Consider doing this during a job interview
Episode 5 - Something important most people forget to do when going through job interviews
In episodes one to four of The Job Hunting Podcast, I discussed the effect of stress and anxiety on how we perform at interviews. This same stress can affect a challenging conversation at work, a complex negotiation, a presentation you have to give, and so on. When we get re-wired to cope with stress, we can sometimes forget our manners. This can be a real problem when there is so much at stake during the recruitment process.
Here is the thing: I've interviewed others as much as I was interviewed myself. And it has surprised me that many interviewees don't follow up at all. I am such a pro-active person that I cannot understand why one wouldn't follow up after being called about a role, or better still, being on a job interview with a recruiter or employer.
Say thank you.
Even if you don't follow up, you have to say at least thank you at some stage during the job interview, but I would suggest a sandwich so add thanks to your introduction and a thank you to your goodbyes. Getting to the job interview is a significant milestone for everyone involved, and it's like you have been chosen to be in the finals of a competition. If you don't win the prize (i.e., get the job), it does not mean you are not a great candidate, and it means you are so good that people spent valuable time researching you, comparing you against other candidates, and choosing you for them to spend time getting to know.
Ok, so you were not a perfect match for the role for one reason or another. Please, leave this recruitment experience with the strength and positive reinforcement that you are on track. We will address taking you from good to excellent at another time, but you know what is not going to make you a perfect match? Not saying thank you! At least three times. Three times is my "go-to," folks. The 3rd time is you know when? When you follow up!!! Right? Listen to the episode to know when I recommend you to thank you during the recruitment and selection process.
Below I've added links to research done by Amit Kumar and his colleagues at the University of Texas on the power of saying thank you, which provides positive benefits for both the giver and the recipient. He says: "What we saw is that it only takes a couple of minutes to compose letters like these, thoughtful ones and sincere ones," said Kumar. "It comes at little cost, but the benefits are larger than people expect." I hope you enjoy the extra reading.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Transcript of this episode
So, okay. I wish it wasn't the case, but it's amazing the difference between my fourth episode and my first three episodes. There's way less than in the first three. And I'm here thinking, should I be recording this one or should I just go back and redo the first three? But quite frankly, I don't think I could do that. I'm just, yeah, I'm just over them. I'm ready to move on. So, in my previous episodes, we discussed, , well this podcast thing is awkward because I'm going to say we all the time when I'm here all alone in my office. But I guess you get the point. So we discussed a bit about the effect of stress and anxiety on how we perform at interviews or anything we feel threatened with. It can be a tough conversation at work, a difficult negotiation, a presentation you have to give public speaking and so on.
So, when we get wired to cope with stress, so what happens with our body in our brain is kind of rewires itself to deal with a stressful situation. We can sometimes forget important things like our manners. This can be a real problem when there is so much at stake during a recruitment process. So in fact, in my 10 tips document, which you can download from the episode notes, it's really important I, I go through that because people always tell me how everything went wrong on the day of their important interview. And I'm like, yes, of course you were stressed. That's what stress does to you. You know, your brain is working completely differently and you are making bad decisions. So yeah, so go to that 10 tips and have a look at that, right?
But where are my manners, I am Renata Bernarde and this is The Job Hunting Podcast. Hello there. If you're new to this podcast I try to help you nail your next job and have the career you want. And if this is the sort of content for you and you are looking for a job, you are keen to get a new job. It's time for you to move on or change careers or ask for a promotion, then subscribe and listen to me because this is the sort of content you will find in a job hunting podcast. As I said before. Hopefully, hopefully by the time you're listening to this, it will be uploaded everywhere, but it's now available on iTunes and on my website. Please do share the love and share this episode with someone you believe will benefit from listening to this. The episode notes will include information on where to find me, which is basically everywhere.
I am pretty much a social person and I am starting a very big social campaign in November. And I'm doing this purposefully. I have a first business; this is my second business. And the business consultant work tends to wind down towards the end of the year and be quite flat over January. And on the other hand, people do tend to reflect and reconsider their careers and job prospects and make big, bold decisions during the holidays and new year. And I'm here to help with that and the podcasts will be going on real strong all through Christmas, New Year, and January. We will have lots of content and I'll be very active on Facebook. I am on LinkedIn, you can connect with me there, but we will not be doing discussions about career progression, job hunting on LinkedIn for obvious reasons. If you don't know that, just ask me on a DM.
I think this will be a quick podcast unless I once again ramble into some rabbit hole of an idea and I need to pursue it. But if not, it should be quick. Let's see how we go. Here's the thing I've been into, I've interviewed people as much as I've been interviewed, I'm talking about job interviews of course. And it has surprised me that many interviewees don't follow up following their interviews at all. I am such a proactive person and I really cannot understand why one wouldn't follow up after being cold about a row or better still if they have been physically face to face on an interview with a recruiter or an employer. But even if you don't do that, you have to at least the very least say thank you for seeing me at some stage during the interview.
But I would suggest a sandwich approach so that a thank you. A is in the introduction and you also say a thank you when you're saying your goodbye. This has been major milestone to get to the job interview phase or even to get to a call phase, right? It's like you have been chosen to be in the finals or the semi-finals. If it's a call of a competition in the Olympics of the corporate world nominated for an important award. You know, just think about all the different analogies, right? If you don't win, it does not mean you're not a great candidate. It means you're not so good that people spent it. What I'm trying to say is, if you've been to a job interview, it means that you are so good that people will spend valuable time researching you, comparing you against other candidates and choosing you for them to spend time getting to know you.
Okay? So if you didn't get the job, you are not a perfect match for the role for one reason or another. But please leave the recruitment experience with the strength and positive reinforcement that you are on track. We will, we will address taking you from a good candidate to a great candidate in another episode. But you know what is not going to make you a perfect match for a role if you're not, don't say thank you, right? So at least three times, three times is my go-to, folks. The third time is, you know, when? When you do the follow up, okay?
So, the sandwich approach, then you wait a few days. The sandwich: you introduce yourself, you'll say “thank you for seeing me. It's a pleasure being here”. You go through the interview and then you say, “thank you so much once again, it's been a pleasure”. You need to have your own style, don't need to use my exact words. Just use the words for your sector, for your personality, that suit you, suit your culture, wherever you are in the world, you should be the best judge of how you do that. And then the third “thank you” is the follow-up. They may have told you how long it will take for them to get back to you. Let's say that they say they will get back to you at the end of the week. It comes to Friday. They haven't come back to you. You can contact them on Friday or on Monday and say, you know, once again, thank you. Have you reached a decision? Would be good to hear back from you” and thank them and ask them for an update.
Note here: They may have given you a timeframe, like I said. In which case you follow that timeline. You don't want to be stalking and as anxious as you may be, do not come back to them before the timeframe that they've told you will be their timeframe. Right? And also, don't think that because they haven't come back to you, you're out of the race. It could be that they're just doing too much and they have other things on. I have a good friend of mine who had a recruitment process that lasted months I think over six months and it had nothing to do with him or the other candidates. It was just that the company was like, there was so much going on. It wasn't a huge priority for them to fill in that role. And he just had to wait.
Another thing to know: if you have an intermediate, let's say a recruiter of course who is managing the selection process, call him immediately after the interview to give them an update, they will have asked you that, if they're good recruiter. And thanked them, ask them to thank the panel on your behalf because he or she, the recruiter will have a meeting with that panel once they interview all candidates. And the way that she or he refers to each one of you will have an impact on the decision, if there is still a decision to be made on which candidate is best. And sometimes, you know, people struggle to make a decision if the candidates are good. So if you think of a situation where let's say Mary called the recruiter right afterwards, thanked her/him. The second candidate Kate, the recruiter had a difficult time reaching out to Kate, left a message and eventually got hold of Kate.
This is the message that we'll go back to the panel: “Mary asked me to convey her thanks to you. I reached her, we spoke on the phone, she enjoyed the conversation she had with you. Now Kate, I managed to catch up with her a few days later and I believe it all went well.”
What do you think that shows the selection panel? Who seems more interested in the role? Mary or Kate? All those little things will matter if the decision is hard for them to make. This is a process and it is a competition. In a way, you are a box of cereal. They are choosing a cereal. They think you might be it. You are doing the marketing and you need to enchant the customer. That's part of your game plan for that competition. If you don't win the competition, it doesn't mean you're not a great candidate. In fact, if you have received a call, you went from a very long list to a mid-size list and if you went to an interview, you went from a mid-size list to a short-list and that means that you were really good. You are worth people spending time with. So acknowledge that process by thanking them. Three thankyous, everyone.
What do you think? Looking back, have you done it? I sure learned along the way. It's something like a little rule that I've developed for myself. I think really it was when I was on the other side of the table interviewing candidates, selecting candidates, that I realized that there was an etiquette and a protocol that I would expect people to follow because it's such hard work to put a position up for grabs and to go through that process.
You know, I've worked for very large organizations, some of them are very bureaucratic and these things take a lot of time and effort from managers and HR teams to put together. Also remember to adapt this to your situation, your sector, your country. Yes, this is very important, although the message is universal, the culture and also how much you know or don't know, the people involved in the selection process may influence how you decide to activate the ideas we discussed today. I'm going to add to the episode notes. I was just thinking, well I'll find the best one, but I think I'll link the one done by University of Texas, Professor Kumar, on the power of saying thank you. This is a really beautiful research because it shows that the positive impact is in both the giver and the recipient.
She will feel good about it and the recipient will feel wonderful about it. So what Professor Kumar and his colleagues say is that it takes only a little bit of your time to put together a letter or an email or to say the words. The cost is so simple but the benefits are much larger than you expect. So I'll try to find the quotes as well because I really like that research and I hope you enjoy the extra reading if you're interested. And so that will be in the episode notes.
Also in the notes I will put a link to the 10 tips for making job hunting less stressful and most successful. It's a very long title for a tiny document. It's not tiny. I think it, well, it has 10 pages and I hope you enjoy reading it. It's not a big read. It's very quick. And I explain why I put it together on the second page. So have a read and see what you think.
That's all for now, folks. Remember to subscribe, share with others, check the episode notes. I will see you next time. Bye.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, , on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
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