6 Things You Need to Do After the Job Interview

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: March 4, 2015

Tips for Post Interview Follow-up

You completed the job interview and now await the final decision. But in today’s competitive job market, your task is not yet finished.

Following up after the interview could mean the difference between you or someone else getting the job. In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 15% of hiring managers said they wouldn't consider a candidate who didn't follow up. But with your future career on the line, it can be hard to judge where professional persistence ends and pestering begins.

So here are several tried and true ways to follow up an interview.

6. A Thank You Note

A simple email the day after your interview can hammer home your interest in the job. This is particularly important if you know they were seeing multiple candidates the same day.

Keep it simple, but do more than simply thank them. Think about the interview and what topics you discussed. This is an opportunity to fill in any gaps you might left. If you feel you gave a less than stellar answer to a question, consider rectifying that in the email. Perhaps you connected with the interviewer on a certain topic or leadership style. Send them a link to an article you've published on the subject. While it may seem obvious, double check your spelling, grammar and content. Avoid negative statements and repeating yourself.

With more old fashioned businesses, consider standing out with a handwritten note sent through normal mail or dropped off at the front desk shortly after the interview finishes.

5. Follow Directions

You might need to take care of some documentation for your possible future employer or were instructed to take a test online. Complete these tasks within 24 hours. If you were told to check-in by email, only send emails. If you were told the hiring process would take two weeks, wait the full two weeks. If they do not return your messages, give things time.

4. Follow-up Phone Call

In today’s busy tech savvy world, most employers enjoy the speed and convenience of an email. But phone calls are a great follow up if the hiring process has moved beyond the expected time frame.

Be brief and polite. Ask how the hiring is proceeding and if there is any additional information you can provide. Understand the hiring manager is most likely delayed because of internal company stresses. If the business runs a normal 9 to 5 schedule, consider calling around 10 or 3. Don’t catch them as they walk in, head to lunch, or leave for the day.

3. Prepare for a Second Interview

The hiring process takes time, and you never know when they might need a second interview to finalize their decision. So use the downtime to learn more about the company.

In the initial interview, it’s understandable you only know the basics about the company. Should a second interview opportunity arise, demonstrate you deeper knowledge. Be able to answer the question, “Why do you want to work here?” with specific examples. Be prepared to work in your knowledge of the company’s activities throughout the interview.

2. Follow Up With Your Contacts

Now is not the time to disappear while you wait for an answer.

Continue networking within the company. If you were pointed to the job by a current employee or have a prominent contact at the company, inform him/her you have completed the interview. Say who you met with and your excitement about moving forward. Your contact might be willing to write the interviewer an email recommending you again. This creates excitement around your name and places you once again in the mind of the hiring manager.

1. Be Prepared to Move On

When exiting your last interview, the company may have given you a time frame to expect. If the company is hiring, they are most likely short-handed and the manager might be bogged down with other tasks. It is important that you continue to pursue other opportunities regardless of how close you think you are to landing the job.

If you receive a rejection, bow out gracefully. You never know what future position might arise for which you'd be a good fit. Send an email thanking them for their time and consider asking for feedback on your interview.

If the position was truly a dream job, follow the interviewer on LinkedIn. Limit your interaction, but show you maintain interest every few months with an article posting or link to the company.

When You Do Get the Offer, Negotiate!

There is nothing wrong with expressing your excitement and eagerness for a job. Finding the balance can be difficult, but it comes down to patience and knowing when to act. Make yourself stand out, but keep your inquiries infrequent and simple. And when you do get the job, Salary.com can help you get paid fairly what you do.

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.