Five Fresh Tips
February 28, 2012 by Editor
You’ve asked for more interviewing strategies and here they are:
1. Pay attention while walking around.
If you have a chance to tour the facility where you’re interviewing, go for it. It’s a great way to get a read of the culture and a handle on your comfort within it. For example, if employees appear to move about in stony silence and the place is quiet as a tomb, the company might be a model of productivity and focus, introverted reflection, or reeling from bad news. All or none of the above? Take note, and check out your impressions with the interviewer.
If the place is jumping, employees are laughing and talking, and look like they’re having fun, they could be an extraverted, creative group, enjoying each other and their work, or a chaotic, non-productive, un-structured mess. All or none of the above? Check it out.
Are employees greeting you and your host or keeping a respectful distance? Does that tell you it’s an interactive, manage by walking around company, or one that is formal or remote? See what I mean? The tour is a gold mine of clues to culture, style, and effectiveness. Don’t assume, check out your impressions.
2. Find out what happens next.
Rather than get frustrated because you’ve had a great interview and you don’t know what happens next, ask.
“Mr. Johnson, I want this job because I can make an immediate contribution to your company. When am I likely to hear that I’m in the running for it?”
“Well, Sally, (if that’s your name) we have several more people we’ll be interviewing. You should hear something in a few weeks.”
Not enough information. If you want more, take it up a notch.
“Thanks, Mr. Johnson. Here’s my dilemma: I’m really interested in this job but I’m in the process of interviewing with other companies. If I get another offer, should I accept it?”
If Mr. Johnson says, “ by all means, take it”, keep looking, because this job won’t happen. Conversely, if Mr. Johnson says, “Sally, if that occurs, don’t accept until you’ve spoken with me. Here’s my direct number.” Good news. Mr. Johnson thinks you’re a contender. Stay in touch and yes, keep looking. You’re in the hunt until you have a firm offer.
3. Know when to walk and when to talk.
Put everything you have into every interview you take and don’t bolt if after the first few minutes, you don’t hear what you want. There’s always more you can learn about the company’s opportunities and much more for the interviewer to learn, and appreciate, about what you bring to their table, if you’ll keep your seat.
Having gleaned all you can, assess the potential of your options. If you find that where you’ll spend most of your time is what you do least well, take a pass. If you accept a job that’s a poor match, the likely result will be terminal boredom, terminal terror, or just plain termination: they’ll fire you or you’ll fire them.
4. Know when to accept an offer and when to let it go.
Do you know the full extent of your responsibilities and accountability? Do you know when they expect you to begin making a measurable, quantifiable difference to the department? Have you met everyone with whom you’ll be working? Are you aware of the challenges you’ll face? Are the salary, benefits, and title commensurate with what’s expected of you? Will you be doing what you do best while expanding your learning through training and development because of the opportunities they provide?
If it’s a job with great potential, take it. If it’s just OK on a good day, keep looking.
5. Should you call, wait, or keep looking?
Ah, classic case of the what-to-do’s. You’ve had a dynamite interview. You loved them. They loved you. They promised an offer. Seven days have passed and you haven’t heard from them. Call or wait?
Call. Once. With a positive, confident, energetic tone:
“Mr. Jones, this is Tom Smith and I’m looking forward to hearing from you, working with you, and making an immediate contribution to your company.”
Then lace up your shoes, and keep looking.