone, you are rapidly being assessed based on your responses. Phone etiquette is extremely important, and I will continue to be shocked by the lack of manners of some applicants. Wait for the interviewer to explain the company and the role, and respond by sounding genuinely interested and excited for the opportunity. If you are asked why you want the job, explain your interests and ambitions. This sounds obvious but it often seems that candidates are bored and uninterested, they have applied for too many jobs and they have no interest in the role at all. Following a phone call with an applicant, I often think, do they really want a job? This is because you’ve come across as uninspired, uninterested and characterless. Why would you want to hire someone like that?

If you are invited in for a face-to-face interview, you are being given a huge opportunity. However, you would be surprised to discover the amount of candidates that never show up to their interview. This is mostly without any explanation, not even an email. If there is an email, it is usually a typically transparent excuse. In last month’s analytics, 27% of candidates didn’t show up for their scheduled interview. That is a huge amount of people who can’t even make the effort to attend an interview after an employer has allocated the time to talk to you. Graduates may find the recruitment process frustrating, but it is also frustrating for recruiters to experience graduates with such lackadaisical attitudes.

If a candidate does decide to attend their interview, they are sometimes late and without remorse or apology. They fail to engage in polite conversation or introduce themselves to colleagues, and they often have an unkempt appearance. If you can’t be bothered to do up your tie, why should we bother to give you a job? All of these factors contribute to the impression that you lack the energy employers look for in new workers, a drive that will inspire innovative thinking.

Following the interview, if you are then offered a position within the company, handle the job offer professionally. Thank the employer for the opportunity and resulting offer, and keep them updated on your thoughts regarding the role. If you have concerns, ask the recruiter for further information. And if you have decided to reject the offer, do so formally so that you can be taken off the system. This issue of lack of communication suggests that many graduates are just not ready for employment, and they are not offered jobs because they have not expressed the right attitude.

I think that when you reflect on this issue from the recruiter’s perspective; it is evident that the issue of graduate unemployment isn’t solely due to lack of opportunities. It is also down to the graduates themselves. Employers look for someone who actually wants the job, who will be eager to join and excited to start work. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, maybe graduates should reassess whether they are convincing recruiters that they really want a job. And then reflect on whether you are showing that you really want that job.

Olivia Conway 

Talent Management Executive @ Vantage Point Global 

Scroll to Top