When you leave a job interview, you may mistakenly believe there is nothing left to do but wait and hear back from the hiring manager. In truth, there are key things to do after a job interview, items that can be the difference between a rejection email and a formal job offer.
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As soon as possible following a job interview, write down a few items that came up during the course of conversation. Notes can be helpful because if you are called in for a follow-up interview, you will have notes to prepare. Or, there may be something to mention in a thank you note or subsequent phone call.
Also, notes can be helpful when interviewing for other positions. Looking over your notes can assist you in preparing for other interviews. There may be gaps in your experience that you could address in a positive light in future conversations, for instance.
It is always important to send a thank you note, whether you decide to send an email or a handwritten card. An email saves time, but some hiring managers appreciate receiving a traditional thank you in the mail. Either way, thank the person who interviewed you for their time. You can also mention why you believe you are the best person for the job or take the opportunity to include a few of your skills that would help you shine in the available position.
A short, thoughtful message is often best, simply because long, wordy letters and emails are less likely to be read completely. Plus, you want to be perceived as the best candidate, not desperate for a job.
After some time has passed, it may be appropriate to send a short follow up message. Doing so can help you stay on a hiring manager’s mind. For example, if you were given a timeframe for hiring but the date has passed, you could check in to see if there is any more information they need from you in order to make a final decision. That said, a lot of the time after an interview requires patience.
Often, the best approach is to do everything you can do to improve your chances of securing the job—sending a thank you note and following up with any materials the interviewer requested—and then move on to other job possibilities. After all, a job search is a process. Many find they will interview for a few different positions until the right job offer arrives.
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