Once the relief of having your job interview over with passes, that’s when the subtle, tricky part begins. Negotiating the follow-up phase can present completely new challenges that you never considered while you were focused first on landing the interview, and then later on getting through the interview.
During the follow-up phase, you want to make sure to do what you need to do to maximize your chances of landing the job, without doing anything that could put your chances in jeopardy.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you make navigate the interview follow-up:
Do These Things
At the end of the interview, ask when the employer plans to make their hiring decision.
Find out the correct titles, names and spellings of everyone you interviewed with. If you can get one of their business cards, that will help with the next “Do.”
Send a personalized thank you note to the person you interviewed with. If it is handwritten, that’s even better. Consider this your chance to help your name recognition. Of course you are grateful for the interview, but you really want to emphasize how interested you are in the position.
Let your references know that they could be receiving a phone call from your potential new employer within the next few days. This will give them a heads up and get them thinking about what they plan to say.
Keep going on other interviews. The last thing you want to do is put all your eggs in one employer’s basket. As long as you keep moving, it will prevent you from dwelling on this one position and raising your expectations to unrealistic levels.
Follow-up with a phone call within one week to ten days after the interview. Ask about the position and try to build a rapport with your contact. Talk up your strengths if they ask. This isn’t where you want to be modest. Sell yourself.
If you get any other job offers, great. Use them as leverage to garner yourself the best deal. You’re in demand. They should know that. It will make you more desirable as an employee.
Don’t do these things
Don’t send an email thank you if your interviewer prefers postal mail. The same goes for interviewers who prefer email. It’s a good idea to check with them for a preference. You can do this at the same time you’re getting their business card.
Check and then double check your thank you note for typos and misspelled names. That’s not the impression you want to make.
Don’t stop looking for other jobs, even if you feel certain that you’ll get this one.
Don’t burn your bridges with this employer if they don’t offer you the job. Maybe this wasn’t the right time. It doesn’t mean that these contacts won’t become valuable to you later on. Consider it a form of networking.
Don’t be impatient. Admittedly, the hiring process often moves much slower than you want it to. This can lead to feelings of insecurity, doubt, and possibly even make you angry. If you begin feeling desperate, it can make you believe that reaching out to the employer too soon or too often to check on the status of the hiring process is a good idea. The last thing you want to do is make the employer smell the desperation on you. It’s like job repellent.
The days following your interview can be just as critical as the interview itself. Follow these steps and you won’t accidentally make the wrong move and blow your chances of landing the job.
Tess Pajaron works as a Community Manager at Open Colleges. She likes to share her experiences, opinions and career advice with others. When not working she’s either enjoying a good read or travelling.