Your role in the interview process continues after the actual interview.
When you leave the interview, make notes on the following:
- Job-related information shared by different people with whom you spoke. Follow up with a thank-you email to each and mention a couple of details from your conversation.
- Observations about the space and overall atmosphere. You may be evaluating multiple job offers and you’ll have notes to compare.
- Points you planned to make about your qualifications but did not. Include one or two when you follow up and/or remember to share them in your second interview.
Within 24 Hours
Send a thank-you note. Decisions are often made quickly after interviews, so emailing a thank-you note may be best. If you can deliver your handwritten notes, that’s acceptable, too.
- Send a thank-you note to everyone with whom you interviewed and mention something specific about the conversation.
- Reiterate your interest in the position and, if you forgot to mention a relevant qualification during the interview, include it.
- Proofread carefully to avoid grammatical or spelling errors.
- Sample thank-you letter (This can be formatted as email).
Follow up on the hiring status
- At the end of the interview, ask when you might hear from them again. This will give you an idea of when you should follow up on the hiring status.
- Wait a day or two after the date they provided, then send an email restating your interest and asking about the hiring status. If the employer suggested that you call to check the status, then call rather than email.
- If you are unsure about steps to take, contact your career consultant for guidance.
Withdraw from consideration if you’re certain it’s not a fit
- If you’re confident that you would not accept an offer, let the employer know that you appreciate the interview but have decided to pursue other opportunities.
- It’s not professional to simply stop communicating with the employer if and when you lose interest.
- Review additional information on conducting an ethical job search.
Offer and Negotiation
Prepare for second-round interviews
- You may be invited for a second interview (or more) where you’ll meet additional staff and go into greater detail about the position and your qualifications. Review your notes from the first interview for clues as to what might be asked and reminders of what you want to emphasize that you may have missed before.
- You may feel more relaxed and confident this time and, while that’s positive, you want to remember that you’re still being evaluated. Demonstrate the professionalism and preparation that impressed them the first time.
- In some fields, subsequent interviews include a presentation, demonstration of technology, or conversations during a meal. Take the time necessary to prepare, and, if you are unclear about anything, ask.
- Brief videos of employers in different fields offering insight on second interviews
Prepare to Receive an Offer
- Even if eager to accept the position, it’s better to respond initially along these lines: “Thank you so much for the offer. I’m excited about the position and the potential to contribute. Is there a deadline by which you need to know?” In responding this way, you have not committed to anything before having a chance to evaluate details of the offer.
- Do not accept an offer thinking you will renege if a better offer comes along. Imagine the employer offering you the job and agreeing to your terms, then calling you back to say a better candidate came along. Accept a position when you’re ready to honor your commitment.
Prepare to Negotiate Terms of the Offer
- Evaluate the job in terms of your workplace and job values and the compensation package.
- Negotiating salary and/or other benefits is standard. That said, you have to make a case for what you’re proposing. You can’t simply say, “I need to earn more.”
- Create a budget and calculate the salary you will need. Research salary information on positions comparable to the one you’ve been offered.
- If you’re unable to negotiate a different salary, look for other things you might negotiate like tuition reimbursement, bonuses, relocation expenses, etc.
- Just as you practiced answering interview questions, practice your negotiation conversation. For example, “Thank you for taking time to talk with me about the offer. In researching salaries for this job in (geographical area), I found the typical range is ____. With my experience in ___ and my accomplishments related to ___, I believe this is a fair range.”
- As you practice, imagine different responses from the employer so you can prepare to stay in conversation.
- If you have additional questions about the negotiation process, contact your career consultant for guidance.