It’s always nice when your network helps to get you across the recruitment threshold. This can come when a referral helps get you your first interview and sets you on the path for the position. Yet keep in mind a few items when it comes to being referred, and make sure to treat the interview appropriately.
It's not a done deal
Just because you were referred to the position does not guarantee that you will get it, especially if it's for a larger multinational corporation. That's why interviews are typically done in a panel-based style. It's meant to approach a candidate from different angles with different people to give a fair and impartial opinion of that candidate.
With that said, you should prepare for every interview as you normally would. Even if you get some insight into who you will be speaking to, make sure to use that to your advantage. You want to make sure that every interview you have is one where you have the inside track, so you should be able to ace every interview.
You’re representing the person who referred you
Keep in mind that when you are going into these interviews, the interviewers will know that you're a personal or professional recommendation. That means it can come off as a double-edged blade. On the one hand, if your colleagues respect and appreciate the person who referred you, then it should make the overall process go smoother. Yet, on the other hand, if you lack the knowledge for the position during the interview, it could reflect poorly on the person who referred you.
That's why we're going to reiterate how important it is to prepare even more for an interview that comes from this type of referral. You want to be able to shine and show that you would be a competent fit and a cultural fit in the organisation, so it should make all those being interviewed feel comfortable with you.
Interview to get the position
If you’re going for a position that’s been referred to you by a colleague, you need to go into each interview as if you want that job. If you don't show interest and go into the interviews as just a formality, it will come off that way to some interviewers, who feel you're wasting your time. So take the time to show up early, be professional, have questions to ask, and make sure to make it some of the best interviewing you've ever done.
If you pass through all the hurdles and eventually get the position, take the position. It was a referral where your professional network came out to help you out and land a job. Not taking it is frustrating for all sides because your referral was most likely selling you to internal colleagues and even senior managers for you to get the position. It won't look good, and it may end the possibility of any referrals from this colleague in the future. Make sure you only take the interview if you're serious about it.
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