Post interview. You know you’ve aced it. Now you just have to wait to hear back… along with everyone else who interviewed for the same role as you.
Considering all the time and effort you put in prior to the interview, doing nothing afterwards is unwise. How you follow up after your interview may, in fact, increase your chances of getting a second interview, if not the job itself. It can even get you considered for a different role that may not be posted yet.
1. Ask about next steps
The last question you have for your interviewer, before you leave the interview, is to find out about next steps. By asking about a company’s process and timeline, you know how and when to be proactive in your follow up.
2. Collect contact information
Make sure that you get all of your interviewer’s relevant details. If you interviewed with 4 people, you want to follow up with all 4 of them. Not only is it important to get their email addresses and titles, but also to get the correct spelling of their names. If they don’t provide business cards during your interview, ask the receptionists for all their details, check the company website, or search for them on LinkedIn.
3. Request to connect on LinkedIn
Once your interview has been completed and before you leave, is a perfectly appropriate time to request to connect on LinkedIn. Make sure that your request is logical and adds value. Is there a conversation or topic that came up in your interview that you have additional information on? This is the type of information you want to include in your LinkedIn request. It shows you are already engaging in collaborative thinking and the contributions you could make to their company.
“I saw this great article on LinkedIn/Forbes/News Weekly about the way Gen X and Millennials are now 50% of the working population and the ones truly driving the economy. I would love to send it to you as your company seems to be embracing that change. Can I connect with you and send it through LinkedIn.”
That is your ‘in’. You never know how a long-term relationship may develop, regardless of whether or not you land this position. It is also a great form of networking.
4. Send a personalized thank you email
Within the first couple of hours of your interview, you should send a thank you email. Do not ask for the job; this is where you show your appreciation of the opportunity to work with them and acknowledge their time spent with you. People are seldom thanked for their efforts and time. Make this about them and not you.
Don’t go overboard with flowery words but be sincere. If you have never written a thank you note, take the time to look through some examples on Google first – and check your spelling before hitting send. Below is an example of what you could send.
Subject: Follow up on XYZ position
Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you about the XYZ position. I genuinely enjoyed my interview and wanted to let you know I am incredibly interested in the role. I really appreciate you taking the time to meet me, especially during month end which you mentioned is an incredibly busy time for the team. If there is anything I can do to further my candidacy, please let me know.
Your Full Name Here
5. Send a handwritten note
In this digital age, if you can manage to handwrite a thank you, do so. When was the last time you received anything in the mail that wasn’t a bill? A handwritten, mailed note creates double the impact, and shows you care enough about the position to take that extra time. Remember to use your best handwriting!
6. You haven’t heard anything
If the interviewer advises you that they are hoping to hire within the next week and 2 weeks pass, it’s important to follow up. If you have been proactive, you know what their next steps will be. Use this information politely in any emails or calls you make to get an update of their progress.
Now, admittedly, many times, the reason you don’t hear back right away is because most people don’t like to give out bad news, and thus avoid it for as long as possible. That being said, it is just as likely that they got swamped and have fallen behind slightly. Err on the side of positivity.
“Hi Jane, This is Sarah. During our interview for the operations manager position, you had mentioned that the team generally takes a week to make hire decisions after an interview. As it has been 9 business days, I was looking to get an update on the progress for this hire. I had a great interview with the team. I am hopefully that I have been chosen to fill the role. But if you have gone with another highly qualified candidate I would love to know so that I can continue my job search. Thank you for your time, looking forward to hearing back soon.”
While this job may be your focus, it is important to remember that it may be one of several that your interviewer or recruiter is hiring for and it will likely take them a while to get back to you. Though you need to be patient and understanding, you can still be proactive. Staying top of mind is incredibly important, especially if your interviewer met with a number of candidates for the role.
And finally, even if you aren’t the right candidate for this role, adding that wow factor can be incredibly valuable down the line, and following up is one way you can stand out from the pack.