The Follow Up
The post interview period is a delicate time, and it needs to be handled correctly. At this point, there’s not a lot that you can do to help your case; they have seen your resume, they’ve interviewed you, but now they’ve also interviewed several others for that same position and that have some decisions to make.
The Thank You
The first thing that you should do during this period of time is send a thank you note. If you did most of your arrangements over the computer, sending a quick email thanking them for taking the time to meet with you is fine. Even better than this is sending a thank you note in the mail. This is a very small gesture, but it acknowledges the fact that you are a human and they are humans. This is a professional setting, but the people making decisions are all people and being shown some appreciation is always a nice thing, no matter what. So you taking a few minutes out of your day to let them know that you appreciate the opportunity that they gave you is a measure of politeness. Even if you were not the top candidate, it makes you stand out as courteous and kind.
If it’s been two weeks since you interviewed and you haven’t heard anything yet, it is acceptable to call in and check on things. Be very polite, but also ask if they have made a decision about the position that you applied for yet. The secretary that you speak to might not know, so be patient and leave your contact information so that they can follow up with you on their own time if they need to. It is also acceptable for you to ask when they are expecting to have a decision ready. Thank them again for their time, and don’t be pushy about it.
If other directions were given to you on following up, be sure that you stick to those. No one wants to hire somebody that can’t follow directions.
All of these things are important because they keep you in the running. What if the person that they hire doesn’t work out? Rather than going through the application process all over again, they already know that you are interested in the job and that you are going to be appreciative if it is offered to you. Following up prevents this bridge from being burned down, and it keeps you in the running even if the position gets filled. It also shows that you might be a good fit somewhere else within the company. These are all little things, but they add up and help you that much more to keep a foot in the door, improving your chances of getting hired over the long run.
You also need to be cognizant of the fact that you might be asked back for a second round of interviews. If this happens, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Answer their questions, be polite, and be well informed when it comes to the duties that you will be required to fulfill. At this point, it’s about finding the perfect candidate for the company, and if you’re that person, then great. Let your personality shine, and if you are the right person, then they will know it. If you’re not, then be polite, and then move on. There are many job opportunities out there, and you will find the right one if you are patient. Just keep looking and find a company where you can add value, and they can return the favor for you, too.