Picture this: You just nailed that big interview you’ve been stressing over for weeks. You walk out of the room feeling a mix of relief and complete joy, but in the midst of your celebration, a thought pops into your head. What now?
The interview is just one step in the hiring process. And before you hear the word “hired,” there are still a few post-interview things you need to do to take you across the finish line. Now that you’ve made the right impression and nailed those tricky questions, here are five keys steps you need to take next after the interview.
Ask About Next Steps and Follow-Up
When the interviewer asks if I have any questions, I always like to make sure I preemptively ask about next steps. According to Business Insider, you should always ask your interviewer about the hiring manager’s timeline for making a decision and how you should follow up. Amanda Augustine, a career-advice expert for TopResume, says to make sure you follow whatever instructions they give you. This way, you don’t bombard the interviewer or hiring manager with emails full of questions. Also, when it is appropriate to follow up with someone, make sure to pace your responses. If you weren’t given a specific timeline by your interviewer, Augustine says to give it about a week or so after you send your thank-you note. Speaking of which…
Send a Thank-You Note
Believe it or not, sending a thank-you note makes a big difference to a company. Forbes spoke to over 60 professionals, and most said you should send a thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview. In it, you can include any follow-up material the recruiter asked for during your interview. Jene Kapela, a leadership coach, also says you should include a link to a relevant blog post or article on a topic that was discussed during your interview. A thank-you email note is also the perfect opportunity for you to redeem yourself on any questions you didn’t give A+ answers to during your interview. Don’t be afraid to send a handwritten note, as well. It shows your personal interest and dedication to the job.
Contact Your References
After the interview, it’s a smart idea to let your list of references know their services may be needed soon. In some cases, contacting references will be part of the hiring process, but a lot of the time, interviewers won’t tell you when they’ll do it. So it’s good to keep your references in the loop. Just send a quick email or give them a call to say you interviewed with a company and that they may be contacted. It never hurts to touch on which company you interviewed with, what it does, and what you discussed in your interview so your references are familiar with who will be contacting them.
Evaluate Your Performance
Evaluate how you did in the interview, assessing what you said that you liked or what you didn’t say that you wish you had. Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, told Business Insider to think about what you said well and how the interviewer reacted to your responses. Haefner also suggested thinking about how you felt during the interview and how you felt about the company. Could you see yourself growing there? Is it a good fit for you? The senior vice president of Adecco Staffing USA, Amy Glaser, told Business Insider, “Naturally, you want to impress a potential employer during an interview, but afterwards, the ball is back in your court as you decide whether that company aligns with your career goals.” So remember, just because a company has a glossy name, at the end of the day, it is up to you to decide if the position is a good fit.
Keep Looking for Other Positions
Even if you left the interview confident you were getting the position, until you get an actual offer, you should keep your options open and look for other positions to apply for. Business Insider shares that nothing is certain in an interview unless they extend an offer. Staffing director at Mary Kraft Staffing & HR Solutions Lisa Benson told Forbes they hear stories about employers holding onto résumés for six months to a year after candidates first submit them. So if you’re looking for a position this summer and can’t wait six months to know if you got the job, keep applying and treat every interview seriously until you hear the words “hired.”
What other post interview tips do you have? Let me know in the comments below!
Featured photo by @itsdemib.