I get super excited when I get a call from one of my clients right after they’ve left an interview feeling good about their chances of getting the job.
Because of my recruiting background, one of the questions that I’m asked most often about these calls is, “What do I do next?” I’m always glad to get this question because it shows the first important thing successful candidates know about the job search process.
It’s not over till you’re hired!
As you’re walking away from an interview, it’s a terrifying and exciting time. You’re pumped and think it went well. But what do you do next? Everyone thinks they know what comes next, but an ill-timed thank you note or a period of radio silence brings all that feel-good momentum to a screeching halt.
So, I figured it was time to put together a checklist you can refer to whenever you’ve crushed an interview and want to be smart about what to do next.
1. Stop, Eat, And Recover
This might sound unrelated, but you’ve just been through a long day. You got up early, went over your resume, practiced answering tricky questions, and that can take a lot out of anyone. So take a minute and reward yourself for your hard work.
A short break to refuel with a quick snack will give you time to recuperate and ponder what just happened. It’ll also give you a better frame of mind to go through the next few follow up steps. And if you happen to have your favorite dessert, why not treat yourself. You earned it!
2. Write Down Anything Important That You Discussed
Interviewing for a job is a big win, but it’s part of a larger process. Reflecting on what you were asked, and how you replied, and anything else of note gives you reliable feedback you can look to on your next interview (but let’s hope that isn’t necessary)
There’s also another reason to go over the interview in your head soon after it completes. A simple message of, “thanks for meeting me” won’t cut it if you want to stay in the hiring manager’s good graces. So, before you start drafting a follow-up email, jot down a couple of things you discussed with the interviewer. “I liked it when we talked about _(X)_,” or “I had more thoughts on _(X)_ question you asked.” This is an excellent way to refresh your own memory and stick out to the interviewer’s mind.
Eventually, the person they sat down with needs to report to their boss about who they interviewed that stuck out. When you send a well thought out “thank you” message puts you in the front of their mind and helps them explain why they liked you.
But don’t hit send just yet!
3. Write Down One Reason You’re Excited About This Opportunity
The next step in this process is to think about why you’re passionate about the job you just interviewed for. Is this job the chance at a career change you’ve wanted? Is it the type of company that you wanted to work for? Find one reason that you’re excited to continue the interview process, and write it down.
Successful people interview the company as carefully as the company interviews them. I live by an adage of entrepreneur Derek Sivers, “If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a no.” This is your career. Your path. Make sure you’re not accepting a job just because they interview went well and they made an offer.
If the answer is yes, you are still excited about this company, then use the reason you wrote down to guide your way and communicate your enthusiasm for the role in your thank you note.
4. Send Your Thank You Notes
OK, finally—now it’s time to finalize your thank you note and send it out. You might look at all the steps to this point and assume this should take a long time, but in truth, you can do this all in less than 10 minutes.
5. Follow Up Correctly (A Week From Today)
At this point, you could do one of two things. You could wait for the hiring manager to get back to you and get all stressed out, or you could take a more proactive approach and follow up like successful folks do.
When you finished your interview, either of you should have asked, “What are the next steps from here?” If a week has gone by and you’re still waiting for those next steps, use a follow-up email to set yourself apart even further from the competition.
Once you’ve completed this checklist, feel free to pick up where you left off on your other job searching tasks. As exciting as this opportunity is, you never know how your dream gig will materialize, so keep plugging away until an offer comes through.
This is obviously a short list of what my successful clients do right after they crush an interview. What did we miss? Do you have some tips that should have been included? Message us on Twitter, @vondiercc or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.