In my previous post I provided six of my “must-do” tips for a stand-out job interview that gets you an offer.
Here’s the rest of the story, starting with #7!
7. Give lots of specific examples.
Use the SOAR format: Situation, Obstacles, Actions, Results. Quantify results where possible. How well, how fast, how inexpensively did you get the work done? Offer “evidence” of the quality of your work, naming specific impacts. Were your methods adopted by others? Did you receive a special note from the CEO? Remember a particularly quotable compliment you received? Be specific.
8. Ask good questions that show you’ve done your homework on the company, on line and through your contacts. (Use LinkedIn!)
As your questions are answered, relate yourself and your skills to the answers. “You said your top priority is (whatever). May I tell you about how I’ve made that happen in the past?”
9. Do something extra.
Consider bringing a portfolio or showing a presentation on your laptop. Many managers and executives bring a 30/60/90 day plan to show what their first steps will be if hired. Realize that your competitors may be doing these things also, so make yours the best.
10. Close the interview effectively. Summarize your key selling points, expressing strong interest and asking about next steps. If this is your final interview and you want the job, say so.
11. Consolidate your memory of the conversation. Immediately after the interview, go over any notes you took, clarify your scribbles and add more detail. These notes will help you in writing followup messages and in subsequent interviews.
12. Follow up. Send a written message within 24 hours. (Email, handwritten notes and typed letters each have their advantages; which one is best depends on the industry, the timing, and other circumstances.) Reiterate your interest, reinforce what went well, and see if you can ameliorate anything that didn’t, e.g. by adding something you forgot to say.
Follow up about once a week, sometimes by phone. Don’t say you’re calling to find out whether they’ve made a decision. Instead, update them that you’re still available and interested, and give a sense of a continuing the interview conversation by adding a new thought or fact, perhaps something discovered through continued reading about the company and the space they work in.
The Good News and the Bad News about These Interview Tips:
The bad news is, this is a lot of work.
The good news is, since it is a lot of work, most of the other candidates won’t bother. That’s why you’ll stand out and get the job!