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By Lilian Wamaitha
I started looking for jobs before I graduated because I believed I had something to offer employers. However, months down the line I was yet to get an interview invitation despite having around seven months of internship experience.
I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I was applying for jobs that I qualified for, I believed my CV had what it would take to get me to the next level (at least I thought so then).
When I did manage to get invited to interviews, they never turned into anything.
The one interview that has remained with me up to today is a communication internship interview at a medical organization. I ended up quoting a ridiculous amount just because it was a paid internship. I have never forgotten the experience but it taught me something.
I mean, it was just a start up and I was quoting 30K simply because I believed I was better off than the other applicants.
Sometimes the value we attach on ourselves end up ruining us. Some of us are in our current situations because we have messed up at one point in an interview.
I believe that the interview is the toughest and most important part of the of application process.
Here you are trying to prove yourself. You are backing up what is in your CV and telling this person who does not know you and may not care about your future why they should go ahead and hire you instead of that other person you left in the waiting room.
However, one thing that most job seekers (and even you) may not realize is that how you follow up after an interview is just as crucial as the interview itself.
That said, here are 3 things that I advise you don’t do after any job interview if you really want the job.
1. Following up too much
There is something as following up too much after a job interview.
Imagine when you give your number to someone and then they keep calling you every now and then and sending you texts. That is a real turn off right?
It’s okay and is expected of you that you follow up after an interview but don’t be creepy overwhelming somebody who may end up being your employer with endless emails and phone calls.
Most of us have been programmed to send thank you notes immediately after an interview (which is not wrong) but you must respect the communication parameters the interviewer may have set.
For instance, if they request that you send them an email, just stick with that.
According to Esther Kamau, a professional interview coach at Corporate Staffing Services, following up is also dependent on what stage your interview is.
Case and point, if you are attending your first interview, following up after a few days is recommended. However if you are at your second or even third interview, then it’s good if you wait for at least ten days before following up.
Also, when leaving the interview, it is good if you sort advice on when you should reach out and how to avoid the case of following up too much.
Must Read >>> 5 Mistakes That Instantly Kill Your Job Interview
2. Getting too comfortable with the interviewer
During the interview you might think that you have hit it with the interviewer but remain as professional as possible.
“Be polite but not too familiar, Esther says. “Most people make the mistake of being too comfortable with the interviewer in order to build rapport but in the real sense this could just end up doing the exact opposite.”
And it goes without saying that this applies to social media as well. While it’s a great way to connect and socialize, you can connect with anyone else but not your potential employer.
Sending a connection request on LinkedIn to one of the people interviewing you immediately after an interview may be taken to mean something else. Someone may assume that you are just looking at ways of getting ahead just by showing familiarity with the interviewer,” she adds.
3. Changing your salary expectations
Imagine a situation where you have just attended an interview, have quoted what you wish to earn but then on getting home you do your research and realize that you quoted too low. Do you change your salary expectations or do you just go with the figure you quoted?
Interviewers make their hiring decisions based on what you quoted in the interview. The reason they ask about your salary expectations is because they are looking to see if you will be a great fit for the role.
This is why it may be tempting to call the hiring manager and change your salary expectations but never do that.
It not only makes you look bad but also wastes everybody’s time.
If they offer you the job, just take it and then work to prove yourself worthy of the salary you wish. Or better still you can turn down the job if you believe you are worth so much more and look for another one.
However, it should never come to that if you researched the company and industry well before the interview to know what to quote.
In the end
The interviewing process takes a toll on everyone and as such mistakes happen and there is nothing you can do about that. However, if you handle them well, you just might recover.
But no matter what happens, whether the answer is a yes or a no, never burn bridges. If you didn’t get the job because you messed up, move on and apply for other positions. Maybe that job was never yours to begin with.
Are you preparing for an interview? Is your confidence dwindling by the day and you are beginning to doubt if you will even pass that interview?
An interview coach is trained to take the lead and get you to where you want. They will walk the journey with you, every step of the way, taking you through all the hoops of the interview process.
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The writer is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services? Got concerns on interviews? Email me today at lilian@corporatestaffing.co.ke.