“Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences in life is a job interview.” Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival
Think you nailed that job interview? Did you go blank on one of the questions? Whether you think you hit a home run or think it could have gone better, in this hyper-competitive job market, here are 9 things you can do after a job interview to keep yourself on the short list.
Send a personalized thank-you email
The evening of, or the day after, send a thank-you email to the people you met with. Make each one personal. If they’re all the same, chances are they will communicate with each other and conclude that they were generic emails.
Include something personal that was said in the interview, such as “I really enjoyed getting to know your team, and I would love to meet your dog Bruiser when he’s in the office.”
Instead of saying “thank you”, say “I appreciate” instead. It sounds less needy.
If you are unable to get their contact information, make sure you let your recruiter know you’d like them to send a thank-you email on your behalf. Write it out for them to make it easy and ensure it’s exactly what you want to say.
Read more about the 5 Interview Mistakes That Can Trip You Up
Write a hand-written follow up note
Nothing beats a hand-written letter. If they mentioned their dog or that they play water polo, find a card with that on it. This shows that you listened to them and cared enough to choose a card they’d like.
If you interviewed for a high-tech company or an environment that may not be as welcome to hand-written letters, it may not be appropriate for the culture. Ask your recruiter for their opinion if you’re not sure.
Everyone says thank you for your time. Here are a few ways to be memorable, show your interest and add some value for the interviewer:
- Add a link to an article on a relevant topic you discussed. Hey, write one yourself and link to that!
- Recommend a book you read that relates to work or something personal that they spoke about
- Include a sample of your work or award if appropriate
- Add an inspirational quote
“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Add something to a question you were asked
Job interviews are stressful, and you may have drawn a blank on an important question. In your follow up note, you have a chance to tell them you thought about it a lot, and remembered this…
Ask how to follow up
You do want to be on top of it, but don’t want to be a pest. Before ending the job interview, make sure to thank the interviewer, and ask him or her how you should follow up.
Here’s some ways you can ask:
- What are the next steps?
- What is your timeline for making a decision?
- Should I follow up with you?
And of course, make sure you leave giving the impression that you are very interested in the position.
Curb your enthusiasm!
If you’re the type who calls mom or your best friend right after a big moment, make sure to get out of the building and out of the area first. You never know if an employee is listening to your conversation of how you “bombed” it.
Continue to apply/interview for other jobs
Keep searching until you get an offer. Even if you killed it in your interview, there’s a chance someone else killed it too. If you are determined to work in a particular industry, research competitors to see if other companies have job openings.
You’re interviewing the company just as much as they’re interviewing you. Just because it’s your first job doesn’t mean you should settle if something doesn’t feel right.
- How did you feel about the person who would be your manager?
- The company culture?
- The company values?
- Do you see yourself growing there?
- Is this somewhere you’d see yourself at for the long-term?
Of course, remain interested during the job interview, but afterward, it’s up to you to decide the verdict as well. Your happiness is more important than your paycheck.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius
Have a game plan for follow-ups
If you never got an answer of when you would hear back, follow up no earlier than one week after your thank-you note. Any earlier, and you may look desperate. From there, repeat once a week until you get an answer.
Being on the job hunt is never easy, but a heroic follow up can set you up for hiring success. And remember, every interview makes you that much more comfortable and confident for the next one!