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Post Interview Etiquette

What Post Interview Etiquette Is


Woman writing thank you notes on coffee table
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After you interview for a job you’re often eager to hear how it went. Did you get the job? Will you be called back for a second interview? But there are rules you need to follow, a post interview etiquette. If you don't follow this post-interview etiquette, you might harm your chances of getting the job or inadvertently anger your potential employer.

Send a Thank You Note

This isn’t a necessity, but it never hurts to thank someone for interviewing you. True, it’s not a typical situation -- you didn’t receive a gift, after all -- but a thank you note can make you stand out from other applicants if competition for a job is tough. If you do send a note, make sure to do it right after the interview and make sure to keep it brief and professional. (It can even be on standard stationery.) Basically you want to thank your interviewer for taking the time to speak to you and express, again, how interested you are in the position.

Be Mindful How You Follow Up

Employers often take a lot of time before they decide to hire someone. This means you will, likely, have to wait longer than you want to find out if you landed a job. Now it is ok to follow-up after an interview, but only after a certain period of time and only once. If you start pestering someone about whether they’ve made a hiring decision, you will become a nuisance and, potentially, endanger your chances of landing the job. You need to remember that hiring managers are often people trying to do their regular job AND fill a position. They have tasks they need to do and, unfortunately, filling an open job position might not be at the top of their list. So don’t bother them. If you haven’t heard a response in over a week, you can send a short email checking in and, again, expressing your interest. Don’t call. (Calling, in general, is more invasive.) After that, you need to let it be.

What if You Don’t Hear Anything?

Unfortunately employers don’t always deliver bad news. Many people who are hiring someone, especially if the person is not in the HR department, don’t get back to the candidates who didn’t get the job. It’s not the best practice, but it does happen. Follow the rule above about contacting people but, if it’s been weeks and weeks and still no word, you can send a second note. (That said, if it’s been weeks and weeks, you can also assume you didn’t get the job.)

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