Once you have had your interview, don’t just sit around and wait to be contacted. Your job isn’t finished yet; you can be way more productive than that. Post-interview activities can be just as important as the preparation, and have a big impact on how the interviewer perceives you. What you do after an interview may be the difference between getting the job or not – even the job after that.
Following up after interview is the strategic part of your job search. It shows your enthusiasm and desire for the position, but it needs to be done appropriately so you don’t seem desperate.
Post-interview activities can be remembered by following these 6 Rs:
Respect and follow process. You should already have a good indication of their process from asking at the end of your interview. If the interviewer told you to contact via email, don’t call on the phone. If they told you they won’t make a decision for 2 weeks, wait 2 weeks before you follow up.
Follow up appropriately and don’t pester the employer. It’s probably not appropriate to send a LinkedIn connection to the recruiter or hiring manager until after the interview process. You may come across too presumptuous and it could be a turn-off to the hiring manager or interviewer.
If you don’t get offered the role you interviewed for, accept rejection in a professional manner. How you handle rejection greatly influences recruiters’ opinions of you and determines whether they will contact you again for future roles.Never burn any bridges; any contact with an employer could be useful going forward. Most employers return back to candidates they have turned down if that candidate made a great impression during the interview process and was respectful.
Sending a genuine follow-up thank you note to your interviewer 24 to 48 hours after your interview is important to show your enthusiasm for the role, that you are committed to the opportunity and care about their time. Not all your competition will bother doing this. It will also be act as a reminder to the interviewer of your conversation, as they may have interviewed many people. Don’t send a ‘one-size fits all’ standard email; make sure it is customised.
Your thank you note should not just thank them for their time. It should cover the following aspects:
Reinforce – In a sentence or two, restate your optimism about the role, promote your candidacy, and (if possible) link the skills, accomplishments, and experience that make you right for the job. If you feel like you didn’t provide a great answer in the interview, or enough justification to show how you could add value and solve their problem, provide a response that will correct or amplify your response.
Reference – Reference any supporting documentation that will demonstrate your ability to perform the role. Provide a link to a (non-confidential) business case / proposal you have written that may have won you business. You may also want to reference any relevant articles / books or links relating to a topic you may have discussed in interview to reinforce your industry expertise.
It may also be a good time to approach your references to let them know about the role and to let them know you may require their services soon. You may even know an influential / well-respected person that knows the hiring manager you interviewed with; they could reach out and send the hiring manager a note on LinkedIn if they are already connected, recommending you for the role.
Remind – In the closing paragraph of your thank you note, you could tactfully remind the interviewer of any follow up or additional information that was promised in the interview or remind them of your availability to commence.
Finally, don’t forget the following Rs to remain positive and productive:
Be Resilient – Resilience is key throughout job search and the interview process. The waiting game is hard. You may start to feel anxious or start to experience feelings of self-doubt. Don’t just wait though: Keep active, and keep applying and interviewing for multiple roles in parallel, even if you think you will get the initial role. If you don’t get the role, ask for feedback on how you could improve.
Reflect – Although it’s important not to get too caught up on why you are being rejected. It is still important to take the time to do some post-interview analysis to assess your need for further practice or training. Ask yourself what went well and why, what didn’t go well and why, what you would do differently, what are your take-aways and what interview skills you feel you still need to develop.