As job losses mount and poor economic news can seem overwhelming, it is important that we keep in mind that American workers still have the talent and ambition to grow this economy. One of the simplest ways to inspire a hiring manager to extend a job offer is also one of the most easily overlooked and that is to express gratitude.
“There is more hunger…for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” – Mother Teresa
Whenever I drive my car in the morning, I have gotten in the habit of recognizing at least 10 things I am thankful for before I turn on the radio. I may express gratitude for my family, for my job, and for the beautiful morning. I also express thanks for what has yet to happen. I may give thanks for a safe and timely commute, for a productive project meeting that morning, and for the completion of a report that day. I don’t just think about what I am thankful for while I am in the car, I say it out loud.
This routine not only gets me in a positive frame of mind at the start of the day, it also gets me in the habit of expressing gratitude throughout the entire day. I look for opportunities to give thanks for every situation I encounter by myself or with other people. It makes for very rewarding days.
On one occasion, I tried to count how many times I said thanks during the day. I counted every spoken thanks in the car, every email I closed with the word thanks (which is all of them), every thank you I uttered to the person holding the door, and so on. By 5 pm, I had said thank you at least 92 times.
I no longer try to count, but I target at least 100 expressions of gratitude every day. When I am in a bad mood, I am stressed out, or things are not going well, I know my thank you count is well below the 100 mark.
People love to be recognized every day for their hard work, for their patronage, and for their simple acts of kindness. When you interview for a job, you must be very mindful and appreciative of the amount of time and effort people have put into your interview. Multiple people invest their valuable time reviewing your resume, setting up an interview schedule, coordinating your visit, and speaking to you directly. These individuals are taking the time to assess your fit into their organizational culture. Their internal culture is an important part of their lives and it is near and dear to their hearts.
If you show gratitude throughout the entire interview process, you will have a more positive experience, and your positive attitude may easily inspire someone to hire you.
So how can you express gratitude during the interview?
Here are some simple but effective tips:
1. Dress professionally regardless of the internal attire norms of the organization.
2. Express thank you in person to anyone who does something for you (e.g. holds the door open for you, greets you at the front desk, gives you directions, brings you a glass of water, purchases your lunch).
3. Address each person you meet with the appropriate professional designation or courtesy (e.g. Dr., Mr., Ms.). Continue to do so, until given permission to address someone by their first name.
4. Give a firm but not crushing handshake and look the person in the eye when you shake his or her hand.
5. Initiate the interview by thanking each person for taking the time to meet with you.
6. Smile during the interview.
7. Conclude each interview by thanking each person again for taking the time to meet with you.
8. Send thank you notes after the interview is concluded to every person that was part of the interview process especially the person who coordinated your visit.
Let us remember the significance of expressions of gratitude, positivity, and recognition – be they merely for a lovely day, a kind word, or a small act of courtesy. It truly is the “little things” that can make or break our attitudes, and it is our attitudes, which can so often determine our success.
Your thoughts and suggestions?
Brent Peterson is the founder of Interview Angel (www.interviewangel.com), a comprehensive guide and toolkit to executing near flawless job interviews. The goal of the Interview Angel Team is to bring out the very best in every job seeker. Discover customer testimonials, upcoming events, and media interviews at www.interviewangel.com.
Brent is also on Twitter at (twitter.com/InterviewAngel.com).
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