What happens after a job interview is equally important as what happens during it. Following up after an interview can be the difference between getting a job offer and getting a rejection letter. Too often this step is overlooked or missed completely. You don’t want to jeopardize all of the work you put into preparing for and going through the interview by missing out on this key step. What are the four things you must do after every job interview?
Send a thank you note.
The simple act of thanking your interviewer makes a big impact. You can send an email or you can mail a handwritten note. Sending a note by mail takes longer to get there, but also leaves a longer lasting impact. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity and their time. Personalize it as best as you can. A template style thank you letter is far less impactful than a customized one. The thank you note serves two functions – one, to express your gratitude, and two, to stay at the top of the employer’s mind.
Make sure that the thank you note isn’t just a list reiterating all of your abilities. It should remind the interviewer why you’re the right person for the job. Include a few takeaways from your interview to refresh the interviewer’s memory and highlight your strengths. You can mention something you’d be excited to work on, how you feel about the company culture, or how your specific skillset would best benefit the company.
You want your interviewer to remember you, so sending a follow up message will help you stay at the top of their mind. Keep it short and succinct. Sending an incredibly long and wordy email could come across as if you’re desperate for the job. It’s also far less likely to actually get read by the interviewer. The shorter it is, the less time it takes them to read it. You want them to read every word, so keeping it succinct ensures they’ll read through it rather than just skimming it.
If they’ve given you a timeframe in which they’ll be making their decision, be sure to follow up if that time has passed. The intention of this follow up is to check in with the interviewer and to put your name at the top of their inbox. Include the fact that you’re still interested in the position and offer to provide them with any more information they might need, such as a sample of your work or answering further questions. Signing off with ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’ is a good way to express your desire for a quick answer without directly asking ‘When are you actually going to make the decision?’.
Write down the key points from the interview.
This must be done immediately after the interview while it’s still fresh in your mind. Write down any key points that were covered or big questions that were asked, as well as your answers. This is especially important in the first interview, as you may be asked similar questions again in subsequent interviews. Rather than giving the same answer again, you can add on to your previous answer and tell you interview that it’s something you’ve been thinking about since the first interview.
Also make a note of anything you wanted to say in the interview but didn’t get a chance to mention. You can make sure to bring up these points in the next interview, or if it’s your final interview, you might be able to mention them in a thank you note.
In addition to writing down the material that was covered, you should look at it with a critical eye to identify what went well and what didn’t. Take this information and use it to practice and improve for your next interview. Analyzing your interview will help you identify any areas that you need to improve on, and will make sure you don’t forget any important details from the interview.
Waiting to hear back from a company after you’ve interviewed can be incredibly stressful. Remember that everything takes time, and it’s all part of the process. It’s easy to keep replaying the interview over and over in your mind, but doing that too much will only lead to frustration. The more you analyze something, the more critical you become. Add the stress of waiting and not knowing to the mix, and before you know it you’ll have found a hundred things you think you did wrong in the interview. It’s best to analyze once or twice at most, send your follow up messages, then try to relax knowing that you did everything you could.
Make these four things a part of your job search process, and you’ll be on your way to accepting your next offer letter.