Play Your Cards Right



Posted in News on 24.02.15

How to show your interest in a job, without blowing it

Play Your Cards Right

So you found the “perfect” job, sent in a great application, and now you have been called for an interview. A major issue with landing the “perfect” job is that too many applicants stop there. If you are really interested in a position, there are a few things that you must do to establish yourself as the “perfect” candidate for the “perfect” job.


Do Your Research

You should never go into a job interview without having a basic knowledge of the company you are interviewing with, but if you are really interested in the job, then spend the days prior to your interview becoming even more interested in research. You will need to understand the company’s products or services, and showing a hiring manager that you are knowledgable in those areas will certainly convey enthusiasm and put you ahead of other candidates. Check the company website, look for articles written about them and their products, and do some research into that company’s field or market.

You also will need to understand the company culture, so that you can make your case for how you will “fit in” if hired. This can be done through basic research methods, but one method you should try is inviting some of the current employees out for coffee and an “informational interview”. By holding an informational interview, you can ask an employee all kinds of questions about the culture and company structure, which will prove to be invaluable information during your interview. Remember to keep it professional, as news of your informational interviews will most likely reach the hiring manager prior to your interview. If you are professional and seem deeply interested during your talks with current employees, this will only be a good thing for the hiring manager to hear.


Show Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is one of the most important things you can bring with you to a job interview. Without enthusiasm, how else will the hiring manager be aware that you are really interested in the position? Go in with a smile, a firm handshake, and lots of passion as you answer interview questions. If you are able to tell an interesting or funny anecdote from past experience that relates to the question, do so. Hiring managers are hiring co-workers, and they want someone who they can see themselves working and having a good time with in the future.

No one likes to listen to a robot reciting the same answers that he or she practiced for the previous ten interviews they have been on. Be enthusiastic in preparing for the interview, by catering your answers to match the company culture, mention specific products or services that the company uses in your examples, and come prepared with a suggestion on how to solve a company problem or make a process run more smoothly. A hiring manager is more likely to hire someone who has already presented themselves as a useful asset by offering a solution or opinion on how to help the company.


Ask The Right Questions

Nearly every interview you will ever go on will end with the hiring manager asking, “Do you have any questions?” The worst thing you can do while interviewing for a job you are really interested in is to not have any questions. Hiring managers often present their company to you and explain the position, and if you do not offer up any questions it means that you were not interested in the short pitch that the hiring manager had just given you. Even if you already know the answers to any potential question, ask them. It will let the hiring manager know that you are interested, curious, and excited about potentially working for the company.

However, not every question is the right one. Avoid asking questions about salary or benefits unless they have been specifically mentioned and you are looking for clarification. If no salary has been mentioned, there is most likely a reason why. Whether it depends on experience or is still under review, there is no reason to ask on the first interview. This makes it seem as if you are solely interested in money, rather than finding a great company with a culture that fits your personality and work ethic. They money will find you, but only if you are hired. Don’t ruin your chance on the first interview, and save the salary negotiations for after you have been offered the position.


Follow Up

When you leave the interview, the process has not ended. Write down all important information from the interview as soon as you can; names, questions asked, necessary skills, and other pertinent information will be valuable when writing a follow up letter.

Always remember to follow up with the hiring manager the day after your interview by sending them a simple thank you letter for taking their time to sit down with you. In the past, many of these letters were handwritten, but typically they are simply sent via email today. Most hiring managers will have given a date by which you should hear from them, and do not be afraid to send another email or make a phone call if you have not heard back. You should give the company a few days after the date, but after that feel free to follow up again, express your enthusiasm and make sure the company knows you are really interested. Sometimes this is all it takes to push them into making a decision.

Sometimes you get the job, and sometimes you don’t. Either way, make sure to thank the hiring manager for their time, and take the opportunity to ask for feedback. Always be grateful and courteous, as you never know when your name may come back up if another position was to open. Hopefully you will land the “perfect” job with no problems, and using these techniques will undoubtedly help you get ahead of the other candidates.

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