Other than actually landing the interview itself and living through it, waiting after the interview and wondering whether you will get a phone call or a rejection letter can be one of the most difficult aspects of searching for a job. What you do after the interview should actually start while you are still ‘working’ the interview.
Prior to leaving make sure that you have noted the name of the person or persons who interviewed you. This will come in handy later for a number of purposes. Also, do make sure that you shake hands once again with your interviewer and thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Also, it’s not out of line to ask when they expect to be making a decision. This gives you a timeline to go by.
Always be sure to send a thank-you letter. This practice not only demonstrates good social etiquette but it also helps to keep you and your skills fresh in the mind of the interviewer. On some occasions an interviewer already has an idea by the time the interviews are completed who they will be calling to offer the job; however on many more occasions they still remain unsure who will be awarded that coveted slot. Sometimes they want a little time to ‘sleep’ on the decision or they may need to consult supervisors or others within their organization regarding the hiring decision. If a decision has not already been reached in the mind of the employer when all of the interviews have been completed, taking the time to send a thank-you letter can go a long way toward making sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
While it’s a good idea to send a polite thank you note to the person who interviewed you it is not a good idea to pester that person to no end. The only result you are likely to achieve through this strategy is alienating yourself from them and assuring that you won’t get the job. Although ‘don’t take no for an answer’ is a strategy that many aggressive job coaches recommend; it is still always best to observe polite social standards.
That is not to say that you should sit by the phone and allow several weeks to elapse, waiting, while you hear nothing and do nothing. Ideally, your thank you letter should have gone out the same day as the interview, no later than the following day. This means that the interviewer should receive it within one to two days following the initial interview.
Keep track of when the employer indicated a decision would be made and if that time has come and gone, it is perfectly permissible to go ahead and phone them. However; when you do make the call, be polite. State your name, the date you interviewed and the position for which you interviewed. You may say that you are following up to inquire as to whether a decision has been made.
At this point, the conversation can go a number of ways. The employer may indicate that a decision has been made and all candidates who were not selected will be receiving a letter in the mail. If this is the response you receive, it is your cue that you were not hired. Had you been, you would have received a phone call from the employer by now.
Thank them for their times, ask them to keep you in mind for any future vacancies and get off the line. Don’t burn any bridges. It could be that there was simply a better qualified candidate for that particular position, but they might consider you for a different, future position.
On the other hand, the employer may state that they are still reviewing resume, conducting interviews, etc, etc. This type of response could mean a couple of different things. It could mean that they really have made a decision and the person just doesn’t feel comfortable telling you on the phone that you weren’t selected or it could simply be taken at face value.
Perhaps something came up and their initial timeline has been forced to be extended somewhat. In either case, always remain polite and thank them for their time. After you end the call, make a note of the date on your planner and set a tickler to remind yourself to call back in a week if you still haven’t heard anything. Call back once a week, every week until a decision is made. Once a week is persistent; a trait which is to be admired. Once a day is pesky; a trait that should be avoided at all costs.
While it can be difficult to wait around after the interview, the most important two things that you should do is not blow the opportunity by annoying the employer with numerous pesky phone calls and by all means do not show up announced at their office door asking if they have arrived at a decision. Finally, make sure that you don’t pin all your hopes on one job. Yes, it may have been your first choice and your ideal dream job; however; this is probably also true for someone else as well. Use the time while you are waiting to hear back from the employer to line up your ‘B’ plan. Continue job searching, scheduling interviews and most importantly, reminding yourself that you can do this.