The Next Steps after Interview: Confessions of a Recruiting Director

After the interview is complete, you immediately reflect and debrief on your performance and the impression you made on the company. Often times, we begin to process some of the following:

  • Did I answer the questions the right way?
  • What questions did I fail to answer well?
  • What did the company think of me?
  • Will I get a call back from the company?
  • Do I see myself at the company?
  • What are the next steps?
  • When do I follow up with the company?

From the book “Confessions of a Recruiting Director: The Insider’s Guide to Landing Your First Job,” Brad Karsh, the author, talks about the ins and outs of different topics regarding the job search process. Karsh presents sections on resumes to interviewing to networking in order to help individuals understand how companies think and how companies go about selected candidates. Furthermore, Karsh writes this text to provide useful insight and advice to individuals in preparing for the job search. Here is his advise:

When you conclude your interview process, it is perfectly normal to unwind and evaluate your interview, but do not lose sight of your goal and stay engaged with the job search process. Remember the job search process is a marathon, so remain focused and on your path. At the conclusion of your interview, you begin to process does the company want me and can I see myself at this company? We will unpack a few items and provide some tips on what to do after the interview.

Handling a No Response

There will be times when you have completed the job interview and nothing happens. This is not your fault and not common practice. Some companies have several reasons why they have dropped the ball and have not followed up with you or other candidates. Dealing with a no response from a company, you can find yourself getting down on yourself and questioning are you good enough moving forward. In this phase, the company can be at fault by not having the funding for the position anymore, selecting an internal candidate for the role, organizational change, or a failed job search for that particular position. When you have not received a response from the company, you can follow up with the employer contacts to update you on the position. Also, ask yourself do you really want to be a part of this company and is it worth the pursuit? You can only do so much to impress the company and there is responsibility on the company to close the loop as well.

The Follow Up

After the interview, you are processing what do to next and do what you can control. As a promising candidate, you would like to show the company you are engaged and interested in the position. There a couple ways of contacting the company to provide updates on the search and position by utilizing phone and email. You definitely want to have an action plan after you interview with company. I recommend do the following next steps:
  1. Within 24 hours or two to three days after your interview, you should send Thank You notes or email to the individuals that interacted with you on your interview. This is a simple yet effective way of showing the employer that you are interested in the company and the position. 
  2. After you send your Thank You notes, I suggest contacting the Human Resources representative or the Hiring Committee chair via phone or email to inquire about updates on the position and timeline for this particular position. Keep in mind, you need to prepare with appropriate questions and thank the company representative for taking the time to speak with you.
  3. During this process, you want to be considerate of the company’s time and be patience but assertive when contacting the company to provide you updates on filling the position. As a promising candidate, you want to be professional and remember you are not the only one applying for the vacant position.
  4. Remember how to manage a No Response from a Company. You may have to consider moving on with your job search.

The Offer

In that moment you receive the job offer from company, you are excited about the opportunity and the job search is complete. This may be your Pursuit of Happyness moment.

Processing an Offer: 
When getting the initial offer, you definitely want the documentation via email or actual letter. It is great to have a verbal offer, but you definitely want the offer in writing, so you can formally accept or decline the offer after looking at the specifics of the position

Offer Letter: 
The offer letter will be straightforward and you want to take the time to review the document, which will include the position, title, start date, and salary. You want make sure you make a copy of the letter whether you accept or decline the position for your records. In receiving the offer letter, you want to follow up with the company and mention that you received the offer letter, you are grateful for the company extending the job offer to you, ask any specifics about the position and/or offer letter, and finally that you want some time before you make a decision.

Evaluate The Offer & Negotiating Process: 
In reviewing other potential offers and the current offer, you want to make sure you understand the specifics of the position, look into the benefits beyond the salary, and make sure you have everything order before you make your decision about the offer. Ask the potential employer for the company’s benefits package. I suggest writing down what you like about the position and answer what will make you happy working at this company. When considering to negotiate, you want to make sure you have everything in order have done research pertaining to the job offer. You get one chance to negotiate and understand you want to keep your image and reputation intact in the process.

After you make your decision, remember to be professional and keep all lines of communication open on your end. The worse part of the interview process in the waiting periods, so be sure you stay focus on your goal and make sure you do everything on your part that you can actually control in the job process. It is fine to be assertive during the interview and job search process, but understand the company is conducting a thorough process as well. 

The Auburn University Career Center is available to aid you in your job search and provide you with job search strategies. 

Written by 
Eric J. Hall
Career Counselor

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