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8 Things to Do After the Job Interview

Career pros say these moves might get you hired now or in the future


By Nancy Collamer

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Job Interview

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Congrats. You had the job interview.  Now, your work is done, right? Wrong.

In today’s hypercompetitive job market, effective follow-up after the interview is a must and failing to do it well might cause you to lose out to another candidate.

The line between being persistent and being a pain, however, is blurry at best. So to help you sort things out, I sent a query to my colleagues in the careers world — recruiters, career coaches, hiring managers and CEO’s — asking for their best follow-up advice.

Here's a slideshow featuring their best tips:

gratitude

1. Write a Great Thank-You Note

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On this point, everyone agreed: A thank-you note  is a must. Most of the pros recommended you send one via email within 24 hours of the interview. Several suggested a handwritten card as a supplement when a personal or creative touch might be especially valued.

But if you really want to stand out, you need to do more than just say “thanks for your time.” The experts suggested these techniques to make your thank-you note shine:

-Reference an article of interest, link or book recommendation relating to a topic that was discussed during the interview

-Write a blog post on a topic discussed during the interview and share the link in your note

- Include supporting documentation that illustrates your ability to do the job. Add one or two carefully-curated examples of your work to show off your expertise.

-Provide a follow-up response to one of the key interview questions. Ever draw a blank or give a less than stellar response during a job interview? Use your note to modify, correct or amplify one of your responses.

Woman writing email

2. While You Are Waiting, Follow Instructions

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If the recruiter or interviewer suggested contacting them by email, don’t call on the phone. And, says Lynne Sarikas, Director of the MBA Career Center at the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, “If they tell you it will take two weeks, wait the two weeks.”

If you forgot to ask about next steps during the interview, request clarification in your follow-up e-mail. Then follow the instructions you receive.

LinkedIn screen on computer

3. Don’t Be a Stalker

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While you’re understandably anxious, that doesn’t give you license to pester the employer.

Debra Manente, Associate Director of Career Services at Post University in Waterbury, Conn., says you should call the recruiter or hiring manager to follow up at their recommended time (leave a message if you don’t reach them). But if you haven’t heard back after two calls, “take it as a sign to move on,” she says.

And speaking of stalking, most of the pros advised holding off on sending LinkedIn invitations to the people who interviewed you until after the hiring process has ended.

long-term care insurance

4. Immediately Prep for the Next Round of Interviews

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You never know when you’ll be asked to come in for a Round 2, so you’ll want to be good to go at a moment’s notice.

Joe Weinlick, Vice President of Marketing for the online job board network, Beyond.com, recommends that you “dig deep to find interesting pieces of information that most people can’t find on the company’s website. It could be about an award-winning project, a milestone in the company’s history or a recent initiative. If you take this information and casually work it into the conversation in a follow-up interview, it will leave a positive lasting impression and increase your chances of getting the job.”

Job boards

5. Call in a Favor

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Have an influential contact who knows the hiring manager or recruiter you met with? Now might be the time to ask that person to lend a hand.

Maria Goldsholl, chief operating officer of the Mom Corps staffing solutions agency, offers this advice: “Have an impressive reference reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter via LinkedIn to drop a note to praise you. The note could read: ‘Mary, I recently became aware that Josh was interviewing with your company for a position. I wanted to tell you that you would be very lucky to have someone like that on your team. His skills are sharp and he was one of the best employees I have ever had.’"

Older job seeker

6. Keep Hope — While You Keep Looking

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In today’s crazy job market, you never know when you might hear back about a position you’ve long forgotten about.

As Lisa M. Benson, staffing director at Mary Kraft Staffing & HR Solutions, points out, “Thanks to electronics, hiring managers do really keep resumés at their fingertips for a while when they like them. We hear stories of candidates being hired six months to a year after the initial submission of their resumé, sometimes with very little contact in the interim!”

Of course, hope alone is not a job search strategy. So keep your search in high gear until you have an offer in hand.

sweepstakes fraud

7. Accept Rejection in a Professional Manner

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Sure it hurts to hear “no.” But if you handle the rejection professionally, you might be considered for a future job at the same employer.

Carol
 Cochran, director of human resources at
 FlexJobs, shared that in the last six months, she has returned to — and hired — five candidates she originally turned down. “They made a great impression in our first round of
 conversations and were graceful in their communications after I let them 
know we had chosen another applicant,”
 Cochran wrote to me.

Woman checking her phone

8. Stay in Touch

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You never know when an employer might have another opening or will hear of an opening and recommend you, so remain in contact after losing out. You might use LinkedIn to send an article or to reach out with a helpful suggestion.

But Bruce Hurwitz, a New York City-based executive recruiter, career counselor and author, says: Don’t overdo it. “Once every few months is a good idea,” he notes.

Otherwise, you might be seen as a pest, and that’s no way to stand out among job candidates as one of the best.

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Nancy Collamer
By Nancy Collamer
Nancy Collamer, M.S., is a career coach, speaker and author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. Her website is MyLifestyleCareer.com; on Twitter she is @NancyCollamer.@NancyCollamer

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