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No matter which side of the table you’re on during the interview process, there’s one thing you can have to do if you want to improve your odds: get out of your comfort zone.

You hear complaints from candidates, recruiters, HR, and hiring managers each and every day about the toils of the interview process, about how everything’s broken, about how inefficient processes are, not having enough applicants, not enough jobs, can’t land an interview, can’t find the right candidates…the list goes on.

But, the same people complaining are the same ones standing in their own way, too afraid to change their process.  After all, it’s everyone else, and everyone else’s problem. Not them, right?

Too often we think we know better or we think that because something is simple or common sense that we don’t need to apply it because we must already be doing it, or it’s too simple to be the solution to our problem, and too often we’re wrong–or we’re just afraid to change.

And, no one is exempt, we’ve all been victim to this sort of fallacy at one time or another.  Why?  Because we don’t like to be uncomfortable.

Are you a recruiter or hiring manager who always thinks the other person (be it the decision maker, the gate keeper, the recruiters, or the hiring manager) who are the reason why you’re not making hires from the interview?

Sure, the problem may lie with someone else, but shouldn’t you put un-pleasantries aside for the greater good of getting the results everyone wants.  Sitting down and having an in-depth discussion about new solutions to the issues might distress you, but you’d be surprised how many problems a little communication can solve.

Sometimes, with a little creative thinking, you can also improve the process from your side to influence others or improve results.  Resting on your laurels and turning a blind eye, however, will just cause any issues to manifest and grow over time, while resentment builds.

“You have to force yourself out of a comfort zone and really try to figure out what are the key ingredients, the key skill sets, the key perspectives that are necessary, and then figure out a way to attract the very best people to fill those particular roles.” – Steve Case

If you’ve been out of work and can’t seem to make it past an interview (or get one), and aren’t getting any closer to landing that dream job, start applying all the tips and tricks you’re reading.  As simple or as silly as some of the advice may sound, there’s  a reason it’s out there: it has worked for someone.

Sure, use your own discretion, but don’t assume the problem is not you.  It’s the person that dismisses the advice that often needs it the most.  Do the exercises, have outsiders take a look at your resume, smile more, practice in a mirror, get feedback, try new things, and change it up–even if it feels strange or awkward.

“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” -Denis Waitley

If you’re an HR department out there, your job, just like everyone else’s is to help accomplish the business’s goals, not to prevent the business from progress.

Yes, there are certain rules and regulations that have to be abided by in the recruitment process, but start saying yes more to new ideas and figure out how to adapt the process to the business needs, instead of being a roadblock to change.

Yes, it will be uncomfortable, yes there could be some pain involved, but if it end result is better quality hires and a better process, then you’ve done your part as a business partner and will be recognized for it, instead of avoided like the plague.

And, you never know, you might just revolutionize something along the way and become an industry example of the new way to work.  But, you’ll never know if you don’t attempt the difficult or unexpected.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck

Chances are the people who really need to step outside of their comfort zone are probably not the ones reading this, but chances are there are a few snarky individuals who will, who might just slip this article to those in need of a subtle hint.

Whatever your role in the interview process, be the change that needs to happen to improve the outcome, because if you’re not, there’s probably someone else ready to take your place and step up to the challenge.  Choose to be uncomfortable of your own doing and take control of the situation before you’re forced to into discomfort by someone else.

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