After the Interview
With the job interview over, many people think that it’s just a waiting game. Nothing can be farther from the truth!
The end of a job interview does not mean the end of the hiring process. With luck, you will soon get a call or an email with a job offer – or with an invitation to a second interview. But while waiting for either result, you should be proactively taking steps to advance your “cause” rather than sitting it out or, worse, paralyzing yourself with worry.
There are three main post-interview stages that you should be thinking about – assessing your performance, following up, and sending thank you notes – and two things you should keep on doing. Of course, you can use this time to go on other job interviews. But what better preparation for these than applying lessons learned from your previous session! So here are the five post-interview must-dos:
Assess. Assessing your interview entails immediately jotting down notes with regards to: what went well during the meeting…which questions could have been answered better…what issues surfaced during the discussion…which data or document still have to be submitted to the interviewer…what you could have done better. This process not only provides a reference should a second interview occur. But it also helps you improve your performance in subsequent interviews at other companies.
Follow up. Again, this action should take place immediately. Following up reminds the interviewer of your strong interest in, and qualifications for, the job position. Your follow-up communication (remember to keep it short) should highlight your relevant skills and why they would be an excellent match for the job); any additional information that you want to provide or issue that you want to address more fully; your appreciation for the opportunity to apply for the job.
Say thank you. Writing a thank you letter is not just good manners – it’s also good business. Whether it’s a simple hand-written note or a more formal typed correspondence, it enhances the interviewer’s impression of you as someone who really wants the job. It also provides another opportunity to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the position. Make sure your thank you letter or email is timely (send it right away)…simple…and perfectly and professionally written (don’t forget to proofread).
Keep networking. Whether you had an excellent or a so-so interview, leverage all your resources to bring about a hiring decision in your favor. Go over your contacts, call in favors if you must, go the extra mile in connecting with anyone who either knows the interviewer/hiring manager, who can put in a good word for you, or who can influence in any way the final hiring decision.
Continue your job search. Be confident, but be realistic as well. However well your interview went, there are always outside considerations that impact business decisions. And then, there are the other just-as-qualified or even more-qualified candidates who were also interviewed. So stay in touch with your job recruiters, keep sending out your resumes, and keep practicing those interview techniques – until you get the call you’ve been expecting: “You’re hired!”