What’s the right thing to do after a job interview? Should you follow up? Or just wait to hear back. Here are our top tips.
What’s the right thing to do after a job interview? Should you follow up? Or just wait to hear back?
In those anxious days after your interview, it can be hard to know the right thing to do.
If you haven’t heard back, how long should you wait before you get back in touch and ask how you went? Would that help your chances? Or damage them?
We’ve asked our team of expert recruiters for their advice on what are the best and worst things you can do after a job interview. Here’s what they had to say.
Set yourself up for success on the day of the interview
Set up an excuse to call
Firstly, set yourself up for success as you’re leaving the interview.
You might need an excuse to get back in touch with the interviewers later on, so a good tactic is to identify something small that you can mention during the interview, but follow up afterwards.
For example, you could say you will get back to them to confirm the notice period you’re required to give, or to confirm a referee’s details. That gives you a reason to get back in touch.
Use your manners
Thank everyone on the interview panel (and, indeed, in the room) as you’re leaving. First impressions are important, but you want to leave a good impression, too.
Go away and write down the names of the people who interviewed you and anything you can remember about them. It’s particularly important if you’re going for lots of jobs—you don’t want to get confused when they contact you later.
The best ways to follow up a job interview
Email a short thank you
By all means, later that day or the following day send a follow-up thank you email (including the additional information you promised).
It should be succinct and polite and reiterate your interest in the role. Resist the urge to sell yourself for the role and certainly don’t say, “I forgot to mention X, Y or Z in the interview,” as that could easily turn out to be the worst thing you could have done!
Alert your referees
Give the people providing references a heads-up that they might hear from someone at the company or from a recruiter. Explain the position, the company and the people who might call. You want to set them up to give you the best reference possible.
Call a week later
If you haven’t heard anything and want to follow up, call about a week later. Or, if during the interview they gave you a date you could expect to hear from them by, call them back the day after that date.
Research the company (again)
If you haven’t already done so (and by this stage you really should have) then do your due diligence on the company concerned and make sure it’s somewhere you’d want to work, just in case the offer comes through.
In the days after the interview, celebrate! Relax and reflect on whether it really is the role and company you are looking for.
The worst ways to follow up after a job interview
A “live mic” accident
If your interview was over the phone, Skype or video then please double-check that the connection has been terminated properly before you say or do anything. You don’t want the interview panel to hear or see anything that might undo all your hard work in the interview.
Bumping into your interviewers
Immediately after the interview, avoid meeting up with anyone near the interview location. You really want to avoid bumping into the interviewers—and you certainly don’t want to risk them overhearing you rehash the interview with your friends.
Being a nuisance
Don’t annoy the hiring manager or recruiter and undo everything you accomplished in the interview by badgering them or contacting them unnecessarily. Certainly, don’t follow up the interview the same day, asking for feedback. That doesn’t go down well at all.
Posting on social media
Either stay off social media completely or, at the least, don’t post anything about the job interview or the company concerned. If you need to talk about it, talk to your friends rather than on a public forum where the recruiters, interviewers and company representatives might see it.
Asking new questions
Don’t get in touch with follow-up questions. When you do this, it implies you can’t think on your feet in the interview itself—which tends to mark you down in the minds of the recruiter and potential employers.
Burning your bridges by bargaining
Don’t use the interview and the possibility of a job offer to go back to your current employer and see if you can get a counteroffer from them. This might work for you in the short term, but it’s the kind of thing recruiters and potential employers remember and, in the long term, might come back to bite you.
Don’t stop searching for work, assuming you’ve got the job. Keep looking. You don’t want to waste valuable time and miss out on the perfect job.
Don’t overdo the celebrations
OK, so above we said to celebrate. What we meant was pat yourself on the back. What we didn’t mean was “go out and get rolling drunk”. Why? Because if you get called up the next day to complete a medical and a drug and alcohol screening, you’re risking failure at the last hurdle. (Trust us; we’ve seen this happen before!)
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