You know how to research companies, how to tweak your résumé and even how to answer tough interview questions. But do you know how to follow-up after the interview?
If you’ve been invited to interview it means the company is already interested in you. What can you do to get the job?
1. Ask about time frames. Before you leave the interview, it’s good to know what the next steps are and when the hiring manager plans to make a decision. Without this you only guess or become frustrated when you don’t hear anything.
2. Send a real thank you. Choosing to send your thank you via post versus email doesn’t necessarily make you stand out, but it can. What’s more important is what you say. Anyone can send a “thank you for seeing me” message, even though few do. Candidates who put in the extra effort to explain why they’re interested in the job are even more rare.
3. Don’t take rejection lying down. You only have one chance to make a great first impression. What if you feel things aren’t going well during the interview? The interviewer may be distracted. Don’t ignore his body language and don’t feel helpless. You could politely pause the interview and ask if there are questions about your last answer, or if you’re brave, consider asking how he feels the interview is going so far. You may learn that the interviewer’s lack of interest has nothing to do with you.
If the interviewer says you aren’t right for the job, ask why. If you’re still interested in working for the company, let the interviewer know. You could even ask, “As I look at your job board, if I notice other jobs, would you be willing to refer me?” Every interview gives you an opportunity to build a relationship with the people you meet. Stay in touch by email or through LinkedIn. Future hiring is certain and you want to be on the must-call list.
You Can’t Win Them All
You will not be a fit for every job or company. But that doesn’t mean you can’t establish professional relationships with the people you interviewed with. Who knows what future opportunities might arise or whom your new contacts may know? This is a form of networking, which, if nurtured properly, could help you hear about your next job sooner.