Following Up After Your Interview

By Patrick Tan

So you had your interview.  You feel like it couldn’t have gone any better, and your mind is convinced the job is yours!  And then…nothing.  The interviewer told you that you’d hear back by the end of the week, and they haven’t given you a call.  All of a sudden, you start to nitpick, and your mind starts to create problems where there weren’t any before.

Does this sound familiar?  I know it does to me.  Almost all of us have been through an interview that we feel we’ve aced, only to realize the interviewers decided to go with a better candidate.  Before you start to beat yourself up about things you could have or should have said (or perhaps shouldn’t have!), realize that the small thing you’re worrying about more than likely would not have been a part of the final decision.  Assuming you interviewed well, then the interviewer should have a good picture of who you are and what you can bring to the table.  Instead, I’d advise that you do the following:

1. When you first get home, write a thank-you letter!  Not only will a thank-you letter show your appreciation for the interviewer’s time, it will show that you are willing to go the extra mile.  If you REALLY want to impress an interviewer, you’ll handwrite it and send it through the post.  Quite honestly, that’s what I did, and I’ve been told it’s what got me my current job!

2. Always follow up with a phone call.  If you’re working through an agency, you’ll want to call your Staffing Manager, but if not, go ahead and call the employer directly.  But don’t call too soon or too frequently.  Doing so can paint you with desperation, and even though that can be understandable, it definitely is off-putting in the minds of the decision makers.  If they say they should have a decision by the end of the week, call once in the morning on Friday, and once in the afternoon if they still haven’t gotten back to you.  Anything more than that and you could risk being taken out of consideration.

It may help to understand that if you don’t get any feedback, it’s not always about you, according to a Forbes article by Jacquelyn Smith.True, it could be that the hiring manager is just not that into you, or that there are more competitive candidates. But the reality is, unemployment is still high enough that employers are deluged with candidates and may not have enough resources allocated to respond to each job candidate. Plus, the potential risk of sharing why you didn’t get the job could outweigh the potential reward, since telling you specific reasons could even open them up to legal action.

All in all, realize that as long as you put your best foot forward during the interview and take the proper steps following up (without going overboard), then you’ve given 100% of your effort to getting the job.  Even though you may not get that position, your efforts will pay off as long as you stay in the game.

Are you about to accept a job offer? Read these tips on negotiating your counteroffer.

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