Monday, September 28, 2015

Interview Like a Pro Series - Ensuring the next steps

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

“Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow, you can do what others can’t.”
Brian Rogers Loop

Once you’ve answered and asked all questions, it’s time to end the interview. Obviously, you’re going to thank the interviewer for their time, and the next step is to restate your interest. This may seem obvious, but not everyone does it. The interviewer realizes that you are interviewing them just as much they are interviewing you. Let them know that based on your prior research and this conversation, your interest remains high on the position and the company. This also sets you apart from other candidates who may have bypassed this step.
Typically, most interviewees will end the interview saying “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” This is the easiest way to end the interview, but it doesn’t ensure the next steps. Instead, ask two very important questions. The first one should be, “Based on our conversation today, is there anything that would prevent us from moving forward?” This provides you an opportunity to clarify any lingering concerns.
Hopefully the answer will be, “No, nothing would prevent us from moving forward.” However, be prepared for a response along the lines of, “Ideally we’re looking for someone who has prior exposure to the software that we utilize here.” This isn’t optimal feedback, but knowing why they’re hesitant allows you refute any objections one last time- “I understand your concern, however I have had exposure to other software which I learned very quickly. I am confident that I’ll have a minimal learning curve and hit the ground running.”
Your second question should be, “What is the next step?” They may tell you that the next step is to meet Person X, at which point you tell them your availability for this meeting, or they may only say that they have to review their notes. Either way, you have shown your interest by taking a proactive approach in ensuring the next steps. You can also take this opportunity to ask how the rest of the interview process may play out in terms of the number of interviews, the target start date, and if you should prepare references or work samples.
Here’s how the end of the interview should go:
YOU: “Mr./Ms. Interviewer, thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I am very interested in this position and the opportunity to work here. Based on our conversation today, is there anything that would prevent me from moving forward?”
INTERVIEWER: “The only thing that I see as a potential concern is that you had no prior exposure to the industry that we are in.”
YOU: “I appreciate your honesty. Even though I’m not familiar with this particular industry, I have grown my career in several diverse industries in which I had no prior exposure and was able to educate myself quickly. I am confident that I would do the same here. Is there anything else that would preclude me from moving forward?”
INTERVIEWER: “No, I can’t think of anything else.”
YOU: “Great! What is the next step?”
INTERVIEWER: “You would need to meet with the CFO. I will check his availability and reach back out to you by the end of the day tomorrow.”
YOU: “Great! My only restriction is that I would not be able to meet on Tuesday morning next week. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow to schedule the meeting.” 

Although you do not need permission, you can ask if it’s okay for you to follow up if you haven’t heard back within a certain time frame. Most people think that a thank you or follow-up email is sufficient. Remember, you need to rise above the competition, so if you do not hear back, follow up with a call.
Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

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