What Should My Post-Interview Strategy Be?

You know that moment: the interview is coming to a close, things have gone great and whatever the next step is going to be, you know you’ll be asked to take it. So how do you play it? Stay cool and let them initiate next steps? That’s not really how you got here, but be too aggressive and you can blow it. What’s the right play?

woman-interviewFirst off, express your interest again:  “I really enjoyed talking with you. I was interested in [company name] before I came in. I am even more interested now.” Mention some specifics that you learned in the interview process that have you excited about the company.

Next, try to get a time frame: “Clearly, I am excited about this position. When do you think I can expect to hear back from you?”

They will say something like: “Oh, maybe 1-2 weeks.”

You reply with “Great! And if by chance I haven’t heard from you after two weeks is it okay for me to check in with you to see what my status is in the process?”

Naturally, the answer will be that you may, so if in two weeks you haven’t heard back, send a short email expressing your continued interest and remind him you had his permission to check in after two weeks to see what your status was. An email is less intrusive than a phone call because the email can be answered quickly when he has time. Getting permission is important because you checking in doesn’t feel bothersome because it was agreed upon in advance that you would do so after a certain interval of time.

Of course, before the two weeks passed you would have sent thank you notes to each person you interviewed with. They should be personalized and include specific references to something they said or that you said them. If you promised to send additional information make sure you send that along with your thank you note. The thank you note can be via email, but a handwritten one makes more of an impression these days.

Leverage mutual connections. If you have any connections who may know an interviewer, now is the time to speak to your contact and feel out if putting in a good word for you is appropriate. You may have already leveraged this connection to get the interview. If they are close enough, this person can check back in post-interview and talk you up.

If you are working with a recruiter you’ll have the recruiter checking in with the company for you, which is totally appropriate, as the recruiter was hired by the company to find candidates. Because the companies may tell the recruiter more than they would tell you, you will in most cases, be able to get some feedback on why you do not get a position in the instances when things do not work out, which is very helpful for when you have your next interview elsewhere.

A word on rejection. We all don’t get chosen for every job we apply for, so even though it hurts, take it in stride and express your appreciation for being considered for the position. You can do this through an email. Simply state that you appreciate being considered and would be happy to be contacted if things do not work out for the person who was chosen or for other opportunities with the company. This may get you recommended to another company if the executive you’re dealing with hears of something; you maybe called in 6-18 months when the new hire isn’t working out; or he may look to create something for you because you impressed him again. You were already on the short list; nurture this contact!

Give this strategy a try after your next interview. You’ll find it gives you some structure and confidence – and will improve your chances of landing the role!

William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Associate Director of Content Marketing, where he develops engaging job search, career path, and leadership insight to build ExecuNet's brand recognition as the leader in senior-level executive job search and all matters career.

He delivers executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand, amplifying the power of ExecuNet's expert voices and shaping the content strategy.

Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework. It is his training as an educator which allows Will to take complex ideas and make them simple for busy executives to understand and to execute.

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