What You Should Be Doing Right After a Job Interview

You’ve Zoomed your way through the gauntlet of interviewers and are feeling confident about your performance and potential job fit, but don’t stop now. The biggest mistake candidates make after interviews conclude is sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. We get it – you don’t want to be a pest, but now is not the time to coast. Follow these three steps to continue building momentum and keep yourself top-of-mind with the interview team.

1. The Thank You Letter
The single most important thing you can do after a phone, video, or in-person interview is send an email to the interviewers to thank them for their time, express continued interest in the role, and (very briefly) reinforce why you are the best fit for the job. A thoughtfully crafted thank you note can exponentially increase your chances of being hired, making it a significant advantage in the current job market.

Business cards are typically exchanged during in-person interviews, but it can be trickier getting addresses for phone and video interviews. Start by asking the HR contact or recruiter with whom you are working. If they don’t feel comfortable sharing the email addresses, they will pass your note along to the appropriate parties. Alternately, there are a variety of free email lookup tools, and a basic Google search is usually enough to generate a company’s email pattern.

2. Timing is Key
Take the time to write a basic thank you letter script at the beginning of your job search. Before each interview, customize and save a version of the letter to suit the position, company, and interviewer(s). Immediately after the interview, add specific information that references your conversation, highlights your qualifications, and addresses any outstanding questions. Send this letter within a few hours of the interview.

Whether an informal conversation or a textbook behavioral interview, each member of the interview team will complete a candidate assessment or scorecard. This is typically done within four hours of an interview, while the information is fresh in the interviewer’s mind. For now, you will be scored individually on fit for the position, company culture, and technical qualifications.

3. Content is King
After all candidates have moved through the interview process, you will be scored against one another via scorecards and interview recollection. By this time, however, the memory of your conversation may be vague. Understand that you are one of many people the hiring manager has interviewed, and the final comparison can be days or even weeks after your initial conversation. Your thank you note creates a second reference point for hiring managers and an opportunity to separate yourself from the pack. It can also directly influence the information recorded on your scorecard.

End your thank you note by directly addressing why you are the candidate they should hire. Include no more than three bullet points that outline the experience and accomplishments you will use to successfully address the greatest needs of the hiring manager. Leave no doubt that you are the best person for the job but don’t get cocky. Write with humility and a desire to create success for the organization.