Monday, February 05, 2007

What to Do After the Interview to Increase Your Chance of Getting the Job

Usually, I write about freelancing issues. After all, this blog is about the BUSINESS of freelancing. However, I will start to devote one post a week to full-time career issues, as I've been peppered since the beginning of the year with these types of questions.

Sincerely,
Y. Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com
InkwellEditorial.blogspot.com
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Today's topic: What to Do After the Interview to Increase Your Chance of Getting the Job

I've been a recruiter since 1997 and have interviewed hundreds of applicants. I've previewed and/or screened a few thousand more. Here's a little inside secret - recruiters and employers want you to be the perfect fit for the job. Why?

Because it makes their job easier. They'd rather see 4-5 people for a job, than 10, 15 or 20. So, know going in that when you are called in for an interview, half the battle is already won. They are on your side. Please, please make their job easy by being what they think you are.

In my opinion, the candidate selection process breaks down to about 50% skill set (eg, what's listed on the resume). What you do during the interview takes up another 25-30%. So, that means that a whopping 20-25% depends on what you do after the interview.

Following are two after-interview tips to greatly increase your chance of landing the job.

POST CONTINUED BELOW

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a) Be Proactive: As in, don't wait for the interviewer to call you. When you send in that thank you card (email), reiterate ways you can help them with whatever problem they're having.

INTERVIEW TIP: During the interview process, ask pointed questions about your duties. Try to hone in on problems or areas you can improve on.

This will serve you well after the interview, because when you do your follow up via a thank you card or thank you email, you can expand upon the point. Eg:

"I've been assessing the high turnover rate in your southern region. During our conversation you mentioned that you had experienced rapid growth and that each branch operates independently.

As your team has probably recognized, but had little time to implement, putting operational guidelines in place and training all staff to handle orders in a systemic way will go a long way towards reducing the turnover rate.

My strength is in creating organizational systems that allow a business to thrive. I welcome the challenge this position requires and look forward to hearing from you regarding a possible start date."

While to some this may seem long-winded and presumptuous, to others it will come across as detailed and confident. This type of focus is rare in an after-interview. It shows the employer that you are well aware of what their biggest concern is, have given it some thought, and are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

b) Ask for the Job: This doesn't have to be as direct as it sounds. But, equate it to the dating world. Have you ever been attracted to someone and you were pretty sure they were interested but you just couldn't get up the nerve to ask them out because, what, after all, if you were wrong?

Believe it or not, some employers are like this. They will want a candidate, but figure that they can never afford them, that they'd be bored, that they're used to _________ (fill in the blank).

Calling back a day or two after the interview - unless they've expressly asked you not to - and saying something to the effect of, "I was very impressed with your organization before the interview. After it, even more so. I just wanted you to know that I would welcome the opportunity to work with XYZ, and eagerly await your decision."

This removes any doubt from the employer's mind about your interest in the position. And, all things being equal, you are much more likely to be offered the position than the candidate who is just waiting by the phone.

I know this firsthand. One of the last jobs I got was because the employer said that I called and basically asked for it. It was between me and another candidate, and they were on the fence, leaving the decision until the next day. BUT, because I called (as it so happens, the day before), I got the job. True story!

How to Follow Up: Phone Call, Email or Thank You Note

There is room for all three. But, all things being equal, I would send an email the same day as the interview. THEN, I would follow up with a handwritten thank you note. While this may seem old school, I can count the number of thank you cards on one hand I've received from applicants. They always made the candidate stand out.

Phone calls are iffy. If they haven't expressly forbid it, I would follow up 1-3 days later. If you do call, make it brief and to the point. Basically, just reiterate your interest in the job and let them know that you anxiously await their decision.

As you can see, there's a lot to be done after the interview that can make or break your chances of receiving an offer. Just because the interview is over, don't miss the chance to make that list, final, lasting impression. Good luck!
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1 comment:

Bilal said...

Excellent and helpful post. I would also recommend the readers to check out the following links for further help regarding their interview process:

Job Interview Process

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