Don’t pop the champagne just yet.
1. Determine the hiring process timeline
For the purpose of follow-up planning, politely ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview for the recruitment process timeline. Then make sure you obtain the contact details of the interviewers for future correspondence.
2. Make notes (as quickly as possible)
Write down as much as you can about the interview within a few hours to ensure accurate recall. Include what was talked about, how the interviewees responded to your answers and what they focused on. This information will be vital later on.
3. Check your mobile phone is in order
This may sound obvious, but make sure that that your mobile phone is connected, your voicemail message is professional, and that you’re message bank isn’t full. Simple things like this may mean the difference.
Tip: Include in your voice message a polite greeting (try smiling when you record it), say you will call them back, and provide a short time frame to which you will do so.
4. Send a thank-you email
Crucial step. Within one or two days send a personalised email to those who attended the interview thanking them for their time. In this communication, reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and briefly recap how your strengths relate to the key focus areas discussed.
Tip: If you have any additional supporting documentation (i.e. press clippings, folio images or reference letters), attach. It may be your last chance to do so.
5. Give your references a heads up
Make contact with your references as soon as possible to let them know that they may be receiving a call. They’ll appreciate the heads up and it will give them some time to polish up their glowing endorsement.
6. Complete tasks within 48 hours
If you’ve been assigned an online assessment task (i.e. a psychometric or aptitude test) complete this within two days. Your completion date will be recorded and you don’t want to look like you leave things to the last minute.
7. Call key contacts
If you were referred to a job by a key contact connected with the hiring company, contact them, mention who you spoke with and express your enthusiasm for the role. They may be able to put in a good word.
8. Follow-up phone call
Do this approximately one week after you send your thank-you note, or if you have been provided a process timeline, a few days before decision-making deadline. Politely ask for an update on hiring process and check if they would like any additional information from you. This extra enthusiasm may get you over the line. Tip: If the job is a nine-to-five, call at around 10am, or 4pm. That way you are more likely to catch them. Similarly, don’t call a restaurant around opening or closing.
9. Keep your cool
Don’t panic. The worst you could do is repeatedly follow-up, as it will put you offside with the hiring manager. Instead exercise. Or meditate. Or continue looking at employment options.
10. Prepare for next round
If you have a second-round interview, revisit your post-interview notes and hone in on the hiring manager’s focus. Then put most of your energy into preparing thorough answers to possible questions that relate. Also, build on the information you researched first time around about the company and integrate this into your answers.
Tip: It’s likely that you will be given more time to ask questions second time around, so prepare at least seven or eight questions.
11. Keep quiet on social media
Hiring managers often check social media accounts, so avoid mentioning anything about the interview or the role online. What you say may jeopardise your chances. Also, best not to connect with them via LinkedIn, as it may, in combination with the aforementioned follow-ups, come across as too pushy.