I picked the perfect thing to wear, memorized my flash cards, and rehearsed my handshake and smile in the mirror. I prayed on the subway that my nervous sweating wasn’t causing armpit stains.
I made it through a job interview … but now what?
I’m fairly new to the job hunt, but one thing I’ve realized is that employment decisions aren’t always made during interviews. In fact, you can improve your chances of getting the job after the interview; here are six easy steps how.
1. Ask The Right Questions
DON’T leave the interview without asking two things: what their hiring timeline looks like AND if they’d like any additional materials from you. If you don’t, you’ll end up like me, making yourself crazy over when/if you should reach out.
If they say the hiring process is slow and they probably won’t be able to get back to you for a couple of weeks, there’s no reason to get worked up after a week. If they say a decision will be made by the end of the week and it’s been 10 days, then you know you should probably make contact.
By asking if they’d like any additional materials from you (like references or more work samples), you do a couple things. First, you give yourself a chance to show that you’re trustworthy by sending what they asked for when they asked for it. Second, you give yourself an additional reason to keep in contact with the company.
2. Write Down Everything
Most people forget up to 73% of what they learn within 1 to 2 days of hearing it. So, as soon as you leave the interview, shack up in a local coffee house and write down everything you remember. This will give you an edge in creating memorable, meaningful interactions in the future.
Pay special attention to documents you’ve given them, concerns the employer has about you, and casual things the employer mentions regarding their personal interests. If they like hockey, next time you talk to them, ask if they caught the awesome game the other night.
By doing this, you improve your likeability. Writing down the name of the person you talked to also helps you avoid a huge faux pas (gracefully committed by yours truly): calling someone by a name other than their own.
3. Send Thank You Notes
At the end of the day you speak to them, send a thank you note via email or notecard to the people you met with. Twenty-six percent of interviewers expect a thank you note within 2 days of interviewing.
Make sure it’s short but personal (that’s where “writing everything down” can help). No one wants to read an essay.
4. Consider Connecting Online
Only connect with the people you talked to in person. This is not necessary, but it could help build your network in the future.
When I say connect online, I mean through LinkedIn and maybe Twitter, if you have a professional account. Not Facebook. There’s no reason to connect with someone you only know professionally on a social site like that.
5. Wait It Out
Don’t harass them. You get one, maybe two follow-up emails depending on the circumstances. Don’t waste them on Friday and Saturday if your interview was on Thursday. Nothing stings more than a nasty email from an annoyed HR rep. Trust me.
To pass the time, continue your job/internship search.
6. Follow Up
If you followed step one, you’ll know when it’s appropriate to follow up. A day or two after that date, send a note saying you’re just checking in on the status of your application. Maybe include some details or attach an article on something you talked about.
Remember: Anytime you interact with a potential employer, you make an impression. Make sure it’s a good one.
How do you help yourself after an interview? Let us know in the comments!