A reader writes…
I just came home from an interview (and I actually think it went pretty well)! Problem is, I know that other candidates are being considered and a decision has yet to be made. What can I do to stay top of mind with this company?
Just because the interview is over doesn’t mean you can’t continue to make a good impression. Here are a few things you can do post-interview to remain ahead of the competition. Some of my suggestions are a bit obvious, but others (if I do say so myself) are a bit brilliant! (You decide which are which!)
- Ask about next steps – Since you are already home from your interview, this may not apply – but in general, you should always ask when they plan on making a decision and what you may expect as next steps in the process.
- Write a personal thank you note – Before you leave the interview, be sure to gather a business card from each person in attendance. It is critical that you send a thank you note (ideally hand-written rather than emailed) to everyone involved. Watch for spelling of names and extend your appreciation for their time and consideration. More importantly, bring up a topic that you picked up on during the interview and briefly reiterate any accomplishments or related experiences that you may be able to contribute. End by emphasizing your interest in the position.
- Establish a preferred method of communication – The last thing you want to do is become a pest, yet you want to make sure the hiring manager or recruiter knows you are extremely interested. Specifically ask how the recruiter, hiring manager, or decision maker would prefer you follow up. Is a phone call ok? Email?
NOTE: In some cases, you may be told NOT to follow up. (It’s the classic example of “don’t call us… we’ll call you” – Never fun to hear, but it happens!)
- Show respect – Point #3 leads me here. If the employer says they will contact you in a week… don’t call them the next day! Likewise, if they specifically say not to contact them at all… don’t. If you don’t follow instructions now, they think you won’t once they hire you either.
- Stay on top of your game – There’s a chance you may be asked to return for another interview. In addition to preparing and “practicing” answers to common interview questions, do some more research on the company and prepare some thoughts to bring up in the next round. Asking questions about the company shows you’ve done your homework!
- Check your emotions at the door – If it turns out you don’t get the position, don’t lash out or become defensive. Things change and you don’t want to burn any bridges.
Hey Managers / Supervisors… what post-interview tactics have impressed you the most or made candidates stand out? What has been most annoying? Post your comments here!