Q. Ever since your team revised my résumé and LinkedIn profile I have to say I have been getting much more activity. Here is the problem: I still have not received a job offer. For some reason I keep getting passed up when it comes to the actual offers. They aren’t even calling me back for second interviews. What do you think could be going on? Is there something I can do? I am at a loss and am getting very discouraged.
A.H., Stamford, CT
A. There are a few things that may be going on here. Below is a list of areas you may want to address to identify the cause of the problem.
1. Are you making a good physical presentation? No, you don’t have to be a movie star. You do need to be sure that you have a neat, well-groomed appearance.
a. This includes hairstyle, teeth nails, clothing, shoes, jewelry and perfume/deodorant. Avoid anything flashy or distracting and stick with a traditional, classic look to achieve the best results at job interviews.
b. This also relates to posture, foot tapping, fidgeting, facial expressions, general body positioning, and mannerisms.
2. What are you saying and how are you saying it? Are your answers succinct or do you provide a lengthy explanation that goes off on a tangent? Are you addressing the specific question or are you being vague and trite?
Make sure you go to your interviews ready to provide specific details of your accomplishments and include well thought out illustrations of how your actions led to positive results for your employers. Speak clearly and slowly enough for listeners to have a chance to absorb what you say. Pause to allow the interviewer an opportunity to either probe further or ask another question.
When we provide pre-interview coaching to our clients, many of these issues are successfully addressed . Sometimes it is just a few simple tweaks that can make all the difference. If you are a person who tends to get nervous on interviews, it is critical that you rehearse what you are going to say. Your comfort level is important to ensure that you come across as confident and well prepared.
3. Are you following up? Both during and after the interview, follow up is critical. You should ask a few questions of your own. Consider asking the interviewer about her experience with the company.
You should also ask questions regarding the ideal candidate. If you are interested in the position say so! People are not mind readers. You will present yourself as someone who is engaged in the process while conveying an appropriate level of interest. Post interview: send a thank you note with specifics on what was discussed. No exceptions!
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.