When an interview comes to an end, that doesn’t mean a job seeker’s work is done. By taking the right steps after the meeting at the proper times, candidates can increase their chances of landing an offer.
If you want to make sure you are on the right path, here are the steps you should take after your interview.
Find Out What’s Next
As you head toward the door after your interview, or when you’re asked if you have any questions, seize the opportunity to find out what’s next during the hiring process. See if there’s a timeline for a decision, if a second interview is required, or anything else that allows you to gauge what to expect.
Ask for Contact Information
If you don’t already have it, you also want to request the hiring manager’s contact information before you walk out of the door. At a minimum, try to get an email address.
Reflect on Your Experience
Once you’re out of the building, take a moment to reflect on the interview. Consider what you got right and what you want to do better next time. See if there’s anything you wished you mentioned that you might be able to work into a follow-up message.
Jot Down Some Notes
It’s smart to take a moment to write down anything you want to remember down the line. Jot down the names of anyone you met, notes about the environment, details you learned about the position, or anything else potentially important.
Send a Thank You Email
Within 24 hours, make sure you’ve sent a thank you email to the hiring manager. Showcase your appreciation above all else.
If appropriate, you can also highlight your value or, potentially, mention that tidbit you forgot to discuss during the meeting. If you have a chance to do a little research, you could pass along a link to an intriguing piece of recent industry news. However, only do so if your gratitude still takes center stage, as that’s what’s most important.
Handle Any Requests
If the hiring manager asked you to provide anything, such as supporting documentation or a reference list, quickly take care of it. The faster you finish it up, the quicker the process will go. Plus, it shows you are viewing the opportunity as a priority, which works in your favor.
Touch Base with Your References
If you provided a reference list, touch base with each person you included. Let them know they may receive a call or email, and who will be reaching out.
Additionally, go over a few details about the job you’re trying to land. That way, your references can make their responses as relevant as possible.
Be Ready to Wait
Once you’ve sent your thank-you note and handled any requests the hiring manager made, waiting is the name of the game. You don’t want to follow up too soon, as that may be viewed as pushy or aggressive. Instead, give the hiring manager time. Choosing a candidate isn’t easy, and it usually doesn’t happen overnight.
Follow-up needs to be handled strategically. Only reach out under specific circumstances (beyond those listed above). For example, if the hiring manager gave you a date when a decision would be made, you can reach out one business day after that if you haven’t heard back.
If you weren’t given a date, wait for one to two weeks after the interview. That’s typically enough time for the hiring manager to have considered their options, so it isn’t inappropriate to request an update.
The only exception to those scenarios is if you’re explicitly told not to follow-up. If that’s the case, you’ll have to wait. Stay focused on your job search in the meantime; even if this opportunity doesn’t work out, your perfect position could still be on the horizon.
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