Are you an applicant? What do you do to avoid falling off your chair and stay smart in those boring hours of the hiring process? The process of applying for a new job is one of the most challenging phases in the life of a fresh graduate or an experienced candidate in search for a new career opportunity. The time spent in accomplishing different forms, taking various levels of assessments, and waiting for an interview can really test the depth and breadth of one’s patience and determination.
At some points, you might spend as long as seven hours in the recruitment bay and fifty percent of that period might be devoted to waiting time alone, especially when there is a huge volume of applicants as in the case of an open-house recruitment or mass hiring.
I remember an experience back in my early twenties when I was still very eager to find a job overseas. There were more than 500 applicants. Can you imagine yourself being part of that number? I arrived at the venue before 10AM because that was what the staff in the recruitment agency told me. I met the interviewer at 9PM and the funny part was that I was only given three minutes to sell myself. I have put in a tremendous amount of effort and it yielded nothing in the end. As an applicant, I have no right to complain.
Today marks the 60th day of my unemployment and the following rituals help me get through each and every tedious step in my journey to finding the right job.
1. Entertain yourself by reading a book.
If you have a smartphone, open those unread eBooks that you have downloaded years ago and read through them. You can also bring a book you are currently reading and spend the waiting time finishing a chapter or two. This exercise helps to keep those brain cells active and to avoid being mentally blocked when the actual interview takes place.
2. Build new friendships with other applicants.
Applying for a job also offers a great opportunity to meet new acquaintances and friends. Instead of sitting in one corner and letting boredom kill you, expand your personal space by occupying an empty seat beside a fellow applicant. Engaging in conversations with other applicants will help you learn certain practical tips as some of them might have already gone through the previous stages of the hiring process.
3. Make a visual exploration of the office.
Instead of closing your eyes to sleep, try to roll your eyeballs and visually explore the interior of the office. Pay attention to company posters on the walls and audio-visual presentations as they may contain relevant company information like mission, vision, and values which might come up as questions during the interview. It is always a good practice to know something about the company you are applying in as it gives the impression that you are really interested to be part of their organization.
4. Compose an entry to your blog or journal.
If you are blogging like yours truly or you are someone who keeps a journal, take advantage of the idle time by conceptualizing and writing a draft of your next post. This helps make your attention busy, considering that time seems to be moving so slowly when you are waiting for it.
Sometimes, the staff are intentionally putting the applicants to wait and observe their behaviors via a discreet camera attached somewhere in the recruitment area. This allows them to assess certain attributes that are they are especially particular with, like patience and time management.
5. Play some mind games.
There are companies that incorporate in the initial screening process some tests to assess your vocabulary, numerical ability, or abstract reasoning. Answering a crossword puzzle or nimbling your fingers on a Rubik’s cube can help keep you mentally alert since most of the examinations are done under time pressure.
6. Harness the waking power of social media.
If you don’t feel like talking to someone else for any reasons, get social by connecting with your friends on social media. Be careful not to post a status or tweet something that you are getting bored or upset waiting for your application to be processed. The recruitment staff might be checking your social media profiles as part of the screening procedures. You might run the risk of being put to a bad light when they stumble upon such negative posts on your public social profiles. If you have a profile in LinkedIn, I recommend that you check the company’s profile and its posts to get an overview of what the company is all about.