Your hours of preparation are paying off. As your job interview winds up, you feel strong and confident the position has your name on it.
But before you shake hands and exit, are there still some winning moves left to execute to leave a good impression?
The answer is yes, which is the same response you soon hope to hear regarding your suitability for the job. But that’s getting a bit ahead. Let’s focus on the present.
To be viewed in a more favorable light, there are actions you can take before departing the interview and soon after you walk out the door.
Clear up any miscommunication. Overall, you feel upbeat about the interview, but your annoying and accurate gut hones in on an awkward moment or two. Did a question catch you off guard? Did you mispronounce someone’s name? Did you fumble a response? Was the room silent when you expected polite laughter? Take the time now to correct miscues so that you can avoid mentally beating up yourself later.
Ask when the hiring decision will be made. By doing so, you can better time your follow-up call if you wish to pursue one. Make only one call to avoid being a nuisance.
Close with an insightful question. We’ve all heard of saving the best for last. Your final question may lead to information that makes all the difference in whether you land the job. Ask this: do you have any questions or concerns regarding my fit for this position? The response may help you assess your chances of being hiring, and give you the opportunity to address any concerns that may have gone unsaid.
Reiterate your interest. End the interview with a closing statement about your suitability for the position. Ideally, you’ve already practiced this, but tailor it by weaving in information you learned during the interview. This shows that you are not only a good listener but also a quick study.
Request business cards. This way you have the correct spelling of a person’s name as well as their title, address and email. This information is invaluable when more than one person interviewed you. And you need the contact detail for the next step.
Send thank-you notes. Yes, notes as in more than one. Please keep your groans to a mild roar. First, send an email within 24 hours. But also snail mailing a note of gratitude can make you stand out—especially a hand-written one—because so few people take the time to compose one. Make sure it’s legible. Both notes should express thanks for the opportunity to interview, recap conversational highlights and concisely say why you are a good fit for the position. You can also invite requests for more information. Ensure the notes are error-free. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found 82 percent of employers say thank you notes are important.
Well-timed and thoughtful actions during and immediately after the interview will leave your prospective employer with a more positive picture of you. And that's always a goal worth achieving.