In today’s competitive job market, being proactive and using effective follow-up tactics during the interview process will help boost your candidacy. Sitting back and twiddling your thumbs as you wait patiently for a response from your potential employer is not a valuable use of your time.
Traversing through the job search process can be a bit chaotic. From back-to-back interviews and hours researching diverse company cultures to remembering names and details of the hiring managers you met with, staying organized and analyzing the outcome of each interview is the best way to score that new position you’ve been gunning for.
As with proper interview etiquette, there are a few practices you should put into play following each interview.
In order to paint yourself in a positive light and separate your candidacy from other competitors, you should always send a personalized thank you note to your interviewer(s). Whether you choose to handwrite the note or send an email, the message should convey your appreciation for the meeting, and if you are still interested in pursuing the opportunity, you should also express that in the note. The email should be brief and tailored to include information discussed in the interview. For example, mention a connection between what the hiring manager specified as a skillset or trait the ideal candidate would possess and how your experience can bridge that gap.
Where many people fall short is sending additional follow up correspondence to express their continued interest and request the status on filling the role. Similar to the thank you note, these messages should be short and sweet while still delivering value. Share an article that relates to a topic you explored with your interviewer during the meeting or include a link to a recent mention of the company in the news to show that you are invested in the affairs of the business.
Assess Performance and Leverage Networking Opportunities
After each interview, take some time analyzing how the interview went. Asking yourself questions like ‘was the interviewer engaged throughout the conversation?’ and ‘how confident were my responses to each question?’ will help you understand areas that may need improvement heading into subsequent interviews. By recognizing where you excelled and learning where your weaknesses lie, you can vastly improve your ability to converse with a hiring manager or recruiter moving forward.
In addition, just because the interview is over, does not mean you should stop your efforts there. If you have industry connections or know anyone who has a relationship with the interviewer, ask them to give you a raving recommendation. Connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn, sign up for the company newsletter, or consider attending an industry-related networking event.
Be Prepared for Next Steps
Depending on your field of work, many employers will distribute a test to assess the depth of your skillset and range of abilities. Those in the IT space, for example, can utilize online practice tests to ensure they’ve perfected their craft in areas like Java, PHP, or C#. Likewise, someone in design, communications, or writing can expect to demonstrate their expertise via a portfolio. Furthermore, an employer may request for you to find a solution to a fictional scenario they create.
This means building a robust proposal, inclusive of several strategies you plan to implement in order to resolve the issue at hand. For folks in the marketing or sales space, this may simply mean giving a presentation or pitching to a prospective client. Either way, these tests are designed to gauge your problem-solving abilities and where your strengths/weaknesses lie. Conducting research, performing practice tests, and consolidating a killer portfolio to represent your work (where applicable) is the best method for securing your spot with the company you are vying for.
Get in Touch with Your References
If you’ve never had to prepare a list of references, now is the opportunity to reach out to three individuals that you’re confident will sing your praises. Already have references in place? Make sure you reach out to those individuals and give them a heads up that they may be contacted in the near future for a reference check. This is also a good occasion to check in with your references and not only continue to nurture those relationships, but also fill them in on what you’re trying to accomplish career-wise so they can speak to that when they are contacted by the employer.
Currently on the Hunt for a New Opportunity?
If you’re exploring new career opportunities, consider partnering with a staffing agency to help guide you through the process. At HumanEdge, we know that you’re more than just a skill set and cluster of job experiences –– you’re a whole person with big dreams and ambitions. When you work with us, you partner with a firm committed to helping drive your success with ongoing support, guidance, and tangible opportunities.
Interested in learning more about how you can nail your next job interview?