In the job-search process, landing an interview is a giant step, but unfortunately, it’s not the final step.
In a great U.S. News & World Report post titled “5 Steps to Turn That Interview Into a Job Offer,” writer and Career Valet president Marcelle Yeager urges interviewees to “maintain the mindset that you are still being considered for the job.” You can’t waltz in thinking you’ve got things in the bag, and that means careful preparation.
Yeager’s first tip is to “tap into your network” of professional contacts and try to speak with people that work at the prospective company. The idea is to get a sense of the culture and work environment and pick up information you won’t get simply by Googling or poking around on the firm’s website.
Having done this, you’ll want to “utilize what you’ve learned” during the interview and ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company. According to Yeager, it’s OK to mention that you’ve spoken to insiders, as it shows you’re curious and industrious and serious about the position.
Speaking of seeming curious, you’ll want to “ask questions” — Yeager’s third tip — throughout the interview, since it shows you’re paying attention and thinking critically about what’s being said. You could have what you deem to be the best interview in the history of the world, but if you don’t ask any questions, your odds of getting a job offer are slim.
Another way to prove you’re really listening and processing things is to “demonstrate your understanding” by referencing past experiences that are relevant to this new opportunity. If the hiring manager is talking about a specific responsibility that would come with the job, discuss how you’ve handled similar situations along the way and experienced successful outcomes.
Lastly, you’ll want to “show gratitude” in the form of two thank-you notes: one emailed, the other handwritten, both personal, brief, and sent within a day.
Will doing these five things guarantee you a job offer? Of course not. But as Yeager writes, they’re great ways to put your best foot forward and give yourself every advantage. Good luck.