How to Follow-Up a Job Interview

Effectively following-up after an interview is an important yet often overlooked part of the job hunt process, many candidates still placing all of their attention upon the meeting itself and then just “sitting tight” in the aftermath.

Despite the old adage that 90% of an interviewer’s opinion is formed in the first five minutes, in reality many interviewers will NOT have fully decided whether or not to progress an applicant by the end of the interview, instead requiring further time to reflect, to compare and contrast, and to possibly discuss further with colleagues.

As a result, you are in a strong position in the day or two following your interview to still be able to positively affect the outcome of the decision making process.  Here are a few guidelines to illustrate exactly why and how:

Say Thank You!

Good manners still go a very long way.  A simple email thanking the interviewer for his or her time leaves a positive, courteous and professional impression.  Given that most applicants will NOT do this, it’s a little touch which could just tips things in your favour, all else being equal.

This correspondence also allows you to reiterate your interest and shows you’ve done more with their business card than just stuff it in your presenter!  But keep it brief:  Rambling, needy, over-keenness will be more of a turn OFF.

Stick to the Programme

The best candidates will always conclude their interview by establishing time frames moving forward:

  • When will you conclude first interviews?
  • When will you be shortlisting for 2nd interviews?
  • When will 2nd interviews take place?

It is important therefore to stick to these dates because jumping the gun and chasing either the recruiter and/or the company directly for feedback or a decision BEFORE the stated date might appear desperate, unprofessional and a little ignorant!

Take Stock

It is a good idea to make notes about the interview while it’s still fresh in your mind:

  • What went well?
  • How could it have gone better?
  • What did they respond well to?
  • What are their likely reservations?

Discuss these points with your recruiter as he or she will by this point have taken third party feedback from the company themselves.  Comparing your perception with their reality will really crystallise your position and be an invaluable aid in preparing for the next stage

Respond Promptly!

If you are successful in obtaining a second interview then it is vital you respond to this offer quickly and professionally, in terms of both affirming your interest and also qualifying available times, dates and venues.  If you are still in work then your availability is limited but making every effort to be as flexible as possible is paramount.

Even if you are unsuccessful, a simple thank you correspondence costs you nothing and again, leaves a good impression.  You just never know when your paths might meet again..!

Above all, use your instinct and a good amount of common sense.  Yes, it’s your professional abilities and career track record which will make the most waves, but never underestimate the marginal gains that a little old-fashioned courtesy can achieve.

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