The fact that you’ve managed to get through an interview relatively well (in your mind at least) is often enough to make you want to wrap it all up quickly and head for the door. However, by doing so, you risk missing a vital part of the whole process - and possibly even failing the interview as a result.
When you leave the room at the end of an interview, you want the interviewer(s) to be thinking: “Wow! Now I liked them..”
So – what’s the key ingredient here?
Interviews can be won or lost by what may seem to be a relatively small detail, often based on how they think you might appeal to your future colleagues or clients. Poor or inappropriate appearance will most likely result in a ‘fail’, but your whole attitude can have an impact, and this can range between being too nervous and timid, to coming across as ‘arrogant’.
Interviews can also vary enormously in type. From the formal and structured panel interview, in which you’ll be expected to answer a series of pre-formed questions delivered by various individuals – offering little chance of one-to-one ‘engagement’ – right through to the informal chat (which clearly does). However, given that this is your first meeting, the one constant is that the interview provides the opportunity for them to bring your written application CV and cover letter to life: this is the actual person – and will they meet or exceed our expectations?
It’s assumed that the skills and experience highlighted in your CV have been enough to get you to the interview stage, but no-one is going to hire you purely on that strength alone. “Mm. Looks great. Tell them to start on Monday!” Hardly. A common interview question is, “Tell me why we should hire you.” People often misinterpret this one by offering a list of ‘attributes’ which simply mirror those on the job description. But then if every interviewee answers in the same way, they’re no further forward. What they mean is: “Why should we hire you?” In other words, what is it that you, personally, can bring to us; to the role? That’s a different thing altogether. They may be inclined towards you at this point, but they need you to justify yourself in their eyes and, if you can do that, you’re getting closer to that offer. So don’t blow it.
Common courtesy is a free commodity, but it offers great value to many people. Although some may feel thanks are both unnecessary and undeserved – for whatever reason – the mere fact that they are given can put a seal on proceedings as far as you’re concerned. Regardless of how you think an interview may have gone (again – in your mind), you should always leave on a high by thanking the interviewer for their time and emphasising again your genuine interest in the role. If you ignore these essential ingredients, and despite a possibly wonderful performance up to then, you may fall at that final hurdle. However, that parting endorsement could just work wonders for you.
In the wise words of your parents: “Remember to say please and thank you.”
People are often accused these days of being locked in a self-absorbed bubble, with no regard for others around them; that the so-called ‘common courtesies’ are unknown to them.
And it’s true. How refreshing it can be, therefore, when these courtesies are extended as a matter of course by someone who clearly believes in them, and how much more attractive that person will be.
A simple ‘thank you’ – genuinely offered – can make that difference.
- Know how to genuinely say thank you
- Engage with the interviewer