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Category: Career Experts, Interview, career, job, success
We’ve written recently about how to approach your job search and how to prepare and succeed at interview. As a result of these posts we were asked, ‘what should you do post-interview?’ which is a really good question. This post is all about what to do after the interview to ensure that you have the best chance of succeeding in your job search.
Send a thank you email
First of all, it’s polite to say thank you to someone for interviewing you. In a lot of situations you encounter generally, it’s good to think of it from the other person’s point of view. They are probably very busy and will have seen or spoken to a number of candidates. Some candidates will stand out for the right reasons, and some unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Hopefully you’ll be in the former group and one way to do this is to say thank you. To be absolutely clear, this is definitely not an opportunity to remind the interviewer of your strong points, to inform them of the brilliant things you have done that you didn’t get time to tell them about in the interview, or to tell them why you are the best person for the job against the other candidates. This is simply an opportunity to say thank you for their time.
When you attend a sales appointment with a new prospect or perhaps a new marketing or digital agency you are looking to work with, then you most likely will drop that person an email to say thanks afterwards. Similarly you would expect the same from others. It makes sense therefore to thank the interviewer. All that’s needed is a short email along the following lines. ‘Dear Sarah, Thank you for your time this morning, it was a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed our conversation and was very interested to learn about the company and the role. Kind regards, Jonathan.’ That is all you need to write. Don’t attach a portfolio of your work, don’t send a document with references or testimonials. Just a nice short thank you.
Most of the candidates will not do this, so you are automatically differentiating yourself from the competition. If the person you met happened to mention that they were going on holiday imminently, or that they were going to a marketing event or show, then feel free to drop that into the email. ‘I hope you enjoy your trip to the Digital Marketing Show,’ or something similar is fine. I am sure you have heard the phrase, ‘people buy people’, and it’s true. Dropping a line to say thanks is a decent gesture and it says something about you. You may be the only person in the process that does it, and it costs nothing.
Give feedback to your recruiter
This is a really important point. If you are going through an external recruiter, then you must phone and give your feedback as soon as you can. It is the recruiter’s job to give your feedback to the client and ideally this would be on the same day or the day after. When you leave the interview, there is no other opportunity to put your case forward, until the next stage in the recruitment process, if you make it through. Your recruiter however should have direct contact with the hiring manager and can therefore relay your feedback to that person. In this conversation, the recruiter can test the water to see how you performed and to see if the hiring manager has any initial thoughts on you. It may even be possible to add any points that you feel you missed during the interview. Don’t overlook this opportunity. Think carefully about the feedback you want to give and spend some time explaining to your recruiter what you thought of the interview, the interviewer, the company and the job itself.
Keep your recruiter updated
Securing a job can have a lot to do with timing. On both sides of the equation, there are timescales and other options. You as the candidate will have other roles you are looking at, and the company you applied to will be looking at other candidates. It’s really important that the company understands where you are in your job search over the course of the process. It is fairly difficult to do this directly with the company without sounding like you are chasing the opportunity. It can be done of course, but it’s easier to keep your recruiter informed and for that person to liaise with the company on your behalf. If the company is very keen on you but you have two or three offers on the table, then it could be that you can be brought back for a second interview more quickly. This is not always the case but it pays to keep your recruiter informed when something changes or your timescales alter. Similarly, your recruiter should keep you up to date about what is happening with the client. It’s the recruiter’s job to sit in the middle and to manage the process for both parties. The more you keep the recruiter informed, the more the recruiter will be able to keep you in the picture.
If you are dealing directly with the recruitment function at the company, then you can make contact if something has changed for you. It might be that you have several offers and you want to let the company know, in which case it is acceptable to send an email or put a call in with that information, on the premise that you are keeping the company informed rather than trying to pile on the pressure to make a decision. The internal recruiter will be grateful for the update, as they are having to juggle multiple candidates and it’s frustrating to go back to someone to arrange an interview, only to find out that they have accepted an offer elsewhere. It is courteous to keep the recruiter updated.
Keep an eye on the company website
It’s worth keeping a close eye on the company website and the careers pages. If you are dealing with a recruiter then that person should keep you informed of any developments or further job openings with the client. In larger organisations it is common for there to be several similar job opportunities across different parts of the company, and you wouldn’t want to miss out. If you do spot something that looks interesting, by all means contact your recruiter, or the internal recruiter, to see whether you can apply for that role also. You could simply apply via the website, and this may end up being the preferred route anyway, however it is always best to check first as your application may end up on the desk of the same person handling the original role.
In addition, you need to keep up with the company news. Hopefully you will be going back for a second interview at some point, and you should be able to talk about any developments that have happened in the interim. The company may have won a new contract, or formed a strategic partnership, or hired a new chief marketing officer. You need to show that you are interested in the organisation, and one way to do that is to keep up to date with company news.
Keep pursuing other opportunities
Your aim is to secure a job, so you have to be prepared to keep going until you get one. This may mean applying for several jobs before you find the right one for you. Anything can happen in the recruitment process, and although rare, offers can be withdrawn after acceptance. It makes sense to keep your eyes open for opportunities that may be of interest. You also need to be organised and to keep track of the opportunities you have applied for. Contacting a candidate who has applied for a role who cannot remember what the role is or who you are, is an indication that there is no focus from that person and therefore little commitment to the opportunity. For advice on how to go about organising your job search, please read our article, ‘Five ways to greatly increase your chances of getting a new job.’
Say thank you for the interviewer’s time. It’s polite and it will differentiate you from the other candidates. It’s also an indication of how you will behave when you are out prospecting for the company or meeting potential suppliers, for example.
Always contact the recruiter who put you forward for the role. Ideally you will be in regular contact anyway, but it’s vital at this stage to give honest feedback that the recruiter can then relay to the employer. Again it helps to build a picture of you in the client’s mind and could differentiate you from other candidates if you are the only one who has provided feedback about the opportunity or the recruitment process.
Similarly, you need to keep your recruiter informed of your ongoing job search. If other opportunities are coming to fruition and you are receiving job offers, then it makes sense to keep the recruiter informed. If you have contact with the internal recruitment team you could also call or email to give an update. If done in the right way, it is helping the recruiter to keep on top of things, rather than hassling them to make a decision.
Keep watching the company website. A new role might come up or an important piece of news might be posted. Wouldn’t it be great to walk into your second round interview and congratulate the company on its latest big win?
Keep your job search going until you have secured a role. It’s a competitive market and anything can happen. You need to give yourself the best chance of landing a role, and that means you have to keep going. If nothing else, you are likely to make some good contacts who could be helpful to you in the future, and vice versa.
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