The recruitment process is more than a sum of its main steps — application, the (usually three) interview rounds, and an offer (or rejection). It is more of an ongoing process. What happens between these steps is just as important.
We’d like to talk about the post-interview stage in the recruitment process.
What you can—and should—do after a job interview are these 6 things:
Writing a thank-you note
Following up with your hiring manager
Staying in touch with your recruiter
Preparing for the next step
Continuing your search
Now let’s dive into details of the post-interview process.
1. Taking post-interview notes
We strongly suggest that you log your thoughts immediately after an interview.
What should you write down?
First of all, you must have a list of questions you’ve prepared before going to a job interview. Based on the answers you’ve received, think about the following:
What is your impression of the company? Would you like to work there?
Do you think the position is the right one for you (both technologically and culturally)?
What do you think about the interviewer?
How did you like the interview?
Remember: The better you communicate during the job interview, the more information you’ll have to analyse afterward.
Secondly, think about your own performance in the interview:
How do you think you did in general?
What were the mistakes you made?
How could you have performed better?
If it was a technical interview, see whether you could have solved the problem differently.
2. Writing a thank-you email
Most candidates forget to say thank you. And this is precisely why you shouldn’t.
Regardless of whether you want to continue your application process or not, send a thank-you note to your interviewer.
Because the post-interview etiquette requires you to do so.
Besides, a simple thank-you note can get you an additional credit in good manners and communication skills. It’s your chance to stand out.
When to write it?
Within 24 hours following the interview.
What to write?
Just thank the interviewer for their time. You might add that you are still interested in the position or share your impression of the interview. You can also ask questions that you didn’t manage to address during the interview.
Thank-you email or a thank-you card?
Don’t send a physical card. Send an email. Firstly, snail mail would take too much time to reach the right person. Secondly, it is too old-school. Especially when you are applying for a job in Berlin.
Thank-you note via LinkedIn
A good and smart way to thank your interviewer is via a connection request on LinkedIn. Simply write the same message that you would via email. Add that you would like to stay in touch with them, if they are okay with it.
3. Following up with your hiring manager
Most people don’t write interview follow-up emails, which is a missed opportunity.
Why follow up?
Those who follow up after the interview show their ability to manage the process. They demonstrate both active involvement and serious intentions toward the job.
When to follow up?
How long does it take to hear back from the hiring side after the job interview? Usually, no more than 72 hours. The hiring manager probably mentioned when they expect to contact you. If the response is late, write them first.
If there is still no answer, follow up again. First, within the next 48 and then 24 hours.
If you are working with an agency recruiter, you can write him or her at any time (please not during the night hours).
What to write?
Following up is not only about sending reminders, but also about requesting more information. What you write in your job interview follow-up depends on both the situation and your objectives.
If you haven’t received any feedback from the hiring company:
Explain the reason and purpose of your writing.
Ask for the feedback + follow-up questions.
Ask what the next steps are.
If you are replying to an interview invitation:
Ask what the type and setting of the next interview will be.
Will it be a whiteboard session? Or pair programming? Will you need to bring your own laptop?
Ask who is going to interview you.
Ask what you should prepare for the interview.
Ask what the company’s expectations are.
Do they want to test your technical abilities or is it more about the cultural fit? Do they want you to solve a problem or simply to see how your problem-solving works? Or do they want to see how you work in a team?
And, of course:
Write that you are still interested in the position and looking forward to the next step.
How to follow up if you received a rejection
Rejections happen. No matter how badly you wanted the job, a “no” is not a reason to get extremely upset. Consider it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Try to find out these two things:
1. The reason why you didn’t get the offer. Keep in mind that the most common reasons for rejection are technical ability, communication, and team fit.
2. How you could improve. What do you lack in terms of knowledge or communication that is crucial for the job?
Should you tell about your recruitment process with other companies?
This one is tricky. The general answer is NO (the hiring company might see you as pushy), UNTIL:
They specifically ask you about this.
You have to explain why you have such a busy schedule.
You received an offer from another company.
If you are applying through a recruiting company, notify them first. They usually have a direct contact with the company and will handle this better.
4. Staying in touch with your recruiter
If you are represented by a recruiting agency, stay in touch with them all the time. Talk to us.
Demand more information about the company and the recruitment process.
Share your impression of the company. Speak about your likes and dislikes.
Tell us how your interview went.
Ask us for the hiring manager’s feedback.
Keep us updated on how far in the hiring process you are with other companies.
Remember that your recruiter can (and should) be your advocate. We are interested in your success. If you are working with a good recruiter, it’s not about selling you to their client. It’s about helping you do what’s in your best interest.
5. Preparing for the next steps
And, of course, what is the post-interview process if not a chance to prepare for the next step in your application process?
Use the time you have to get ready for the upcoming interviews. Understand what is expected of you and move in that direction. Ask the right questions and keep in touch with the right people.
6. Looking for other opportunities
Unless you are applying for the job of your dreams, you should consider multiple options. So don’t stop at one position with one company.
It’s not only about increasing your chances to get an offer. By attending job interviews, you learn about the current job market and requirements to professionals at your level. Most importantly, you make new contacts.
Get our updates direct to your mailbox. Subscribe here.