Shrewd Job Interview Tactics


Everyone wants to do their best during a job interview, especially if it’s for a position you REALLY want.? But did you know this…If you’re one of the first candidates interviewed for a job, odds are you will not get hired???

The first candidates frequently get overlooked simply because, after all the interviews are complete, the interviewer forgot details about the first person.? In case you want to change your old interviewing style or maybe get a little shrewd with it, I have stumbled across these strategies you might?consider the next time you’re interviewing for “a big job.”

  1. Pay attention to when you’ll be interviewed.? If you are offered an interview, for example, on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, select Wednesday.? A mid-week interview will be close enough to the end of the week (many hiring decisions are made Wednesday through Friday), yet far enough from the beginning of the week to be remembered.? If you are offered a choice of time for your interview, select something close to the end of the day.
  2. Follow-up the interview.? You would be amazed at how many applicants never follow-up their interview.? And those who do frequently take so long, their follow-up is meaningless.? Make sure you follow-up your interview at the latest, the very next day.? Some might say the next day is already too late.??You can make a follow-up phone call, email, or my personal favorite, a card.? Mail your card to the interviewers the same day so that they receive it with in 2 days of your interview.? And here’s the clincher…enclose something of value to the interviewer.? Perhaps it’s an article about the company or special news you learned about?through internet company research.? Although I caution you, not everything on the internet is fact!

You must consider, professionalism will take precedence over any one tactic you practice.? Someone that is professional, represents themselves positively, effectively, and articulately will always have my vote.? But simple things such as what time you?interview and what you do after the interview?can send a powerful message.? These 2 simple tips will leave a lasting?impression with the interviewers that will pay off.

For more interviewing tips, see:

What To Take On An Interview

Interview Etiquette


24 thoughts on “Shrewd Job Interview Tactics

  1. I would add two more :
    – How you appear and dress is key. Although it may not necessary show your true self, it may show the interviewer that you at least made an effort to be presentable for the interview. Also, first impressions lasts.
    – Act confident and like you want the job. Interviewers can sense confidence and nerves. Confidence is a key to getting higher level jobs as well. It is nothing worse for an interviewer to see someone that acts as if he really doesn’t want the job but is there for the sake of it.

    1. Yep those are some good tips, though they cannot be classified as tactics.
      A tactic, in this case, is when you try to get into the psyche of the interviewer to lay emphasis on you in his mind for the job.

  2. Confidence is huge!
    If you get stuck with the Monday interview and you blow them away, the interviewers will be comparing every person that comes after you … to you.
    Normally, I’d suggest you wait 2-3 days before calling (like dating). After all, you’re involved in a salary negotiation here as well …
    But Jane’s strategy of calling the next day is a better one in this market. It’s extremely difficult to find people. A lot of companies can’t wait to find “the right person”. They just need a warm body to put a nametag on.

    1. Actually, you’re right Shane. Interviewing is a lot like dating. You will know within the first minute of conversation if you’re a keeper or a “throw-a-way.” That first impression is crucial and if you start off on a bad note, it will be a lot harder to battle back.

      1. Is the 2-3 day rule really true? I’ve heard from women that they don’t like the wait. As is women..very confusing.

  3. Great, great post. I plan on doing a spinoff of it on my site –
    Regarding follow-up, I usually urge interviewees to leave the interview, open the laptop or find a Kinko’s and write a thank you note right away – highlighting the parts of the interview that were favorable. Then, send it express mail (or priority mail at least) to the interviewer.
    Using specific information in your letter helps to refresh the memory of the interviewer – for those special cases when you can’t choose the time of your interview. It also shows that you know what sales is all about…asking questions, uncovering needs, and addressing them.
    Often times for pharmaceutical sales jobs multiple interviews are carried out over a few hours. The express mail tip could get costly, but they can also pay off, bigtime.
    If I keep writing, I’m gonna use up all of my own blog post! Again, thanks for the great advice.
    Ryan Stewart
    P.S. I found you via the ReviewMe you paid JohnChow to do. Maybe we should trade reviews?

  4. Follow up on the same day is plainly too desperate. In fact, most people nowadays DO follow-ups. By doing so, you put yourself into the needy bunch. Like you guys said about dating. The girl hasn’t really sat down recollecting the moments and thoughts about you, then all at the sudden she is bombarded by your desperate call. You need to give the interviewer some private time to think about your candidacy. Your follow-up call in such a rushy-pushy way is largely uncalled for. Ever hate your boss keep asking you about your progress? You are doing the same here. You may not ask directly for decision, but your interviewer will feel that way because he/she knows what you are after. The best is losing your bargaining power for salary, but the worst is your profile being put into trash can.
    The advice on attaching a news article about the company is the biggest turn off. It sends off a message like, “See? I know a lot about your company. Perhaps you should hear about my advice on how to expand your market share.” Too candid! With the advent of internet jobsites, where the number of resume submissions and potential candidates is exploded by ten- to hundred- to even thousand-folds, recruiters and hiring managers really get sick and tired of follow-up calls. They become a new form of telemarketing spam. You are only making that one call, but the hiring manager is receiving tens of candidate calls of the same nature. Imagine how easy he/she gets pissed off? Remember he/she still has real tasks at hand to complete.
    The only time you want to follow up is at least after 2 weeks when you have reason to suspect the hiring manager might have forgotten you or you have something to add that you haven’t said in the interview which may add good impression on you. Other than that, focus your energy on making more job searches and perfecting your resume for the new jobs.

    1. Two weeks for a follow up is a little too long I think. I would cut it down to about a week or so.

  5. Excellent article. I would also have to agree that first impressions go a long way and they colour how the interviewer feels about you for the rest of your interaction. Give them a loosy-goosy handshake, show up dressed sloppily, and it won’t matter how good your interview answers are.

  6. I would have to agree. When I interview people, each time I get a follow-up card or email I feel as though the person took initiative, is considerate, and proactive. That would give me a glimps at what type of person that interviewee is and if there was a toss up between two candidates, then that would have been the tie breaker.
    But I would agree, there is a fine line between practive and pushy. People have to know how to negotiate themselves for the better.

    1. “Keep your interviewers close, and your breath mints closer”
      ~Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    1. The Art of War is a great book. It’s very simple, straightforward and just makes sense. No wonder it’s been popular for 1500 years…
      Too bad Morehei Ueshiba’s The Art of Peace never rose to such fame.
      (Comments wont nest below this level)

      1. Wiktionary would have been a more appropriate source for you to site your nitpicking, but I suppose that would have made your criticism invalid.
        1. A manoeuvre, or action calculated to achieve some end.
        I would say that following up after an interview qualifies as an action calculated to acheive some end.

  7. Great post, Jane. I highly agree that a mid-week interview is best. If I am going to be interviewed early in the week, I want to make sure the interviewers will remember my enthusiasm for the job and for my future. I think positive enthusiasm is a great way to leave a memorable impression upon interviewers, especially because most people do not seem very excited when talking about their goals and aspirations.

  8. After recently accepting a job that was not what it said on the tin, I would also consider asking some probing questions regarding any concerns you have regarding the role or the organisation (following research and the interview itself).
    In the last interview I had I asked for a lot of additional information, to the point of asking how they saw my time being split between different elements of the role.
    I think they were a little surprised, but I was offered the job, and am confident that I will enjoy it.

  9. Hmmmm, that’s an interesting read.
    There was me thinking it would always be better to have a morning interview, because the interviewers would be fresher and wouldn’t just want to get it over with.
    Food for thought. Thanks.

  10. Out of intereste what are you basing this article on, i.e. where do you get the stats comparing first / last candidates?
    I have to say thats far removed from my own experience on both sides of the recruitment process.
    In general, recruitment ’seems’ to be becoming less subjective, incorporating a lot of metrics such as skills, aptitude, Psychometric tests etc. along with a more structured points based interview process.
    If companies lean towards the last candidates they are inept and wasting their money on recruitment. I really cant see this being valid for anything other than a tin pot company ….
    Anyone who interviews without a process and ‘forgets’ a good candidate has no business working in HR / recruitment, and you really have to ask yourself whether thats the kind of organisation you would want to work for!!!

  11. I would confirm – always follow up an interview, and during interview ask a lot of questions yourself about the company and the way the do thinks – who knows, maybe you dont want to work with them

  12. Here are 2 useful tips that will elevate your chances for clearing that all-important Personal Interview.
    1) The most important strategy you can employ in you interview is to close strong with an excellent summary of what you can do for the interviewer’s team or the company in general
    2) Do take a card from the reception in case you did not get one from the interviewer and send a email with a thank you note
    Impressing the Personal Interviewer panel consists of exuding the right confidence and carefully avoiding the major mistakes aspirants make in the Personal interview

  13. How about prepare for the interview? I have people come in for an interview and not know a thing about the company. It floors me everytime!
    If you are looking for a j-o-b then you do not stand a chance against someone who shows interest in actually progressing their career. A lack of preparation for an interview is a glimpse of what kind of work ethic someone has.

  14. Even when interviewing for teaching jobs, it is good to have done your research on the schoo. Know what reading programs they are using, themes and studies they are doing, etc. Research up front, no matter what kind of job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *