Follow-Up Actions To Take After a Job Interview

You walk out of an interview and breathe. The meeting you planned and practiced for is over. Now you can take it easy as you wait for the result. No more questions. No more worries. No more sweaty palms.

Actually, no, this would be the wrong action. Even though you deserve a break, it would be a mistake to take one. Treat yourself to a nice meal, maybe, and raise a glass, but then get back to business. There are still things to do that will keep your name and face in the mind of the hiring manager, and perhaps prompt him or her to invite you in for a second interview.

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Don't Let Up Now!

It is not uncommon for the waiting period between the interview and the response to take several weeks, even months. Why so long? Because the hiring manager is not the only one to weigh in on the various factors involved in hiring a new employee.

There may be a committee of managers involved. Maybe one or more is away on vacation or traveling for business. The accountant, or the owner, or the executive director may need to be consulted. These are the details you can't anticipate—but you can assume they may be part of the process. It takes patience. Work on that and don't allow your worry or concern to get in the way of maintaining a positive attitude.

Take These Action Steps Right Away

1. Write a thank you note or letter immediately after the interview. Jot a few notes before you leave the building or at least when you return to your car. Plan to include a couple of sentences of a personal nature. You can comment on the manager's office décor, his or her plaques on the wall or plants on the table. Strike a common thread. If you like art, mention a particular painting or if you're into gardening, comment on the flowers or plants in the room.

2. Mention that you'd be happy to meet again to discuss more details about the company and the job you wish to fill and how your skills can enhance the company's agenda. Be specific.

3. Include an informational gift—not a gift card or coffee card or movie coupon—just a piece of information that may mean something to the interviewer. You could print out an article you read on the Internet about the artist whose painting you noticed in the office or about a conference or tournament having to do with a hobby or organization the two of you discussed during your time together. The point is you want to show the hiring manager that you paid attention and that you found his or her interests noteworthy.

Stay on Top of the Process

Each day after the interview, think about one thing you could do to help that company move forward with its mission or goals. Jot down those specific items so you won't forget them. For instance, you might notice a news item or a bit of information related to the company's outreach program to teens or underprivileged families or new college grads. If so, be sure to clip and send or email the info. Once again, this helps bring your name and face into the hiring manager's mind. He or she may be prompted to take another look at you for the job you want.

Who wouldn't be impressed with someone who is thoughtful, kind, and remains informed about the company even after the interview has ended? Deliberate actions such as these are the best steps to take following a job interview—whether or not you win the position.

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