You’ve just completed the interview and you know doggone well you’ve aced it! You leave the office and step out onto the sidewalk. Except you don’t actually walk. You’re floating through the warm, sunlit air (even it’s snowing heavily) and head for home. The job’s yours! Hey, wait a minute. How do you know you have the job? Maybe that interviewer gives the same polite greeting after every interview.
Were the words something like this? “Thank you for applying for the job. You made an excellent presentation. We’ll let you know our decision as soon as possible. Good bye and good luck!” Encouraging? Certainly, but don’t take it as a promise that you’d soon be hired. Do you sit by the phone or computer and wait for that important message? If so, you may be gathering dust as the call never comes in.
So, what can you do beyond the interview to improve your chances of getting the job? The very first, and you should get it out within 24 hours, is to send a thank-you note to the interviewer. Don’t make it long and mushy. Just a few dignified words of appreciation for the time the interviewer took to talk with you. Don’t go into heavy, overly-sincere sentences about how you’ll be a great employee and will work hard to perform your job, or how you will prove the interviewer would never regret hiring you. Keep it brief, and send it promptly by snailmail or Email.
So, then do you return to your endless vigil of waiting for that call to come in telling you to start your first day of work? That thank-you note may do the trick, but you should reinforce the connection by making additional contact. After five working days and you haven’t heard back from the interviewer, send another Email.
Don’t phone, because the interviewer is very often a busy person and could resent the intrusion that phone calls always create, especially if another candidate is there right then being interviewed. On this note, include items that may not have been covered in your original resume nor the interview. For example, include some examples of your work, recent awards and names of people who’ll vouch for you.
If applicable, after doing some heavy research about the company and products, point out how your previous work experiences or education are similar to what the job requires. Keep this contact short, too, no more than one side of a sheet of letter paper.
If this note is ignored, and it has been at least 15 working days since your interview, it’s time to go out and pound that virtual or actual pavement and start all over again.