by: Heather Kaiser – Certified Professional Resume Writer, #JobSquad Member
So, you went on an interview for your dream job and you think it went pretty well.
Now, you wait… for what feels like an eternity, to hear back from your interviewer on whether or not you actually got the job.
A couple of days pass… Nothing.
A week… Nothing.
By now you’re pretty sulky and completely convinced you didn’t get the job. So, you send an email to follow-up, and you receive a form letter back, “regretting to inform you” that even though you have an impressive background, they offered the job to another candidate.
What is happening?!
Why is it, when I feel like the interview went well, (I had good, pertinent, insightful questions; did my research and showed the interviewer I knew about the company and what would be expected of me; had a good rapport with the interviewer and all that good stuff) I’m still not receiving any job offers?
Did you write a thank-you note? Maybe you sent a Thank-You email (at the urging of pretty much every recruiter you’ve met), but did you sit down when you got home, put pen to paper, and snail-mail a handwritten Thank-You note addressed to each and every person you met that day?
Every client who asks me to counsel them on interviewing techniques hears the same advice from me –
Handwrite a Thank-You note to each person you met!
It takes maybe five minutes and a couple of stamps. By the time your interviewer or interviewers receive it, they’ll be further along in the hiring process and will suddenly receive a unique, handwritten reminder of how courteous and professional you are.
I know what you’re thinking… “I have the handwriting of a serial killer.
I’ll probably lose the job if I send one.”
I had a client tell me she was hired because she took the time to send a Thank-You note, and it was on her interviewer’s cork board when she arrived for her first day of work.
The other positive and constructive benefit of this practice, that it drives us out of our comfort zones and gets us out of our nervous headspace; compelling us to truly engage with the people we’re meeting along the way. And isn’t that what an interview is all about? Finding the most positive way to interact and engage with your potential employer.
The mission (should you choose to accept it), to learn and collect the names of those we meet, also presents the opportunity for us to look that person in the eyes, and begin to invest in them – so hopefully, they will invest in us, becoming a new part of their team. It helps the enthusiastic job seeker to create impactful and important first impressions. And we all know the magnitude of positive first impressions.
So, what might this “mission” look like, you ask?
Let’s start with the receptionist, for example, or whomever it is that greets you when you arrive for your interview (because you’re going to be early, right?). Ask the receptionist their name when you introduce yourself:
“Hi, I’m Annelle Desoto. I’m here to meet Truvy Jones.” Most likely they’ll tell you to have a seat and wait. Before turning away, follow up: “Thank you very much, I appreciate that…. I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.” (Extend your hand to shake theirs.) Once they’ve given their name, say it back to them: “Nice to meet you M’Lynn…?” Leave the question hanging a bit, to allow them to provide their last name. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. (But be sure not to be creepy about it.) “M’Lynn Eatonton. It’s very nice to meet you.” Take your seat and make a specific note of the person’s name and where you met them, and maybe also add something nice you noticed about them; (nice tie, great suit, kind smile) to add to your handwritten note later.
There you have it!
Inquiring about their name, and repeating it back to them, is a common courtesy (that also helps you remember it) and lets them know that you’re invested in meeting them– and not just in meeting the boss.
Nobody likes a suck-up.
Don’t forget to make yourself that note or log it in your phone’s Notes as you’re waiting for your appointment. If you’ve had even a brief conversation with them, you can reference it in your Thank-You note:
I was in the office for an interview yesterday and I just wanted to say a quick Thank-You for being so kind and helpful. It’s very comforting to meet nice people when you’re nervous. So, thank you for that. It was great meeting you. I hope to become part of your welcoming team. Have a great day.
Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers spend most of their time interviewing tons of people. They need to be reminded of whom they met and what made that person “the one.”
Be that person.
beBetter. HAND-WRITE a Thank-You note.
I know what you’re thinking…” I have the handwriting of a serial killer. I’ll probably lose the job if I send one.” That’s no excuse! If they hire you, they’re going to discover you haven’t used your grammar school cursive since grammar school anyway, and I promise you the gesture of going the extra mile well outweighs your scruffy penmanship.
Start practicing your cursive now!
Make it a part of your job search process.
You’ll thank me later.