You’ve made it through the interview! Congratulations. You have a real shot at getting hired.
And today, you’re going to learn a strategy that will boost those chances even more. It is, simply, the single most effective way to follow up after an interview.
Since you’ve made it this far, I am quite confident that you know to follow up with a thank you note after the interview. Perhaps you were even going to write it on real paper and send it via snail mail! But, this strategy will blow any thank you note out of the water.
Its simple really, add value to the conversation.
But what exactly does that mean? It means that you want to think of something that you talked about in the interview and expand on it in a way that will meaningfully enhance the conversation.
Before we go any further, lets take a look at some examples:
In one interview, the interviewer was very interested in personality profiles and obviously liked to think about team dynamics from this perspective. So, the woman who was interviewed went home and immediately constructed a 5-page personality profile report on herself. She even took a test that she hadn’t prior – the Via Survey of Character Strengths. Needless to say, when she sent in the report 4 hours after her interview, her potential boss was blown away and offered her the job. (here is my example of a personality profile!)
One interviewee heard that one of the first problems that a small business wanted him to solve was to set up an email list and start a newsletter, but the owner was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. She researched email clients and developed a presentation on the benefits, challenges and costs of each, recommending one in the end. The owner was overjoyed and responded with a warm job offer.
Finally, in another interview, the potential boss was a bit worried about the job seeker’s ability to help optimize their website conversion, as this was not his area of expertise. After the interview, he spent his evening researching website optimization and, first thing in the morning, presented a 32 point guide for how they could efficiently optimize their website. In other words, he did research and then applied it directly to their website, adding great value to them. Again, he was hired almost immediately.
It’s starting to become clear, isn’t it?
There are three main ways to add value: through an interest, an organizational pain or a doubt about you as a candidate. An interest is something that will be fascinating to the other person while highlighting your strengths. Its important that it is the interviewers interest, no yours. A pain in the organization is a problem that needs solving, a challenge – like figuring out which email client to use. While it may feel like working for free, really, it’s just an easy way to get a job offer! And, finally, doubts about you as a candidate are a proving ground for you to demonstrate your skills and your ability to learn.
If you’ve made it through most of the interview and don’t know how you’d follow up, one great way to figure it out is to ask what their greatest reservation about you as a candidate is. It’s extremely important to not be defensive about it. If you don’t think you can do that, don’t ask. Upon hearing the answer, digest it and figure out a way to add value to your perceived weakness.
Once you determine how you’re going to add value, you’ll want to invest time in it – several hours time. Quality matters. It needs to have great content, good organization and an awesome presentation.
Congratulations on making it to the interview – now go blow those other candidates out of the water.