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The Number One Mistake People I Interview Are Making These Days
Business Insider ^ | 02/24/2012 | Jessica Liebman

Posted on 02/24/2012 7:36:02 AM PST by Responsibility2nd

I'm the Managing Editor of Business Insider, which means I'm responsible for all of the editorial hiring here.

So I'm constantly meeting people of all different levels, from interns to senior editors.

Lately, the majority of people I interview have one thing in common.

They're all messing up on something that I think is very important when trying to get a job: the Thank You Email.

Whether we spent thirty minutes meeting in the offices; we Skyped because you're abroad for your Junior spring semester; or we did a quick first-round phone interview, too many people are forgetting to follow up later that day or the next day with a quick email.

It doesn't have to be anything too involved. Truthfully, the shorter the better.

The Thank You Email should say a few simple things:

-Thank you for meeting (or talking) with me.

-I really want this job.

-Quick plug about why I'm perfect for it.

If I DON'T get a Thank You Email, here's what happens:

-I assume you don't want the job

-I think you're disorganized and forgot about following up

-There is a much higher shot I'll forget about you

Here's an example of a good Thank You Email:

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: interview
Common sense.
1 posted on 02/24/2012 7:36:07 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd

 See also....
 
 
 



2 posted on 02/24/2012 7:38:21 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: Responsibility2nd

Quite frankly, I already get too many work emails as it is.


3 posted on 02/24/2012 7:38:43 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: Responsibility2nd

Uh huh. And how many people doing the hiring even bother to tell a candidate two weeks later that he didn’t get the job. That “courtesy” was ancient history twenty years ago.


4 posted on 02/24/2012 7:41:50 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Maybe this is specific to certain fields; personally I have never found them to be particularly common in my field.

The decision who will be hired, considered or rejected; is usually made before the interview is over. If you didn’t overwhelm them - the decision is made. No email, no flowers, no fancy card is going to make any difference.

In my experience, the letter may actually work against you; identifying you as a ‘suck up’. But, my job is in engineering, not a ‘soft science’. If you have the skills specific to the job, if you are personable, if your personality will meld with the team - you are in. If not, nothing will change that decision - most especially an email.


5 posted on 02/24/2012 7:42:59 AM PST by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Wow. A guy who is actually looking for MORE emails.


6 posted on 02/24/2012 7:45:06 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: jiggyboy

A lot of commenters at the link are downright ANGRY at the notion of sending a follow-up email.

But look; if you apply at a company, and they call you back for an interview, and you do nothing to follow up on that position opting instead to wait for them to call you?

You deserve to be unemployed.


7 posted on 02/24/2012 7:45:20 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: Responsibility2nd

ping for showing to my son later


8 posted on 02/24/2012 7:46:51 AM PST by Shimmer1 (If love were oil, I'd be a quart low)
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To: Responsibility2nd
I ain't buyin’. Sure a follow-up letter or e-mail is nice and should be done, but it simply is not the “make-or-break” element it is being portrayed here.

There is no magic “key” that will unlock that job, certainly not a follow-up e-mail. There are a whole host of determinants in landing a job and it is a disservice to imply that finding the right, exact, secret elixer is the only way you will ever unlock a job. It ain't so.

9 posted on 02/24/2012 7:49:20 AM PST by Obadiah (Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATMs?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I’d be curious as to the percentage of interviews are fake HR go-thru-the-motions as the job was filled internally before someone had to post it publicly to cover their EOE ass.


10 posted on 02/24/2012 7:57:10 AM PST by txhurl
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To: Responsibility2nd

Yep. It used to have to be a more laborious old-fashioned thank you note.

Doesn’t make sense to take the time to go in for a personal—or even have an over the phone—interview, without adding the 30 second follow up of a brief thank you.

Almost bizarre that people in her field would be skipping that step.


11 posted on 02/24/2012 7:57:46 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Responsibility2nd
A lot of commenters at the link are downright ANGRY at the notion of sending a follow-up email.

The part that is not addressed at all, is the level of unprofessionalism that many companies show to potential job applicants. Let's pick on Dell Comuters (Round Rock, TX) as an example.

I worked there for couple years, and interviewed dozens (as in >25) applicants for an engineering position we did not have. We flew them in from all over the country, put them up at the Red Lion, and we had no intention of hiring them. Why? So HR could have a list of pre-screened applicatants. I fielded calls from a young graduate in Los Angeles who was quite excited about a job with Dell - and I was forced by my Director to keep her on the line for over 6 months. Finally, as Lead Engineer for the group, I asked to be removed from this process as I had ethical issues with this procedure. I was 'laid off' 6 months later - pure coincidence, I'm sure.

But, the bottom line is that loyalty and professional conduct is a 1-way street. Companies have abandoned the view that their employees are a valuable asset - they are an operational expense, and treated as such. Employees learn this lesson; thus the average life expectancy of employees is now closer to 2-5 years than decades, like it was not that long ago. It used to be that you got your job, you worked your job, you would be rewarded for your loyalty, you may work 2-3 jobs in your career; you'd retire after working for a company 20+ years at a decent salary. Today, you are a cog in a wheel, you can be replaced for any or no reason at all. It's brutal; and some of the advice I'm reading does little more than identify weakness on behalf of the employee.

12 posted on 02/24/2012 7:58:14 AM PST by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Obadiah

The follow up letter should be done at the conclusion of the interview. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me,...I am really interested in the job if offered, etc.”

this follow up letter/email stuff is definetly 20+++ years ago.

And I NEVER received a follow-up from a company on why I wasn’t selected. Left to sit there wondering forever if/why I didn’t get the job.


13 posted on 02/24/2012 8:00:54 AM PST by Hammerhead
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To: jiggyboy

Exactly


14 posted on 02/24/2012 8:01:03 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
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To: Responsibility2nd

Sounds like a self-center prick; a Gen Y idiot that NEEDS to be thanked. In many cases the candidate doesn’t have an email address to send a thank you as all communications for the interview come from them and it is a bit nerdy to track down the interviewer to thank them.


15 posted on 02/24/2012 8:03:11 AM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
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To: CodeToad

“the interview come from them”

should have been:

“the interview come from HR”


16 posted on 02/24/2012 8:04:14 AM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Asinine advice.

At the end of the interview, you stand up, shake hands looking the interviewer in the eye, and you thank him for the opportunity to interview.

That should be it. I can't imagine why anyone would want sycophantic garbage clogging up his in-box the next day.

Now, if you interview with this chick, by all means send her an email, but the reason for it eludes me unless she just likes seeing people suck up to her.

17 posted on 02/24/2012 8:04:41 AM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: 9YearLurker
Yep. It used to have to be a more laborious old-fashioned thank you note.

I think this may still have value, in the 'soft' sciences. HR manager, Supervisor, manager, Insurance industry, Medical industry - somewhere where dealing with customers and the public may be the norm.

However, this is practialy unheard of in the engineering industry. Usually, the decision to hire/not hire a person is made before the interview is even over. Managment has made the decision, before the applicant has left the building. Due to nothing short of rudeness and unprofessionalism - the applicant will likely not be told 'No, Thank you' .... ever. It costs nothing to keep him hoping, and on the line. Maybe there will be a sudden need, and the #2 candidate can be quickly reeled in. Sure, they will promise to let you know in a week; but this is seldomly, if ever the case.

18 posted on 02/24/2012 8:04:58 AM PST by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: CodeToad
In many cases the candidate doesn’t have an email address ...

Absolutely true. Mid-level managers do not want to be bothered by incessant whining from interviewers that were discarded during the interview process. Usually, the person will say "Hello, my name is Bob, and I'm the ......". You visit with him for 20 minutes, and you never see him again. I've been shocked many times to find that the boss I have, when I'm hired, is actually the person who identified himself as a lower-level team member. This is done to evade the endless emails.

19 posted on 02/24/2012 8:09:09 AM PST by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Responsibility2nd
It looks like the Occupoops are swamping the comments section with their sneering contempt. Here's what I posted:

To all the detractors here, consider these facts:

- A thank you email costs you nothing. Except maybe a few minute away from your Playstation.
- If nothing else, it represents civility, something that is all but lost to the last couple of generations. Practicing civility makes it habitual, which WILL make you more attractive in the job market.
- If one in one thousand thank you letters are effective, that's an extraordinary edge over someone who never writes one.

20 posted on 02/24/2012 8:09:16 AM PST by fwdude
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To: Hodar

Very, very true. I had the unfortunate situtation of being at a social setting and ran into an ex-employee that was fired for cause. He still sends an email nearly every day asking about his status to job postings he has applied for. I try my best not to be rude as he is friends with another close friend of mine, but it is getting old. Our HR is very good about keeping distances between managers and candidates but this guy is well beyond any normal boundaries.


21 posted on 02/24/2012 8:17:47 AM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
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To: Hodar

Just Damn. Your experience at Dell was brutal. But this has been the case for many companies for many years.

The only options for potential employees is to game the system as best they can. I would follow up with the position, but after a couple of weeks - if not offered a job - I would forget about that company and move on.


22 posted on 02/24/2012 8:18:00 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: Responsibility2nd

What ineffable twaddle.

Are you looking for someone who can write and edit copy, or interviewing candidates for the Queen and Her Court Rose Parade float?

If someone bothers to meet with you, they want the job. A “thank-you” at the end of the interview suffices.

Anything else is just sucking up and a sop to your outsized ego.


23 posted on 02/24/2012 8:23:15 AM PST by Blue Ink
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To: jiggyboy

Many moons ago, with college graduation a month or two away, I drove 500 miles (round trip) to interview at a small company. Part of the agreement was that the company would reimburse me for my gas - regardless of whether I got the job. I’m still waiting to hear if I got the position (this was in 1987), but they DID send me a check for gas - two weeks after the check expired. Two years later, I drove nine hours, one way, to interview at yet another small company. I must have REALLY bombed the thing, though; I’m still waiting to hear back from them, one way or the other.


24 posted on 02/24/2012 8:26:46 AM PST by Basil Duke
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To: Basil Duke

Get this, I interviewed for a position WITHIN my company and NEVER received a follow up - even though the manager and HR person were one builiding over. Furthermore, when asked for a status from the manager via company instant messaging, my instant message was closed by the manager.

Yeh, ok, lady,....what comes around goes around. I’ll have my day with you.


25 posted on 02/24/2012 8:33:26 AM PST by Hammerhead
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To: Responsibility2nd

I think the social mores have changed. While some managers may like a thank you note, I think most would see it as a waste of their time. About being convinced that somebody *really* wants the job...in this economy, everybody really wants the job.


26 posted on 02/24/2012 8:34:34 AM PST by OrangeHoof (Obama: The Dr. Kevorkian of the American economy.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Combine the unemployment rate with the amount of applications you need to fill out to get an interview, combined with the amount of detailed information each company wants in its own format, combined with the fact that 99% of applications won't even get a "Thanks for applying" message, combined with the fact that most companies will only hire someone who has the exact experience as the guy who just got fired or quit; quite frankly, I am absolutely amazed at the scarcity of businesses being burned to the ground.

However, it's not hard to write a thank you note, and in my experience HR people are needy illiterates. So it may help you land the job if you throw them a bone thanking them for their precious time and consideration. Certainly don't mention all the mistakes and incongruencies in the job ad (one of my fav's was "Must Have Masters - prefer Bachelors").

27 posted on 02/24/2012 8:37:54 AM PST by douginthearmy (Obamagebra: 1 job + 1 hope + 1 change = 0 jobs + 0 hope)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Things have probably changed since I did any hiring. I was looking for computer programmers. It usually took no more than three minutes for me to decide that a person was someone I wanted. Phony follow-up letters and/or phone calls were mostly a negative SFAIWC.

ML/NJ

28 posted on 02/24/2012 8:44:58 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Responsibility2nd

Send a thank you note by snail mail. That’ll really impress them because no one really does that anymore.


29 posted on 02/24/2012 8:44:58 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: douginthearmy

lolol

That probably means they want a candidate with a Masters.

But they will only pay based on a Bachelors.

Or maybe they mean bachelor as in no married people.

lololol


30 posted on 02/24/2012 8:47:44 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: Hammerhead
And I NEVER received a follow-up from a company on why I wasn’t selected. Left to sit there wondering forever if/why I didn’t get the job.

I used to tell people directly that I wasn't interested in them and why. I realized that they had traveled to come see me and I would offer to answer their questions if they had any.

ML/NJ

31 posted on 02/24/2012 8:51:32 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Hodar

Back in the ‘80s I was in programming and for a while had to do the Resume routine. One day I got the idea to add a second page, usually a no-no. I titled it “Technical Addendum”. Programming to me was nothing more than a problem-solving job, once solved you moved on to the next one, and other than remembering a new technique, forgot about it.

I started listing the jobs I had done and after about the third one, I thought, “Damn, I’d hire me!”. There was some neat, money-saving programs/systems I had produced. I stapled it to the resume and added a little note saying something to the effect that all resumes were suspected of having a lot of Blue Smoke and Mirrors, so if the Employment Guy would just pass the Addendum to the guy I would be working for (positive thinking), he could tell in a minute whether I was B/Sing or not.

Always got a positive response and always got the job, so maybe it would still help today.


32 posted on 02/24/2012 8:56:38 AM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Email thank-you letters are impersonal and often unread.

If you really want the job, nothing beats a personalized, hand-written thank-you card, send via US Mail.


33 posted on 02/24/2012 9:13:28 AM PST by privatedrive
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To: txhurl
I’d be curious as to the percentage of interviews are fake HR go-thru-the-motions as the job was filled internally before someone had to post it publicly to cover their EOE ass.

I dealt with that many moons ago. The prospective employer deliberately distorted something I said and then used it as an excuse not to hire me. (I found out later he had hired a pretty grad student from the university department he was out of...)

34 posted on 02/24/2012 9:14:15 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Responsibility2nd

If you want the job, then you should display good manners and professionalism by writing a thank you note to the person who interviews you.

The comments on this post as well as the comments on the article’s site are eye-opening. Since when is being polite something to be disparaged?

I have not, and will not, extend an offer of employment to anyone who does not send a thank you (which basically tells me that you want the job.)


35 posted on 02/24/2012 9:14:57 AM PST by NoKoolAidforMe (I'm clinging to my God and my guns. You can keep the change.)
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To: Obadiah

When I have hired, I have had a lot of qualified people applying and I am looking for reasons to easily eliminate some of them to get the list down to a reasonable number and then to decide between the last three or four candidates. Little stuff like this can make a difference in those situations. I’m more likely to extend an offer to someone who lets me know they want the job enough to say so in a followup.


36 posted on 02/24/2012 9:17:02 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Responsibility2nd

Anymore, I’m overjoyed to see applicants that can put together a resume and cover letter in passable English. Most resumes and letters all look the same anyway, but I’m really narrowing on written communication skill. I will sometimes follow up with an e-mail of my own, if only to prompt them to write a few more sentences just to see if they can do it.


37 posted on 02/24/2012 9:20:57 AM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

Most of the people on this thread are technical engineering types. The rules are different for them. There is very little BS factor in these types of positions.


38 posted on 02/24/2012 9:26:33 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: ModelBreaker

Good to know, thanks. Although employed, in almost every instance where I have applied this it seems to have had no impact, but that’s just my limited anecdotal perspective. I’m more inclined to view the significance of sending a follow-up if a candidate advances past any initial interview first cut.


39 posted on 02/24/2012 9:26:54 AM PST by Obadiah (Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATMs?)
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To: txhurl
I simply cannot tell you how many times I been have down that road. Not sour grapes, I have have confirmed on many ocassions that often a job is posted, the requirements are unnecessarily narrow, but if I qualify I apply only to later discover that it was all Kabuki. Seriously, that has happened to me a lot.
40 posted on 02/24/2012 9:35:58 AM PST by Obadiah (Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATMs?)
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To: ml/nj

I found Dick Cheney’s interview in 1969 with Don Rumsfeld illustrative, though I can’t remember if Rumsfeld had left Congress at that point to work in the Nixon administration.

The young Cheney traveled all the way to Washington to meet with Rumfeld to apply as a staffer. He had to walk several miles in the summer DC heat and humidity while wearing the only suit he owned, a wool winter suit, because he didn’t know the city and parked too far away.

When he finally got there, only a minute or two before the appointed time, he was soaked with perspiration to the point his shoes were making squishing sounds. Before he even had a chance to find a bathroom and towel off, the door to Rumsfeld’s office opened at the exact appointment time and he was ushered in for a half-hour appointment.

In a city known for making people wait, this was remarkable.

Cheney talked for 25 minutes, at which point Rumsfeld politely said something like “Thank you for coming, but I don’t think you are the right person for the job”, stood up and shook his hand, after which the door opened at the exact ending time for the meeting and the young Cheney was ushered out.

Very straight and to the point.

Poor Cheney stood blinking in the office foyer thinking “What the heck just happened?”


41 posted on 02/24/2012 9:40:26 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: Responsibility2nd

42 posted on 02/24/2012 9:41:33 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Obadiah

When I’ve hired anyone, it’s on the basis of their ability to do the job and fit in with the team. A thank you email makes no difference to that. All they do is depress me unless they come from the person I’m going to hire. Then I think, “Oh, that’s nice.” But it makes no difference either way.


43 posted on 02/24/2012 9:48:16 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I’ve never sent or received an interview thank you e-mail. I probably wouldn’t hire the person who sent me one. Thank you notes are just too touchy feely 1950s girly. Interviews are about business decisions, they’re not bridal showers, if I hire you you can thank me then.


44 posted on 02/24/2012 9:52:44 AM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: central_va

“There is very little BS factor in these types of positions.”

After college when looking for a job, I would call a company in my specialized technical field and would ask for whoever by name after I had done some research on who was a top dog. Mostly small firms.

Then I would call and if the receptionist asked who I was I would say “This is Tom Smith from MIT”.

Once I got the guy I would say “Hi, my name is Tom Smith, I’m a recent graduate from MIT with a degree in XYZ. I’m going to be in town for a few days and would like to speak with you and your work in XYZ. Would tomorrow at 11am work, or would sometime Thursday afternoon be better for you?”

I had numerous interviews that way. Many were useful just in getting information on other small firms that might be able to use me. A few kept in touch over the years when a job came open.

One guy, after talking with me for quite awhile about the industry in his area said “Well, sorry - we don’t need anybody at the moment. But I just had to meet the guy that had the balls to ask for an interview like that.” LOL!

I would also send a thank you letter. And while that was 30+ years ago, it can’t hurt, and is a good habit to have. As a consultant I still write a handwritten note to clients if they refer me to someone, pay their bill real quick, etc.


45 posted on 02/24/2012 9:52:44 AM PST by 21twelve
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