How To Ace The Post-Interview Process

The time spent after a job interview can be excruciating while you anticipate the employer’s decision. Whether the interviewer gave you a concrete time period in which you can expect a call or not, you’re likely to feel anxious while waiting to hear if you’ll be given an offer. The good news is, there’s still plenty for you to do—which means you can keep busy.

You’ve done plenty to prepare for the interview and gave it your best shot; now it’s time to make sure you keep up your good impression. Here are a few things to do post-interview to ensure you solidify a positive first impression and beyond:

Follow up. Whether you’ve interviewed for an entry-level role or a C-level position, this rule of post-interview etiquette applies to you just the same. Shoot your interviewer(s) a quick note to thank them for their time, mention a topic of discussion from the interview to briefly expand upon, and let them know you’re looking forward to hearing from them. This has become such a staple in interview best practices that if you choose to forego the thank-you note, they may choose to forego you as a potential candidate.

If the employer doesn’t get back to you in a reasonable amount of time—either within the time frame they quoted or, if they didn’t offer a time period, after a week or so—you can follow up one more time. Take a more personal approach and give the company a call, and politely ask for the appropriate person. If/when you get them on the phone, reiterate your excitement for the position, but don’t be pushy or contact them more than once. Hiring involves making a tough decision, and all employers take varying amounts of time to make that choice; one thing most have in common, though, is they don’t appreciate constant calls from the same candidate.

Add your interviewer(s) on LinkedIn. It’s always a good idea to research the company and your interviewer prior to your meeting, but post-interview is the best time to make the official LinkedIn connection. Sending your interviewer(s) a personalized invitation to connect a day or two after the interview is a great way to show friendly professionalism and remind them of your qualifications. Just make sure your profile is thoroughly completed!

Develop a game plan. Sometimes, you can tell from the interview whether or not you’ll be given an offer; however, that’s not always the case, and sometimes you can be blindsided by an employer’s decision. Make sure you have a game plan during this waiting period so you aren’t thrown off-track by the result. For example, do you want to keep searching, or hold off until you hear back? If you’re given an offer, what are your parameters for acceptance, and how will you negotiate those requirements? It’s important to be prepared for all possible scenarios, regardless of what your gut feeling is telling you.

Receive the decision with tact. Whether you’re given an offer or not, react calmly and professionally. If you don’t receive an offer, it could be possible that although you were a strong candidate for the position, another stronger candidate came along or you simply didn’t fit that position’s requirements as well as the employer needs. If you handle this rejection well, the employer may be inclined to reach out to you with future offers or refer you to other companies; handle it poorly, however, and that will likely be the last you hear of them. Likewise, if you get an offer, be sure to approach negotiation and all the technicalities of starting a new position tactfully—being too aggressive can send off warning bells in the employer’s mind, and you don’t want to ruin the great impression you worked so hard to make in your interview.