A job interview is one of the most nerve-wracking steps in the employment process—getting up extra early, dressing up to the nines, waiting for what feels like an eternity, mumbling through a script you hope they’ll adore.
Here’s the clincher: just when you think it’s over, the tension continues as you wait for their response. Most jobseekers are caught sitting on their hands, stuck with an ever-burning question—what now?
Acing your job interview isn’t the end of your journey. Waiting can be equally nerve-wracking after an interview. What many jobseekers don’t realize is that they can take some steps to make their wait shorter and more favorable. Let’s run down the steps of what you can do right after your interview.
Yes, you heard that right. You deserve a beer! Getting through an interview isn’t easy. If you made it in, congratulations, and more beer is in order! If you didn’t, move on, you’ll find another job. But what’s important is the now. Leave tomorrow for… a couple of hours. Take a deep breath and get ready for what’s up next.
Call your loved ones.
Compared to Western countries, Asians are strongly devoted to their families at any age. Regardless of your relationship status, your parents will be the most invested people in the success of your jobseeking. Call them up and tell them how you did.
Not only will they celebrate with you, they’ll tell you how you could have improved, and what your next steps are. Never underestimate the power that decades of experience can do to handle a situation. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hear a hurrah of “good job” after an ordeal?
While your mom can offer an outsider’s perspective on your performance, no one can evaluate you better other than yourself.
Take a step back and see how you did. Name your strengths as well as your weaknesses. This will help you improve if you need to do another job interview. It will help you stay consistent with your values and put forth an appealing message for employers.
Send a thank-you letter.
The most underutilized tool that jobseekers often ignore is the thank-you letter. The ubiquity of thank-you letters is debatable, as some countries don’t find it necessary. What can’t be debated, though, is how effective and simple it can be. Besides expressing sincere gratitude, it acts as a subtle follow up and a recall device.
A thank-you letter typically includes a message of gratitude, a recap of the interview’s memorable points, an addendum if you missed something, and a subtle follow up. It is usually sent within 24 hours of the actual interview. Like the interview itself, it adapts a professional tone through and through.
There are many templates of thank-you letters available online (such as this one from Yale). Regardless of which you follow, always personalize your letter. These employers are trained professionals. They can smell a downloaded template from a mile away.
While a thank-you letter is subtle, some employers may need a little more “nudge” to get back to you. Before you leave the interview room, get the interviewer’s contact details so you can follow up if they haven’t replied after a while. While you’re at it, ask him or her when it would be permissible to follow up. You wouldn’t want to come off as a pushy eager beaver, would you?
When already applicable, send an email to follow up on the results of your interview. Be polite, but firm. Your interviewer may have had to sort through dozens of applicants. At the very least, a follow-up should help your interviewer recall your application.
Don’t stop looking.
Even if you think you’ve aced your interview, the company might be looking for someone else entirely. Conversely, you might find out that their offer wasn’t exactly what you were expecting. Remember: your job isn’t a sure thing until it’s been sealed in ink.
Keep on the job hunt while you’re waiting for employers to get back to you. This way, you won’t get caught off guard if an employer outright rejects you, even when you thought you did great at the interview.
There’s not much you can do after your interview. The ball is in their court. But that doesn’t mean you’re completely helpless. The best thing you can do is to keep calm and continue the hunt… and give a little nudge here and there.
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