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After the Interview: It's Not Over Yet!
By Brooke Heath
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So, you just had your interview. Now all you can do is sit by the phone and wait for the call, right? Wrong! The worst thing that you can do at this point is be passive. The hiring process is not over until you hear the words ''We'd like to offer you the position'' or ''We've decided to go with someone else.'' Until then, you should be taking certain steps to ensure that you are still fresh in the interviewers' minds.

Follow up.

Within 24 hours of your interview, you should follow up with the interviewer and thank him or her for taking the time to meet with you. The follow-up can be sent via a card through the mail or delivered in person, by a phone call, or even in an email. The avenue that you choose should reflect the environment of the company. For example, if the company is very formal, perhaps delivering a card in person will be a little more effective. However, if the structure is more laid back, sending an email might be your best bet.

It's important that your follow-up card/call/email not only thank the interviewer(s) but also emphasize your interest in the position. Restate why you would like the job, your qualifications, and what you will be able to contribute to the company. The follow-up is also a good time to discuss anything important that was not mentioned during the interview.

Here are a few more points to remember with sending a follow-up email or card:
  • The sooner, the better! It's likely that they will be making a decision shortly, so get it there ASAP!

  • Write several emails/cards if the interview was with more than one individual, but don't just create one form letter for everyone. Take the time to make each email or card personalized to each individual. That way, if they compare them (which is possible), they will see that you made the extra effort.

  • Proofread! Nothing will hurt you more than grammatical and spelling errors when you're trying to establish credibility.
Don't burn bridges! Follow up even if you change your mind.

If, after the interview, you are 100% sure you do not want the job anymore, write a card or email thanking them but explaining that you are no longer interested. The LAST thing you should do is let them go on thinking that you are. If they offer the position to you, you will find yourself in an awkward situation when you have to turn it down. You may not care about the company or think that you will have to deal with them in the future, but you never know when you may need to re-cross a bridge sometime in your future, and that bridge is much easier to cross if it's not burned down!

Follow up on the follow-up.

So, you sent your email or card or called the day after your interview, but you still haven't heard back. After a week, it doesn't hurt to call and ask if the company is still in the selection process for your position. Not hearing back doesn't necessarily mean that you didn't get the job. Believe it or not, the company may be working on other projects besides filling the open position.

Go ahead and call; this will give you information about where they are at in the process and also let the company know you are still very eager and interested in the position. But be careful. There's a fine line between being eager and being obnoxious — calling too often may actually hinder your chances.

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