Your interview is over. After days of preparation, excitement, anxiety dreams, and boring your cat by making him listen to endless rehearsals of your elevator pitch, the moment of truth has come and gone. You’ve shaken hands with your interviewer one last time and shown yourself out of the building. Now what? Should you put this session behind you and move on? Or are there still a few steps you need to take before you walk away? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you move forward with your job search.

An Interview with a Recruiter

Interviews with employers and recruiters require different forms of follow-up, and in the recruiter’s case, it’s better to err on the side of distance and respect than pushy persistence. Send a hand written thank you note to the recruiter’s office, and then take a breath. Call or send an email if you don’t hear from her within one week. If she doesn’t answer or return your message, wait another week before reaching out again, and so on. Don’t expect constant contact; keep in mind that the recruiter works for her employer clients, not for you. Instead of waiting by the phone, turn your attention back to your search and move on.

An Interview with an Employer

An interview with an employer represents a meaningful step down the path toward an offer, and it’s okay to regard this session as a mutually respectful meeting and the launch of a positive relationship, whether you ultimately work for the company or not. Send a thank you note immediately, and use the note to reiterate your interest in the job and remind the interviewer of your strongest credentials. After you send your note, contact the company by phone or email within three days to request an update.

If you receive no response, it’s okay to reach out again within the next few days to politely remind your interviewer that you’re still interested and still waiting for news. Never call more than once per day, and always keep your messages short and respectful. Expect an eventual response, one way or another; it’s an act of common courtesy to provide interviewees with the results of the selection process, offer or no offer.

Post Interview Blunders

Other than a polite thank-you note, never send anything to your interviewer’s office or home, including flowers, muffins, or gifts of any kind. This is a breach of etiquette that can be misconstrued as a bribe. While you’re at it, beware of the biggest post-interview mistake of all: putting your search on hold while you wait to hear back from your employer. Stay in motion. Keep reaching out, networking, submitting resumes, and gathering offers while you let these employers make their decision.

For more on how to survive the interview process and land your target job, reach out to the career management team at Expert Staffing.

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