By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran
One of the hardest times for job seekers is the period of time following an interview. A job seeker is left wondering what to do next and what to expect. There are things you can do that will help keep you uppermost in the mind of the hiring manager and to continue to influence even after you have left.
Interview finish & wrap up
All interviews have an “arc” to them, meaning that there is a buildup of questions and information exchange and once the bulk of information exchange is completed, the interviewer moves into a closure or wrap up. Sometimes, depending on the interviewer, this can be awkward or abrupt but the job seeker needs to ensure certain information is covered prior to departing to ensure they understand what to expect next.
If the interviewer doesn’t voluntarily offer this information, the job seeker needs to ask questions to obtain it:
Ask About Next Steps and Timing
- What the timing and next steps are expected – This could include second interviews for strongest candidates or simply completing the current round of interviews. There may need to be an internal approval process prior to a job offer.
- Example of question: – What do you expect your next steps and timing will be?
- By asking about the process you have some idea of what to expect and when to expect some type of closure. A rule of thumb is to assume that whatever timeframe they give you will be exceeded. In other words if they tell you they will wrap things up in a week, assume the following week. The hiring process and decision never go as fast as estimated.
- It is acceptable to follow up with an email or phone call to check on the status of their hiring decision as long as you give them an adequate amount of time. You don’t want to make multiple phone calls or to make them too soon. It will cause them to think you are not business savvy.
- Assessment of your qualifications – Many job seekers want and need feedback during the job search process and it is extremely difficult to obtain. One of the most ideal times with the highest likelihood for candid input is while the job seeker has finished the interview and is still with the interviewer. You may still not get completely open feedback but your chances of getting any feedback once you have left the interviewer diminish dramatically.
- Example of question: – Now that we’ve had a chance to discuss my qualifications for this position, how well do I fit with what you are looking for?
- Some people feel like this type of question is pushy or inappropriate to ask of the hiring manager. The hiring manager is in the position of assessing employees and certainly you. As long as you frame the question about your fit rather than a more personal question, it sets them up to give you feedback that will help you gauge the direction of their decision. Also by asking this type of question, if you discover that there may be some missing information in their understanding about you, it will give you one last chance to fill in the blanks.
- You don’t want to drill down or linger on this question or risk making the hiring manager uncomfortable. Keep this short and professional.
By a couple of well placed questions you can sleep better after an interview knowing what to expect and when to expect it.