But what exactly should you be doing during those moments after a job interview, after you’ve breathed your sigh of relief?
“How you handle the post-interview process is just as important as how you performed during the actual interview,” says Amanda Augustine, a career-advice expert for TopResume.
“I know clients who point-blank were told they didn’t get the job because they didn’t follow up after the interview,” she says. “Don’t be that person!”
Here are 14 things you should do after a job interview to close the deal:
Before you head out the door, Augustine suggests asking your interviewers or the recruiter in charge of filling the open position two important pieces of information:
• What is the hiring manager's timeline for making a decision?
• Whom should you follow up with, when should you do so, and how?
Before you leave the building, you should also make sure you've gathered your interviewers' business cards, Augustine says. If not, ask the receptionist or your point of contact for the names and email addresses of everyone you met with.
Before you reflect on your performance, get out of the building and walk for a few blocks so you can get some emotional distance and so that there's no chance of bumping into the interviewer, suggests Vicky Oliver, the author of '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions ' and'301 Smart Answers to Tough Etiquette Questions.'
Once you've got a little distance, it's important to review every detail of the interview, Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider. Ask yourself, 'What did I say well and how did the interviewer react?' 'Was there something I didn't provide a strong answer for that I should clarify?'
Haefner also suggests taking note of anything the interviewer said or did that may have rubbed you the wrong way. This could help you determine if the position or company are the right fit for you.
Amy Glaser, senior vice president of Adecco Staffing USA, suggests asking yourself, 'Is this company a good fit for me?' 'Can I see myself growing there?' 'Will I mesh with the company culture?'
'Naturally, you want to impress a potential employer during an interview, but afterwards, the ball is back in your court as you decide whether that company aligns with your career goals,' she tells Business Insider. 'It's better to tell a potential employer that you have different interests than to take up more time during a second interview or to take a job that isn't fulfilling and resign soon after.'
Get all of your thoughts down in writing, especially if you didn't take notes in the interview, Haefner suggests. 'It's important to have this to go back and review as you continue on your job search,' she says.
You should send a thank you note by email on the same day if you interview in the morning and by the next morning if you interview in the afternoon, says J.T. O'Donnell, the founder of career-advice site CAREEREALISM.com and author of 'Careerealism: The Smart Approach to a Satisfying Career.'
Some keys to writing a thank you note that gets you the job include recapping some of the things you feel are your strengths for the job at hand and taking the time to address any awkward moments during the interview or questions you couldn't fully answer at the time, Oliver says.
Haefner calls this step in the interview process 'crucial.'
'A quick thank you is expected by most hiring managers,' she says. 'Chances are you won't win the job based solely on sending a thank you note, but you will stick out like a sore thumb for not sending one. Don't be that person.'
O'Donnell notes it's important to send a separate, personalised email to each person you meet. 'They will forward them to each other, so it's important no two emails are the same,' she says.
Augustine's rules of thumb about how to send a thank you note are:
• If you had an initial phone-screen interview, an email will suffice.
• If you interviewed face-to-face at a more traditional organisation, consider sending a thank-you card by mail in addition to an email. 'Not only will it catch their attention, but it will keep your candidacy top-of-mind, especially since the card will arrive a few days after your initial email,' Augustine says.
• If you're interviewing with a high-tech company, only send an email, since sending a note by mail may make you look like a culture misfit.
Augustine suggests sending a LinkedIn connection request a day or two after you email your thank you note. Your personal message must be 300 characters or less, so it should concisely express your gratitude for your interviewer's time and your interest in the role.
'It was a pleasure meeting you and learning more about your responsibilities at (COMPANY) and the marketing manager position.
'I'm very interested in joining your team. Please don't hesitate to reach out, should you have any questions. In the meantime, I'd like to add you to my LinkedIn network.
Even if you 'killed it' in the interview, Haefner says not to quit the job search.
'Nothing is guaranteed in an interview unless they made you an offer on the spot,' she says.
'If that interview went well, and you think you'd fit in well with that particular company, look at their competitors in the area and see if they're hiring,' she suggests.
You should pace your follow-ups with the timeline you asked for after your interview.
If your potential employer never provided you with specific information about following up, a good rule of thumb is to follow up approximately one week after you send your thank-you note, Augustine says. If you were told expressly it was OK to follow up with the hiring manager directly, do this once a week for no more than five weeks.
'Remember, there's a fine line between being enthusiastic and annoying, so proceed with caution. The last thing you want to do is appear confrontational or desperate,' Augustine says.
When speaking with the recruiter or hiring manager on the phone, she suggests asking the following questions:
• Where are you in the hiring process?
• How do you see me stacking up against the other candidates?
• Can you think of any reason why you would be reluctant to hire me versus one of the other candidates?
As Business Insider previously reported, it's always a good idea to follow up after hearing you didn't get the job with a cordial 'thank you anyway' email.
Remember to start by thanking your interviewers for their time and consideration. Then you can ask if they might share any feedback and consider you for any future positions at the company you might be a fit for.
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