In this final post of the interviewing series I will talk about what to do after the interview is over.
After the interview is finally over, there are still a few things left for you to do.
1. Send a thank you email
Do this within 24 hours of the interview. Keep it brief, no more than 4-5 sentences.
Start by thanking your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to talk to you. Then in 1-2 sentences reiterate why you are interested in the position and why you are qualified for the position. From what you gathered from the interview, highlight your relevant skills for the specific job requirements. Close with a final thank you and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Here’s an email I sent after interviewing for my current summer internship (names changed for privacy):
“Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to talk to me about the ABC Intern position. I enjoyed hearing about your past experiences and your current projects with Company XYZ.
After speaking with you today, I believe that this position is an excellent match for my skills and interests. In addition to my experience in marketing research, I will bring to the position self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, and an earnest desire to learn more about the YYY industry under your guidance.
I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
2. Send a follow-up email
If you don’t hear back before the expected time they told you (this is why it’s so important that you ask at the end of the interview), send a follow-up email. If they didn’t tell you when you can expect to hear back and you forgot to ask, two weeks is a good rule of thumb (in the meantime, keep applying for other jobs).
A lot of times they are busy and just haven’t had time to get back to you. Sending a friendly follow-up is always a good idea. I’ve had several cases of successful follow-ups that I thought were lost causes.
A follow-up email should be very brief, 2-3 sentences max. Keep it simple. It should look something like this:
“Dear Mr. Smith,
Just wanted to follow up with you regarding the ABC position at XYZ company, I am still very interested. Look forward to hearing back from you.
Note: Used as a verb, to ‘follow up’ contains no hyphen. Only hyphenate it when used as a noun (as done in the title of this post).
When you get the call or email back with good news and are now employed, reward yourself with a little celebration. Go out with your friends and have a good time. You deserve it!
If it doesn’t work out, don’t get too down on yourself. Keep applying for other jobs and think about what you can do better next time. Every interview you have, whether it goes good or bad, is an extremely valuable learning experience. So learn from it, and move on. My first two interviews were complete failures, but they weren’t a waste of time because they helped me succeed in my next six.
The more interviews you go through, the easier they will become. Being able to talk about yourself and make a good first impression are not only valuable skills when it comes to interviews, but in the rest of your life. Having these skills will help you meet and connect with new people anywhere you go.
Hopefully you learned something new from this series so you can be better prepared and more confident for your next interview. Here’s a quote to keep in mind to inspire you to always put your best foot forward: “Treat every day like an interview.”
In case you missed the first two parts of this series or want to review something, here are the other posts:
Part 1: Preparing
Part 2: The Moment of Truth
Part 3: The Follow-up
Image credit: woodleywonderworks