After the Interview

The interview is over. Now you wait, hoping to hear from someone, right? Well, not really.

In fact, you're not through with the interview process yet. Just as the entire interview process includes the company research you did weeks before the interview, your list of questions and more - it also includes how you handle yourself in the days after the actual meeting.

Let's take a look at the after-interview steps in order.

As the interview ends
  • Remain upbeat and confident right to the end
    • Every question and answer is important
    • Your body language and attitude are always important
  • The interview process will lead down one of three paths:
    • At some point you'll be invited back for more interviews; or
    • The company will decide that you're not a viable candidate for the job; or
    • You'll get a job offer
  • No matter what comes next - and regardless of what hints you may get as the interview closes - follow the suggestions we provide here
    • Doing so identifies you as a professional
    • You can build bridges for the future
    • There may be other positions the company would consider you for right now
  • Thank the interviewer for his time, and for the information he shared with you
  • If the interviewer would also be your supervisor:
    • Be sure you've established a good rapport
    • Express your hope that you'll be able to work together
  • Be sure to get his card and full contact information
    • Get the direct mailing address - not a general corporate address
    • Do this for anyone that you've met or spoken with during the process
  • Let the interviewer know if you're being seriously considered for other positions
    • Mention this as a way of asking about the timing of the rest of the evaluation process
    • This information can help the company decide how quickly to make a decision
    • Obviously, this also sends the message that at least somebody wants you
    • Never lie about this. Our advice is to be always completely honest and truthful
  • Ask for the job
    • It sounds simple, and yet few candidates dare to take this simple step
    • Don't be too direct. Don't put the interviewer on the spot
    • Express your sincere interest
    • State clearly that you'd welcome the opportunity
    • Make it clear that you'd love to work for the organization
  • Define what comes next
    • Does this include background checks?
    • Reference checks?
    • Consultation with other managers, or higher up?
  • Get an estimate of time frames
    • When can you expect to hear from the company?
    • When does the company plan to fill the position?
After the interview
  • Send a thank-you email or even an actual paper note to every interviewer you spoke with
    • Express your appreciate for their time
    • Restate your interest in the position and company
    • Enclose a copy of your business card if you mail a note, and say that you wanted to be sure that the interviewer had it
    • Keep the message brief. Don't give a long sales pitch
  • Follow up a couple of days later with note or email. Examples:
    • Provide information relevant to something you discussed during the interview
    • Offer to share a particularly pertinent sample of your previous work
    • Mention that you just found out that you used to work with someone who knows the interviewer, and ask if the interviewer would like to chat with them
    • Ask a relevant follow-up question that demonstrates your continuing interest
  • Do not simply write and/or call the human resources department
    • They're only indirectly interested in finding the right match for the job
    • They may feel no obligation to respond to you or follow up with you
  • Make sure that you reinforce your connection with the people who matter
    • This would normally be the interviewer
    • It might also be a manager or colleague whom you met during the process
  • Why bother with all of this? There are several excellent reasons:
    • You want to impress the interviewer with your courtesy and professionalism
    • You want to emphasize yet again how much you want the position
    • You want to differentiate yourself from that 95% of candidates who won't follow up
    • You want to put your name - and the memory of your interview - back into the mind of the interviewer
Don't forget the rest of the team
  • If a receptionist or other staff at the interview location was helpful or supportive, send a note or email, or call and thank them
  • If you met someone in one of the business areas whose work relates to yours, drop a note or send an email to keep in touch
  • Never forget that many people may be involved in the final decision regarding who will be the best fit for the position