If one of your goals for 2015 includes a career change then make sure you take a look at our series of blogs aimed to guide you through the entire job search process from the initial stages of your job search, to preparing your resume and application package and excelling at the in-person interview.

It is a mistake to think that once you are through the interview, the process is now out of your hands and you should sit back and wait for a hiring decision to be made. As a wrap-up to this blog series, here are our tips for closing the deal:

Be prepared for a lengthy interview process: We often find that the interview process may not move as quickly as candidates expect. You should be prepared for an interview process that may consist of multiple interviews and allow for time to conduct in-depth reference checks. A multi-stage interview process gives employers the opportunity to collect a variety of opinions on potential new hires and it also gives you the opportunity to get a better sense of the organization. Although it may feel like you end up answering the same interview questions again and again, treat every interaction like your first interview in order to make sure that each new interviewer gets to know you as well as possible.

Continue to convey your interest: A long interview process can leave candidates wondering about where they stand in the process and may sometimes cause candidates to lose some of their initial motivation. It is important to follow up with your recruiter between interviews to convey your continued interested in the position and demonstrate that you are committed to obtaining the particular position. Of course, you still need to exercise good judgement when it comes to the frequency of your follow-ups. A good strategy is to ask for an anticipated date for the next interview or for a final decision to be made; this will set expectations as to the timeframe on both sides and you can follow up again once that date has passed.

Negotiate wisely: While you must always be your own best advocate when negotiating the terms of your new employment, keep in mind that these negotiations will set the tone for your relationship with your new employer. Your approach and conduct will be among the first impressions of you that your new employer has and will colour your early interactions once you start your new job. As a result, take steps to ensure that you continue to make a positive impression while finalizing the terms of your employment.

Welcome feedback and maintain good relationships: Even if you don’t end up with a job offer in your hand at the end of the process, you can still use the opportunity as a learning experience. If you are working with a recruiter, he or she should provide you with feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways in which you can improve your overall package. Although you may be frustrated with the outcome, do not throw away the weeks of goodwill you have built with both the company and the recruiter while a shortlisted candidate. In the event the candidate who was hired doesn’t work out, or the company has another position available shortly down the road, you will remain at the top of everyone’s minds.

As we have said before, every interaction you having during the job search process can have an impact on the overall impression you make on a potential employer. Don’t let process fatigue impact your motivation to put your best foot forward at every stage of the process; after all, it’s not over until the offer letter is signed.

Jennifer is a Recruitment and Communications Consultant with The Heller Group. She is actively involved in the recruitment and placement of lawyers into law firms and corporations and is also responsible for the corporate communications related to The Heller Group. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys travelling, curling and spending time with friends and family.

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