Once you’ve identified an intriguing opportunity and managed to score an interview, the focus shifts to making the largest positive impact possible in each conversation with the hiring team. However, there is a fine line between expressing interest and achieving that positive impact, and just coming off too strong.
Read on to find out how to effectively walk that line…
During the Interview
In an ideal world, you will have the perfect experience - all the tools, technologies and success on initiatives which are similar to the position you are interviewing for. In reality though, even candidates who end up getting the job may come close, but they won’t actually check off every single box.
The goal is to convey how you can convert your knowledge and experience to be valuable to this new role, but nobody likes a “know it all”. If you aren’t perfect in every aspect (95% of the time this will be the case), it’s preferable to just admit you don’t know everything, but that you are resourceful…and you are still able to get the job done well regardless. Have examples ready to demonstrate past success on challenging initiatives.
Ending the Interview
Every interviewer is different, so you don’t want to assume they don’t have any hesitations about you…even if you feel the interview is going very well. You should be taking their temperature to find out where you stand, and what hesitations they may have. This way you get a chance to address, and hopefully overcome, any roadblocks. It’s not only fair, but ideal, to ask questions such as:
· Do I seem like the right person for the role?
· Any hesitations about me moving forward in the process?
· Is there anything left for me to clarify at this time?
If this is an opportunity which you are genuinely interested in, you’ll want to make that clear. Statements of interest made at the end of the interview are often what sticks in the mind of interviewers, long after you get back in the car or exit the video…having a larger impact on molding their impression of you as a candidate overall.
After the Interview
In today’s fast paced environment, thank-you messages have already faded out of the realm of expectation, and general practice altogether. However, if you do feel the urge to send one…just make sure it fits the criteria as being: clear, concise, expresses interest, and maybe a point or two of how/why you are a strong candidate able to present value. Oh, and really…correct grammar should go without mention.
If you are pursing the role through an agency, it’s fair to ping the agency recruiter a few times a week if you aren’t hearing any feedback. Daily calls and emails would come off more like a bad first date…not the impression you are looking for. Messages geared towards keeping a light grip on progress of next steps can be prefaced with keeping the interviewer, or agency recruiter, up to speed on your overall job search status…especially if you have a lot of opportunities on your plate, and a shorter timeframe until potential offers. This is almost always welcomed by the hiring team, it reinforces your interest, and encourages progression with this particular position when you are truly active with other opportunities.
In the excitement of the interview, expressing interest is often something which is forgotten, but it’s definitely an important ingredient whose measure can either make or ruin the cake. If you are truly a qualified candidate and you manage to get this one right, you can feel confident on getting that next step, and ultimately the position you are looking for.