When the interviewers cue you that the interview is over, you probably feel such a sense of relief that you just want to get out of there so you can cool off, breathe deeply, and start to analyze what just happened. But not so fast!
Don’t just leap up and and dash out so you can breathe a sigh of relief.
First, make sure you’ve asked some insightful questions based on:
1) Your research of the company and industry (see this post for details).
2) Your experiences during the interview.
Don’t forget to say you want the job! Of course, you must do this without using the words, “I want this job!”
Make a positive comment that indicates you want the job:
“This has been a great experience.”
Then give a positive summary of your experience:
“Your marketing team was friendly and accommodating; I gained a genuine understanding of how they operate and the culture of their division.”
And don’t forget to connect it to you. This is so important–remember to say you want the job:
“It was nice to see the theories from b-school played out there and compare & contrast it with the marketing department where I did my internship last summer. I look forward to hearing from you!“
Throughout, use warm, friendly body language: eye contact, natural smile, arms resting at your side or in your lap, offer your hand to shake (medium firm–not limp, not vice grip).
And if you leave and wish you’d said something else, there’s always an opportunity to include some of this in the thank you note. At a recent workshop, a student asked “isn’t a thank you know overkill?” No! You should absolutely, positively follow up with a thank you note. Email is fine. It doesn’t hurt to send a handwritten thank you note either.
Remember: you last impression is almost as important as your first impression so always leave a good one.
Darcy Lear is a career coach specializing in job search documents, professional school applications, and interview preparation. For one-on-one support in preparing for your job search or to set up a campus workshop, contact Darcy: firstname.lastname@example.org