Your interview is coming to an end.
33% of hiring managers claim to know whether or not they will hire someone they interview based solely on the first impression. Scary number considering that first impressions can surely be misleading and essentially mean that one third of people hire – or pass – based purely on superficial criteria. Ouch.
The good news, on the flip side, is that the remaining 67% actually care about the rest of the interview. Lots of recruitment advice focuses on the do’s and don’ts of the interview process. Surely you have read a lot of it and have elevated your game when it comes to answering most commonly asked questions, providing tangible examples of your experience, masterfully handling behavioral questions and navigating the trickier parts of the interview. However, where many interviewees fall flat is the actual end of the meeting. Don’t make the mistake of treating it as an afterthought – first impressions count but final impressions last!
Here are 5 tips to make sure you end on a high:
- When you are prepping for your interview, think of the top three skills or traits you want the interviewer to remember you for. If they don’t come to the forefront during the meeting, then it is your responsibility to bring them up in the form of tangible examples. Own your interview experience so that you don’t beat yourself up later.
- Ask if there is anything else you can provide – i.e. references, transcripts, case studies, timelines of projects worked on and so forth. This will make you an active participant in the process and will give you an easy way of staying in touch.
- Interested in the job? Say so! I’ve seen too many highly qualified job seekers lose the job to those much less qualified simply because of playing it too cool and failing to show their authentic interest. No need to overdo it and cross into the anxious / desperate category. Be humble, sincere and keen.
- Ask about the next step in the process and how to contact the interviewer – when is a good time to follow up, hire date? Too many people stay in the dark after the interview but have quite simply put themselves there quite willingly. There is no worse feeling than waiting for news and not knowing whether to follow up or not – ask and proceed accordingly! Send a thank you email to the interviewer promptly! Promptly = same day as the interview before close of business. It is incredible how easy it is to stand out from the other job candidates simply by sending a quick message thanking the interviewer and reiterating the interest in the position, and it is even more incredible how few people do it! Guess what? I personally take it to the next level and don’t even hire anyone who does not send me a post-interview email.
Simple tips but employed by very few. Add them to your job hunting wisdom and you will become more memorable and will actually improve your candidate experience as a result!