If a prospective employer contacts you regarding a resume or application you’ve submitted, how you respond determines his first impression of you. Even though you haven’t made it to the face-to-face interview yet, it’s important to exhibit the same professionalism, respect and maturity you would when meeting with the employer in person.
Respond to the employer’s email or voice mail message as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the day. If that’s not possible, contact him within 24 hours, or he might assume you’re not interested. Following up with the employer promptly shows you’re prepared to meet with him and excited to learn more about the job and the company. It also demonstrates that you respect the employer’s time and care about his opinion, concerns you might not have if you weren’t seriously interested in the position.
Work with the Employer’s Schedule
When arranging the interview, accept the earliest available appointment that still gives you ample time to prepare. If you say you can’t come in for a week or two, the employer might think you’re weighing other job offers you’re more interested in and that this job is a second choice. He might also assume you’re not certain of your decision to leave your current position. Ask the employer about his hiring timeline and how long he plans to conduct interviews. Show him you’re eager to meet with him and sell him on your qualifications by scheduling a meeting within the next day or two, if possible.
Instead of simply agreeing to come in for a meeting, show employers you care about performing well during the interview. Ask the employer how long he expects the meeting to last and about the format of the interview. For example, at some companies, the standard job interview includes lunch with a few employees, a tour of the facility or a skills test or other pre-employment assessment. Also, ask if the employer wants you to bring a portfolio, copies of transcripts, licenses or credentials or other supporting materials.
Thank the employer for reviewing your resume and for inviting you to come in for an interview. Reiterate both your interest and your qualifications with a sentence such as “When I saw your ad for an account manager, I knew it was exactly the kind of opportunity I’d been looking for, so I look forward to learning more about your organization and how I can contribute to your success.” Or say, “I look forward to meeting with you Thursday at 9 a.m. I’m excited about the potential of working with you, and I can’t wait to discuss what you’re looking for in an employee and how I match those qualifications.”
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