Post-Interview Wait-a-thon

A client this week lamented on the lack of post-interview manners (on the part of recruiters, alas!). Like being ignored after a date that "seemed to go well but who really knows because s/he hasn't called and it's been a week," being ignored after an interview feels awful, especially if you felt it went well.

The parallels between dating and job hunting are interesting. You put your best face on for both, you stick to safe subjects (maybe no religion or politics on the first date/interview), and then you wait.  A recent Globe Careers article, "Interviewed for a job? Prepare to wait" speaks to the hoops job hunters must be prepared to jump through in today's recruitment process. One line in particular jumped out at me: "... following up within 24 to 48 hours remains critical. Write a personal e-mail to each interviewer, keeping in mind that they may compare notes."

Yup! I agree. To capitalize on the opportunity to pen a potentially tie-breaking email wait until after the interview to see if there's a specific topic or question that requires clarification or amplification. (I had a client who admitted to snail mailing thank you notes BEFORE her interview, hence this clarification on the timing.)

When clients ask for my input, I offer the following ideas:

- a short but specific email is preferred to a generic, cliche-ridden one. Skip the reference to "insightful questions" in favour of "wow, I loved the question about how I handled a Help Desk disaster, and after thinking about it on my way home, it reminded me about the time I ..." You can see how this approach allows you to add valuable info that provides insight into your skills, knowledge, and value in this new position.

- write a separate email to the HR rep and the hiring manager. Each has a different agenda or "buying motivator," and thus your email message to each may differ.

- whenever you're writing a message that you want to be influential, you must account for the recipient's "buying motivator." (Google that! Business buying motivators usually relate to the bottom line: saving money, earning money, saving reputation, earning reputation, etc.)

And if and when they compare emails, rather than identical content, they will have messages that although customized to each reader, build trust by building your brand, reinforcing the overriding message that you are a great recruit.

Marie Burns of TalentAmp of Boston, the recruiter who in this article voiced the opinion of writing emails within a 2-day period, went on to say: "not writing a thank you can lose you the job."

Powerful reason to make the post-interview thank you email a routine in your job search strategy.

The One Thing that Will Dramatically Improve Your Interviewing Success

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by a journalist for an upcoming article. I'll share a link when it's printed (I believe it's for the Toronto Sun newspaper).

One of her questions was "what one thing will improve people's interviewing success"? It's hard to pinpoint one, and instead of the answer that I did provide I could have chosen preparation, understanding buying motivators, and others.

But, I truly believe that the one over-riding thing that can improve your interviewing success, and dramatically so,  is attitude.

Now, it may not be what you're thinking. And if you're thinking attitude as in "too sure, too cocky," that's not it. Most of the people that I coach on interview strategies have the opposite problem: they are weak in their appreciation of their own value and come across not as confidently competent, but as needy. They leave their power at the door is the phrase I often use. They assume that the interviewer/interview team holds all the cards.

It's simply not so! And an attitude of anything less than equal spells neediness, uncertainty, lack of confidence - none of which is appealing to an interview team.

If you think that your own interview skills may convey the above less-than-appealing qualities, you would definitely benefit from brushing up on how to interview. Knowing how to prepare, how to convey your value, how to address buying motivators, and how to construct answers that will "wow" your audience will undoubtedly boost your confidence to interview well, dispell that aura of "lack," and propel you more reliably into the number one spot.

New Leaf Resumes offers a one-hour interview strategy coaching that provides you with the tools and strategies to answer any interview question, even the illegal, unreasonable or ridiculous!

- at your service, Stephanie