Was It Really “Great”?

Have you ever been in the position of having what you felt to be a great conversation with a decision maker only to never hear from that person again? It’s incredibly frustrating to go from the high of assumed success to the low of begging for some nugget of follow-up, knowing as the days pass by rejection is on the horizon.

Why does this happen? Chances are the criteria the person used to dub a conversation a success was off the mark. Many times job seekers believe long interviews and discussions with lots of friendly banter equal a slam dunk.  Frequently, that’s not the case. Was the interview long because it lacked focus? Was the interview laced with personal stories and chit chat because the professional side of the candidate wasn’t interesting? Bottom line, interviews are mini business meetings and it is crucial for job seekers to not lose sight of that. When evaluating interviews, a great conversation with a decision maker means you swapped essential information about what each of you bring to the table, found synergy with those offerings, achieved an effective rapport, outlined a plan for where to go next and accomplished all of that in an efficient manner. Those components need to be there before doing the “that went great!” happy dance.

To be candid, there have been several people through the years I’ve had long friendly conversations with and it didn’t amount to a hill of beans. In fact, there were times when I’ve avoided some of those individuals because I didn’t have time to get sucked into a long discussion that, though fun and friendly, left me even further behind with my work.

I suppose the most basic point I can make is to call a conversation great when you know you’ve got a decision maker needing you in addition to liking you. Either one by itself simply isn’t enough.

1 Comment

  • Gary Buxton says:



    Essential information and professional congeniality.
    Some of the greatest leaders I’ve met spoke with pleasant brevity and magical precision.

    Gary Buxton

    (Supportive feedback: no response necessary)

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