After the Interview: What to Do Next

The interview is behind you, the thank you notes sent and the waiting begins. This can be a tough phase – phone in hand, waiting for a call and incessantly checking your email. Don’t waste your time waiting around! There’s a lot you can be doing – read on for some valuable advice for this stage of the process.

Assess Your Performance in the Interview
Before you download with anyone else, spend some time reflecting on the conversation and look for some of these positive indicators:

  • Did the interview go longer than expected? A conversation that flows easily and naturally often goes long.
  • Did you meet with more people than expected? Perhaps the interviewer was excited about you and wanted to get you in front of more people.
  • Did the interviewer use words like “when” instead of “if”? This could mean they are already thinking about next steps.
  • Did you discuss salary? Or availability? Again, this is a great signal they’re planning ahead.

On the other hand, you may have noticed that the they didn’t really try to “sell” you on the role or the company. They may have seemed overly focused on a gap in your resume or why you left your last role. Think back, did they rush through the end of the meeting? This could all mean the interview didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, and you should be looking for what could have gone better.

As you’re going through the analysis, be brutally honest with yourself. YOU are the only person who loses if you skim the surface here. If the interview didn’t go well, don’t be too hard on yourself, but we guarantee there will be other interviews and there will ALWAYS be things to work on for next time. Every interview is a learning opportunity – if you allow it to be.

Check in with Your Recruiter
Your recruiter will have fantastic feedback for you after having spoken to their client. Listen to what they have to say and follow their advice. What should you do differently next time? What seemed to work well? And be ready to share your personal feedback for how you think it went and your outlook on the opportunity now that one interview is in the books. If it went well on your end, they’ll want to update their client with the good news and if you’re having second thoughts, it will be important data for them to have as they move toward introducing the next opportunity.

Make a Connection
If the agreed upon length of time has passed, send a follow-up note. If you were supposed to hear something by Monday and it’s now Wednesday, you can follow up (but not before then). Your note should be light and professional. Reiterate your interest in the role, summarize in a couple of brief sentences why you believe you’re a good fit and ask if you can provide additional information or materials. Thank them again for their time and end with a personal touch. Was the interviewer traveling? Wish them safe travels. Did they have tickets to the big game? Mention the wild ending. This is a great way to make sure they remember your conversation!  Connect with them on LinkedIn. Even if you end up missing out on this particular role, maintaining a professional connection is always a good idea.

Do You Still Want the Job?
Now you have greater insight into the company and the role, is this a job you want?  Does it support your career aspirations?  Would you fit in with the company’s culture?  Do you have any further questions?  Do you need to meet other people?  Remember you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  If they do come back and want to interview you again, will it be worth your time and there’s? 

Notify Your References
If the interview went well, let your references know they may receive a phone call or email. Fill them in on the organization and the role. Tell them a little about the interviewer and some of the salient points of the conversation so they know what to expect. Check to see if they already know someone at this company. Would they be comfortable offering an unsolicited endorsement on your behalf? This could end up being a great differentiator for you.

Lastly, and no matter what, don’t pause your job search! You have momentum and that means a lot during this process. Keep pushing yourself. Attend that networking event, send that resume and answer that (other) call. It’s important to keep your options open AND stay positive!

The CFO Suite is a boutique consultative staffing and executive search firm specialized in management and executive level accounting and finance talent.  We boost the capabilities and capacity of your accounting and finance department, offering a unique ability to provide an integrated and comprehensive suite of services.

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