If you’re getting interviews, your resume is doing its job — assuming you’re getting interviews for the types of jobs you want. But what you do before, during, and after the interview can increase your chances of getting the offer.
Before the interview, do your homework! Review the company’s website and learn more about key personnel, work they do, clients, and potential areas where you might be an asset. Google the company. Look for recent news articles about the company. Review the company’s social media profiles. Ask your network for help learning more about the targeted company. Check out the company on Glassdoor.com to see what current and former employees have to say.
If you know your interviewer’s name, Google that too. Check out his or her LinkedIn profile and social media accounts. Prepare a list of targeted questions to ask in the interview that demonstrate you have done your homework and that, when answered, will give you additional insight into the company.
In the interview, listen carefully. Your interviewer is assessing your fit with the company, but you are doing the same. You want to make sure that this job is right for you, too! (Remember, you looking for the “right job” not just “any job.”) Practice your interview skills too!
Be prepared to give a “closing statement.” If you’re given the opportunity in the interview, be ready to summarize (in 90 seconds or less) why you think you’d be a good fit for the position. If possible, incorporate in additional information you learned in the interview itself! Prepare the key points of this closing statement in advance, but practice it until it sounds natural, not canned or rehearsed.
Before the interview ends, ask if the interviewer needs anything else from you to help with the decision — a list of references, work samples, a 30-60-90 day plan for what you would do in the first three months on the job, etc.
Don’t forget that it is okay to specifically express your interest in working for the company! At the end of the interview, ask what the next step is. You want to know if there is another round of interviews, and when it will begin, or when the hiring decision will be made. Ask if it is okay to follow-up and if they’d prefer phone or email?
Immediately after the interview, send a follow-up/thank you note. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to meet, reiterate your specific interest in the job and the company, and confirm the “next step” — whether that is information you have promised to provide, or what you’re expecting from the interviewer.
If you don’t hear back from the interviewer in the time you expected to hear from him or her, it is okay to follow-up. Just remember that the hiring process can take much longer than expected. Be respectful in your follow-up efforts. (“You had mentioned that you thought the second round of interviews would start this week, and I just wanted to make sure that you had everything you needed from me to assist in your decision-making.”)
If you do not end up getting another interview — or the job offer — try to follow-up with the interviewer to get feedback; specifically, why another candidate was the better fit. You may not be able to obtain this information (busy hiring managers may not take the time to respond), but if you can get this type of feedback, it can be helpful in your overall job search. If you cannot reach the hiring manager, watch who is ultimately hired, and assess that person’s professional profile and see if there was something that might indicate a key qualification (perhaps a certification or a past employer) that might have set them apart.
Get into the habit of rewarding yourself for effort, regardless of your results. If you put in the effort, eventually the results will follow.
Note: This blog post only touches on certain aspects of this topic and is not a comprehensive list. This blog post is an educational and informational resource for job seekers and is not a substitute for working with a resume writer or other professional. See our Terms and Conditions for additional information.