The interview is done. What next? Make sure you are clear on the next phase in the hiring process and that you are aware of the timeline when the company is looking to have the company filled, as well as their preferred method of communication. Know how to follow up so you can take your next steps.
Send a thank you letter to your interviewer via email within 24 hours following the interview. In the letter, introduce achievements that you did not mention during the interview and make a few connections that you noticed. You may want to modify, correct or elaborate on questions that you did not answer well. Essentially, reiterate what you can contribute to the company. You may also follow the email with a personalized, handwritten letter. Use the letter as an opportunity to distinguish and further identify yourself to your interviewer. You can also follow up with a handwritten note.
Keep track of the job openings you pursued, the contacts you made, when, where, and with whom you interviewed, what conversations you had and the information you learned. Write down your impression of the companies you had interviews with and list concerns and questions. Continue to research the companies and follow updates on what may be occurring. Preparing for the next round of interviews in the hiring process and going into it with more information shows that you are aware and still interested.
Have at least two to three impressive references on hand who will put in a good word for you. Always ask if you can use them as a reference first. In most cases, they will give you the green light. Inform your references which position you interviewed for and what to expect if the call comes in. You tried to advertise yourself during the interview, now it’s time for your references to back that up. Make sure you have the right people who can vouch for your abilities and personality.
Contact your interviewer via their preferred method of follow up communication, but limit the amount of contact you make. Follow instructions. If the interviewer tells you to wait for further notice, then wait. Do not send a LinkedIn invitation until after the hiring process. Do not be a nuisance or stalker. If you do not hear from the employer after a while, move on. Some employers may keep resumes on hand for more than half a year and may call you up even if there has been no contact for a while. Remain hopeful, but do not let it stop you from trying somewhere else.
Be professional if you receive a rejection. Do not burn the bridge behind you. You don’t know what will happen in the future and it is important to leave a good impression with the company. Rather than make an employer glad that they did not hire you, show them that you are still a good sport and a great candidate that they missed out on. Even if you have been rejected, send a thank you note and continue to stay in touch. You do not know where opportunities will come, so keep your options open. You might even be considered for a future opening in the company that initially rejected you or receive a recommendation.