Ask The Career Coach
When asked “What qualities/skills do you bring to the table that is different than the other applicants of this position?” What is the employer trying to determine? Or what is the underlying question here?
If asked this question, the interviewer is giving you a great opportunity to talk about knowledge, skills, or abilities that have not been previously discussed. I don’t think there is an underlying motive here but a desire to understand what you can offer the company.
Before answering this question, think about what you have learned about the interviewer and company that is needed in the position or that they might find valuable. Remember you are always trying to sell what you can do for them.
If you have done an inventory of your knowledge, skills, and abilities before the interview, there should be a few items on the list that were not focused on in the interview. This is the time to bring them out. Often an interview focuses on hard skills and sometimes soft skills get talked about less. This would be the time to talk about areas like your ability to mentor others, your conflict resolution skills, or your abilities to prioritize and allocate resources. Anything that you know will be a plus for the company you should mention.
How does a thank you letter assist a candidate in landing employment post interview?
Writing a thank you letter/note helps keep you in the mind of the hiring team. In a short note, you can remind the team of your experience and skills and reiterate your interest in the position. I have seen where two candidates were interviewed and only one sent a thank you note. It was noticed by the hiring team, and though the team felt both candidates could be equally successful, they went with the person that showed the most interest in the position.
You can never go wrong writing a thank you note. Just make sure that you have no typos and capture each person’s name correctly. Getting business cards from the individuals that interviewed you helps.
Want to read more about thank you notes? Check out my blog post Are Thank You Notes After An Interview Necessary?
Why didn't the recruiter get back to me after the interview? The interview was great, and she said she will get back to me the afternoon or the day after. It's already been the second day, should I send her an email or would tomorrow be better?
There are so many reasons that you may not have heard from the recruiter. A few would be:
· The recruiter doesn’t have feedback for you because she hasn’t talked with the hiring manager yet
· She talked with the hiring manager and s/he is undecided about you
· She has not finished talking with all of the applicants
· She took a vacation day, had a family emergency or was pulled onto another project
What to do? One, you will have to pack some patience. Just because someone gives you a timeframe doesn’t mean that person can keep to it (though it would be nice). I would give another day and then very politely reach out to the recruiter and ask if she has an update. Calling might get more immediate action than an email. It is something about hearing a voice that often prompts a recruiter to reconnect. If you don’t hear back then try back in another few days. If you have called twice and do not hear anything, move on.