Best Practices for After the Interview
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but interviews can be anxiety-inducing. Similar to standardized tests, some people just freeze up during an interview. As a result, it is common to scour the internet for help. Maybe you’re looking for some questions to ask at the end of the conversation or even some tips to stand out during the hiring process, regardless of your interview experience there is advice for everyone. Once the interview ends, you may ask yourself “now what?” The hiring process doesn’t end after the interview, however. In fact, that is when the work might actually begin. The post-interview process can make or break your chances at getting hired.
Believe it or not, following up is actually one of the most over-looked aspects of the interview. Not following up after your interview can serve as a death sentence for your chances of getting hired, regardless of how great your conversation was. According to TopResume’s career-advice expert Amanda Augustine, “I know clients who were told point-blank they didn’t get the job because they didn’t follow up after the interview.” She isn’t alone. It is very common for employers to write candidates for jobs of all levels off who don’t follow up, from internships to senior level staff. Not only does a follow-up highlight an aspect of your conversation, but it also reiterates your interest in the position. Even if you don’t want the job, the market is a lot smaller than it seems so burning a bridge might hurt your chance at future opportunities.
Gather Business Cards
It is common practice for some interviewers to give you a business card before the conversation, but if they don’t be sure to ask for one. This is the easiest way to gather information about them and provides a direct avenue for your follow-up. Their card will likely include their email address and phone number as well as the mailing address for the company. You should follow up with each person you interview with, so ask for each of their cards.
If you want to go above and beyond, send a follow-up with each person that you have a conversation with, from the receptionist to the potential colleagues you met. You can use the email format on the business cards you gather to find their information and send notes to.
Thank You Notes
According to Accountemps, 91 percent of hiring managers say that thank-you notes have a positive impact on the candidate’s chances of getting hired. While email might be the easiest and most convenient method of following-up, a handwritten thank-you note takes your follow up to the next level.
Regardless of your preferred method, be sure to send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview; the sooner the better. As mentioned in the past, not sending a thank-you note may actually hurt your chances at getting hired.
Following Up After Thank-You Note
There is a very fine line between persistence and annoyance, and it must be considered when following up after a thank-you note. Isabel Stanish says, “Make sure your subsequent follow-ups match the employer’s timeline for making a hiring decision.” When you ask what their hiring timeline is, you can tailor your follow-up accordingly. Stanish recommends following up one week after you send your thank-you note, assuming you haven’t heard back.
The follow-up is a delicate time after the interview but carries great importance. If you wait too long to send your follow-up, or don’t send one at all, you might kill your chances at getting hired. Make it a priority to send a thank-you and consider it a part of the interview process if you truly want a chance at getting hired.