Five Senses of Interviewing, Part 4: In Good Taste


We’ve all met people that have left a bad taste in our mouths. As easy as it is for a hiring manager to turn down someone who comes across poorly on all levels, they often have the unfortunate need to turn down several people who are all strongly qualified in favor of the one who is the most qualified and who makes the best impression.

Unless you are actually planning on feeding yourself to the interviewer, this is where it gets a little difficult to follow the gimmick of this series. I’ve already discussed the importance of teeth brushing and avoiding strong-smelling meals, and I’m sure we all remember what happened to George Costanza when he appeared for a job interview with a huge piece of spinach stuck in his teeth (for those unfamiliar with Seinfeld, it is enough to say that he didn’t get the job). Also, it goes without saying that tasteless jokes and comments should be kept to yourself; no matter how much time you’ve spent perfecting your delivery, the hiring manager is interested in you, not the peculiarities of some man from Nantucket. So, instead of repeating myself or elaborating endlessly on points from a previous article, here I will share some tips on how to end your interview on a strong note, adding a little flavor and leaving your interviewer with a good taste in his or her mouth.

Out of all the people who interview for a particular job, you would be surprised to learn that very few actually state at any point during the interview that they want the job. It is all too easy to assume that your mere presence at the interview indicates that you want the job. Well, it does, but why not go the extra mile? Simply saying that you feel this is a great opportunity and that you are extremely interested puts you a step ahead of every other person who didn’t. The manager wants to hire someone who is excited about the job, so show some enthusiasm and set yourself apart from the others. It is also a good idea to ask what the next step would be, and if the manager has any timeframe in mind for that. This will not only further show your interest and enthusiasm, but it will help you to endure the waiting game that begins the moment you leave the interviewer’s office.

On the other hand, if you learn certain things or if certain things occur during the interview that lower your interest level, it is never a good idea to express that during the interview. Your goal today is to get a job offer; a very simple truth we at EDI Specialists always share with candidates we work with is that it is much, much easier to turn down a job offer than it is to get a job offer. During the interview, always keep your best foot forward and end it on a positive, enthusiastic note.

Before you leave, be sure to share a final handshake and ask for a business card. Always follow up with a thank-you letter or email. If you are working with a recruiter, they may prefer that you not contact the client directly and instead send any thank-you notes to them, which they will forward to the hiring manager for you. If not, be sure to spend at least as much time as you spent writing the letter proof-reading, checking spelling and grammar, and making sure the person’s name and company are spelled correctly. Also, u should def not use n-e shorthand whatsoever, k?

And now comes the aforementioned waiting game. Do not bombard the hiring manager directly with requests for feedback. If you made a strong enough impression, they’ll be anxious to bring you on board or inform you of the next steps (unfortunately, often you will just have to wait with little or no response in between interview and hire). If you absolutely feel the need to check in, once a week or so is more than enough. Be sure that any follow-up emails or letters are carefully checked for spelling and grammar. As mentioned previously, if you are working with a recruiter they will most likely ask that you not contact the manager directly following your interview. Let me say this again: NEVER directly contact the hiring manager (or anyone at the company/client site) without express permission from the recruiter you are working with.

With the job market expanding, the next step in your career is so close you can taste it. Now that you have a better idea about how to effectively conclude an interview, you will be able to set yourself apart from even more of the competition…and there’s a lot of it, so every bit helps!

About Adam Barron

Adam supports EDI and IT professionals throughout the Midwest region of the US. As a recruiter with EDI Staffing since 2006, Adam has over 10 years of experience working with candidates to fill contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire positions, aiming to match each person’s unique goals with those of our clients. He is a frequent contributor to our blog, where he shares insight on industry topics such as marketability enhancement, resume improvement, interviewing and offer negotiation. Adam believes that strong relationships are key to the business and strives to connect with people, often keeping in touch long after a person has landed a job or interviewed with our clients.

Adam graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Prior to joining EDI Staffing, he worked as a Business Development Representative for its sister company, B2B Contact. Outside of the office, Adam loves to spend time with family and also enjoys writing, Boston sports, skiing, movies and board/video gaming.

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