Irrespective of whether you have a career spanning 20 years or 20 minutes there is a post-interview etiquette that must be observed. Luckily for you most candidates are either unaware of what that is or they simply neglect to observe it – busying themselves with preparing for their next interview.
Yet observers of this etiquette have been shown to positively boost their chances of job success. It’s a simple of matter of continuing what you started.
A 2013 study found that just 1 in 10 of all candidates actually make an effort to continue a dialogue with their recruiter once the interview is over. Of course, one can simply sit back and wait to be contacted by the recruiter with news of the outcome of your application.
But working through a recruiter means working in partnership – they have effectively ‘sold’ your potential to a prospective employer who in turn has invited you for an interview. As such, it makes sense to ensure you keep the recruiter as an ally because if you’re not successful in securing this role, it will be they who will be working hard on your behalf to create the next opportunity for you. And that’s where follow-up really comes into its own.
Indeed, another study has found that 9 out of 10 hiring managers and recruiters rank a candidate’s prospects as being higher if they sent some form of follow-up. So following up is obviously to be encouraged, the question is the form in which this follow-up needs to take to be successful.
To keep yourself at the forefront of the recruiter’s mind, you need to start at the interview itself.
- Ask about the next steps in the process:
It may seem a simple enough question to ask, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t actually ask, “What happens next?” This is vital information that you need in order to make your next move – it manages your expectations and it also gives you a clear indication of how long you have to complete the next steps in the post-interview process.
- Send a “Thank you” email:
Within 24 hours of the interview it is imperative that you send a thank you message to your recruiter via email to show your enthusiasm for the position. The message should start with an opening paragraph thanking the hiring manager for their time, whilst the second paragraph needs to reiterate the reasons why you are the best fit for the job – drawing on your skills, experience and qualifications. More important is to show your achievements.
Quite often time can work against us in interviews and we are left feeling frustrated that we may not have fully demonstrated how your achievements throughout your career to date can benefit the company who has interviewed you. Your recruiter can effectively give you a second bite of the cherry – they can reiterate to the employer the key benefits to be gained by hiring you.
Only reference one or two key projects that you have been involved in which have specific meaning to the role you are applying for.
A follow up email can support your application but make sure you keep it concise, brief and pleasant – avoid making your email read more like a sales pitch.
- Connect on LinkedIn:
Meeting new people is part and parcel of everyday business and for recruiters it is one of the effective tools they have at their disposal in terms of sourcing new opportunities – opportunities that could be right for you.
Keep the relationship going and connect with the person you are dealing with – they have the contacts, the influence and the ability to help shape your next career move. And because LinkedIn serves as an extension of your CV, if you have built an impressive profile on the site, then it might be what convinces those making the final decision to say, “Yes”.
- Silence is not golden:
Sometimes the hiring process can take longer than any party had anticipated, particularly if you were one of the first candidates to be interviewed. To ensure that you remain at the forefront of their mind don’t be afraid to re-connect with your recruiter.
In doing so you demonstrate your interest in the role and enthusiasm for the company itself. But rather than going gung-ho and asking, “Has a decision been reached yet?”, try adding value to your message.
For example, forward a link to an article you have read that you think may interest them. Or if there is a key industry event coming up, then ask them if they are attending and if so, arrange to meet for a coffee. Following-up in this way demonstrates that you’re a great connection instead of a pesky wannabe employee.
Employers expect the most interested and talented candidates to follow up post-interview by expressing their gratitude for the opportunity and interest in the position. It takes very little effort and could be what secures you the job. So why wouldn’t you?