My partner and I were recently dazzled by a job prospect who did absolutely everything conceivable to ‘win’
She employed some strategies that may seem academic, but proved spot on for differentiating her from the competition. And, with a much-hyped Recession on the horizon, I’d suggest any jobseeker: consider some of her approaches, including
– tell the prospective employer exactly why you think you’d be the ideal fit
– spend the time to not only research the company in general, but be able to share ‘trivia’ and ‘tidbits’ that will demonstrate your interest and passion
– demonstrate knowledge of the company’s points of differentiation as well its leading competitors (i.e. ‘Industry knowledge’). This particular prospect knew our positioning, key messages and milestones.
– come prepared with tailored questions. While our job prospect didn’t know she’d be meeting with us simultaneously, she nonetheless had a set of questions ready for each of us
– follow-up the first interview with HAND-WRITTEN thank you notes. It shows the employer you’re taking a little more time and energy than your e-mail dependent competitors.
I’m probably missing some nuances from that fateful interview. But, I promise you that, as soon as the prospect left, we asked our senior people to set meetings with her. And, we extended an offer shortly thereafter.
So, rather than fretting about the latest economic news, create a tailored action plan for ‘winning’ interviews with the organizations you admire most.
Great piece, Steve, and hopefully the students you have lectured before, follow your blog and will take some tips. You are dead-on when you talk about the “hand-written” note. There are so many people caught up with today’s technology and a quick e-mail, but it’s taking that extra step that goes a long way. You may want to send a quick e-mail to thank the person for the interview, but taking that extra step with a “hand-written” note is what separates you from the pack.
I still send personalized thank you notes to writers that I’ve worked with at major publications. Plus, it’s a good chance to slip your business card in so they can keep it on file for future reference.