Job Search Tip of the Week – 05/11/2016

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How to Seal the Deal:

Proper Post-Interview Etiquette

Seal the Deal, Get the Job!

Sealing the deal means carefully managing your post interview behavior with proper etiquette.

You’ve undoubtedly heard, countless times before, “The interview starts the moment you walk in the door.” However, did you know that it lasts long after you walk out? Your post-interview behavior may affect a hiring manager’s decision to extend you a job offer.

Proper Post Interview Etiquette is “AT CTC”:

Asking direct questions such as, “What should I expect after today?” will make following up easier and shows consideration for your interviewer’s time and your willingness to obtain and fulfill requirements.  Avoid leading statements such as, “It was great meeting you [interviewer’s name], and I look forward to hearing from you soon,” which may elicit more of a reflective (e.g., “Likewise. I’ll be in touch soon.”) than an informative response.

Thank anyone who took the time to speak with you! Some guidelines:

  • While you’re still in the office, make eye contact and use the interviewer’s name as you give him or her a firm handshake. Reiterate your interest in the position and briefly summarize why you believe you’re a strong candidate and a good fit for the job. If possible, thank the individual who greeted you at the door when you first came in. Keep a smile on your face and your cell phone turned off as long as you are in the building.
  • The moment you walk out, the countdown starts. Post-interview thank-you notes should be sent within the next 24 hours (ideally, the same day as your interview).
  • If someone in your network referred you to the company, keep him or her updated on your interview process. If you do so in a timely fashion, your referrer may be able to put in another good word for you before the hiring manager makes a decision. You’ll also be showing your appreciation for the referral, and he or she will keep you in mind for future job opportunities.
  • Although most etiquette authorities recommend that you send a handwritten note, the technology industry considers an emailed message the norm. Should you decide to send a snail-mail, follow this format:

Interviewer’s Name
Interviewer’s Title
Company Name
Company Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr. / Ms. [Interviewer’s Name],
I appreciate the time you took earlier today to acquaint me with [Company Name] and to discuss the [Position You Hope to Attain] position. After meeting with you, I am further convinced that my experience as a [Currently Held Position] specializing in [Microsoft or Open Source] development using [list of key languages] will coincide with your business requirements.

Thank you again for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding your hiring decision.

Sincerely,
Your Signature
Your Name
Your Phone Number
Your Email
Your Address

  • The above example is acceptable, but not memorable. To increase your chances of being hired, insert a few lines after the first sentence that refer to the rapport you built and the conversation you had with the interviewer. For example, “I enjoyed our conversation about software development methodologies and technology industry trends. I hope an opportunity arises soon where we can continue our discussion on the implications of outsourcing on company morale.”

Connect. Following the company via social media is a great way to indicate your interest in joining the organization. Also, if your interviewer said to contact them should you have any questions, follow up on that opportunity by asking questions to learn more about the position and expanding on anything mentioned during the interview. Perhaps send some tech industry news from Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch that you think your interviewer would be interested in with the accompanying message, “Hi, [Interviewer’s Name]. During my interview for the [Position You Hope to Attain] position at [Company Name], you mentioned that you had just read an interesting article about [Topic You Discussed]. I came across this and thought of our conversation. I hope you enjoy the read!” Make sure you’re contacting your interviewer with a legitimate reason. The key is to remind your interviewer of your existence, not to annoy them with spam!

Then wait. Do not attempt to follow-up before the date given to you by your interviewer. If you neglected to obtain when the hiring manager expected to come to a decision, the standard is to wait a minimum of three days and no more than five to contact after the initial interview. However, if an outside / third-party agency was involved in your interview process, it’s best for all communications regarding feedback and timetables to go through the recruiter and not the employer.

Contact the interviewer if you haven’t heard back after the acceptable follow-up date. It’s important that:

  • You avoid accusing your interviewer of missing the deadline and being pushy as to why you haven’t yet received a response. Try: “Hi, [Interviewer’s Name]. You mentioned that you would be coming to a decision regarding the [Position You Hope to Attain] sometime earlier this week. I was wondering if you had an update for me, or if I could provide additional information to assist you in the process. Thanks!”
  • You pace yourself, both in quantity of calls and talking speed. Again, the standard is three days, so reach out once every three days following the given follow-up date if you haven’t heard back. When leaving a voicemail, state your name and phone number at the beginning and at the end of your message. Tip: Write each digit of your phone number in the air with your finger as you say it. If you can’t write it as fast as you say it, the recipient of your message can’t either!
  • You make yourself available. Being easy to reach post-interview assures the hiring manager that you are interested in the position!

Remember: Your behavior post-interview may affect a hiring manager’s decision just as much as that during. “AT CTC” is your exit strategy to continue giving that favorable impression and land that dream job!

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