Applications / Interviews

After the interview……

Sometimes its easy to assume in this global economy that job hunting and recruitment is the same the world over. Many of us know that this isn’t true. For example, CVs look very different in different countries, but what about post interview etiquette? Well that’s different too. In the UK we tend to wait patiently, or not so patiently, to hear the outcome, but there’s also a mid Atlantic approach. Our guest contributor this week Josh Hansen shares his views.

“You crushed it at interview. You knew about the company and how you could add value as their star employee. You dressed to kill, had a great handshake and asked all the right questions. You can just relax now, right?

Putting your feet up could spell disaster! There are a host of tactics you can use to ensure that dream gig is yours.

Next steps

After the Businesswoman Using Digital Tablet In Coffee Shopinterview head for a coffee shop, grab a latte and start scribbling. What was said? What particularly impressed the interviewer? How was the role described? Were any particular targets or tasks mentioned? Did you and the interviewer bond over anything? Make notes, this is your ammunition in the coming days and weeks.

Send a quick note to thank the interviewer for the meeting. Gauge the best way to do this, some employers value a handwritten note, others prefer an email. Whatever you decide keep it brief!

Dear X

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss your opening for ?. It was great to meet you and I am very excited about the prospect of working for you.

I’ll touch base with you by email in a few days’ time.

Best wishes


This keeps the lines of communication open and sets an expectation of further contact. If you don’t follow through it could be detrimental.

So what do you say next? Reiterate interest in the job and add value. Use those notes you made. Which two or three points stand out the most? Have you been able to find out anything new – perhaps you could send a link to a relevant article? Sector specific news could present you with a golden opportunity to stand out, showing yourself passionate and knowledgeable. Tell them you’ll follow up with a call in a week.

Remember there are other possible jobs

Keep looking and applying for other jobs. It may take some time for the hiring decision to be made and you don’t want to miss out. Applying for other jobs will develop your knowledge of the industry and keep you occupied!

What if you are offered something else? Great – pick up the phone! Remind your main interviewer who you are and when you met, and let them know that while the job on offer at their company is your first choice, you have had another proposition. Be friendly – you have a degree of power, but don’t be too pushy! Let them know you’ve managed to buy a bit of time with the other company. Your honesty and confidence should leave them impressed and might help secure the job.

Think through your priorities – is this dream job worth holding out for? For how long? You have bills to pay and a life to lead. Keep the company which has made the offer in the loop. This won’t make you look bad in their eyes – they want you and, if anything, it will impress them that you have other prospects. Stress your enthusiasm for working with them (they mustn’t feel like a second choice) and tell them you will let them know within a given time frame.

Even if you haven’t been offered another role, put in a call to the interviewer a week after your last email. Politely refresh their memory as to who you are and ask if they have a moment to speak. When you get the go-ahead, ask if they have come to a decision. This isn’t the time to flag up all your good points again, be graceful. If they haven’t filled the position, ask when they think they might do so. If they have, then there’s only one of two outcomes…

End game

If you land the dream gig, congratulations! Now what? If this isn’t a grad scheme you may need to negotiate your pay and benefits. Be confident! Research salary and benefits at your level in the industry. Perhaps you have a contact who can fill you in? Or start with online resources such as Settle on a figure in your head and then wait for the employer make the first move. Don’t blink first! Let them name their price and keep quiet. Let it hang in the air before you counteroffer. If your request is initially rejected, don’t be disheartened. Explain why the higher salary is justified and what the company will gain. If this doesn’t work, then take the other benefits into consideration. Is there health insurance? Are the working hours flexible? These things can make up for – and more – any shortcomings in salary.

If you didn’t get the role on this occasion, don’t be too disheartened. You’re not going to change their mind, but it’s time for one last email. Thank them for considering you and let them know that you’d be interested in working with them in the future. This classy approach shows that you are cool and collected, and if it was a close call, you’ll remain in their mind when the next job comes along. Chances are when you follow these steps for your next interview, you’ll be happily ensconced elsewhere if they ever come calling!”

So would I do all this? Perhaps. I’d find it difficult to send the follow up letter. I might consider it if I knew I were applying to an American company.  Do I recommend it? Maybe, but only if you feel comfortable about it and are confident that you’re not going to be too pushy. Remember always to be yourself!

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