We already know that preparing for an interview and the way we present ourselves is crucial. We are aware that there’s a lot we should and shouldn’t do to make an outstanding impression. But what exactly should we be doing during those moments after a job interview? Most of us just play the waiting game.
"How you handle the post-interview process is just as important as how you performed during the actual interview," says Amanda Augustine, a career-advice expert for TopResume, on the Business Insider.
Here are 20 tips you should follow after a job interview to seal the deal:
1. Ask what their follow-up procedure is
When the interview is coming to an end, ask what the next steps are and when you may expect to hear back. It’s important so you know when you should follow up if you have not heard from them. The hiring manager may also be taking some annual leave and won’t decide until they get back, it will save you the stress of worrying.
2.Get their contact information
If you don’t already have your interviewers contact information, be sure to take a note of it before you leave their office. If you forget in the interview, ask the receptionist on the way out.
3. Analyse how you did
When you leave the interview and have relaxed, reflect on how you did. Think about what you said that the interviewer responded well to, and instances where you could have made a mistake and explained something in a better way. It’s important to view each interview as a learning curve, to grow and better your techniques. It’s vital to also think about how you felt about the organisation and if you could see yourself fitting into their company culture.
4. Write it down
It’s good practice to write down everything you remember from your interview including the questions you were asked and how you responded. If you’re invited for a second interview you can clearly remember what was said. It’s also a good tool to use when reflecting and perfecting your interview techniques.
5. Send a thank you email
Many of us contemplate sending a thank you email; we don’t want to come across too desperate and ruin our chances of leaving a lasting impression. Career coach Ford R. Myers, reported on CNN that “[a thank you email] is another chance for you to shine, so don't waste space with generalities…include specific references to each person you met and tie your accomplishments directly to the company's stated challenges.”
6. Include links to your portfolio
If you didn’t get a chance to share your portfolio or part of it during your interview, be sure to attach it within your ‘thank you’ e-mail. It’s your last chance to wow the employers and stand ahead of the competition.
7. Make sure there are no typos
This goes without say, but just-in-case I thought I should list it. In our frenzy, we sometimes frantically type away, press send and realize that “oh cr*p I didn’t proof-read my e-mail”. Whatever you do, make sure you read over, 10 times if necessary to ensure it’s well written without any spelling or grammatical errors.
8. Show you're still interested
Make it clear towards the end of the interview, or even in your follow-up email that you still want the position. Do this with caution as you don’t want to seem desperate – however many bills you have to pay, remember you still have some self-dignity! You could say something like “it was a pleasure meeting with you and finding out how interesting this role and your organization actually is.”
9. Don't send a LinkedIn invitation
You may have read that sending a LinkedIn invitation is a good idea post-interview, whilst you’re waiting to hear back from the employer, but it’s not. Career coach Richard Orbé-Austin said on news.com.au “[One mistake is] asking to connect on LinkedIn with a hiring manager or one of the interviewers as soon as the interview is over. This request may seem too presumptuous and be a turn-off to the hiring manager or interviewer.”
10. Be punctual
If you tell the interviewer you will send them your reference tomorrow, make sure you do it well within your deadline. Likewise, if you receive an e-mail from the hiring manager, be sure to reply in a timely manner. It speaks volumes about the type of employee you might be and how you work to deadlines.
11. Be patient
Remember the good old saying “patience is a virtue”? It’s vital when waiting to hear back from your interviewer to be patient. There are a number of reasons why they may not have contacted you within the time frame. Maybe an important decision maker is out of the office and they are waiting for them. The bottom line is to stay calm.
12. Leverage outside resources
Okay… so you really want to get a job offer and you might happen to know someone who is connected to the hiring manager. Use your contacts to put in a good word; employers are more likely to hire someone that is recommended.
13. Don't stop looking
It’s so important that you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Continue looking for other opportunities as you are never certain how the one you had will go, even if you smashed it, there may be stiff competition. And, if you get two offers, it’s better than one right? You can use the other offer as leverage when choosing your preferred role.
14. Distract yourself
You’ve played over the interview in your head about 50 times “did I tell them all of my good qualities?” “Could I have said that better?” STOP torturing yourself! The interview is over, there’s nothing you can change, so why obsess over it? To steer clear, you need to keep yourself both mentally and physically busy. Set time to do the things you’ve really wanted to do but haven’t had a chance to yet.
15. Don’t go MIA
Keeping distracted is essential, but don’t go off the map either. Booking a backpacking trip a week after your interview isn’t the best idea. Stay local and make sure you’ll be available if you get called for the job.
16. Don't be a stalker
While you’re understandably anxious, that doesn’t give you the license to pester the employer. Refrain from any social media stalking; including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You don’t want to accidentally click like on one of their posts, do you? Don’t constantly call the recruiter or hiring manager either, play it cool remember? They’ll get back to you when they have some news.
17. Accept rejection with grace
Sure it hurts when you hear a “no” but if you handle rejection professionally you may be considered for a future job with the same employer.
18. Follow up
If you receive a nicely put together rejection letter from the employer; don’t simply ignore it. You could respond and say something like “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position. It was lovely meeting you and I wish you and your company future success.” You could also let them know that you’ll be interested if any other positions become available and ask for some solid feedback.
19. Don't take it personally
Remember that everything happens for a reason and you may not have been a good fit for that specific position. Try not to beat yourself up, if you keep trying you will find the perfect job.
20. Stay in touch
Interviews are a good way to meet people that will help you throughout your career. If you hit it off with the employer but didn’t successfully bag the job, try to stay in touch. You might bump into them at networking events and they may be a good connection later on down the line. You could use LinkedIn to send an article or to reach out with a helpful suggestion. But Bruce Hurwitz, a New York City-based executive recruiter, career counselor and author, said on Forbes: “Don't overdo it; once every few months is a good idea.”
What do you do after a job interview? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment in the section box below…