You can breathe again. You just survived the most nerve-wracking part of the job search process: the interview. But you’re not done yet. There are still some steps you need to take following the interview in order to prepare for the next stage.
After the interview is over, the job-decision process usually turns entirely to the employer. You’re in a holding pattern. However, you can take some steps to close the loop and prepare for your next application.
Here are a few steps you should take after a job interview:
Maybe the interview went great, and you’re buzzing with the possibility of landing the position. Maybe it went poorly, and you’re tempted to bury your sorrows in a tub of ice cream and a Netflix binge. Either way, don’t get carried away.
Good or bad, don’t let your emotions get away with you. That particular interview is in the past now, and you have to keep moving forward.
Send a Thank You
No matter how the interview went, you want to show respect. Even if you think it’s obvious that you have no chance of landing the job, you should send a “thank you” email.
First off, it’s just polite. Second, your impression of the interview may not match what interviewers thought. You don’t want to blow your chance by not following up.
Finally, you might interact with the company or with the individual interviewers again in the future. If you find yourself in the running for another role at some point down the road, you want them to remember you fondly.
Treat the interview as a learning opportunity. You might not get that particular job, but that doesn’t mean the experience is wasted.
After the meeting is over, you should think about your performance. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes you made or get depressed about all the things you could have done better. Stay clinical about your approach. Calmly review the points where you could improve performance next time, making sure you don’t repeat similar mistakes in the future.
Beyond the traditional “thank you,” you should remain in contact with the company until you know for sure the position has been filled. Don’t overdo it, but periodically check in with your contact at the prospective employer.
Your goal is to stay on their radar and build a longer-term relationship. The current position might go to someone else, but if you can build a rapport with the HR staff, you might get the inside track for a future opportunity.
Keeping Moving Forward
One interview was just that… one interview. It’s a single event. It’s just an individual part of your current job search, and potentially an imperceptible blip on your longer-term career trajectory.
It’s worthwhile to engage in some constructive self-criticism. However, you shouldn’t let a bad performance shake your confidence. If you didn’t get this particular position, don’t dwell on it. There are more opportunities to come. You need to learn what you can from the current situation and keep moving forward.
Getting the most out of your experiences puts you in a better position when the perfect opportunity comes along.
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