10 Things You Should Do in an Interview (Part III)

11 12 2010

This is a continuation of Parts I and II.

7.  Engage in a 2-Way Discussion!

As I explained in detail in #6, I strongly encourage you to ask three sets of key questions upfront, and when you are successful in doing so, you will move the interview from a one-way grilling to a 2-way discussion.

By engaging in a 2-way discussion, the interview will be more interesting, interactive, productive and mutually beneficial to both you and the interviewer.  When you ask the questions in #6, you will learn a lot more about the responsibilities, requirements and expectations.

There will be more give-and-take, and less of the hard questioning you normally experience.  You will be able to initiate more of the conversation by both sharing how you match the position, but by also asking more detailed questions.  The interviewer will feel less stressed to control the interview and will appreciate and enjoy that you are now better prepared to answer questions in a more focused and relevant manner.  You may also find that you receive more feedback, whether directly or indirectly.

8.  Summarize and Close!

As you near the end of the interview (you can pick up subtle or direct cues from the interviewer), it is important that you both summarize the discussion, and close.

Summarize why you feel that you are a fit for the position based on what the interviewer has told you he/she is looking for, and also share that you are genuinely interested (if that is the case), and why!  This process provides a brief repetition of the highlights of the discussion.  It is also essential that the interviewer knows that you are truly interested as they typically do not hire candidates who are not interested – the exception is when they cannot find someone who wants the job, or they don’t care whether or not a candidate is interested.

Closing is a part of the interview that few candidates make a real attempt at doing, and yet, it is like any sales process; if you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get it!  It is understandable that you may feel reluctant to ask for feedback.  Here are a number of ways that you can close the interview – you can ask,

  • “What do you think?”
  • “Where are you in the process, and how do I compare to other candidates?”
  • “What is the next step, and when can I expect to hear from you?”
  • “Do you have any questions or concerns that we have not addressed?”

It is wonderful if the interviewer gives you feedback without your asking; however, this is not the norm, unless they are very interested in hiring you.  If the interviewer is unsure and has any questions or concerns, if you do not get them out in the open, you will not be able to overcome any objections they have to hiring you.

You are not attempting to argue, but to ensure that, as much as possible, you have the opportunity to understand what their objections are, and to respond to them.  Once you leave the interview, the objections will solidify in the mind of the interviewer, and it will be less likely that you will know of them or be able to overcome them.

9.  Send a Thank You Note!

Is this something you do after every interview?  Do you know that fewer and fewer candidates send thank you notes?  The thank you note, whether it be by email, typed letter or handwritten note or card, is another “must” step in the process.  It is your opportunity to make another positive impression upon the interviewer(s) (send a thank you note to each person with whom you interview), and it is an opportunity to once again express why you fit, and why you are interested.  It is also a chance to add any more information that you forgot to share that you feel will help the interviewer in their decision process.

Sending a thank you note shows initiative and professionalism.

Keep the note or letter brief – no more than 3 – 4 paragraphs.  Make sure to proof-read for content, grammar and spelling.

Send the note within 24 hours.

10.  Follow-up!!!

Unless the interviewer gave you a specific timeframe during which you can expect to hear something, follow-up in about one week.  Try to call or send an email to the recruiter and the hiring manager to once again express your interest, and to ask about the status of the position.

Do not assume that if you have not heard back (at any time during the process) that the company is not interested.  Some companies take months to make a decision!  Until you hear otherwise, you are still in the running.  Be patient and persistent in following up.  Do not make a pest of yourself by trying to contact them every day.  Check back about once a week – try alternating between calling and emailing.

Again, do not assume anything!  Your patient persistence can pay off!

Good luck!!!

For Part I, please go to:  https://careerspecialist1.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/10-things-you-should-do-in-an-interview-part-i/

For Part II, please go to:  https://careerspecialist1.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/10-things-you-should-do-in-an-interview-part-ii/

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