An interview is not merely a meeting with a potential manager, and to think of it in simple terms such as that can be detrimental to your prospects. Instead, you should keep in mind that an interview has distinct steps which occur before, during, and after. Once you understand the road map for a proper interview and the most common mishaps to avoid, your chances of success will increase.
Here is what you can expect:
- Before: Once you get the contact that an employer is interested in interviewing you, you should begin your research about both the company and job opening. Know the requirements for the position and think about how your skill set can be a good match. Bring in examples of projects that you were a part of, a list of your career accomplishments, and how your contributions lead to success. Other preparations should include having your attire picked out and ready for wear. Also, make sure you are clear about driving directions and time frames to make it to the location for your appointment. If you rely on public transportation, this planning becomes even more crucial.
- During: Prepare for answering interview questions by soliciting the help of a friend or simply practice answering out loud to typical human resource inquiries. Include both open and closed ended questions. Make sure to take cues from the interviewer because knowing when to elaborate further or keeping it short is imperative. Be attentive to your nonverbal signals and have some questions for your interviewer handy.
- After: Once you complete the interview, you should be mentally prepared to wait to receive a response. Depending on the industry, it is not uncommon to wait up to a month for a call-back with the offer. Increasingly, some employers may even require another interview to make a final decision on a candidate.
Some people, whether they simply forget or perhaps they think it’s not important, fail to send a thank you note to the person they interviewed with. A good rule of thumb to keep in the back of your head: a thank you note has no adverse effect on your chances to get the job. Namely, your note will set you apart from other applicants, or it will be discarded, but it will not hurt your chances in any way.
Writing An Effective Thank You Note
When you follow-up an interview with a thank you note you allow yourself one last chance at making an excellent and lasting impression. It shows gratitude and an interest in the job which you have been considered for. In addition:
- It demonstrates your skill in written communication
- It provides an opportunity to remind the employer of your interest
- It shows courtesy and gratitude
All of these above factors and more make it worthwhile to write the note for your interview follow-up.
The best thank you note you can write will include one that expresses your delight in meeting the hiring manager. Also, make a connection to something that was said during the meeting or about your thoughts in regards to the office. Finally, end the note with an interest in hearing from the interviewer again. Remember, you should send a thank-you note to each person you met with during the interview.
Thank you notes are typically sent via email these days. Once upon a time, these were sent through the mail, but that is no longer the case. Therefore, it becomes essential that you remember to collect business cards from each person you meet with to have contact information handy. Finally, the suggestion for sending a thank you note is within a day of interviewing.
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