So, the job interview is over (cue: sigh of relief)…but what now?
Whether you think your interview went well or not, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. It’s always important to be prepared for any possible outcome – and do the most you can to boost your chances.
To help turn your potential post-interview stress into a positive attitude that could help land your dream job, here are some of our top tips on what to do after a job interview:
Follow up, but don’t be overly keen
Follow up after every interview. No exceptions.
Not only is it a great way to show an employer your enthusiasm and interest in the role, it could also provide you with some useful answers to the questions you’ve been asking yourself (and/or obsessing over) about how you did ever since you left the interview room.
But remember, when it comes to interview follow-ups, there’s a big difference between ‘interested’ and ‘irritating’. Although sending a friendly thank you email or dropping the employer a quick phone call could help you to boost your chances of getting the job – it could also backfire if it’s not done in the right way.
So, be aware of your timings, listen to your interviewer’s preferred method of communication, and most importantly – be patient. If an employer doesn’t reply to your first communication, take that as a sign to leave it. The ball’s in their court now.
Desperation is never an attractive quality.
Evaluate your performance
OK, so maybe you’ve just had a bad interview. In this situation, it’s best to brush it off, forget about it, and move on with your life…right? Wrong.
Whether there’s a difficult interview question you need to nail for next time, or you feel like your body language could do with some improvement, it’s absolutely vital to take some time out to actually assess how you did – and work out some tangible ways to improve on any potential interview weaknesses.
It might not feel like it at the time, but every single interview you go to will teach you something different – so don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn. You just might be able to turn your negative experience into a positive one, and get a different (potentially better-suited) job as a result.
Taking note of the specific instances that you thought went well in an interview will also help you to do more of this in the future.
Don’t abandon your job search
Even if you think a job interview went well, it’s never a good idea to put all your hopes into one hypothetical opportunity.
So keep your options open, and jump straight back onto the job hunting wagon. Having some alternative applications to fall back on in case things don’t turn out as planned will keep your job search moving. Even if that ‘sure thing’ you were banking on doesn’t end up coming in.
And, if you do end up getting a job offer for your original interview, it’s perfectly acceptable to use your other job offers as leverage to negotiate salary or to speed up their decision making (as long as it’s done subtly and professionally).
You could also have the power to pick and choose which role suits you best. Because options are always good.
Get in touch with your references
So, the interview is over. The employer has asked thoroughly gone through your CV, and have heard all they want to hear. Or have they?
When it comes to the decision making stage, recruiters will often search for further ways to justify their choice – and one of these ways is to get in touch with your references.
In preparation for this, it’s always a good idea to let your references know that they might be getting a phone call or email, and to make sure they know what they’re going to say if an employer does get in touch – at the very least, actually remember who you are.
Not only will this make you feel confident in the knowledge that your references are available and prepared for this situation, they’ll probably be grateful for the pre-warning too.
Understand the process
The most important thing to remember about a recruitment process is that it takes time.
Recruiters have to go through a number of different stages, and consider a large volume of candidates before they can make a final decision on who to hire – so don’t take their potentially delayed response time personally.
Instead, remain calm, and don’t jump to any elaborate conclusions just yet. Four to six weeks to hear back is not uncommon.
An interviewer will normally give you an indication of how the next steps will play out at the end of an interview, and let you know when you’re likely to hear back – and if not, there’s no harm in asking politely. Then, you’ll have a clear idea of what to expect, and there’ll be no need for the unnecessary panic.
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