You did it! You got the interview for your dream job and it was great! But no resting on your laurels yet. Even though the interview went well, there are a few essential things to do afterward. Effective follow-up can keep your momentum going and even give you a valuable edge over the other candidates.
If any documentation or follow-up information was requested of you by the interviewer, do it immediately.
While the interview is fresh in your mind, write down what went well and what didn’t. Self-evaluation helps identify what you should be better prepared for in the future. You also may discover questions that you still have about the job or company. Identifying what you did well in the interview gives you information on what to reinforce in follow-up contact with the employer.
Write a thank-you note to the person or people who interviewed you. Make sure you are using correct titles and names (it’s a good idea to collect business cards from everyone with whom you speak at your interview). Thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in the job. If you interviewed with several different people, write a unique note to each; i.e., don’t just change the names at the top. Email is fine. A handwritten note is nice, but only if your handwriting is legible and the note will get to them quickly.
Reach Out to Contacts
If you know someone who works at the company, let them know about your interview and your excitement about the position. Your contact there may be willing to mention you, or write a note of support, to someone involved in the hiring process.
Reach out to your references and let them know that you interviewed for the job. Give them some details about the position so they will be prepared to support you if they get a reference call. Remind them of your qualifications that are particularly relevant to this job. Make sure your references have the most recent version of your resume.
Continue Job Hunting
Even if the interview seemed promising, keep your job-search going. You don’t want to lose valuable time if this opportunity doesn’t work out. Especially keep up networking efforts. These connections are valuable, whether you get this job or a different one.
A phone call to enquire about the search within a week to 10 days is reasonable. Be brief and be polite. It’s okay to continue to follow-up, but remember to be patient. Hiring processes often take much longer than expected.
Don’t Burn Bridges
Unfortunately, job offers don’t always come through — even after a seemingly stellar interview. If you don’t get the job, accept the news graciously and show your appreciation for the time they took with you. Leave a good impression. Other jobs may open up at that company someday. Or you may encounter your interviewers at other organizations in your career. Value the networking opportunities the interview process gave you and build on those.
No matter how well the interview went, there are many factors of the process that are out of your control — except your own actions between the time of the interview until the position is filled. Use that time wisely.
If the job does not come to fruition, it’s a good time to meet with a qualified and well-regarded career coach. He or she can help you assess what may have gone wrong and what you can do to better show off your strengths in the future.