After the Interview
Here are a few ideas and techniques to put in place after an interview. These are not hard-fast rules, but you should consider them.
- Ask how you did— Don't be afraid to ask your interviewer how you did. It is a good way to convey the message that your "performance" was important to you. Normally, the flow of the interview will give you an idea as to how you did, but still ask the question.
- Ask about the rest of the process and time frames— It is appropriate to ask how the process works. Are there several layers of interviews? What happens next? How long until a decision is made?All of these are appropriate questions. In addition, express an interest in following up with the company. Let the employer know that you will follow up.
- Write or call to thank them— Within a day or so of your interview, drop a note or e-mail to your interviewer thanking him for the opportunity. This is true even if you have already been notified that another candidate was selected. The employer did, in fact, give you his time and provide you with an opportunity.Also, doing so can open many doors down the road. A professional and courteous attitude is a rare commodity. You will separate yourself from others who were interviewed. And who knows—down the road, you might find a new opportunity at the same company.
If you are not selected— In addition to the thank you note, I would recommend the following course of action when another candidate was selected over you.
Call to ask for a critical assessment— Try to set up a time to speak to your interviewer and ask for a critical assessment of all aspects of the process. Ask the interviewer what areas you can work on for future interviews. How can you better frame and structure your résumé? What skills or attitudes did you lack—if any?
You might find that the interviewer thought you did great. It might simply be that the employer made an assessment between two equally good candidates, and intangibles or personality made the difference.
Whatever the interviewer's response, thank him again for his time. Process what he has said, and determine what areas you can work on to improve your chances the next time.
Create a professional contact— You have met one or more individuals at a particular company. If you are not selected for a position, you have, at minimum, grown your network of professional contacts. As with the job search, ask the interviewer(s) the two magic questions: Can I follow up with you from time to time? Do you know of anyone else who might be looking for someone with my skill set?
It is likely that this same company will be hiring another technologist in the future. If you network correctly, your name will be at the top of the company's list.