The need to impress prospective employers doesn’t end with the interview.
If you really want to make a positive impression and land the job, you need to be an expert at post-interview follow-up.
In Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond) job search expert Jenny Foss (AKA: Job Jenny) shares four must-do post-interview protocols. Acing these four steps will improve your odds of landing the job by keeping your name in front of the decision-makers. As Jenny notes:
“Staying top of mind is incredibly important—and not just for the job at hand. Even if you’re not the right candidate now, wowing the decision maker can be incredibly valuable down the line.”
Here are Jenny’s insider tips:
1. Ask about next steps and timelines
As you conclude the in-person interview, make sure you ask the interviewer what happens next. Consider questions like:
- Do they want you to send any additional information?
- Are they interviewing other candidates?
- Will there be additional rounds of interviews?
The answers to these questions give you a general sense of the process and framework for your expectations. They may also provide a glimpse into how the organization (or your potential supervisor) operates.
You should also ask the interviewer for a general timeline for the hiring process. This will give you a sense of the best time to follow-up with him/her about the position.
2. Write a thank-you note ASAP
As soon as you leave the interview, write a thank-you note to each individual you met with. Thank you notes aren’t a cordial formality; they are an essential tool to showcase your interest in the position and keep your name in front of decision makers.
In the thank-you the note, make sure you reference a conversation or experience you shared with the recipient. This shows that you were paying attention and connected with that person.
When it comes to thank-you’s, email is good, handwritten notes are better, and doing both is the best. The combo approach combines the benefit of a timely, immediate thank-you message, with a more thoughtful, weighty note arriving by post several days later.
And if you want to really make a good impression, send a thank-you note to the office receptionist!
3. Connect on LinkedIn
After the interview, connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn. This is a great way to maintain a professional relationship with the decision-maker, whether or not you ultimately get the position.
To avoid the appearance of “ambushing” the interviewer on social media, you may want to articulate a reason for your LinkedIn request. Again, recall the conversation you had with the person and find some nugget of shared interest that would justify an ongoing connection. For example, perhaps you both like baseball, or you want to share an article relevant to the interviewer’s business.
4. Check-in periodically
If the hiring process drags on, make sure you check in with the decision-maker by email. Doing so is not only proper, but it also confirms your ongoing engagement and interest in the job opportunity.
Just remember to be short, polite, and diplomatic with your inquiry. “Can I provide any additional information to facilitate the decision?” is appropriate; “Did I get the job?” is not.
If you don’t end up getting the job, it can still be very helpful to maintain contact with the interviewer. The key–as with all your professional contacts–is to offer something of value in the relationship. Don’t harass the person with repeated requests; instead send timely outreach grounded in things important to the interviewer.