In your job search, are you weary of having doors shut in your face? I just got off the phone with a discouraged candidate–let’s call her Mandy–who had just finished an interview that hadn’t gone so well. The hiring manager had greeted her, told her it would be a few minutes, and suggested that she should familiarize herself with the room while he was gone. As Mandy looked around, she vaguely noticed a poster on the wall listing eight organizational goals. Other than that, the lobby seemed quite ordinary.
When he showed her into his office, the interviewer’s main three questions were directed at finding out how much Mandy knew about the organization, its four locations, and particularly its eight goals. The hiring manager obviously wanted to be certain that Mandy knew enough about the organization to want to work for them specifically. In fact, to Mandy’s surprise, he asked very little about her personally. At the end of the interview, Mandy asked to show some samples of her work pertinent to the job description, to which the hiring manager responded positively. He then showed her out, stating that he would make a decision by tomorrow, and Mandy left to do some grocery shopping and call me.
“So did you already write a thank-you email?” I asked her. She hadn’t. I told her to go home right away and think about what she’d just learned about the organization. As misguided as the hiring manager’s questions were–he could’ve collected much better information by using behavioral interview questions–he obviously wanted someone who was a good fit for his organization. “You need to write about why you think you’re a great match for them, Mandy,” I told her. “Research those eight goals you couldn’t remember, and choose one or two which you know your skills and experience can help further. This is an opportunity to reinforce the good impression you’ve already made. We’ve known candidates who got the job solely because of a well written thank-you note!”
Candidates, you will never be able to predict which unique questions an interviewer may ask you. But you can do your research on the company before you go. And you can use the interview to ask what is important to the organization for that position and bring up examples of your experience and skill that apply to their needs. And after the interview, always remember to write a thank-you note! If you have time, a hand-written note is likely to make the best impression, but if a decision is being made quickly, send a thank-you email that highlights one or two key ways you can contribute to the organization. Your email could be the hand that opens the door to your next career move.
Did you know that when you refer a friend or colleague whose qualifications are a good fit for one of our open positions, you may be eligible for our Candidate Referral Program? Ask your Amtec recruiter for details.