Crushed the interview? Awesome! Okay, what do you do now? Every cell in your body is screaming, “ I want this job!” Enthusiasm’s great but you need to dial it down a bit and be cool. You need to show you’re polite and interested without turning into Jim Carrey in “The Cable Guy” – i.e. a desperate stalker.
It’s like you just went on a first date with someone you really like and they smile and say, “That was fun. I’ll call you soon.” Right? The ball’s in their court so tread carefully.
What can you do to help things along without being annoying? We scoured the internet for that info so you don’t have to. Here’s what we found.
Do ask for a timeframe on decision making
If it’s not too late casually ask at the end of the interview for some idea of how long you can expect the agony of anxiety to drag on. It’s okay to say, “So what’s your timeframe on this?” Or “When do you expect to make a decision by?” Or “Do you have a timetable set for the hiring process?” You need to know there’s an endpoint.
Do get right on that thank you note
Do send a thank you note right away. Like the next day. And maybe more than one if you interviewed with multiple people. In a recent survey of more than 500 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees cited by Business Insider , over 90 percent said it was helpful for a promising job candidate to send a thank you note following an interview. A thank you note remains the best type of follow-up in this process.
“Following-up (with a thank you note) demonstrates that you’re interested in the position and the company for which you interviewed, and that you truly appreciate your interviewers taking time from their busy schedules to meet with you,” Business Insider says.
Hand-written or email? We found proponents of both in our research.
Miranda Kalinowski, vice-president of global recruiting at Facebook, told Fast Company that she had six handwritten thank-you notes on her desk at Facebook at the time they spoke with her. “I like them,” she admitted.
But in the Business Insider survey mentioned above, 87 percent of those interviewed said email is an appropriate way to follow up.
What to do? Go with your gut. And remember, it’s the content that counts.
When crafting a thank you note, keep it friendly but concise and specific. Work in one or two key points from your resume to remind your interviewers why you’re the best choice for the job.
One advantage of emailing a thank you note is the option to be a little more comprehensive. For example, if during the interview, you highlighted a project you completed at a previous position, you can attach something about it. Or you can attach an article relevant to an industry topic you talked about.
Keep your thank you note upbeat and short. Give the interviewer just enough information to recall your meeting. Google examples. And make yourself do it asap.
Do follow up but just once by email after the thank you note
After sending a thank you note, you can follow up with an email if you haven’t heard back after a few weeks or whatever time period they said you’d hear by.
Here too you can provide follow-up materials or reference articles and information that pertain to topics you covered in the interview if you haven’t done so already in an emailed thank you note.
Do include these three things in a follow-up email
Kalinowski, the vice-president of global recruiting at Facebook interviewed by Fast Company said she looks for follow-ups to include one of three things:
- A highlight from the interview discussion
- Something you learned about the company during the interview that surprised them
- Something about the company that really resonates with your values
Emphasizing any of these things while following up “can reinforce their interest and level of engagement,” Kalinowski explains. “Those are things that recruiters and companies want to make sure exist with a candidate.”
Do Highlight How You Are the Solution to their Problems
Convince the person or people you are writing to that you can help resolve whatever it is that is their current concern. Use online resources to research articles about business challenges the company or industry might be facing. “If you have experience or thoughts on how to solve or build these solutions,” according to Fast Company, “regardless of whether it came up in the interview, you can say, ‘I’m not sure if we had a chance to discuss my interest in the new technology I recently read you are exploring, but my experience in X might be of interest.”
Do continue your job search
After a great interview, it may be tempting to kick back and call off the hunt, but please keep on keeping on. The job isn’t for sure yours until you’ve signed that contract. Life can be crazy, unpredictable and at times, unfair. Hedge your bets. Having some other irons on the fire might even make you feel a little more confident and less desperate if and when the time comes for salary negotiations. And that may help you negotiate a better pay package. Who knows? A job just might come along that really is a better deal.
There’s a fine line between being persistent and being pushy. So the first don’t is don’t cross that line. Here are several others suggested by US News Money we thought you should know.
Don’t Check In Too Soon or Too Often
It can be nerve-wracking to wait to hear back after an interview. But if you give into those nerves by contacting before you should or too many times, you risk undermining the good impression you hopefully made, according to US News Money. That means after you’ve sent your thank you note, don’t contact them again until about a week after the date they told you they’d make a decision has passed. If they don’t respond, don’t call them. If they want you, they will call.
“The reality is that hiring often takes much, much longer than either side expects it to. But if an employer wants to hire you, they’re not going to forget about you. If you’re the strongest candidate, you don’t need to do anything to keep yourself in the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind; you’re already there. Following up once – after the timeline they give you for hearing something has passed – is fine. But, beyond that, all you can do is be patient and wait.”
Don’t be unavailable
Don’t leave town and become inaccessible without giving a heads up to the person who interviewed you. What should you do if your best bud tells you he’s eloping to ye olde inn in Vermont and you’re one of three people he wants there? And there’s no internet? No need to put your life on hold while you’re waiting to hear about a job – in fact, you shouldn’t. But if you’re going to be out of range for more than a day, you should let them know. Otherwise, you risk being contacted perhaps with an offer or for another interview and not responding. They’ll figure you’re no longer interested and may move forward with other applicants.
So if you’re going away and won’t have phone or email access, send your contact at the company a quick email to let them know that’s the case and when you’ll be back.
Don’t pretend you received another job offer
Don’t say you got another offer to try to motivate them into offering you the job so they don’t lose you. If you really do get another offer that you need to respond to, that’s legit. But don’t make one up as a tactic. It could backfire. There’s a risk the company will just say, “We can’t expedite things on our end and don’t want to prevent you from taking another offer, so we’ll remove you from consideration for the position.” Oops.
Don’t feel bad if you hear nothing back
Don’t let ghosting get you down. Honestly, if you feel you are being ghosted, recognize that you may have dodged a bullet. Would you want to work for somebody who doesn’t have the decency to get back to a hopeful person and tell them that they didn’t get the job? And explain why and express thanks for their time? They’d probably be the kind of boss that would expect you to skip your grandmother’s funeral for a project. You can do better. And you will.
One last don’t
Don’t hesitate to respond affirmatively if you get an offer. Congratulations. You got it! Now say yes within 24 hours. And check out our previous post on exit strategy how-tos so you can leave your current job on a grace note.