8 Great After the Job Interview Moves to Stand Out
We’ve discussed what to do to prepare for a job interview. But what often gets overlooked — by us and other places online — is what to do afterward. It is true that a good interview performance won’t necessarily translate into a job offer. That’s because employers tend to use a multi-layered approach in determining the appropriate candidate for a position.
For this reason, you need to keep up your “performance” even after the interview itself. In the following article, we’ll be looking at eight great “moves” that stand out for after the job interview. Ignore at your own risk!
1. Show Patience
You’ve just finished your interview. It felt like you really aced it. You get home, and you’re certain that any moment now, they’re going to call you with the offer. The only thing you still need to work out is how much money you want. Because they’re going to give you whatever you ask for, right?
Well, prepare to be disappointed. It does not quite work that way. Instead, you’ll get home. You’ll wait by the phone. Anytime your screen lights up, you’ll get excited only to find your hopes dashed against the rocks when you see it’s just another text from Mom and Dad. One week will pass. Then, two weeks. At the start of week three, you’ll lose hope altogether. Then, by the time they do call, you won’t even be sure you want the job anymore.
Don’t let the passage of time bother you. It’s natural after a job interview, especially for any position that’s worth having. That’s because your interviewer has dozens of other candidates (and interviews) they have to do. They also have to keep the day-to-day business running smoothly. They can’t afford to be fast and still do their due diligence.
So, once you’re through with the interview, ask them when a good time will be to follow up. Then, thank them for their time and forget about it until that time comes.
2. Know When to Follow Up
If you have asked about the decision-making window or they’ve shared that information with you, then you have something you can add to your calendar for follow-up. Don’t let that day pass without reaching out in some way. The employer has given you permission to do so whenever they say, “We should know something by,” or “If you don’t hear from us by [whenever], shoot us an email/phone call.”
Now here’s the trick. Don’t jump the gun. If you do, you’ll be seen as too needy and annoying. At least, you’ll run the risk of being seen that way. It’ll also give the employer a lot more power to lowball you on salary should they decide to offer you a position.
3. Know How to Follow Up
The short answer: as non-intrusively as possible. You don’t want to pester them with a call every day until you get your answer. Eventually, they’ll give you your answer just to get you out of their hair, and that answer will be a resounding no.
When it comes to follow-up methods, play it cool. Wait until a few days have passed if they haven’t given you a clear window. Then, send an email to whomever you interviewed with, and tell them how much you appreciated the discussion, and how grateful you were for their time. You probably don’t even need to say anything more than that.
They will subliminally understand what you’re getting at, and if they’re still interested, they’ll give some indication of what the plans moving forward are.
4. Be Ready to Lose Gracefully
Be prepared for the possibility they will pass on hiring you. It’s not personal. There were just other qualified candidates, and they could only pick one. Don’t curse their names or look at it as an affront on your pride. The best thing you can do when you miss out on an opportunity is to thank the person for interviewing you anyway and wishing them the best.
5. Realize Your Job Interview May Not Be the End
Many people mistakenly think that the job interview is the ultimate decider of whether they will get the job. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In many cases, it’s one small part. As long as you don’t say anything horrific or disqualifying, you can bring up your “scores” in other ways — such as proven work track record, your resume, and how you carry yourself with follow-ups and subsequent correspondence.
For jobs that are in the public sector — like a police officer, for example — you also may need to pass a battery of additional testing (i.e., polygraph, psychological evaluation, integrity interview, physical fitness eval, etc.). An offer of acceptance may set you on the path to do the other things, but if you bomb out during those processes, you could lose the job altogether.
The lesson: cool your heels. Getting some jobs requires the patience of a marathoner, not a sprinter. The good news: they’re usually worthwhile once you get past all the obstacles.
6. Solicit Feedback, Win or Lose
If you don’t get the job, it’s not out-of-order to say something like this: “I understand the decision, and while I’m disappointed, I appreciate that you took the time to consider me. One question: is there one thing or a few things, in particular, that may have improved my chances? I would just like to know for future reference.”
If you do get the job, you also can solicit some kind of feedback to cement in their minds that you’re the right person for the job. Consider something like: “I am so proud and grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to my start date. In the meantime, are there some actions I might take to be able to hit the ground running from day one?” You also might ask for some relevant reading material. They’ll generally be impressed that you plan on making an impact from the very beginning.
7. Put Some Strategy Into Your Start Date
Think ahead of time about your start date, and make sure you’ve given yourself an appropriate amount of time to prepare. This especially is important if you’re going from one type of employment to something completely different. Giving yourself some time off essentially sets you up to be successful in the new role.
Also, most jobs don’t offer time off until you’ve worked there for six months to a year. You need to get in all the time off you can now, so you’ll be prepared to work those long weeks until you can take another break (and get paid for it).
8. Keep Moving Forward, No Matter What
Getting a job you really wanted is a great feeling, but few things can make you feel lower than feeling that you aced the job interview only to be rejected. You have to keep moving forward. It’s important to be confident without being over-confident. You need to feel like things are going to work out whether it’s with this job opportunity or the next.
Cultivating this attitude will show in how you carry yourself, and if it doesn’t get you this particular job, it will earn you one of the next ones. The “moving forward” mindset also ensures that you won’t fixate on anyone unsure thing for too long.
What You Do After the Job Interview Matters
We hope that what you’ve learned from this article is that your post-job interview actions matter just as much if not more than your performance during the job interview itself. Now, it’s your turn. What are some of the most useful after-the-interview moves that you have used? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]