In the current realities of constant staff turnover, many of us will soon face interviews. Unfortunately, basically advice to job seekers ends at the moment the interview is physically completed. Accordingly, only a few are aware of the proactive actions that a candidate can take while awaiting the decision of recruiters upon completion of an interview. This cannot but be regrettable, because, discussing this topic with literally thousands of recruiters, I learned a lot of options that directly increase the candidate’s chances of receiving an excellent offer from the employer. Thus, I recommend that you spend your time with value in anticipation of the result, using the approach “any trifle matters”. This means that instead of waiting idly, the candidate must take such action, which will give him a competitive advantage in this last step. The goal is to anticipate any possible accidents and be prepared for them. This will reduce the stress of waiting, and at the same time make it easier for recruiters to more clearly realize that you are the best candidate for this job.
Top 20 most effective actions that a candidate should take after an interview.
These actions are in chronological order:
1. Pay attention to positive signals during the interview – during the interview, mark signs or indicators that indicate that it was successfully completed. Fix them in your mind to strengthen your confidence and minimize stress during the upcoming waiting period.
As soon as the interview is over
2. At the end of the interview, realize that every little thing matters. Take the time to calculate your chances and understand that if, for example, the stage of interviews was 4 applicants, your chance of getting a job is 25%. With such small chances, you need to perform many small actions that together will allow you to stand out and gain a competitive advantage compared to those who are simply waiting for results.
3. Leaving the office, behave correctly – remember that others are still watching your behavior. Therefore, leaving the office, behave confidently, politely, demonstrate enthusiasm. Remember to thank the employees involved and say goodbye to them before leaving. The goal is to make everyone think for at least a second that they would like to work with this person, and if your name is subsequently mentioned in their presence, the employees will speak out about you in a positive way.
4. Immediately after you left the building – if you want to significantly improve the passage of subsequent interviews, remember the questions that you were asked. Sit down right after leaving the building and make a list of questions, highlighting those that you answered weakly. Also make a list of the people you met. Use your own memory or voice recorder on your mobile phone (if you managed to use it covertly) to make a list of successful answers that can be used in subsequent interviews. Finally, make a list of unexpected questions that you did not foresee, and add them to the list of questions for practical development (with answers)
5. Immediately send a thank you note – within 10 minutes after leaving, send the recruiter a personal (pre-compiled) message (via LinkedIn) expressing your enthusiasm from the interview – check with the secretary which communication channel they prefer in the company. Do not forget to immediately include in the message a mention of the positive moments that occurred during the interview, so that it looks like you just wrote a letter. Whatever you write, make sure that the message reflects your enthusiasm for the vacancy (that is, that you want this job) and confidence (that you can do this job)
6. Also send a paper postcard – make a short and simple written message at the nearest post office, then send a postcard to the recruiter, once again confirming your positive attitude and confidence. The fact is that the card will arrive at the office the very next day, which will not only surprise the addressee, but also demonstrate your ingenuity. In a world captured by electronic communications, a message on paper draws attention, and is likely to linger on the recipient’s desk for some time.
7. Decide whether you want to continue – compare your criteria for choosing a job with the information obtained during the interview. Then decide if you want to continue trying to get this job if you go to the next stage of selection. If your answer is “no,” prepare a plausible reason that will not “burn the bridges” for the future. If you find out any negative factors that influenced your decision, add them to your list of factors that you use to evaluate companies and vacancies. If your answer is yes, continue with the following actions on our list.
8. Send related materials – show that you keep your word and send the promised materials or documents discussed during the interview, even if you were not asked about it. If you think that this can turn the tide in your favor – consider sending additional materials that can strengthen your position in a key area (for example, samples of your work). The opportunity to study relevant examples will make it easier for recruiters to make a decision about choosing you as a finalist.
9. Determine for yourself how long you will wait for feedback – if you are still interested in this work, determine for yourself how much you will wait before you show your interest by contacting recruiters. In most cases, it is advisable to contact them at least once a week. However, remember that your message should be short and should not require an answer (for example, “I just wanted to let you know that I am still interested in your vacancy”). You might think that too many communications would be regarded as harassment. However, in my experience, if everything is done correctly, it will be regarded as a manifestation of your interest in this work.
10. Ask to be added to you on LinkedIn – you can increase your chances of success and demonstrate your interest by asking any key employees with whom you met at the interview to add you to your contacts on LinkedIn. Pay particular attention to the interviewer and recruiter. Send everyone a short but positive mood that will remind them that you really enjoyed today’s interview. Try to send a request on the same day as the interview, to once again demonstrate your enthusiasm.
11. Failure analysis – conduct a failure analysis and update your list of questions for preparation, so the next time you can prepare better. Report any errors, omissions, weaknesses that you need to work on if you are invited again. Work out these pain points, then you will not be mistaken anymore.
12. Check your resume – it will be right to occupy yourself with that useful thing that will reduce stress in anticipation of the results of the interview. Begin by reviewing your resume — remove or clean out anything that was unnecessary during the interview. Also, add new skills or achievements gained since the time you submitted your resume.
13. Continue to look for work – even after an excellent job interview, to reduce stress it is important not to stop looking for work, both in the same company and in other companies. The opportunity to mention, while waiting for the result, that you are being selected at other companies, can increase your chances of success.
14. Prepare for the invitation to the next step . Suppose you did well. If you decide to continue, it makes sense to prepare a script of your answer in case you are called to the next stage. If this will be the second interview, continue to work out the answers and prepare for it (proceed from the assumption that it will relate more to how much you are suitable for work, and not your skills and experience). In addition, prepare new questions to ask recruiters if you are called again. Also prepare “Plan B,” in case the next step is to immediately invite you to work.
15. Get ready for a job offer– in the event that the interview passed was part of the final stage. It makes sense to prepare for an offer. Start by finally selecting the criteria for accepting the offer and determining the minimum salary expectations. It is better to assume that the proposed salary will be too low. As a result, develop a plan containing the arguments that you can use to successfully negotiate salary increases (pre-do salary monitoring on job search sites). Test your arguments with other experts to make sure they sound convincing. Finally, in case you are refused, a polite answer is needed. The key point is to thank for the opportunity, and not to allow a single negative comment.
16. Make recommendations if you have not already done so. Make a list of recommenders with their contact information (previously verified by you). If necessary, notify the advisers about a possible call, so they will know what moments you would like them to highlight.
17. Share your joy on social networks – in many companies, checking social networks is part of the overall verification of the applicant. Therefore, keep in mind that it is likely to improve your chances compared to other candidates if, while studying your pages on social networks, the company sees that you posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram messages demonstrating your positive and inspiring experience with the company. However, also remember that such a message may inadvertently get to your boss, and he will find out that you are in an active job search.
18. Be prepared for the reaction from the current employer – remember that if you post on social networks (and even if not), then your colleagues may accidentally mention that you are looking for work. This can create problems in relations with the current leadership. It makes sense to prepare for a negative reaction. But also be prepared to receive an unexpectedly good offer from the boss if he wants to fight for you.
19. Report on the offer received – if you received an offer, take the opportunity and inform all interested firms that at least one of them is ready to hire you. It goes without saying that the message should not look arrogant, but if you let others know about the proposal, it can increase their speed of decision-making. Your chances of receiving other offers will increase, and if companies already planned to make you a job offer, they will further “sweeten” it.
20. Show that you would like to stay in touch – if you were refused, or even if you did not wait for any decision. It is important to remain polite, so send recruiters a final message, thanking them for the opportunity. In a letter, ask them to leave your resume in their database. This will enhance their feeling that you really want to work in this company.
Unfortunately, most candidates remain completely passive after they have been interviewed. In a highly competitive labor market, where any nuance matters, the implementation of proactive actions preparing you for any development of events is a skill of a much higher order. Your goal during the waiting period is to avoid stress and demonstrate enthusiasm, confidence and a willingness to respond with every interaction with the company. In my experience, this proactive approach can increase the chances of getting a job offer by as much as 20%.
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About the Author: Dr. John Sullivan, a world-renowned HR opinion leader in Silicon Valley, specializes in developing business-friendly strategic solutions for finding talented employees for large corporations.