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Lack of interest or enthusiasm during the executive interview process is on the top 10 list of reasons for candidate rejection. Executives don’t always realize it or understand just how important it is to follow up after an interview, beginning with a thank you letter to each interviewer.
 
Following up can help you turn an executive interview into an offer by knocking out your competition, reassuring the hiring manager of your capabilities, or turning a losing situation into a winning one. Consider the following pointers.
 

Once you’ve completed your unconventional interview, it’s extremely important to follow-up with the interviewer, otherwise you’ll be quickly forgotten. In a competitive job market, you should never overlook something as simple as sending a thank you note or picking up the phone to thank the person who gave you a chance to interview. It may seem trivial, but nonetheless it’s essential. Here’s what you should do after your unconventional interview wraps up:

When you get that call from an executive recruiter or hiring manager that they would like to set up a pre-screening phone interview, pat yourself on the back. You have made it to the first step. But, don’t think this a relaxed and laid-back conversation. This is a very important phone call because the interviewer will be developing a profile on you. You will be judged on your attitude, personality, ability to communicate effectively, and how well you might fit into the company culture. If the call is Skyped, the person may also be evaluating your professional image and body language. 

When it comes to acing your unconventional interview, you should know two things: 1) Confidence is key and 2) Being prepared is a crucial step toward interview success. Now that you know how to prepare for your interview, what can you do to ace it with ease?
 
For starters, sit by your phone/computer at least ten minutes prior to your scheduled unconventional interview. Answer the phone/video conference with your name and a smile. Never answer the phone by simply saying, “Hey” or “Hi.” Try saying something like this: “Good morning. This is (INSERT NAME).” Sounding professional is just as important as looking professional.
 

From sweaty palms to racing hearts, the rapid-fire questions and glaring eye contact from human resources is enough to intimidate any job seeker during an in-person interview. What if you removed the face-to-face interaction and replaced it with an unconventional approach? Would your preparation change? Would your anxiety diminish?
 

Most job seekers struggle during interviews because their answers are not clear, concise, or memorable. Interview responses frequently veer off course, are too long, or contain extraneous information that dilutes the candidate’s original message.

The best way to practice interviewing for a job is to record or videotape your responses and self-edit. Or if you don’t have access to these recording devices, call your voicemail and leave your responses to some of your toughest interview questions there. Here are the questions job seekers should ask themselves when they review their interview recording:

A hiring manager takes a significant risk when they hire a new person – that you’re an investment that will pay off. The best way for your hiring manager to see you as a good investment is by demonstrating how you’ve already built shareholder value at past employers, by solving similar problems or meeting similar goals to your target company’s specific situation.

Most candidates don’t put themselves in the hiring manager’s shoes, writing a resume that focuses on what they themselves want or a resume that describes how they spend their workday.

Here’s 6 ways to demonstrate that you can provide value to your hiring manager:

Interviews are are two-way conversations to determine if you are the right person for the position. It isn’t so scary when you look at it like that, but that doesn’t stop the nerves, a raised heartbeat and your mind going blank at the ‘So tell me about yourself’ moment.

In our recent Expert Interviewing webinar, Louise Kursmark discussed the best way to combat those nerves and make a lasting, positive impression on your interviewers.
 
Establish an agenda

No one is perfect. Yet many candidates stumble when asked, ‘tell me about a project that did not go to plan?’

The struggle with this key interview question is often because we focus on (and remember) what is going well and what we like, while failing to work on areas we perhaps don’t enjoy or struggle at. However, it is extremely important as a job candidate to get this question right.

When an executive recruiter or hiring manager asks about your weaknesses or examples of failure, they are looking to understand your process for self-development and continual learning.
 

This is an all too common problem, as companies have become more and more reluctant to provide references. Let’s start by first understanding why some companies have adopted non-reference friendly policies.

There are two basic types of non-references policies employed by companies today:

Limited references Only: This type of company policy forbids employees or managers from providing references, so that all reference requests are directed back to the HR department. The HR department then manages reference information given, limiting it to name, dates, and sometimes salary. More and more often, this is becoming an offshore, online, or fax function to limit interaction with company employees