Via Refinery 29 : How To Follow Up After A Phone Interview If You Want The Job
Phone interviews can be incredibly intimidating. You are robbed of the ability to read your interviewer’s body language and facial expressions, so figuring out how to navigate them without losing your cool can be tough.
But the challenges don’t stop there. Just because you’ve finished an interview doesn’t mean that you’re home-free. After a phone interview — or any kind of job interview, for that matter — it’s in your best interest to send a follow-up email or thank you note. Though it’s not mandatory, sending a note is a great way to demonstrate your continued interest in a position and build rapport with the hiring manager.
In order to establish the best way to approach following up after an interview, we spoke with Cynthia Pong of Embrace Change who is a career coach specialized in working with women of color. Pong walked us through the best ways to gracefully and effectively follow up after a phone interview to make sure you get that in-person interview. She also walks us through how to continually follow up throughout every step of the interview process.
1. Always follow up.
Pong recommends always following up after every encounter in the hiring process — whether it’s an initial phone screen or another interview down the road. She says it’s important to thank the person for taking the time to meet with you, whether it was for 15 minutes or a whole afternoon. While not mandatory, Pong insists that sending a short email expressing gratitude is something everyone should get in the habit of doing after any kind of interview.
2. Refer to next steps.
Pong recommends mentioning in your thank-you email that you are looking forward to speaking further. At this time, you can allude to next steps by mentioning the next applicable step depending on your situation. “If you’ve just had a phone interview, it’s a good opportunity to say you’d like the opportunity to speak in person,” Pong says. She adds that no matter where you are in the hiring process, it’s important to say that you enjoyed the conversation and express your continued enthusiasm for the role.
3. Mention something they said that you thought was interesting.
One great tip Pong recommends is to relay back a piece of information that your interviewer mentioned that you found interesting (this is why it’s important to take notes if you can). It can sometimes be tempting to repeat reasons why you would be a great fit for the job, but incessantly stressing how perfect you are for the job can get to be a bit much, Pong says. Instead, she recommends referencing back to something the person said. “Maybe it’s: ‘I enjoyed our conversation about your philosophy on work,’” Pong explains. “It’s a nice touch that shows you were listening.”
4. Don’t send a boiler plate email.
Though great for saving time, canned emails are not a good approach when it comes to landing a job. Even if you swear by email templates, it’s worth taking time to personalize your note and make sure that it’s appropriate for the job and interviewer you met with. Even if you’re meeting with different people at each stage of the interview process, Pong recommends always switching things up. “If you send the same thank-you note every time they’ll probably notice it’s not authentic,” Pong says, adding that even if you’re emailing separate people, you don’t know whether they are sharing your emails amongst themselves.
5. Don’t rush.
We’re all busy, but make sure you take the time to write and double check your email and that you aren’t distracted or flustered when you’re writing it. “Recently, a client misspelled the person’s name in a thank-you email because they were in a hurry,” Pong says. She recommends double checking to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. Looking for a job can be a stressful process, but you don’t want to make things more anxiety-provoking for yourself by sending a typo- or error-ridden email. Take time to write, read over, double check what you’re sending. As always, make sure you are spelling people’s names right and that you’re not sending a generic message without applicable information in it.
Ultimately, Pong says that it’s important to remember that people make decisions based on their emotions — whether or not they want to admit it. You don’t want to give recruiters or hiring managers any reason to pause and wonder if you’re the right candidate by not taking a few minutes to follow up. After all, Pong says, something as simple and easy as a follow-up email shouldn’t be the reason you’re eliminated from a job you want.
Via The Ladders : Why employers don’t always respond after job interviews
75% of people said they didn’t hear back from a position they had applied for. The reasons below might help explain why employers don’t respond after job interviews.
You had a great interview for a job you really want. Your answers were spot-on, you connected with the interviewer, your test went well…but you haven’t heard back from your future boss-to-be. As frustrating as it might be, this happens quite often.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, a staggering 75% of people said they didn’t hear back from a position they had applied for. The reasons below might help explain why employers don’t respond after job interviews.
Why Employers Don’t Respond After Job Interviews
They’re too busy.
A potential employer might be trying to not only fill the position you applied for but several others as well…simultaneously. So it makes sense, then, that they might be too busy to get back to just one candidate about just one job opening. And while it might not seem like a real reason, being swamped with reviewing job applications, scheduling interviews, and screening candidates can oftentimes be the real reason why employers don’t respond right away (if at all) after job interviews.
You weren’t chosen.
This might be one of the most obvious reasons why job seekers don’t hear back from employers. Still, most people would agree that they would rather get a friendly “Thanks, but no thanks” email or phone call than the alternative—being ignored. If you haven’t heard back after a few weeks post-interview (and you didn’t hear back even after you followed up on your job application), it’s safe to assume that you didn’t get the position and should keep interviewing with other companies.
They’re afraid of legal issues.
In today’s litigious world, it seems like almost any excuse can be grounds for a lawsuit—and companies know that all too well. So instead of calling to let you know why you specifically weren’t hired (e.g., you didn’t have the required skill set, you didn’t get a good reference from a previous employer, etc.), hiring managers may adopt a “silence is golden” rule when dealing with those not hired.
By not responding, the door is closed.
If by some chance a hiring manager did offer a reason as to why you weren’t hired, they might fear that you’ll contact them again with follow-up questions. To avoid having that line of communication—and potentially getting into trouble—they keep the door closed to prevent future questions and prevent hurting your feelings.
They’re still interviewing.
You applied for a job almost immediately after you spotted it online. Thing is, maybe 100 other eager job candidates did, too. One of the big reasons why employers don’t respond after job interviews could be because they’re slowly weeding through the stacks of job applications and following up with applicants they’re interested in interviewing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that maybe the position doesn’t have to be filled immediately, or some aspect of the job has changed and management is working out the new specifics of the role. In any case, the employer has extra time to go through the hiring process and might get back to you…eventually.
The job isn’t available anymore.
In an ideal world, a prospective boss would clue you in if the position you diligently applied for wasn’t available anymore, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the unexpected happens after a job is posted (for example, the position is eliminated, revamped, or it’s given to a current staffer), and employers don’t always explain what happened to the job; they just go radio silent instead.
They forgot about you.
Accidents can (and do) happen during the hiring process. Applications are deleted and job candidates can be forgotten about. That’s why it’s so important to always follow up on job applications (especially the ones that you’re really interested in). Not only does it show your continued interest in the job, it also allows you to correct any potential blunders you may have committed during the job interview. But most importantly, if a hiring manager did manage to misplace your application, it puts you front and center in his mind again.
They’re totally rude.
To you, the job you applied for could change the trajectory of your career—and your life. For a recruiter or hiring manager, you might be just another applicant. Don’t take it too much to heart. If you don’t hear back from a potential employer (and you’ve followed up and done everything that you can as an interested job candidate), don’t take it too personally. While it’s painful to sit and wonder why you never heard back, just remember—the job that’s truly meant for you could be just around the corner.
There’s just no real reason why.
Sometimes, an employer doesn’t get back to a job candidate for the reason that there just isn’t a reason. It wasn’t like you bombed the interview—but you didn’t exactly ace it, either. You were nice enough, but you might not have been a standout candidate. Your answers were good, but not enough to seal the deal. And for an employer to try to articulate that you did nothing wrong (but still didn’t get the job) can be confusing and upsetting to a candidate.
You didn’t click with your interviewer.
Sure, job candidates should be judged based solely on their qualifications and prior job experience. But that doesn’t always happen. Like it or not, some employers base their decisions on factors that are completely not related to the job, such as a person’s appearance, their lack of eye contact, or even their self-confidence level. And even though it might not be fair, if personalities don’t mesh well during a job interview (or worse, they clash), it can negatively impact your chances of getting hired. So if the reason for not hiring you is a personal one, it could open up an employer to a potential lawsuit if they were to disclose it.
You didn’t ask for it.
It might seem strange to ask a prospective employer for a reason why you didn’t get hired as the job interview is actually happening, but it could be a smart move. Let’s say that you’re on-ramping back into the workforce, just recently graduated from college, or are still an interview newbie, for example. Asking ahead of time (either at the end of the interview or during your follow-up communication afterwards), for an employer to assess why you might not get the job shows that you’re mature enough to realize that there are probably a lot of candidates vying for the same job, and you might not get a job offer. In this case, it’s not so much about placing blame towards your potential employer about not getting hired, but finding out what you may have done incorrectly so that you can improve your job interviewing skills for subsequent job interviews.
As you can see, there are a myriad reasons why you may not hear back from employers after an interview. Keep your spirits up, tighten your interviewing skills, and get back out there!
Via Inside Higher Ed : What to Do Immediately After an Interview
You just finished a job interview. Moments ago, you hung up the phone or arrived back at your hotel room. What should you do next?
Interviews are draining and stressful, so it might be quite tempting to follow an interview immediately with a run, nap or bowl of ice cream. (Tag yourself: I’m definitely a bowl-of-ice-cream person.) But if you do any of that right away, you are missing a vital opportunity to advance your job search and your career.
Taking just 15 to 30 minutes to follow the steps I outline below will allow you to use your interview experience to set yourself up for success in the next stages of the hiring process and beyond. This advice applies to any kind of job search — whether in or outside academe.
Have you ever had the experience that, not long after an interview ends, all the details fade — except for the bits you wish you could forget? If so, you’re far from alone. I advise hundreds of graduate students every year who are interviewing for jobs, and when debriefing with them after an interview, I can almost always predict what they’ll say: they won’t remember what questions were asked or answers they thought they aced, but they can definitely remember when they said the wrong word or couldn’t think of a strong response.
And while that’s totally natural, it’s also not terribly helpful as you look ahead to the next interview or a potential offer. One of the most important roles an interview plays is to give the candidate an opportunity to learn more about the position, the employer and their maybe-soon colleagues. Understanding more about them lets you predict future questions, understand their priorities and assess whether you actually want to work with them. But if all you end up remembering is your own mistakes, then you won’t have the data that lets you do that.
The solution? The instant you hang up the phone or get back to the hotel, sit down with your note-taking technology of choice (a Word document, a notebook and pen, a whiteboard, a voice memo app) and start writing. Spend at least 15 minutes — and maybe as many as 30 — recording everything you can remember about the interview.
You’ll want to take a lot of notes. Here are questions to consider:
- What did they ask? This is especially important if another interview may take place in the hiring process. The questions they ask can tell you a lot about what matters to them, and it’s often the case that second- or third-round interview questions have a lot in common with questions asked earlier in the process. (If the first interview included questions about managing complex projects, for example, it’s likely that later interviewers will ask questions about your project and time management experience.) Write down each, as precisely as you can remember them.
- How did you answer? What notes did you hit in your responses? Returning to and reinforcing themes in later interviews or in negotiation can strengthen your case. But also make note of the stories and examples you used. If you use exactly the same stories, and only the same stories, in later interviews, they might start to wonder how broad your experience really is.
- What seemed to matter to them? Formal interviews over the phone and less formal conversations during on-site interviews can both give you invaluable insight into an employer’s priorities. What new initiatives did the dean seem obsessed with? What did the hiring manager tell you about the company’s strategic priorities?
- Did you get any new information? Did the interview seem like it was for a job different from the one described in the initial posting? In what ways? Why do you think that was?
- What was the vibe like? Interviews can tell you a lot about the culture of the organization, so pay attention to your instincts. Did you like the people you talked to? Did their interactions with you and one another indicate a work environment that is more rigid or more flexible? More hierarchical or more flat?
- Whom should you thank? One of your next steps should be following up on the interview with a thank-you note, so make a list of the people who should get emails from you.
And, since interviews are a great learning opportunity, you should take notes about yourself, as well. Here are questions to ask:
- What went well? What didn’t? Even if this interview results in an offer, it’s unlikely to be the last interview of your career. And an actual interview is the perfect opportunity to gather data on how you perform under pressure. Start with the positive. What did you do well? Did any approaches to structuring your answers work particularly well? Did a new strategy for setting up your computer for a Skype interview pay off? (Returning to these notes about how you rocked it can be a good idea later when your brain tries to convince you later on that the experience was all a disaster.) Then consider lessons learned. What could you improve next time? Did trying to tell a particular story trip you up? Did you get a question you’d never considered and need to prep for it in the future?
- What do you want to emphasize in the next stage? Whether the next step of the search process is another interview or an offer and negotiation, use what you learned in the interview to help you think about what you want your messaging to be. What did they seem excited about in your background? What didn’t seem to land in the way you had hoped? What skills that you have seem like high priorities for them?
- Who are you interested in connecting with? If you don’t end up getting an offer, an interview can still turn out to be a great networking opportunity. Especially in an on-site interview, you may meet with a ton of people, some of whom you may want to connect or collaborate with in the future. Jot down those people’s names now, along with what you discussed. (Plan to wait until after the search process is finished and then reach out.)
Don’t worry about thinking too hard at the note-taking stage. Just get everything down as thoroughly as possible before your brain crashes. You can sort through the rich, detailed mess later on.
It may also be a good idea at this stage, however, to set an agenda for deep reflection in the coming days. That’s one of the reasons you want to take good notes. You might get a follow-up interview request or an offer soon, and once that happens, your prep time is often minimal. So think about the timeline of the search (you ideally asked someone about that during the interview) and plan to use some time before the next trigger to think hard about whether and under what circumstances you want this position.
Can you see yourself in this position, at this organization, working with these people? Based on what you learned in the interview, will this job help you build the career you want? Under what circumstances — salary, start date and so forth — would you accept this job? Thinking about those questions in the coming days will get you ready to evaluate an offer and move forward with confidence.
OK. Phew. You’ve finished note taking and agenda setting. Now the interview is actually over, and it’s finally time to rest and recover. Go for that run, or take that nap, or get a big bowl of ice cream. And be kind to yourself in the ensuing days and hours, as you wait for news and your ridiculous brain starts to tell you lies.
Via Association for Talent Development : 5 Tips on What to Do After the Job Interview
You know that feeling. You walk out of a job interview and think, “Nailed it!” But you aren’t hired just yet. The company will still have to check your references and verify you’re not a serial killer, and you still have some work on your end to do as well.
1. Thank You Note
The first thing you should do is sit down and write a thank you note—chances are you have heard this one before. Don’t wait for two days to appear aloof; do it by 5 p.m. the day of the interview. Gather your thoughts on what was not covered during the interview, some key competencies and personality traits you heard they are looking for, and some experiences you have that fit those key areas. Be sure to attach any portfolio items or links that support your claims of being the best candidate for this job.
Some people recommend a handwritten note, but if you have terrible handwriting (as I do), you might want to opt for an email instead. Make it short but informative; most managers don’t have time to read a lengthy diatribe about your awesomeness. Close with a line about how you look forward to hearing back from the hiring manager soon. If you got a firm date on when you would hear back, insert that here instead of the word “soon.”
2. Contact Your References
You should give your references a heads-up that they will be contacted by the hiring manager, and a timeframe of when that will happen. You should also give your references some specifics about the job for which you are applying. If the new job is centered around e-learning and your reference knows you as a sales enablement colleague, giving them the job description or a brief summary on the position you applied for can really help them tailor their reference to be more relevant.
3. Find a Connection
If you have any connections to the company, especially if those connections are within the management or leadership team, now is the time to contact them. Having a valued employee vouch for an applicant can go a long way—especially if they are armed with examples of your key competencies.
4. Distract Yourself
While being responsive is a good quality, checking in too much can be annoying and overwhelming. It’s just like a date; if the other person says they are going to call, don’t start bombarding them with text messages asking when they are planning on calling you. Even if you are obsessing about the job, you never want the hiring manager or your new potential boss to think you are. Distract yourself and apply to other jobs while you wait. If it takes longer than two weeks for them to get back to you, chances are that you didn’t get the job, and emailing them more won’t change that.
5. Be Truthful With Yourself
While the thrill of finding a new job may appeal to some of us adrenaline junkies out there, be truthful with yourself. Did the interviewer tell you there would be a lot of face-to-face interaction with team members and you really would rather analyze data all day in a room alone? Are you leaving a good position with high growth opportunities for a longer commute and a potentially toxic work environment? Or is this the job you have been waiting for, and you will even take a slightly lower salary to move into the new position? Make sure you are honest about what your non-negotiables are. If a job offer comes in and fits the bill, you are set! If you need to negotiate the offer, you know what you are willing to do and not willing to do.
Your job search doesn’t end with the interview, and neither does the impression you make. Use these tips to ace the after-interview.
Via Forbes : Three Things To Avoid After A Job Interview
It’s not over till it’s over.
You made it through the interview, and now you can breathe again. That time spent preparing has paid off and an offer for a great opportunity is right around the corner. Now, you’re in the home stretch where it is important to finish strong.
As a career coach for many talented clients, I am always reiterating that the interview process is not over till the offer has been made.
I was working with a career coaching client named Janet. She was ready to break out the champagne after her interview, and rightfully so. Her effort was unmatched, all signs pointed to her dreams coming to fruition. Before we could even toast to a new life, Janet started to feel uneasy about the situation. She was projecting every bad scenario possible. That is when I reminded her of the first thing not to do after an interview.
1. Don’t over think.
Fighting the urge to replay every aspect of the interview back in your head is going to be a challenge. There is no need to sit there and dissect your interviewer’s body language or word choice, you did great. That friend who claims they heard back from an employer a few hours after the interview was in a fortunate position, the panic can wait – each hiring process is different. Try your best to relax. Accept that you did everything in your power to put your best foot forward.
It is easier said than done, I get it. With Janet, she wanted to do more to help her chances, but in all of the excitement it was easy to forget the basics.
2. Don’t forget to send a thank you note.
To be safe, you may want to have the thank you note drafted the day before the interview. Writing a thank you note can seem old fashioned, or even like a waste of time however it is proven that those who write them are more likely to get better results. Luckily there are great how to guides available on crafting the perfect follow up note. Utilize all of the resources available to ensure you are making the most of every opportunity. Following up with gratitude is a great way to demonstrate appreciation as well as interest while simultaneously gently reminding the reader of the great candidate they just met.
My career coaching client Janet worked hard to get the interview. As much as she wanted to rely on the power of positive thinking — I had to direct her towards the final thing not to do.
3. Don’t stop job hunting.
The only thing better than one job offer is two job offers.
When it comes to getting offers, you’re allowed to be greedy. This whole process is a chance to see what is available. By pursuing other leads you are going to gain new perspective and feel more confident once you accept an offer. It is not even about hedging your bets or not putting all of your eggs in one basket, it is more about opening every possible door so you are in the best possible position to succeed.
Needless to say, Janet got the offer. She accepted and now gets to come home from work every night feeling more fulfilled. For some it can feel like climbing a mountain to land an interview, for others the interview invitations will rival the amount of stars in the sky.
To get the best results it is imperative to remember that just because the interview is over — the work isn’t done.