Post-Interview Advice

A reader writes…

Dear, Anita,
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?

Dear, “Standout,”

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!)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!)
  4. Show respect – Point #3 leads me here. If the employer says they will contact you in a week… don’t call them thenext 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!


55 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angelia Wheaten
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 06:37:52

    Thank You Ms. Anita


  2. TheKinkTeam
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 09:38:35

    We’re a new follower! Will you follow us too?

    Great blog post– lots of good information for job hunters!


  3. Jenny
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 07:19:43

    Great advice. At least from my experience, candidates should also avoid using flattery in writing thank you notes. It makes me a little uncomfortable to receive thank you notes from candidates fawning over something I said or did. Even if it’s sincere, employers will wonder if there is an ulterior motive involved.


  4. Khanh Trinh
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 05:42:47

    I had an interview last week.
    Be confident!
    I think that is most important!


  5. Sam G
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 04:04:45

    Interesting post – like everyone else (It seems!) I appreciated point 2.

    I’ve started a business where an important aspect is helping people perform once they’ve landed a job.

    What misconceptions have you noticed, about how job-seekers expect interviews to be like?


  6. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 03:49:54

    As I was preparing a young college grad for his first job interview I said,”tell me about yourself.” His answer was the WORST one anyone could give. He said “What do you want to know?” This shows the interviewer that the young man is indecisive, has poor understanding about what the company is looking for, and unimaginative. Don’t give the interviewer the power to direct your answers!

    Use every question to place yourself as the candidate who knows the company’s needs and wants. You are selling a product: yourself! Good luck.



  7. Melissa Gastorf
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 02:54:33

    The don’t pester is extremely important. I didn’t hire someone who I liked during the interview and was one of the top two because of that reason. We interviewed her on a Monday, and told her that we would be interviewing all week so no decisions would be made for a week. On Tuesday, I received the thank you notes, one through the fax, one through the email, and on Wednesday on through the mail. On Wednesday, one of her references contacted my husband to ask if we could just hire her so she would leave him alone, she did a good job for him. On Wednesday is when she started stopping by the office to try and talk to me again. In fact, she made trips Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday morning because of her behavior, we told her she wouldn’t be getting the job, and we still had a couple of more to interview that afternoon. In hindsight, I am glad she was one of the first that we interviewed, instead of one on Friday afternoon, because between her resume and interview she was definitely one of the top two.


  8. richannkur
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 00:04:12

    Nice advice.


  9. OracularSpectacular
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 23:26:33

    I highly recommend Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ to anyone who is looking for a job. I applied the principles in it to negotiating a higher starting salary for my current job resulting in an extra $400/month – that’s $6,800 over the course of the year!


  10. talin401
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 20:45:52

    Nice blog layout! all the best in your writings!


  11. ehteshamblu
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 20:22:25

    Nice to hear all this…this can be quite useful for new comers.


  12. designdakotastyle
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 20:17:15

    love this article. I am in event planning and I always give preference to people that have done research on the company and the job during the interview (more than watching the WE network and thinking this would be “the most funnest job in the world.”) But in 16 years of interviews and employees – the thank you note is the set apart item – I don’t get them often and if I liked the interviewee that sent the thank you note – the other resumes go into the round file bin.


  13. lizisms
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 20:06:46

    What if you are applying for a position at the org/company you currently work at? Even more so, you ought to write a hand-written note?


  14. Abigail
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 19:45:21

    So, I’m looking for summer jobs as a college student. Every single place that I applied to said that they would contact me if they were interested in pursuing an interview. My mom, being a pest, said that I needed to contact them. You’re saying I don’t, for the exact reason I was thinking I shouldn’t. Or does your statement about “Don’t contact us; we’ll contact you,” apply to only after interview / after college?


  15. Irwan Juanda
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 19:41:42

    Thanks for sharing, i’m a fresh graduate and has been doing a loooot of interview, and a lot of time i also confused which is the right to do after the interview, anyway, if anyone has more information about the dos and don’ts, please inform me.


    • jromaine
      Nov 17, 2011 @ 09:14:56


      Anita as well as others gave some useful tips for Acing an Interview. ALWAYS follow up via email or by snail mail to the person who interviewed you. Find out the time-line for making a decision, Then, I encourage you to follow up so that way they won’t forget you! BE CONFIDENT, BE ENERGETIC, AND BE PASSIONATE.

      All the Best,



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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.

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