How good can a movie be if the ending is a total stinker? Does it matter if a team plays well for three quarters of a game if they completely blow it in the final two minutes? How awful would a New Year’s countdown be if the ball got stuck halfway down? No matter the example you choose, finishing counts – and finding a job is no different.

Every stage in the job search process is important. However, while job seekers often place a lot of importance on developing their job search materials and preparing before a job interview, many neglect to consider what happens afterwards. Just like there are activities that set you up for success prior to meeting with a potential employer, there are things job seekers should do right after a job interview.

Clearly Define the Follow-up

Far too often, job seekers find themselves surviving the whirlwind of the interview process, only to leave the office thinking, “Now what?” Then, the waiting game sets in. “Am I supposed to be emailing them? Will they reach out to me first?” It’s already stressful enough to evaluate your performance during the interview; why add an extra layer of worry by guessing what do to afterwards?

Before leaving the office on interview day, be sure to clearly define the follow-up steps the employer wishes to stick to. For example, if they inform you of their intention to contact you within a week, it’s best to wait until then until inquiring about the status of your application. Following the guidelines established by the employer shows listening skills and attention to detail.

Write Down Exactly What You Feel

In the moments following an interview, there are usually a million thoughts floating around in your head. From considering the effectiveness of your handshake to wondering if you asked the right questions, there are no shortage of job interview aspects to ponder. Before precious details slip your mind, spend some time writing down everything you can think of right after a job interview. Some questions to consider are: How do you feel about the company now? How do you think you performed in the interview? What questions do you still have that need to be answered by the employer? Don’t hold anything back! The more you jot down now, the more you’ll have to refer back to later.

Follow Through on Any Special Requests

During some interviews, an employer may request that you send along additional materials or take specific steps following your meeting. It’s important to be prompt with your follow through on any of these items. Within 24 hours of the job interview, applicants should be sure to deliver any requested documents, check-in with references or complete any final forms as directed by the organization of interest.

Keep Connecting

While you’re tying up the loose ends from an interview, be sure to connect with the new contacts you made within the organization on LinkedIn. Taking the time to personalize your connection request will help increase the odds of your account being recognized and accepted. However, be aware that while you may be able to learn more about a company and the people you’re considering working with, the same is true on the other side of the table. Make sure all of your accounts are up-to-date and reflecting the professional you strive to be!

Thank You, Thank You

You ca never say “thank you” enough! Job seekers should be sure to express gratitude during and after interviews. Be sure to keep track of the names and contact information for everyone you interact with along the application process. At minimum, each of these people should receive an email thanking them for their time, and expressing your interest in the role and the organization. Taking it a step further, handwritten thank you cards can really stand out in a crowded field and add a personal touch. Combining both methods to make a thank you one-two punch doesn’t hurt, either! 

It’s not enough to just nail a job interview! Often times, what happens afterwards is just as important. By making sure to check off these five things that job seekers should do right after a job interview, you’ll boost your odds of being remembered! Do you have tips for what do when you exit the office on interview day? Share your tips with other readers by commenting below!

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