7 Things to Do After a Job Interview

By Kaitlin Hurtado on October 15, 2018

Once you have gone through all the work of beefing up your resume and securing a job interview, and then actually going through with the job interview, you may be left wondering “What’s next?” Depending on the type of position you are going for, and the hiring process that the company you are applying for has, you may not know the results of the job interview until much later than the job interview itself.

The waiting game can be exhausting, especially when you are holding out for a specific position and have put most of your energy into applying for the job you interviewed for. You may not know what to do with your time. Do you sit around waiting until the hiring manager can get back to you? Or do you step up and reach out to the hiring manager yourself and take initiative? The latter, although daunting, may be your best option as a post-job interview move.

When you’re done with a job interview, you may feel relieved that the “worst” part of the job application process is over, but it’s important not to sit back and let the opportunity to come to you automatically. If you are looking for the next step after a complete job interview, here are some steps to consider doing after a job interview:

people shaking hands at meeting

Image via unsplash.com

Keep track of contact information and company procedure

This step should begin directly after your actual job interview. Make sure that a future point of contact is ensured by getting the contact information of the hiring manager you are working with, or the people that have interviewed you or helped you throughout the job application process.

By getting their contact information after the job interview, you will be able to get into contact for post-job interview check-ins and any questions you may have about the job application process. Be sure to make note of everyone you have spoken to or worked with along the job application process, from the person that reviewed your resume, to the person that actually interviewed you. Keep their contact information sorted so that you can reach out to them later on and make it much more personal than just “thank you for interviewing me.”

At the job interview’s conclusion inquire about standard post-job interview procedure to get an idea of what you can expect after the job interview. Are you going to be called in for a second interview? How long does a typical reply take? Will only the successful applicants be contacted, or will everyone be contacted when a final decision is made regardless of their results?

Getting necessary contact information and information about typical company procedure will start you off on the right foot after the job interview. You can send your ideal follow-up emails while being aware of when you should expect a reply and if you should go out of your way to reach out if you have not received one yet.

Review your interview for yourself 

Try to jot down some quick notes after you are done with the job interview. The more you can write down and remember, the easier it will be for you to write a follow-up email to your interviewer and make it less generic. The interviewer is more likely to skim over the typical “thank you for time” and spend more time reviewing emails that have worthwhile information when it comes to the hiring process.

Try to remember the questions that your interviewer asked you and the answers you replied with. Consider your answers, did you answer one question exactly the way you wanted, or were you left wanting to say more or edit your answer? Take the opportunity to touch on some of your answers, whether to emphasize them or shed a different light on them if they didn’t come out the way you wanted the first time around in the job interview.

Documenting the questions of the job interviews and your answers will be especially helpful for when you want to analyze your job interview performance to see what you could have done differently or what you did right in the job interview. As sad as it sounds, if there is a chance that you do not get the job position you interviewed for, you will want to have the information for later job interviews as it will be helpful to see what worked for you and what did not. You can also discuss your answers with other professionals to discuss how your answers could have been changed in the future to help yourself.

Craft your own follow-up email

When it comes to typical post-interview procedure, one of the most important actions (if not the most important action) you can take is to send you interviewer or hiring manager a follow-up email thanking them for their time and to briefly discuss the job interview.

The first step to creating the perfect follow-up is getting the timing right. Meaning, do not lag on sending your follow-up email when you are procrastinating because you are dreading picking and choosing what to put in the email. You want to send the email as early as possible when you and your job interview is still fresh in the interviewer’s mind and your own. Look back at the post-job interview notes you took to pull specific points from the interview to insert into your follow-up email.

You may want to rattle on about why you are the perfect fit for the position and why the company needs to choose you, but the job interview should have given you that chance already. The interviewer is already familiar with you, so discussing why the position is a good fit for you is a way for you to put a new spin on promoting yourself to the interviewer.

If you can, go past the typical “thank you for your time and help” and make the follow-up email more personal to the job interview. A personalized email will help emphasize your interest in the job interview and relay your genuine appreciation. Is there something about the interviewer that stood out to you enough to be in the follow-up email? Maybe they were at the company for a very long time, or there was a certain step in their career that peaked your interest.

Another important aspect to consider in your follow-up email is the length of your email. Your interviewer or hiring manager will most likely be busy, and you don’t want them to open an email from you and be faced with an excessively long block of text. Try to make your email as concise as possible, make every piece of information vital to avoid encouraging your interviewer to skim the email and miss out on some piece of information you find very important. Keep it simple and short, longer than a simple “thank you for your time,” but not long enough to rival your past college writing assignments.

Infographic by Kaitlin Hurtado, via canva.com

Send a short thank you note

While your follow-up email will be greater in length and be more focused on your performance in the job interview, a short thank-you note is meant to be sent to people that have helped you throughout the application and interview process. Maybe it was the secretary that helped you sort through paperwork, the group of interviewers you spoke with, a recruiter that worked with you, or the hiring manager.

According to a CareerBuilder survey cited by Fast Company, 56 percent of employers said that not receiving a thank-you note indicated that a candidate wasn’t really serious about the position. While 22 percent of employers said they’d be less likely to hire someone who doesn’t send a note after an interview.   

Just like the follow-up email, you will want to send your thank-you note(s) within the first 24 hours after your job interview. These thank-you notes should be kept short as they are supposed to be the thing that makes you stand out or remembered among the other applicants. They can be even more helpful to the people that didn’t spend time with you during the interview, like a recruiter if you haven’t kept in much contact with them.

Make them as personalized as you can. Make you talked about something specific that you can include in the email. The more personalized the email is, the less likely it is that your email will relay the message of “I am only sending this because I feel like I have to in order to get the job.”

Contact your references 

If you haven’t already, take the time to notify the references you listed on the job application that they may be contacted by your potential employer. Not only is notifying them of their standing as your job reference a courtesy, but it’s also important to adequately prepare them for a phone call from your potential employer.

While they may still be able to provide a sufficient enough explanation of you and what you are capable of on the spot, but if you  let them know ahead of time that you used them as a reference and a little about the position and company you are applying for, they may put even more effort into their answer. They will be more likely to tailor their answer to why you not only excelled in your past experiences but why you can excel in the position they are inquiring for.

Remember that your references are doing you a favor and let them know that you genuinely appreciate that they agreed to be your references and are willing to discuss your experience on your behalf.

Continue you the job search and keep your options open 

Keeping your options open doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being pessimistic and expecting the worst result possible in the wait after your job interview. Instead, it’ll give you the chance to channel your energy into something while you are waiting.

Consider other job offers you have or take time to look for other job opportunities. Having another job position on the backburner is never going to hurt you, in fact, it will give you something to focus on if you are actively working on that job application process at the same time.

Take a break for yourself

When it comes to actively applying for jobs, you can often find yourself exhausted or burnt out at the energy and mental strength it takes to go through the job application process. After the job interview, you might not even feel anything close to immediate relief after its conclusion, but you definitely should not be left wallowing and waiting for someone to get back to you.

After sending out a follow-up email, you do not have much to do except to wait for an answer, whether it be to know whether you got the job or not, or just that you need to do a few more things in the job application process. After experiencing the stress of applying for the job, it’s important to treat yourself to a much-needed break.

Call your support system – your family or friends – to catch up or make plans for dinner, or simply for a quick pick-me-up when you are feeling down and overanalyzing your performance in the job interview. Destress in your favorite way to take your mind off of the job interview results: take a walk, treat yourself to your favorite ice cream, go out to the movies.  Sitting there and wallowing is not going to have the results come any quicker, so you might as well take advantage of the time you have to give yourself a break.

Image via unsplash.com

Job interviews are often the most daunting parts of the job application process and the wait to find out the results of your job interview can be even worse. Rather than worrying endlessly about what possibly could have been wrong or giving up on the position after not hearing a definite answer after a single day, take initiative and follow some of these steps while you wait for your results after a job interview.

Good luck!

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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