Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Create and Maintain a Positive First Impression - Part 2 of 2

In Tuesday's post, we discussed the power of a positive first impression. Today, I want to evaluate how to make a positive last impression. When the interview comes to a close, you have answered all the interviewer's questions and you have asked a few intelligent questions. However, it is not quite time to relax yet.
There are still two steps to go in order to ensure you continue the positive impression you made when you entered the interview with a power closing and effective post-interview follow-up. 
Similar to the "power opening" we discussed in the earlier post, the power closing is a 3-step process:
Step 1 - Use the interviewer's name
By this time, you know whether or not to address them by their first or last name. However, it is important that you use their name throughout the interview - especially at the end - to build the rapport that makes them feel comfortable about working with you. 
Step 2 - Thank them for their time and shake their hand  
It is simply good manners and very professional to acknowledge the time they spent with you considering you as a candidate for job. A person can convey confidence, enthusiasm, and professionalism with a good, solid handshake. Make sure yours is strong and sends the right message before you leave.
Step 3 - Let them know you are interested in the job Many employers say that one of the reasons they don't make a job offer is because they are unsure whether or not the candidate will accept. For some companies, it is quite an arduous and lengthy process to put together an offer package. Alleviate their concerns by ensuring them, right before you walk out of the interview, that you are interested in the job.
This is a great time to reiterate the key theme of your selling points. For example, you might say "I really look forward to the opportunity to bring my time management and budget oversight skills to your company in this project management role with the ABC Company."
Very few candidates go the extra mile to follow up after an interview. Although a post-interview thank you will not make or break your job search success, it can help you to cement the professional and positive impression you started to form from the very beginning of the interview.
You can send an email, write or type a thank you note, or follow up by phone. Keep in mind, as you will see in this earlier blog post, there are several keys to perform post-interview follow-up but it is always most definitely a must!


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