Most candidates think there is nothing they can do to increase their chances of gaining their dream job, after the initial interview has taken place. Surprisingly enough however, we can positively influence the interviewer and selection team during this assessment phase, if we do a few small things well.

Brief thank-you email

Always ensure that you follow up the interview with an appropriate (and brief) "thank-you" email. This short email acts as a professional reminder to the recruiter that you are keen on pursuing the opportunity further, and as puts you "top of mind" again 24 hours or so after your interview.

The email should have three key parts:


1. Thank you - "Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you yesterday afternoon for the position of [job title]."

2. Skill/experience link - remind the reader in two to three lines how your specific expertise, qualifications and skills meet with the position's requirements (highlighting you again as a "solution" to the employer's "problem").

3. Intent - Reassure them that you are keen on pursuing this opportunity further.

Generally speaking, you would send the email 24 hours or so after the interview, giving the selection team the impression that you are making a considered decision, after reflecting on the interview and opportunity in more depth.

Warning - Some HR practitioners I have spoken to are dead against long-winded and handwritten thank-you letters and cards. Therefore a brief email outlining the above, will usually hit the right note.

Debrief yourself

One thing I was terrible at when I was job hunting, was debriefing myself after the interview. This is to my shame today, as this is the best way to "lock in" learning immediately, using this to improve your skills as you gain more experience in the interview process.

Debriefing is as simple as honestly asking yourself a number of key questions, including:


* How did I feel the interview went?

* Did I research the organisation well enough?

* What specifically did I do well? (eg answered questions confidentially, built up a positive rapport with the interviewer etc).

* What could I have done better? (eg not be late, not say "um" as many times, select better questions to ask the employer etc).

* What interview questions have I not heard before?

* Did I answer them well?

* Is there a better way to answer these questions?

Follow up

If you have not heard back from the interviewer within a week or so to find out whether or not you have made the shortlist, you would then follow up to see how the process is progressing. Always do this respectfully, as I have heard of candidates getting a second interview just because they were the only person who followed up!

Including these three little tips in your job hunt toolkit, will really make a positive difference to your overall approach, hopefully landing you that dream job!

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