You know that feeling. You walk out of a job interview and think, “Nailed it!” But you aren’t hired just yet. The company will still have to check your references and verify you’re not a serial killer, and you still have some work on your end to do as well.
1. Thank You NoteThe first thing you should do is sit down and write a thank you note—chances are you have heard this one before. Don’t wait for two days to appear aloof; do it by 5 p.m. the day of the interview. Gather your thoughts on what was not covered during the interview, some key competencies and personality traits you heard they are looking for, and some experiences you have that fit those key areas. Be sure to attach any portfolio items or links that support your claims of being the best candidate for this job.
Some people recommend a handwritten note, but if you have terrible handwriting (as I do), you might want to opt for an email instead. Make it short but informative; most managers don’t have time to read a lengthy diatribe about your awesomeness. Close with a line about how you look forward to hearing back from the hiring manager soon. If you got a firm date on when you would hear back, insert that here instead of the word “soon.”
2. Contact Your ReferencesYou should give your references a heads-up that they will be contacted by the hiring manager, and a timeframe of when that will happen. You should also give your references some specifics about the job for which you are applying. If the new job is centered around e-learning and your reference knows you as a sales enablement colleague, giving them the job description or a brief summary on the position you applied for can really help them tailor their reference to be more relevant.
3. Find a ConnectionIf you have any connections to the company, especially if those connections are within the management or leadership team, now is the time to contact them. Having a valued employee vouch for an applicant can go a long way—especially if they are armed with examples of your key competencies.
4. Distract YourselfWhile being responsive is a good quality, checking in too much can be annoying and overwhelming. It’s just like a date; if the other person says they are going to call, don’t start bombarding them with text messages asking when they are planning on calling you. Even if you are obsessing about the job, you never want the hiring manager or your new potential boss to think you are. Distract yourself and apply to other jobs while you wait. If it takes longer than two weeks for them to get back to you, chances are that you didn’t get the job, and emailing them more won’t change that.
5. Be Truthful With YourselfWhile the thrill of finding a new job may appeal to some of us adrenaline junkies out there, be truthful with yourself. Did the interviewer tell you there would be a lot of face-to-face interaction with team members and you really would rather analyze data all day in a room alone? Are you leaving a good position with high growth opportunities for a longer commute and a potentially toxic work environment? Or is this the job you have been waiting for, and you will even take a slightly lower salary to move into the new position? Make sure you are honest about what your non-negotiables are. If a job offer comes in and fits the bill, you are set! If you need to negotiate the offer, you know what you are willing to do and not willing to do.
Your job search doesn’t end with the interview, and neither does the impression you make. Use these tips to ace the after-interview.