Interviewing for a new job can be a truly nerve-racking experience. You put a lot of effort into preparing for the conversation, partially to ease the worry, but also because you know what an important step this is in the hiring process. You might be more than a little ready to stop thinking about it altogether once the interview is over. But, that would be a mistake. There are a few things you should do after an interview that could help you land the job.
1. Record some notes.
As soon as you get out of the meeting, write down some notes. Record whom you met with, what their job titles were, what you talked about, and anything else that you can think of that came up that seemed significant. Also, make note of any questions you still have. You’ll use this information to help you follow up. Write down everything you can remember as quickly as you can after your interview, so that you don’t forget anything important.
2. Send a brief but thoughtful email.
Following up after an interview is important. So, take a few minutes to send a quick email to the people you spent significant time with during your visit and interview. (One email to the whole group should do the trick.) You can do this within a few hours of your meeting, and you should definitely try to get to it by the end of the following day. If you don’t already have email addresses, do some quick homework online. You’ll almost certainly be able to locate that information relatively quickly.
“The best timeframe to send a thank you email is within 24 hours after your interview,” Whitney Purcell, associate director of career development at Susquehanna University told Business Insider. “It should be sent during business hours – no 3 a.m. emails that make your schedule seem a little out of whack with the company’s traditional hours.”
You should send a more formal thank-you note as well (see number four) but it doesn’t hurt to also send a brief email immediately following an interview. It keeps your name, and your visit, on everyone’s mind. And, it gives them a quick and easy way to contact you if they have further questions. Be brief and friendly, and try to say something that separates you from the pack. Use the notes you took to remind you of an interesting idea that came up that you can reference, for example. You don’t want to take up much of their time with this email though, so be sure to keep in short.
Whether you get this job or not, you should be able to learn something from this interview. The best way to do that is to be sure to take some time to reflect on the meeting after the day is done. Discuss it with someone you trust. Or, do a little writing about what went well and what could’ve gone better, for example. The goal here is to learn from the experience so that you can do better next time.
This process will also help you reflect on the company you interviewed with and the position that’s on the table. Be honest with yourself when you consider the experience. Is it really right for you?
4. Send a thank-you note.
Although sending a piece of snail-mail may feel a bit antiquated these days, it’s definitely still the right thing to do after a job interview. In fact, it’s so customary that not doing so could actually cost you the job. According to a CareerBuilder survey cited by Fast Company, 56 percent of employers said that not receiving a thank-you note indicated that a candidate wasn’t really serious about the position. And, 22 percent of employers said they’d be less likely to hire someone who doesn’t send a note after an interview.
Again, you want to take this opportunity to stand out from the pack. Use the notes you took just after the interview to write personalized thank-you notes to each of the people you met with during your visit. Be sure to mention some of the things you spoke about that day. Be interesting and interested. And, be sure not to make any grammatical errors in these cards. This final step is crucial. After all this time and effort, you don’t want to lose the job because you spelled something incorrectly.
5. If you can, ask for feedback.
There may be a lot of good that can come from this process, even if you don’t get the job. Occasionally, when you’re turned down for a position, you’ll be notified via the courtesy of a phone call or an email. If that happens to you, seize this opportunity. Thank them for taking them time to contact you, and then ask for more information about why you weren’t hired. Tell them that you’d like to learn from this process and that any feedback would be very much appreciated. You’ll likely learn something that will help you the next time around.
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