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Those Who Ask, Get

The employer won’t know you’re interested until…

➔ There was the story about a candidate for a high-level executive position who ran the gauntlet of interviews and was left with only one more hurdle remaining: an interview with the CEO. Up to then everyone who had spoken with the candidate was duly impressed. The recruiter who made the connection was extremely confident that the job was the candidate’s to lose.

The critical part of the interview

For the interview, the CEO invited the candidate to play golf. In effect it was a five-hour interview with plenty of opportunities for conversation as well as give and take.

Following the meeting, the recruiter contacted the CEO for the verdict. Imagine the recruiter’s surprise when the CEO said that he wasn’t offering the candidate the position. When asked why, the CEO responded, “Because he never asked for the job.”

As trivial as this may sound on the surface, it really is quite telling. Does this apply to you? It can. Would it kill you to say, before the end of the interview, “I would be excited (or, your superlative here) to have this job… to join your organization… to become part of your team… etc. etc.”?

In addition, early on in the proceedings, it helps to keep the process moving forward if you just inquire – at the end of the interview, rather than just thanking them for their time and interest – it would help to ask, “What’s the next step?”

It’s important also to try to secure some sort of time commitment from the interviewer. “Can I call you at the end of next week?” With that in hand, you absolutely need to mark that on your calendar and follow through accordingly.

Asking for the job, asking for the next step – those kinds of things indicate interest and assertiveness on your part. Both of which are enviable traits to demonstrate. The hard part is trying to balance being assertive and being a pain in the first three letters of assertive.

Unfortunately, that is difficult to pinpoint. Much of it depends on the company, the person(s) with whom you’ve interviewed, how the interview went, etc. It will call upon your ability to read people and situations. Not always easy to be sure. But the payoffs can be huge.


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