Finishing and Leaving Your Job Interview

By Stephen Whelan

If you are offered the interviewers hand, end with a firm, confident handshake (ensure you don’t grip too hard) and a self-assured smile. Even if you feel you could have improved on some aspects of the interview, a self-confident exit could go some way to salvaging the interview for you. Whether you think it or not you will convey this confidence to the interviewer and you will leave a positive lasting impression.

Remain as professional as possible; remember the job is not yours until you have been offered the post and signed your return copy of the contract! Thank the interviewer for the time that they have afforded to you, say goodbye in a friendly manner and leave the room. Leave the interview as if it was an absolute success.

Whether or not you feel that the interview was a success or not, I suggest that you put it completely out of your mind when you leave the room and only reflect on your performance at a later date. I’ve done this myself and when you occupy your mind too much on what you said or could have said it can have a destructive impact on later job interviews you may have. At the very least you should be confident that it has provided you with tremendous preparation for the next one. Like all interviews I suggest you prepare in exactly the same way for any further interviews to follow.

I suggest that you go back and reflect on the interview a few days later to determine how you performed on the day. I always went over the particular areas where I felt I mentioned the wrong thing, gave an incomplete answer or there were things I wished I had said but left out.

Don’t worry about this, many people do this after the interview and needlessly beat themselves up and over analyze every aspect of what was said, or what was not. Remember you may have mentioned numerous, valid and relevant points and hit on the main acceptable answers and these are the positive aspects that you should dwell upon. Just take a note of the plus points of your interview, for example, how well you prepared, your interview technique, positive answers you delivered and how you could improve in the future. By doing this you have reflected this on paper and ensures that you don’t forget these aspects for any future interviews

Waiting to hear about the job – The long wait

It's all over! All the hard work is completed and any nerves and tension of the whole process begin to drift away. After you have made and received those well wishing calls from your family and friends to find out how it went you begin to relax and you are glad it is all over.

Well it is not. You have one final task to complete and then it’s all over.

Write your thank you note to the employer outlining your thanks for their time and effort. I suggest you do this as quickly as possible for three reasons. It shows you are professional, well mannered and shows that the job is important to you. While these are all admirable qualities that the employer will look for, in most cases, it will not influence the final interview decision, but you never know. On a more practical level the purpose of writing a thank you letter is that you may be the only one who has made the effort to do so and therefore raise your profile within that organization.

In turn, your name will unquestionably leave a long-lasting impact in the interviewers mind and give you a potential competitive edge over others in the future. So, take the time to write a short thank you letter the advantages for you are obvious.

Stephen Whelan is a Senior Manager in the largest Health Trust in Northern Ireland. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the recruitment process.

As part of his remit as a senior manager and in his previous posts leading up to his current appointment he has interviewed hundreds of candidates for innumerable vacancies. In this respect he has invaluable knowledge of the selection and recruitment processes from both sides of the table.

Stephen is also a qualified coach and obtained his Coaching in Work Certificate in 2007 which fits perfectly with helping people achieve their highest potential in the job interview process.

Accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management he has excellent skills and abilities that develop others in their pursuit of excellence and brings all of this experience to the table in helping people through the job interview process.

Stephen is currently constructing his website and offers amazing resources for job interview success at

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