We all know that interviews are an important step toward getting the job that you want. You put a lot of energy into preparing for the interview so you perform well and make a great impression with the hiring manager. But after you've put in the prep work and completed a successful interview, what do you do next?
That's what we're going to talk about today in this article. The hard work of interviewing may be done, but there are still actions to take to help get you to the job offer. Let's dive in.
1- Ask questions about next steps
In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions at some point in the interview. Generally at the end of the interview, the person you are meeting with will ask if you have any questions. This is the perfect opportunity to ask about next steps. This is not only a smart question that will reinforce your interest in the job, but it will let you know when you can expect to hear from the employer about their hiring decision. Knowing when to expect a decision will help you determine when you should follow up or sit tight. So if there will be a long decision period, then you won’t mistakenly think that you've been ghosted by the employer. Here are a few ways to ask about next steps:
I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the job and company. When do you anticipate following up with candidates about the selection decision?
I’m really interested in this opportunity. What is the next step in the hiring process?
I’m available to start right away. What is your target start date for this job?
How do you normally follow up with candidates after a hiring decision is made?
Try asking one of these questions during your next interview so you walk out knowing what to expect from the employer after your interview.
2- Send a thank you note to the interviewer
Thank you notes aren’t just for birthday gifts from your Auntie Debbie. Taking the time to send a thank you note to your interviewer is a great way to follow up and make a good impression. Receiving a thank you note will help keep you top of mind with the hiring manager and may even motivate an update on your interview. Consider following up with a handwritten note or you can send an email.
3- Connect on LinkedIn
Networking is always helpful for your career and job search. After your interview is a perfect time to connect with the hiring manager on social networking sites. Consider reaching out to the hiring manager or whomever you interviewed with on LinkedIn. Making this move right after the interview will help the hiring manager remember you and will encourage them to stay in contact with you even after the selection process has ended.
4- Follow up with any information you promised
Another good way to follow up is to send any information you promised during the interview. For example, if you need to provide a response to a question asked in an interview, a link to your portfolio or maybe contact information for references. Whatever it may be, if you promised to provide some type of information after your interview, make sure to follow through. Not only does this show that you follow through on commitments, it gives a natural opening to follow up on your interview and check in on where you are in the selection process.
5- Give Your references a heads up
Take some time now to prepare your references. Some employers contact the reference of top candidates after the interview. In that case you’ll want to let your references know to anticipate a call from a hopeful employer. You may even want to review some questions that may be asked of them so that they are ready with a professional response that will represent you well. Some other helpful information to provide your reference would be the name of the employer and the job that you are being considered for. This preparation will go a long way in making sure that the employer can reach your reference and that the conversation will push you to the top of the candidate stack.
6- Reflect in your interview performance
Interviewing is a skill that can always be developed and improved. After completing an interview, it's a good idea to reflect on your performance. Taking a moment to reflect will help you in future interviews and identify areas of your interview preparation to focus on. Doing so can also boost your confidence in your interview skills and make the next interview even better.
7- Distract yourself while you wait to hear back
The hardest part about waiting to hear back from an employer after an interview is the waiting. While it can be difficult, try to distract yourself until the employer follows up. Some ideas may include applying for other jobs, accepting interviews with other employers, reading a career development book or spending time with friends and family. Whatever you do, focus your attention to a positive activity that makes you happy and moves your job search forward.
Your post-interview strategy is an important part of your job search. Plan for it just like you do every other aspect of your job search. Taking a strategic approach to interview follow up will help you stay top of mind with employers and increase your chances of receiving the job offer.
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