One suggestion I often make to applicants who are going out on interviews is this: at the end of the interview, after the conversation is over and you see the HR person shuffle your resume and her notes and is backing out of her chair with that smile that says “Thank you for your time, we’ll be in touch” DO THIS. Trust me, it’s not for the faint of heart.
At the end of the interview, stay seated and say these words: “ I really enjoyed discussing the role here at XYZ company and I must say I am more interested than ever. My question to you is this: do you have any reservations that I can do this job?” Then SHUT. UP. Stay seated, do not speak. Just wait. This will give the interviewer the opportunity to bring up any remaining doubts or questions she has.
Otherwise what happens? You thank the HR person for her time, say you look forward to hearing from them and….well, you know the rest. Either the Dear John letter arrives in your email or more typical today, nothing. Until you call and inquire about your status, only to be told the position has been filled. No. Don’t let that happen to you. Sit there and wait. Then, if you are lucky she will say something like “You are perfect in every way for this position but I am concerned you don’t have enough blah, blah blah experience.” This will give you the opportunity to address her concerns and leave her with an answer, hopefully in the affirmative that you can do the job.
However, you might hear her say “I think you are a great candidate but I have more people to see and a couple of them are referrals from my manager.” Do you say “Oh shoot! Oh well, thanks…..” HELL NO. Be prepared to counter any objections she may have in the face of comparing you to someone else. Let her know (and I am serious as a stroke…..you must toot your own horn. NO ONE else is going to do that.) when you started ABC job, you had little experience in that field and tell her how you gained expertise. What should be happening here is a shift from her focus on your work history to your personality and work ethic. She is going to see the fire in you and the potential.
Remember…and this I cannot stress enough….when you are interviewed for a job, they are not looking to see why they should hire you. They are looking to see why they shouldn’t hire you. Think about this. And remember: should the HR person pass you on it is a reflection on her judgement. Your goal should be to make her look AWESOME.