Gee, Thanks!

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S. had a day of interviews for a job she thought she wanted based on the posting, the organization’s mission and a phone interview. It seemed like the “right fit job” for her.

After the interviews, she has doubts. The reporting structure is different now from when the job was first posted, there were real tensions between departments that showed up during the interview, and there are questions about whether she’ll have the right staff and resources to do the job.

As she said today, “for the right now, I’m am tending against this job. But how do I handle thank you emails to all these people?”

Here’s my response: “I think thank you notes should reiterate what you liked about the job and being impressed with the mission and dedication of organization and its members, pleasure meeting them etc. Remember, it’s better to have them offer you the job than not. So be enthusiastic and genuine in what you say, all positive.”

I believe that until you get the job offer, you can’t make a real decision. So I advise acting as if you really want the job. There’s no guarantee you’ll get an offer. If you don’t get an offer, you get to feel the sting of rejection – and I think that’s never a good thing.

So eliminate all doubt as you write your thank you notes. Here’s why: If you have a lot of doubt about whether you want the job, it will be communicated to those doing the hiring, and you probably will not get an offer. Employers want to hire someone who wants to work for them. If you don’t know if you do, they pick that up.

J. Sewell Perkins¬†says “if you want the job, it’s yours. If you have any doubt, it won’t be yours.” That’s my experience, personally and with many others.

My story: I was one of two finalists for a job that would have required me to move to California. I got a standing ovation during my final interview with the Board of Directors. It looked like it was mine to lose. And then I had a conversation about compensation. I communicated that the figure they were considering was probably too low. Guess what? I didn’t get the offer.

Were I to do it over again today, I’d say “I really want this job, and I think we can come to a mutually acceptable amount, so let’s not even worry about it. I know it will work out.” That way, I might have gotten the offer, and had the chance to make a real decision, based on solid facts instead of mere supposition. Because until the offer is in writing, it’s all make-believe on my part. As it was, my doubt and concern tilted them away from me and toward the other candidate.

Was that my “right fit job?” I don’t know because I didn’t give myself a full chance to find out. As it is, I’m fine with not getting that job because I love what I do now. Yet there is always that “what if?” lurking in the background. So I pass on my experience in hopes it will help YOU get the chance to decide “yes” or “no” on a job offer.