After the Interview
As a matter of courtesy, it is important to send the interviewer a short thank you letter/e-mail after the interview. This process is one of the most important yet least used tools in a job search. Thank you letters should be sent to the interviewer the same day, if possible. At the very latest they need to be mailed within a week. Make your letters warm and personal, and use them to: reemphasize your strongest qualifications, reiterate your interest, draw attention to the good match between your qualifications and the requirements and to express your sincere appreciation. If the interviewer indicated a specific time frame by which you should learn of your status as an applicant, be sure to mention that you are looking forward to hearing from him or her by this time.
As is the case with other types of employment correspondence your thank you letter should be neatly typewritten to ensure a professional image.
If you have received no response within a few weeks of the interview, you may wish to follow up with a phone call to the office of the person doing the selection.
Evaluating the interview
Immediately following your interview, take some time to evaluate your performance. Consider what you can use in future interviews to strengthen your effectiveness. Each interview should be a learning opportunity and an opportunity to profit from your experience.
Generally, you will find that the more you interview, the better you become at effectively presenting yourself.
As you evaluate your interviews, you will develop new skills in the entire process of interviewing. Beyond being well prepared, don't underestimate the importance of being enthusiastic. Be the best you can be. Highlight your qualifications and potential. The number one rule in any hiring situation is to convince the organization that you are worth more than they will be paying you. Be confident in yourself, and don't give up trying.
When you have done everything to prepare for the interview and are satisfied that you have presented yourself in the best light possible, the next step is to let it go. There is something to be learned from each interview.
Give yourself credit for getting an interview - only a small percentage of people get this far in the process. Give yourself a pat on the back for going out there and putting yourself on the line, even though it is painful for you. Give yourself permission to not get selected. Believe that an offer will come through when it is the right offer - the right fit for the organization and for you.
Consider Keeping an Interview Journal
As soon as possible after the interview, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action you should take and put it on your calendar. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the information you needed? What might you do differently next time? This is particularly helpful if you are working on a number of search/ interviews at the same time.
You have been selected, but you need more time to decide
You have been selected but for various reasons are not sure you want to accept. The first step to take after receiving either a verbal or written offer is to acknowledge the receipt of the offer, thanking the organization for his/her interest and showing an understanding of the terms stated. Acknowledgement does not mean acceptance. It is appropriate to ask the organization for more time to consider all your options. Be clear about the time frame you will need to make the decision. Get back with your employer no later than the date agreed upon. Remember though, an employer has the right to withdraw an offer any time prior to acceptance. For more information contact the Career Services Office.
Declining a job offer
Should you be offered a job that you are not interested in, let the employer know as soon as possible. As an act of courtesy a rejection letter should include the following: show appreciation and express regret and give your reasons as briefly as possible for not accepting the position. You will want to keep the door open for future contacts. Your first or second job may not develop into a lifetime career. You may wish to consider this company again. For more information contact the Career Services Office.
Dealing With Rejection
Don't get discouraged. Rejection is part of any search. The key is to learn from the process. If you are like most people, you may interview several times before being selected.If you consistently find you are not being selected, consider some of the following factors:
- Have you set realistic goals for yourself?
- Do you need to do your pre-interview research more thoroughly?
- Are you presenting yourself in the best possible manner?
- Does your résumé reflect your career interests and support your claims? Does it represent the real you?
- Are you conveying an enthusiastic and well-informed interest in the position and an eagerness to learn?
- You may want to ask the organization for constructive criticism or recommendations for future interviews.