Post-Interview Advice

A reader writes…

Dear, Anita,
I just came home from an interview (and I actually think it went pretty well)! Problem is, I know that other candidates are being considered and a decision has yet to be made. What can I do to stay top of mind with this company?

Dear, “Standout,”

Just because the interview is over doesn’t mean you can’t continue to make a good impression. Here are a few things you can do post-interview to remain ahead of the competition. Some of my suggestions are a bit obvious, but others (if I do say so myself) are a bit brilliant!
(You decide which are which!)

  1. Ask about next steps – Since you are already home from your interview, this may not apply – but in general, you should always ask when they plan on making a decision and what you may expect as next steps in the process.
  2. Write a personal thank you note – Before you leave the interview, be sure to gather a business card from each person in attendance. It is critical that you send a thank you note (ideally hand-written rather than emailed) to everyone involved. Watch for spelling of names and extend your appreciation for their time and consideration. More importantly, bring up a topic that you picked up on during the interview and briefly reiterate any accomplishments or related experiences that you may be able to contribute. End by emphasizing your interest in the position.
  3. Establish a preferred method of communication – The last thing you want to do is become a pest, yet you want to make sure the hiring manager or recruiter knows you are extremely interested. Specifically ask how the recruiter, hiring manager, or decision maker would prefer you follow up. Is a phone call ok? Email?
    NOTE: In some cases, you may be told NOT to follow up. (It’s the classic example of , “don’t call us… we’ll call you” – Never fun to hear… but it happens!)
  4. Show respect – Point #3 leads me here. If the employer says they will contact you in a week… don’t call them thenext day! Likewise, if they specifically say not to contact them at all… don’t. If you don’t follow instructions now, they think you won’t once they hire you either.
  5. Stay on top of your game – There’s a chance you may be asked to return for another interview. In addition to preparing and “practicing” answers to common interview questions, do some more research on the company and prepare some thoughts to bring up in the next round. Asking questions about the company shows you’ve done your homework!
  6. Check your emotions at the door – If it turns out you don’t get the position, don’t lash out or become defensive. Things change and you don’t want to burn any bridges.

Hey Managers / Supervisors… what post-interview tactics have impressed you the most or made candidates stand out? What has been most annoying? Post your comments here!


Drive to work = Divorce?

A reader writes…

Hi Anita,
I, like many Americans, am stuck in traffic to and from work every day.  Living in Southern California, I feel like I’m in a marriage with the 405 freeway, rather than with my husband.  There’s suddenly a lot more tension around the house (once I finally get home).  I can’t afford to change jobs, and don’t expect you to dish out marital advice, but what can I do?

Dear, “Chagrined Commuter,”

You’re right, my purpose here is to offer work-related advice, but I find your question interesting  —and am sure plenty of others can relate!

For many people, a long commute is just part of the job.  You need to factor in this time away as part of your work schedule – which may mean a big shift in responsibilities at home. 

Now, I have no idea what your personal  life is like, but if you’re expected to be “June Cleaver” and have the chores done, dinner on the table, and kids in bed on time – ALL after pulling an 8-hour workday plus a 2-hour (round-trip) commute, something’s gotta give!

You and your spouse need to openly discuss options and figure out how to divvy responsibilities.  Since it doesn’t sound like your commute will be going away anytime soon, I encourage you to make the most out of your driving time.  For instance:

  • Get on the phone with your hubby (using a hands-free device at all times PLEASE), and chat it up while you’re on the road.  He can keep you company; you can discuss your days, and figure out a “plan” for dinner, etc.
  • Use the time to unwind.  Listen to a talk-radio show, play some good tunes, or enjoy some peace and quiet (something you may not get at work… and you DEFINITELY won’t get at home if you have toddlers!)
  • Take advantage of the time to unwind from your day on the job and transition into your “other job” as wife, mom, and/or CEO of the homestead.  This mental shift will help you turn off work so that you can fully engage with your family once you pull into the driveway.

Commutes are a lot of work – but so is marriage!  My friends at CareerBuilder recently posted an article on this very subject that I think you’ll enjoy:

I sincerely wish you all the best and remind you to drive safely!

No Longer “Enthused.”

A reader writes…

Dear Anita,
In my role, I am constantly on the go: managing staff, dealing with issues, overseeing projects…  you name it, I’m involved.  The problem is, my energy levels are fading, and I’m not all that “thrilled” about half the stuff I’m presenting to co-workers companywide. 
Am I so burnt out I want to change my career?  No.  But do I need some tips on getting pumped up about work initiatives?  You bet. I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Dear, “Energy Burst,”

Aside from getting a lot of sleep, maintaining a good work-life balance, and sipping a few extra cups of coffee…  there’s not much you can do to fix this situation.

Just kidding.

The fact is, you are representing a product (or service) in what seems to be a high-profile position at your company.  Even though you may not be jazzed about the content you are pitching (or training, or presenting…), you need to appear as though it’s the best thing since sliced bread!

So how do you do it?
Fake it.

Here’s an article from the American Management Association that addresses this very topic and includes tips on body language and more… to help you get through!

 Happy Acting!

Résumé Required?

A reader writes…

Is it necessary to bring a hard copy of my résumé to an interview?

Dear, “Above and Beyond,”

Now that résumés are so often submitted through online applications, posted on job boards, or emailed directly to potential employers… many job seekers have stopped bringing a hard copy with them (assuming it’s unnecessary).

Well, you know what they say about people who “assume…!”

The fact is, you absolutely SHOULD bring a copy.  Even better, bring a handful of copies – after all, you never know how many people may be meeting with you during the interview process, right?

It is the polite and professional thing to do.  Not all hiring managers are well prepared.  (Ok… there are a few out there who would not only have your résumé printed out – but they would have notes, questions, and comments hand-written in the margins!)  Not everyone is on the ball like that – though I can name a few people!

By handing over a résumé, you are simplifying the process and leaving behind a tangible piece of information that will sit front-and-center on the hiring manager’s desk. You probably won’t lose points for not bringing one, but you just may earn big points for being extra prepared and thorough!

Be sure to have it printed on nice, quality résumé paper – no flimsy typing sheets, nothing glossy or hot pink, and for heaven’s sake… no sprits of perfume or fragrance!

If you need any help with content or formatting, I highly recommend this professional résumé writing source.

Good Luck!


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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