A company has an opening in which you have an interest. You apply for the job. You’re called in for a first interview, and then another. The process moves on and you are told it is down to the final selection stage, that you are one of the finalists for the position. What do you do at this point?
Do you sit back and wait to hear hoping that you have provided all the information that the hiring company has wanted to hear? Do you hold up on your search for other positions hoping that this job is the one you have been searching for, and that if you get it you have to search no longer? Or do you work through your mind the interviews that you have had with this firm and think through what objections they may have had about you? What answers do you have for those objections? Have you followed up with the hiring manager to provide more input on how you may be able to overcome those objections? Perhaps you have thought of experiences from former positions that show that you have demonstrated a needed skill that did not come out during the interview process. Maybe, since the interview, you have learned a way that you can get the necessary training or exposure in the area that you have had little past experience. Have you shared with the hiring company that you have begun pursuing this training?
In talking to the hiring company about the position for which you have interviewed have you envisioned yourself in the position? What issues did the hiring manager indicate were of particular importance to their area to get resolved? Have you thought through how you may be the one to resolve those issues? In your follow-up and thank you to the hiring manager, for the interview, have you provided an “influence” letter that indicates to them that you really would welcome an opportunity to work as part of their team and how your skill sets will help address their area’s biggest needs?
Many times it appears to be counter intuitive to do more than just answer the interviewer’s questions, hope you responded well and sit back and wait for a response. Therefore as a result, that is what a good number of job searchers do. They forget that the company and manager doing the hiring are filling a need. Sometimes the hiring manager may have had to wait a long time before their opening was approved. They want to be “right” in terms of the person they hire for the opening in their area, just as much as you are hoping you are the one selected for the job. Therefore, the more you can demonstrate to the hiring manager your passion for the position, your ability to already think ahead to addressing their needs and concerns and demonstrating how you are the one to come in to be a contributing member of their team, the more you build the case to be the one to be hired.
Think back over the recent job interviews on which you have been. Did you look to ask as many questions about the position and how you can solve the company’s problems, as they asked of you to learn about your background? After the interview, other than the obligatory thank you letter, did you look to reach out with a “letter of influence” that shows you are already thinking about how you fit into the role based on your skill sets and talents? Or did you just conduct the interview, sit back and hope for the best?
With the number of applicants for each open position in this economy, it is often difficult to be selected for an interview itself. Therefore, when you have gotten past that hurdle, you need to be the one to take charge of how you progress through the interview process. And, remember it is a process. It is unlikely one interview will necessarily get you a job offer. Often you will be required to interview several times for the same position. As long as you’re strategy keeps you in the process of “getting that next interview”, and continually being called back as one of the candidates, you are always free to share whatever information will boost your case. Or you can choose to sit back and just hope for the best. What choice will you make?