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What to do after a job interview
16 January 2017
Job interview can be tricky situations to navigate, and a sense of a relief if a common feeling for candidates following the conclusion of an interview. However, once the interview has finished, there is several things that you can still do to help strengthen your case for employment. Below we discuss some of the things you should do after an interview.
Speak to your recruiter and ask them to follow up on your behalf
If your interview was arranged through a recruiter, you will generally have a call with them scheduled for after the interview. If you don’t have a scheduled call, ring them anyway. Once speaking, be sure to begin by thanking them for the efforts in arranging you the interview. Secondly, request that they follow up with the interviewer(s) on your behalf that day. Remember to convey your enthusiasm for the role as your recruiter will pick this up and recapacitate it during their follow up with the interviewer.
While speaking with your recruiter, it’s also a great idea to ask about the organisation’s hiring timeline (if they have one). This will give you a great indication on when to schedule further follow ups with your recruiter.
Ask how you should follow up and get your interviewers’ contact information
If you applied for the job directly with the organisation, you should ask your interviewers, or the recruiter in charge of filling the role, two important pieces of information before finishing the interview.
- What is the hiring manager’s timeline for making a decision?
- Whom should you follow up with, when should you do so, and how?
By not having a recruiter your main point of contact is inside the organisation, so don’t be afraid to follow them up using the information that you gain.
Also, do your best to gather your interviewers’ business cards. If you don’t manage to get one, ask the receptionist on your way out for the names and email address of everyone you met with.
Analyse the interview and write everything down
As soon as you finish the interview, you should take down notes about how the interview went. It’s all too easy to forget key things that may have happened, so do this as soon as you get a chance. Pop into a nearby café or sit in your car (as long as you’re not directly outside the organisations office) and analyse the interview.
It’s important to take your time and review every detail of the interview. Jot down what went well, what you should have covered more and, most importantly, any useful nugget of information you may have picked up about the role or company.
Things you may want to think of include:
- What questions did you not give a good answer too? Was there a reason? Did you misinterpret the questions or forget to mention key information?
- Were there any questions that you answered incorrectly? Was there additional information that could’ve been added to your answer?
If you come up with more questions during this analysis, make sure to write them down. They will provide you with more things to talk about should you be invited back for a second or even third interview!
It’s also useful to note how the interviewer(s) reacted to hearing information throughout the interview. Even if you’re unsuccessful in this role, these notes will help you identify what information they liked and disliked. It’s important to have this information so you can go back and review it as you continue your job search and prepare for future interviews
How do you feel about the company?
Remember a job interview is for your benefit just as much as it is for the organisation’s. While jotting down notes, reflect on how you feel about the company. Takes note of anything that you saw or heard that may have concerned you. This can help you determine if the position and company are the right fit for you and your career.
In days following an interview, and with the help of your notes, ask yourself;
- Is this company a good fit for me?
- Can I see myself growing and furthering my career here?
- Will I / do I fit with the organisation’s culture?
- Do I and the organisation have aligned values and ethics?
- Would I be happy working for this organisation?
If you decide that this position or organisation is not for you, it’s better to tell a potential employer that you have different interests rather than take up more time doing a second interview or to take the job and resign soon after.
Regardless of whether you got your interview through a recruiter or whether you were invited directly from the organisation, follow up with the interviewer through a thank you email. If you interviewed in the morning, send the thank you email on the same day, or the next morning if you interviewed in the afternoon. Your thank you email should be kept brief and only cover three points.
Firstly, thank the hiring manager for their time as this shows good manners.
Secondly, talk about a specific point or topic that was mentioned or discussed during your interview. It may be that they are launching a new product or software, or that they are looking to expand and open new offices. Whatever it is, by briefly touching on it, you are showing that you listed and are genuinely interested in the organisation.
Finally, the most important part of the email; the subtle sell. This is where you show your excitement and enthusiasm for the role and organisation while also showing your skills and experience.
As an example, you can say something along the lines of: “I’m really excited about the opportunity you are offering. This is a fantastic role and it is a great fit for my skills and experience, and I would be thrilled to join the organisation at such an exciting period. If you require any additional documentation or information, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
While it may seem obvious, double check your spelling, grammar and content. Also, avoid using negative statements and words.
Pace follow ups
You need to pace your additional follow ups and show patience. As mentioned at the top of the article, one of the final things to discuss during your interview is the timeline for the next stage in the process. This should be discussed regardless of whether your interview was arranged by a Recruitment Consultant. You need to know this information so don’t be afraid to talk about it.
If this was discussed and this time has now passed, you are perfectly entitled to follow up, politely. If your potential employer or recruiter never provided you with specific information about following up, a good rule of thumb is to follow up approximately one week after sending your thank you email.
Whether you chose to make a call or send an email, explain that you’re still interested in the opportunity and that you understand that hiring can take time. Some key questions you can ask your recruiter or hiring manager include:
- Where are you in the hiring process?
- Do you have an updated timeline?
- Is there any additional information or documentation I can provide to help you make a decision?
Most hiring managers and recruiters will understand that you need to know where you stand, so don’t think you’ll be viewed as hassling them by following up. By attending an interview, both you and the organisation have both invested time in each other so you are well within your rights to follow up. However, proceed with caution. There is a fine line between being enthusiastic and annoying, so don’t follow up more than once a week. Following up more than once per week can make you appear confrontational or desperate which can be determinantal to your chances of success.
Even if you “aced” the interview, do not stop job hunting. Unless you received an offer or employment during your interview, nothing is guaranteed.
If the interview went very well and you think you would fit in well with that organisation or sector, it is worth looking at their competitors to see if they’re hiring too.
Incorporating follow up techniques after a job interview can seriously help to improve your chances of landing a second interview or the role. However, remember that the above points are only suggestions, and not all of them will be relevant to your situation.
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