Post-interview dos and don'ts
After the job interview is over, you breathe a sigh of relief, write a thoughtful thank-you letter to the hiring manager, and put the entire thing out of your mind until you hear back. Right? Well, not really. As every hopeful job candidate knows, the days and weeks after an interview are fraught with anxiety, stress, anticipation, and worry.
And with all those emotions, it’s easy to do something ill-advised—and turn a potential offer into a rejection.
To guide you through the process, we’ve listed the dos and don’ts.
Do: Write an immediate thank-you
Some people think that sending a thank-you note the same day as the interview seems “too eager.” But it actually makes you seem organized, prompt, and courteous (all good things, we think you’ll agree). So, write your interviewers an email thanking them for their time as soon as you can.
Don’t: Look for a response
The hiring manager might email you back with a polite message such as, “You’re welcome, and we’ll be in touch!” However, many are simply too busy. Not receiving a reply doesn’t mean you’re not getting the job.
The worst thing you can do, actually, is send another email saying, “Did you get my thank-you note? Just wanted to check!” This is guaranteed to annoy the recipient.
Do: Send a handwritten note, too
Just because you need to write an immediate response doesn’t mean you can’t also send a physical one. Getting handwritten letters is so rare these days that you’re guaranteed to make the interviewer remember you. And since you already wrote an email, there’s no need to make the letter long. Thank them for their time, re-express your interest in the job, and say you look forward to their response.
Do: Stick with the schedule
Application response times vary for every single job, company, and industry, which means that you should go with whatever time frame they gave you.
In addition, while you’re super eager to hear back, you have to remember that hiring you isn’t the only thing the interviewers are doing. If they said they’d let you know by Thursday, don’t email them on Thursday at 8:30 A.M. asking for a decision. At least wait until the end of the day—preferably the next one—to check the status.
Don’t: Try too hard
If you’ve continually reached out and haven’t gotten a response, it’s time to move on. Not only should you be saving your energy for other companies, but you probably don’t want to work at a place that won’t even call you back.
Accepting that it’s not going to happen is hard, but the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll find your ideal fit.