BOB LANKARD: Don't count on an offer
It’s a habit among job seekers to put the job search on hold after a good job interview.
Since I’m going to start the new job soon why all that checking job openings, making visits and sending out r￩sum￩s? I once began house hunting after what I considered a sure-thing job interview. Others will not leave the house waiting for the phone to ring.
It is very normal for a person who has had a good interview to picture themselves working in a business. It’s especially true when the workers and the interviewer seemed to be welcoming you into the company.
“They want me as much as I want them,” thinks the hopeful job seeker as they drive home from the interview.
But it can be a false sense of security. I suspect everyone who interviewed for this job was treated well and given the same encouragement. Some companies and interviewers put applicants through a grueling and impersonal interview. But other interviewers are warm and welcoming. You walk out of the interview excited and assured.
But things happen on the way to the first day of work. Someone else gets the job. The company decides not to fill the opening. And while you are waiting by the phone you may never hear from the employer. Weeks of job hunting opportunities may be wasted.
There are steps to take to avoid the “Sure Thing Letdown”:
• Wrap up the interview by confirming with the interviewer how the hiring process will work. What is the timetable? Will the employer contact you regarding your standing for the job?
Should you follow up with the employer? Be sure to get the interviewer’s name and correct spelling. By failing to confirm the hiring process you are leaving the employer in charge.
This is one-way-street thinking. The job seeker should be assertive in finding out if, when and how they will be informed about their status. They should also ask, “If I have not heard from you after two weeks may I contact you?”
• Send a thank-you letter reminding the interviewer what you discussed in the interview regarding the timetable.
For example: “As we discussed, I will be in touch with you mid-month to discuss my status.”
• Follow up with the employer according to the agreed on schedule.
• Resume your job hunting schedule — make calls, put in applications and apply to jobs. If you have developed several new possibilities, it will make a rejection letter much less depressing.
• Be sure your answering machine (landline or cellphone) has a businesslike message that will not turn off the interviewer trying to reach you.
• Another stumbling block at this stage of the job search process is the human beings who will be answering the phone in your home. It is the job seeker’s responsibility to instruct the family members how to take a complete message.