This is it – the call you've been waiting for since the beginning of your job search. It's the call that tells you that you've gotten the job you want. The phone rings, and even though you don't recognize the number, you pick up and introduce yourself in your best professional voice. (Nobody in the professional world expects anyone else to answer an unfamiliar phone number, so you can let the call go to voicemail if you choose. But while you're in the job market, picking up at the first ring can save you some time.)
The friendly voice on the other end of the phone tells you that your resume has been reviewed, the employers like what you have to offer, and they'd like a chance to learn more about you. You've been called back for a job interview! So, what next? Here are a few tips that can help you successfully navigate the next few days before the interview and also after you receive a job offer.
Here are four steps to follow when you get invited in for a job interview:
1) Arrange logistics
Confirm your interview time with the person scheduling the interview and get information about office location, details about transportation or parking, and the anticipated length of the interview. If you're currently employed, make sure all of your responsibilities will be handled by someone else during your meeting.
2) Prepare for the interview
When you get called back for a job interview, review your application and research the company. Learn more about what they do, their financial results, their competitors etc. The more you learn about the organization, the more intelligent your questions will be during the interview
Prepare your answers to all the typical interview questions and make sure you have enough specific tangible examples demonstrating how you've made an impact.
Quantify your experience and accomplishments as much as you can. For example, if you've done something that's saved your company money or time, mention it and use numbers or percentages to back up your claims.
It might be a good idea to practice your interview answers with a trusted mentor or interview coach to ensure you sound competent and confident.
Also be sure to brush up on answers to some of the most common interview questions that you can expect in the interview.
3) Get your outfit ready
Ask the hiring manager or recruiter questions about the dress code at the company you're interviewing with when you get called back for a job interview. If you need to take your suit to the dry cleaners or must buy or borrow some interview-appropriate clothing, take care of this detail right away.
When you get called back for a job interview, review your application and research the company. Learn more about what they do, their financial results, their competitors etc. The more you learn about the organization, the more intelligent your questions will be during the interview.
4) Remember that likeability matters
Since you've been called back for a job interview, the employer already knows you have the skills they are looking for. However, they also need to know if they like you and if you're going to fit in well with the team – after all, they'd probably spend more time with you in the office than with their family or friends.
Be personable and speak in a friendly, conversational manner instead of just rehashing rehearsed answers. Don't give them any clichéd answers to standard questions. For example, if you say that your biggest flaw is that you're a "perfectionist" or "you work too hard," the interviewer won't learn anything about the real you, and may get annoyed by your lack of sincerity.
What to do when you get a job offer:
After all the work you've done – applying for jobs, networking, and performing well when you get called back for a job interview – you've been offered the position you've been aiming for. Congratulations!
This is a major accomplishment. After all, on average a corporate job opening receives 250 applications. Four to six candidates get and interview and only one gets the job. That person is you and you're understandably psyched.
But don't be so quick to accept it right away. Here are five tips on how to best handle this situation:
1) Express your appreciation
Whether you're communicating in person, on the phone, or via email, thank the person who made the offer and say how excited you are before you do anything else.
2) Get negotiations out of the way
Depending on what was discussed when you were called back for a job interview, you may want to try to negotiate your salary. If so, now is the time to do so.
If you plan to negotiate the terms, suggest a phone call to discuss the details. Remember to take a collaborative tone in your negotiation. If you are confrontational, the employer might think twice about you and withdraw the offer. Using a salary calculator can help you ask for a salary that is in the right range for your title and experience level.
3) Ask for the offer in writing
Always request the offer in writing. An official job offer letter should include, at the very least, the name of the position, name of your manager, a start date, your salary, and details about benefits.
Make sure you completely understand what you're being offered. It is fine to accept the offer verbally if they offer you exactly what you were looking for or more, but there is more to the compensation picture than just your annual salary. You'll want to know if there is a bonus plan and if so, what it entails and understand the benefits plan, vacation allowance, working hours, etc.
You shouldn't feel pressured to accept the offer right away. Any reasonable employer will give you 1-2 days to make the decision – especially if you're considering another offer at the same time.
4) Meet the team if you haven't already
You should have met some of your team members during the interview process, but if you haven't, ask to arrange a brief coffee meeting with your prospective coworkers. You might be working alongside these people for a few years to come, so it's important that you feel you can get on well with them.
5) Ask about the next steps
Is there any onboarding paperwork you should get started on? Is there anything you can do to prepare for your first day? This proactive interest will reaffirm the hiring manager's choice to extend an offer.
Need more information for a successful job search? LiveCareer can help. Check out these additional resources for job seekers: