ask.fedweek.com | what to do after a job interview

Interviews, whether in person, via videoconference, or on the phone, all require that you promote yourself, your qualifications, and your accomplishments.

See also, Part 1 of this article series

Here are 5 new tips to make the interviewers love you:

Tip #1: Be respectful of the process. This means showing up on time, dressing for success, and demonstrating good manners. Even if you are interviewing for a promotion within your office, you should still follow these rules.

Tip #2: Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence (EI). There are many people with good qualifications—far fewer can demonstrate EI. This means effectively reading your audience and responding in kind, as well as the ability to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. If, for example, you get the sense you are talking too much based on non-verbal feedback, stop. Keep your emotions in check as well. Do not show impatience, boredom, or disrespect. And think about examples of how you demonstrated your emotional awareness in dealing with others, setbacks, and stress.

Tip #3: Be positive and be yourself. Do not “diss” your current or past employers; take responsibility for errors you may have made. And while interview preparation is important (and I advocate it), you do want to be so rehearsed that you come off as robotic. Show your best self, without being too casual or presumptuous. Listen carefully, be truthful, and try and build rapport with your interviews.

Tip #4: Have thoughtful questions ready for the interviewer. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street. Not only do the interviewers want to know if you’re the best candidate, you also want to know whether you want the job! You should have 5-6 questions prepared for the interviewers. Your questions should show that you have done your research and are interested in making the organization successful; you should not ask questions about salary, telework opportunities, and training you’ll receive.

Tip #5: Say thank you and ask for the job! When the interview draws to a close, be sure to thank the interviewers for their time. If given the opportunity, you’ll also want to reiterate a few key points related to your qualifications and your interest in the job. For example,

“Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss the position and the organization today. It sounds like this position is a great fit for me and my skills, especially my expertise in HR, ability to work with managers, and track record in recruiting top talent. I’m truly looking forward to the opportunity to join the team…”

But do not stop there! If you did not find out what happens next, you have to ask. Do not walk out of there without knowing!

“…Can I ask what happens next” (or) “…When can I expect to hear from you?”

If the interviewer makes a typical statement like, “We have several more people to meet with, but I’ll contact you next week…” Then respond with:

“Thank you, but would it be okay if I haven’t heard from you by Friday if I give you a call?”

Don’t forget your thank you notes (or emails) either.

Bonus Tip: Bring several copies of your resume with you to the interview. You should also bring several copies of your reference page (you know you shouldn’t include references on your resume, right?). Your reference page should include 4-5 reference names, title, organization, phone number, and email. You should also include a short sentence explaining your relationship with each person on your list. Don’t forget to ask your references if they are OK being included.

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.