When new clients come to me for help, I ask them this question: Are you having trouble getting interviews? Or are you getting interviews, but no offers? These are two different problems, with two different solutions. If you’re getting interviews, your résumé, or your networking, is doing its job — assuming you’re getting interviews for the types of jobs you want. But what you do before, during, and after the interview can increase your chances of getting the offer.

Before the interview, do your homework. Review the company’s website and learn more about the key players, the work they do, their clients, and potential areas where you might be an asset. Search the internet and LinkedIn to look for recent news articles and press releases. Review the company’s social media profiles and check out the company on and see what current and former employees have to say (but take it with a grain of salt if you need to.) I'm a fan of following your target companies on LinkedIn to stay up to date with what they are doing and their job opportunities.

After doing your research, prepare a list of targeted questions to ask in the interview—at least 3 questions that demonstrate you’ve done your homework and that you have a genuine curiosity about the company.

In the interview, listen carefully and keep in mind that the interviewer is assessing your personality and likeability just as much as your qualifications. You have every right to do the same thing. You want to make sure that this job is right for you, too!

Be prepared to give a “closing statement.” If you’re given the opportunity in the interview, be ready to summarize (in 90 seconds or less) why you think you’d be a good fit for the position. If possible, incorporate in the additional information you’ve learned in the interview itself. Prepare the key points of this closing statement in advance, but practice it until it sounds natural, not canned or rehearsed. And before the interview ends, ask if the interviewer needs anything else from you to help with the decision — a list of references, work samples, a 30-60-90 day plan for what you’d do in the first three months on the job, etc.

And it’s okay to specifically express your interest in working for the company. There is a balance to be found in being interested and engaged, but not overeager.  At the end of the interview, ask what the next step is. You want to know if there is another round of interviews, and when it will begin, or when the hiring decision will be made. Ask if it’s okay to follow-up — and if they’d prefer phone or email?

Immediately after the interview, send a follow-up/thank you note. Handwritten notes are always appreciated, especially if you can mail it the same day (and the hiring timeline allows sufficient time for it to be sent and received). Otherwise, an email follow-up is fine. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to meet, reiterate your specific interest in the job and the company, and confirm the “next step” — whether that’s information you’ve promised to provide, or what you’re expecting from the interviewer.

If you don’t hear back from the interviewer in the time you expected to hear from him or her, it’s okay to follow-up, but one follow-up is sufficient. If you don’t get a response, move on, and keep applying to other roles. Never relax until you have a firm offer!

If you don’t end up getting another interview — or the job offer — try to follow-up with the interviewer to get feedback — specifically, why another candidate was a better fit. You may not be able to obtain this information, but if you can, it can be helpful in your overall job search. If you can’t reach the hiring manager, watch who is ultimately hired, and assess that person’s professional profile and see if there was something that might indicate a key qualification (perhaps a certification, or a past employer) that might have set them apart. Sometimes you just won’t be able to tell, however, and you must simply move forward to the next opportunity.

Get in the habit of rewarding yourself for effort, regardless of your results. If you put in the effort, eventually the results will follow.
Share this Post: