You finished the interview - what's next?

Congratulations, you’ve managed to get through your job interview. All you need to do now is wait to hear whether you’ve scored the job or not… Or is it?

Sure, if you prepared well for your interview and believe you nailed it, there’s no harm in simply waiting to hear how well you did, but there are a number of things you should do (and a few you shouldn’t) in the meantime that will improve your chances:

Do’s

DO ask the employer at the end of the interview when they expect to make decisions and how you will be contacted.

DO make follow-up a strategic part of your job application process for each job you apply for, no matter how casual you think the job or employer is. Doing so will give you the cutting edge over other applicants who don’t make the effort.

DO ensure that any follow-up techniques you use are sensible and proportional to the position you’re applying for. You definitely don’t want to look like a stalker, so display enthusiasm, but not desperation.

DO attempt to discover the names and work position titles of your interviewers. It’s so easy to ask for a business card at the end of an interview, so this should definitely be considered.

DO always write thank you letters to each individual interviewer – even if you think you have no chance of getting the job or if you decide you don’t really want it. Your letters don’t have to be completely different from each other, but definitely try to individualise each letter slightly. It is best to do this within about two days following your interview.

DO send your thank you letter through an appropriate medium. You may have your interviewer’s home address available to you, but it’s probably inappropriate (and perhaps a bit creepy) to send correspondence through to their personal address.

DO proof read your thank you letter to ensure there are no errors in spelling or grammar. It doesn’t matter if your letter is handwritten or typed, but ensure they are legible and well presented.

DO express appreciation for the time your interviewer took to interview you, as well as remind them of why you are the perfect candidate (without making the letter all about you). There are plenty of examples available on the internet of how to write the perfect post-interview thank you letter.

DO let your references know that they may be expecting a call from your interviewers. If you can’t, then that’s fine, but many people appreciate a heads-up and it may help them to consider what to say about you (hopefully all nice things).

Don’ts

DON'T assume that you’re going to get the first job you were interviewed for. Keep applying for other jobs simultaneously. If you do end up being accepted for more than one job at a time, you’ll be able to choose the better of the two!

DON’T constantly call about the results of an interview. Definitely give the interviewer a call within a fortnight to check on the progress, but certainly don’t continue to nag them for an answer. Use your follow-up call to build rapport with the interviewer.

DON’T expect an answer quickly. The interview and decision process can take quite a while – particularly if there are a large number of applicants.

DON’T ever criticise your interviewers online or in the presence of other people. You’d be surprised how often this happens and the interviewer finds out about it!

DON'T burn bridges with interviewers when you have been unsuccessful. You never know if you’ll be reconsidered in the future, or even run into the same interviewer in the future. Every positive connection you make with people in your industry network is a bonus, so be nice and ask if they would be willing to connect with you on LinkedIn or similar.

Finally, DON’T give up! This may seem like a lot of work and you may occasionally feel disillusioned when you don’t get a job offer, but every job application you go through gives you new experiences for the next one and you’ll eventually land the job of your dreams!

The CFS Team
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