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Interview Situations
After the Interview

A detailed answer and analysis of a tough interview question from Matt & Nan DeLuca, authors of the best selling "Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions".  For more answers to the toughest situations, see the Complete Interview Guide.

  • Answers to more than 50 of the Toughest Interview Situations - follow-up calls & letters, illegal questions
  • Control your nerves and give natural, unrehearsed answers
  • Questions to ask the interviewers
  • Review hundreds of skills and abilities questions and answer tips
  • Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions

Do I send a follow-up thank you letter after a second interview?

Yes...you have even more to be thankful for, don't you?  A polite restatement of your interest, qualifications for the job and appreciation for the time spent is always in order...yes seldom done by applicants.  Showing good manners is always appreciated and keeps your name in mind in a favorable way.  Send a thank you to everyone you met with...not just the recruiter.  Follow-up on what they said the next step would be.

How much follow up is enough?  I have sent follow up letters and have made numerous follow up calls to a start-up firm.

I would try one last time if you are really interested in the position.  Make the following points:

  1. You are sincerely interested in the job.
  2. You can understand that they are probably dealing with a lot of issues.
  3. Is the position still open?  Are they still looking at candidates? (If they are, this may have been their polite way to say...not interested. What is their timetable in filling the position?
  4. If they are still interested in your candidacy but are not in a position to make a decision (could be awaiting funding, private investors)?  How should you proceed?  Do they have an idea of when they will be deciding? 
  5. You do not want to be an irritant calling repeatedly to check the status; what would they suggest?  Will you be called if an offer is to be made?

Another view would be if they advertise for a position and are clueless as to how & when to fill, do you want to work for such a disorganized company (no matter how glamorous it seems?)  This may be the tip of the iceberg; it may be their management style for the time being.  Or an indication of their financing. See how they handle this---remember you are also interviewing them. This is not a sales pitch that they are handling very well--but there may be good reasons (at least acceptable to you)!

One of the key problems of start ups is staffing.  Who to hire, when to hire and how to make the offer.  Ideally, after all the technical/financial teams are assembled and a business plan is originated (did you ask to see theirs)?  An HR person is brought on to hire the rest of the team to carry the plan forward.

When do you notify a prospective employer of nonrefundable vacation plans?

As we get closer to spring/summer this is a more and more relevant question for any person changing jobs.  Interviewers are usually sensitive and frequently bring up the issue.  When they don't, I suggest you mention it after getting the offer but before accepting.  Timing is so important and this should be a matter subject to negotiation and therefore should be included with the final job offer.   By gauging the reaction of your future employer you may get to see what you are in for before you quit your current job -- especially if he/she becomes withdrawn or angry with he request.

If you have been dealing with an executive recruiter and/or Human Resources representative let them earn their keep and by bringing it to their attention they should serve as the messenger and also buffer for any initial adverse reaction.  If you wait until a later moment -- like for instance after you start work, then you will be perceived as someone who purposefully waited and that will not be perceived as the most professional way to handle the matter.


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