Step 7: Interview and Follow up

The Interview

An interview is basically a conversation in which both participants share and gather information.  It is the most important event of the job search process so preparation is very important.  As a job seeker, you should view an interview as an opportunity to present your qualifications and convince the employer that you are the best person for the job.  It is also an opportunity to learn more about the position, but this should be a secondary goal if time is limited.  There will likely be other opportunities to get your questions answered.

More information on how to prepare for and make the most of your interview can be found on the following pages.

Interviewing Goals
Types, Methods, and Styles of Interviews
Effectively Answering Interview Questions
The STAR System for Behavioral-Based Questions
Preparing for an Interview
Best Practices for the Interview
Learn and Improve from Each Interview

Thank-You Notes

Following an interview, it is very important to thank the interviewers for their time.  A thank-you note shows your appreciation and gives you one more chance to make a great impression.  The note should mention one or two things that you learned about the job that makes you even more interested in the position or makes you think that you are even better qualified for the position.  A thank-you note should be sent to each person that interviewed you and it is perfectly acceptable to send the note by email.

Best practices for writing thank-you notes can be found here.

Following up

At the conclusion of an interview, it is important to establish what will happen next and the approximate hiring timeline.  Usually, the interviewers will indicate that they will contact you in one to two weeks.  If you don’t hear from the employer when expected, take the opportunity to contact him or her.  Let the individual know that you are still very interested in the position and ask if he or she has any additional questions about your qualifications.  If there is something you had wished you had shared during the interview, this is a good time to mention it.  Hopefully, you will be offered an update on the position but if not, ask if you should check back in a week.  Employers will not mind hearing from you unless you contact them too often, which is why you need to understand their time frame for making a decision.  In some organizations, hiring a new employee is not a quick process.