The best and worst things you can do following your interview
March 17, 2017
Whether it’s been two hours or two days, time is dragging ever since you had that interview. You are sitting by the phone willing it to ring with some good news. You know that this job is a great opportunity, and hopefully, your eagerness and suitability came across in the interview room, but you can never quite be sure.
I’ve seen how this feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt can prompt candidates to take matters into their own hands. These moves have been hit and miss. Some have demonstrated pro-activity and politeness, for instance sending a thank you email. Others have come across as inappropriate, for instance connecting with the interviewer on LinkedIn.
To help clear up the confusion, I have provided you with my definitive guide for the actions I think you should and shouldn’t take following your interview.
DO: Talk to your recruiter straight after the interview
Following on from your interview, speak to your recruiter as soon as possible and provide feedback on how you think the interview went, whilst it is all still fresh in your mind. Prior to the interview, determine whether you will call them or they will call you. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and how much you enjoyed meeting with the interviewer. This will be relayed to the company and work in your favour. The recruiter will know their client pretty well, so this is also a good chance to flag up any questions you have about the role or company that have popped into your mind since the interview.
Ask the recruiter for feedback if they have this yet, if not then politely try to get an idea of when you can expect to hear back.
In being proactive and communicative with your recruiter, you will stay fresh in the recruiter’s mind and demonstrate to both them and the interviewer that you are serious about this job.
DO: Follow up with a thank-you email
If you have been in direct contact with the interviewer at any point, do send them a follow-up email to thank them for their time. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role. You could even explain that upon meeting with them and learning more about the opportunity, you are even keener than before, and how you look forward to hearing from them.
If you haven’t had any direct contact with the interviewer thus far, then, when you speak to the recruiter after your interview, let them know that you would like to send a follow-up email, and ask them to forward it on to the hiring manager. Again, it is better to do this sooner rather than later in order to stay at the front of both the recruiter and company’s mind and to showcase how enthusiastic you really are.
DON’T: Connect with interviewer on LinkedIn
Whilst a thank you email to your interviewer is acceptable (provided they have emailed you directly in the past) it is not ok to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn. Why? Because this presumes a level of familiarity that isn’t there yet. Once you have been offered the job, by all means, send that request, but for now, just use the site to find out more about the company via their LinkedIn page.
DON’T: Lose track of who you have interviewed with
Chances are; if you are actively job searching, you are interviewing for, or at least considering multiple roles within multiple companies. Therefore it can be easy to lose track of who you spoke to, for which role, when and where. It’s important you get this straight in your mind – there is nothing more off-putting than a candidate who phones us up to feedback or chases up on an opportunity, and they start talking about the wrong company, role or hiring manager. This simply shows a lack of attention to detail and organisation on their part.
Keep a spreadsheet of the names of the companies, hiring managers and job titles which you have or plan to interview with. Be sure to keep this updated so that you are clear where you are at in the application process with each role, and always review that list before picking up the phone or sending that email.
DO: Give your references a heads-up
This is simply common courtesy. Your references should be aware that they are being used as a reference, but drop them a line to remind them and ask them politely to keep an eye out. Thank them after they have provided this. For more information on “reference etiquette” click here.
DON’T: Call off the job search
However well this interview went, do not by any means cancel any other upcoming interviews you have scheduled for different roles, or give up the job hunt on this basis alone. Think about what is making you so keen for this specific opportunity, and use these key points to steer your search for similar roles.
DON’T: Be too obvious
Just because a new opportunity is on the horizon, that doesn’t mean you should clock off and let your performance drop within your current role. Be mindful of your focus and diligence, be discreet and don’t keep checking your phone right under your boss’ nose! It is important to maintain both your reputation and relationship with your current company. You don’t know how much longer you will be working there, and even if you are offered another role, you never know when you might need their help in the future.
DON’T: Cut ties
Lastly, if you are not successful following this interview, then don’t lose hope and certainly don’t cut ties with your recruiter. Thank them for their support so far, get as much feedback as you can as to why you weren’t successful. Be sure to take this on board ahead of your next interview.
Don’t end the relationship here. Your recruiter is a valuable ally to have during your job search, and it is important that they get to know you and what you’re searching for in your career. Work on building a professional rapport with them. Connect on LinkedIn, keep in touch, and if you haven’t already, arrange a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss your career goals.
I hope the above will help clarify the best and worst things you can do following an interview. Remember that your recruiter will be your main line of communication between yourself and the interviewer, so a thank you email should be the only direct communication you have with them following the interview (unless of course, you are offered the role!)
Whether you are offered this job or not, don’t give up on your job search, whilst continuing to maintain your reputation in your current company. Keep up this positive, professional approach following your interviews, and I’m sure you will find career success in no time.