Have you ever walked away from a job interview feeling confident and proud, and then days or even weeks go by with no communication from the employer? It is common for job seekers to take copious amounts of time editing and reviewing application materials and carefully preparing for interviews, but often the steps necessary after an interview are forgotten.
There are three essential steps that job seekers should do after every single interview:
Step 1: Set the Stage
Toward the end of the interview when you are able to ask questions of the interviewer, ask when they plan on making a decision for the position. This can be extremely insightful because you can uncover how urgent filling this position is, which also can help you gauge when you should follow up with them.
Step 2: Appreciation
Never underestimate the power of gratitude! Whether you hand-write a note or send an email, it is important to thank every person who assists you through the application process (i.e. references, interviewers, etc.).
General tips for thank you notes include:
- Send the thank-you within 24 hours of the interview
- Make sure your notes are personal
- Re-emphasize your strongest or unique qualifications as they relate to the position
- Reiterate your interest in a position
- Provide supplemental information not previously given
- Draw attention to the good match between you, the job, and organization
- Express your sincere appreciation for their time
Step 3: The Follow-Up
This is a key component to every effective job search. There are two options for follow-up:
- Phone Call – This can be useful when:
- You want to get in direct contact with the individual
- You require a quick response or immediate information
- You want to add an extra personal touch
- Email – This can be useful when:
- You know the individual is often away from their phone
- You do not have a phone number of a person you wish to follow-up with
- The person does not return your phone call or respond to your initial letter or email
- You are following up on a previous telephone conversation
Here are some essential follow-up tips you should follow:
- First, make a follow-up phone call 7-10 days after you send your initial outreach or 3-5 days after the application deadline
- If you aren’t able to reach the person by phone within 3-4 days, you should send a follow-up letter or email
- When sending a follow-up letter/email, be sure to include/attach a copy of your original letter for reference
- If you are responding to a request made by an employer, make sure you reference the request in your letter/email and include all of the information requested
There are numerous advantages to follow-ups. First, it shows that you are truly interested in the job position and committed to the company. Second, it encourages the person to take action (i.e. moving forward with the decision, communicating updates to you, etc.).
By taking these three steps after an interview, you can maintain post-interview confidence, knowing that you will stand out to the recruiter or hiring manager!