The Post-interview Handbook to Finding the Perfect Job

Every professional will say they’ve stepped out of an interview and felt positively euphoric. The very same professional will say they’ve stepped out of another interview and felt crushed with how badly it went. How you use your post-interview time is vitally useful in how you prepare for what comes next.

Interviews are only one part of a multi-part process to finding the perfect job, it is not the end goal. Even if you have prepared fully for the interview, and walked out with a job offer, some of the most critical job-seeking stages are yet to come, for example contract negotiation and onboarding. Never assume a good interview means it’s a done deal. See it as a staging post.

Post-interview reflection

You should use your post-interview reflection to prepare for what could happen: success and moving forward to a 2nd interview or contract offer; or rejection.

Crucially not enough candidates take the time to follow a simple 3-stage plan that will make them stand out to interviewers & professionally engage, help their recruiters (if they’re using one) and prepare for future interviews.

Your first, second and third ports of call post-interview should be the following:

Interview Thank You Letter or Email

Whether it’s a phone interview, in person interview, or video interview, sending a thank you letter or email to your interviewer or panel of interviewers is an essential, courteous must-do task. See it as professionally paying it forward – no matter the outcome, you’re acknowledging the opportunity given in being able to meet the team or management, and if you word it well, you can use the thank you email to further reaffirm your potential and desire for the job.

It also gives you the opportunity to revisit, albeit in summary form, anything you feel you wanted to highlight or revisit in the interview, and a thank you email gives you the chance to resend over or re-highlight certain qualifications on your CV or online portfolio.

They should ideally be done immediately following an interview, when both the interview is fresh in your mind, and you are fresh in your interviewer’s mind.

Thank you, letters are also a professional courtesy, if you did not accept or want a job with an employer; not only does it show respect and deference to the process of interviewing but can provide guidance and information to the employer on reasons why you didn’t accept the job. You never know, your guidance may improve their outreach, job advertisement or interview technique.

We provide a thank you email sample here, please adjust it to fit your post-interview requirements.

Seeking Feedback

Whether it’s directly from an employer or via an intermediary such as a recruiter or hiring manager, getting feedback on your interview is vital for professional growth and self-analysis, especially if the interview didn’t go in your favour.

Feedback is essentially an interview review – what did you excel at, what needed more work, what wasn’t communicated at all? It’s the most effective and easiest way to perfect your interview technique, but beware: not all employers take the time to give highly descriptive feedback.

Nevertheless, you have every right to ask for specifics: was there any single reason why you were or weren’t successful? Was the CV effective and communicating my skills or applicability for the role? Did I dress appropriately?

Reviewing Questions or Tests

The second you leave an interview, make notes on what you were asked, what sort of tests were held (if any) and who held the interview.

Not only is this vital for writing your Thank You letters or emails, but they can also be used for a period of self-reflection – using these guideline notes you can build a interview-ready list of expectations and notes for future so you can step into the next interview prepared for similar lines of questioning.

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09-04-2021

2 thoughts on “The Post-interview Handbook to Finding the Perfect Job

  1. Beso says:

    Dear Sir,
    Thank you for this post.
    I wonder, to what extent the British are aware that this post interview thanks is not used in other countries. I progressed in those processes when I took the time to write this thanks. However, more often I do not have the contact details of the interviewer. Additionally, I never receive any response to these thank you notes. Is this the normal?

    1. Christine says:

      Many thanks for your comment. In instances where you do not have the direct contact email of your interviewer, a general email to the company email address (most companies will have a generic info@ or contact@ email address for general messaging) will suffice. Make sure you put “For the attention of…” plus the name of the interviewer, so it will get forwarded onto the interviewer. That is the best way to make sure it finds it’s way to the right person.

      With regard to your interviewers not coming back to you, try not to see it as an affront. Some may not do it on purpose, to keep the interview process as free of “bias” as possible, some may just be busy. But, don’t be downhearted – sending a letter without expecting a reply is still a professional, and humble, thing to do and good interviewers appreciate it.

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