Straight talk with Jay Ratliff
12 IN OUR SERIES
If you have followed the steps outlined in this series, you have exceeded expectations and now that you are finished with your interview, the process must continue.
As you leave the interview, thank the interviewer with a firm handshake and good eye contact, thanking them for the interview you were given. Also, and this is so important, let them know that you are still very interested in the job. They may not have been able to determine, through the interview, whether or not you are still interested. So, as you leave make sure you communicate that all-important message. "Thank you for taking time to interview me. I know just getting the interview was a long shot, but now, more than ever, I am convinced this is where I want to work. If you give me a chance, I'll work like crazy to prove that you made the right decision."
As you leave, personally thank everyone else who you came into contact with; the receptionist, janitor who provided directions, the security guard at the gate – everyone should get personal thank you. This is also important because many times the decision is a group one and the interviewer will ask everyone in the office for their opinion on the job candidates and it is important to exceed expectations here as well.
On the way out see if you can secure a business card from the person (or persons) who interviewed you. The reason is we are going to send a personal thank you note to them, as a further way to exceed expectations.
Is a personal hand-written thank you note really necessary? Many people say no, but I strongly disagree. A simple, yet personal note which basically again thanks the person for their time is a genuine way to exceed expectations once again. I know if I take a day conducting 30 interviews I may see 4 thank you cards, if I am lucky, and two of those will arrive 2-3 weeks after the interview. (What took them so long?) The best time for you to mail the card is the day of, right after the interview. (Please...not before!)
I've seen a few people take the personal approach to a new level, by delivering a few dozen doughnuts back to the office the next day. It's a quick 30 second stop where you approach the receptionist saying, "I was in yesterday for an interview and everyone made me feel so very welcome and at ease, so I had to say thanks."
Few people are in the habit of expressing appreciation, so exceed expectations by doing so! •