BY Andrew Heikkila
Just like you had your pre-interview steps, you have a couple things to do afterward as well. Sending a proper thank you, following up in the appropriate fashion, and continuing the job search while you wait to hear back are all excellent post-interview practices.
Say “Thank You”
Sure, you may have already said “thanks” when you shook the recruiter’s hand and walked out the door, but you want to leave a lasting impression. Avoid text messages or other informal means of communication, such as social media messaging. Your best bet is likely an email or a snail-mailed letter, though executive director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University, Lynne Sarikas thinks one is definitely superior to the other, according to Joel Schwartzberg, writing for Media Bistro:
“I have employers tell me all the time what a difference a handwritten thank you note makes,” says Sarikas. “Those are the candidates they remember, and if they’re having trouble deciding between two candidates, the thank you note can tip the scale.”
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you send it digitally by email or post a handwritten note, what matters is that you send it, and that you send it sooner rather than later. When you write the note, remember to:
- Thank them for their time and consideration
- Restate your interest in the position as well as in working for the organization as a whole
- Mention anything that you might have learned during the interview, and how that may have affected your view of the position or company.
- Very briefly summarize why you think you’d make a good fit for the company.
- Give them up to date contact information, and tell them that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.
Even if, for some reason, you think that you’re not going to get the job, send the thank you note. If another position opens up in the future, this only increases your chances that the recruiter may reach back out to you in the future.Follow Up
After you send the thank you note, rest easy for a bit — everything is pretty much out of your hands at this point. Wait about a week before you follow up with recruiter, if you haven’t heard anything by then.
You can follow up either by email or phone, though email will likely lead to more waiting. Be polite, let them know you’re checking in on the position, and even utilize this opportunity to better your chances.
“You can use this message not just to check in, but to give the decision-maker even more info that’ll show you’re the right person for the job,” writes Adrian Granzella Larssen for The Muse. Her article on following up after an interview contains example emails and can be found here.
Be Patient, Keep Looking, and Don’t Give Up
You know how they say you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket? The same follows in this instance. Instead of waiting around on somebody else, continue to actively seek out other jobs. The more irons in the fire you have, the better the chance that you’ll get a job you want.
Lastly, while you’re waiting — and really throughout the entire job hunting phase — mind your manners and be aware of your public image, especially as portrayed through the lens of social media.
You might get rejected from the first couple of positions you apply to, but THIS IS NORMAL. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Use your interviews as learning opportunities, and don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback.
By utilizing this process and perfecting on it, you’ll secure and nail that interview, and become a proud part of the workforce in no time.
Andrew Heikkila is a Millennial (whatever that means), a writer, an artist and musician, and a small business owner. He believes in the power of change and the power of people. By combining those two elements, he believes, anything is possible. Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyO_TheHammer