Workplace Rights

Weekly (6/15/09)

Topic of the Week  No Go - How to Turn a Job Interview Into a Job Offer

Turning a Job Interview into a Job:
• DO say thanks
• DO ask how you can improve
• DO call back
• DON’T lose hope

Your Rant: I keep getting interviews, but I don’t get offered the job. What am I doing wrong?

911 Repair,
It’s extremely frustrating to get a job offer but no job. I can relate. Which reminds me of a basketball term, “hanging around.” This usually occurs when a really good team is playing a much worse team, yet the score is relatively close. The announcers will comment that the better team is letting the inferior team hang around in the game.

As dangerous as it is to let an inferior team hang around in a basketball game, it’s often a valuable thing to have happen in a job search. You’re not going to get offered every job, but it’s helpful to at least be viewed favorably enough to get an interview. Below I’ve listed three Do’s and one Don’t for turning a job interview into a job offer. For more, Check out Cliff Hakim’s book “We Are All Self-Employed” (Berrett Koehler, 2003).

DO say thanks. I talked to a Human Resources Director who said that he has never hired anyone for a job who didn’t write a thank you note after the interview. He’d rejected some remarkably experienced applicants, but he wants to hire people who know how to do business the right way. I guess you could say that mom was right, manners do matter. Always get contact information from the interviewer after your interview and immediately send out a thank you note. In fact, you might even want to bring a card and stamp to the interview so you can write it while the interview is still fresh in your mind.

DO ask how you can improve. We’ve all been in interviews that clearly are not working out. Rather than just watch the ship sink, I usually switch gears and start interviewing them. Ask for specific suggestions for improving your resume. Ask how you could have done a better job in the interview. You can gain valuable insight from the very people who’ll be making the hiring decision, don’t pass up this golden opportunity.

DO call back. I have a friend who swears by this strategy. If he really wants the job, and feels he’s qualified, he always calls the company back two months after his interview. Why? Because he once did that only to discover that the new hire didn’t work out. He immediately got hired, turns out the hiring manager didn’t want to go through the entire job search again. Call back, you just might be surprised at what you find out.

DON’T lose hope. I get a lot of emails from people who aren’t even getting interviews. So you should be thankful that you’re getting interest from potential employers. Sure this doesn’t compare to job offers, but with a few tweaks to your approach to the interview, you should be able to land a job soon.

Follow these tips and you won’t just be hanging around in your job search, you’ll actually win the game.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"It may be those who do most, dream most."

–Stephen Leacock

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    • Candidate claimed to have been a professional baseball player 


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