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I just had my first date – oops, I meant my first job interview. Now what?!!!

November 27, 2011

A job interview is very much like going out on a first date.  It can be awkward and strange at times.  You work so hard prepping for your job interview and it can be so nerve racking but what’s even worse is the old waiting game.  As you leave the interview and begin to walk to your car, you can’t stop but wonder what your chances are of getting a second interview or even a job offer.  The more you wait the more your mind begins to play games speculating what kind of impression you left behind or if the company likes you.  Here are some questions that may cross your mind:

Did I nail the interview?  Did I do as well as I could have?  Did I make a good impression?  Could I have answered my interview questions better?  What are they really thinking about me now that the interview is over?  Would I ever hear from them again?  Will they call me back?

Questions sound familiar?  To keep your sanity and emotions in check, here are some suggestions that can help you cope through the waiting period and continue to boost your candidacy during the selection interview process:

Don’t leave without it:  As you meet with interviewers, make it a habit to collect their business cards so that you have their direct contact information with everyone who interviewed you.  If there wasn’t an opportunity for an exchange of business cards, then ask the recruiter or staffing coordinator for a copy of the interview schedule so that you have the correct spelling of the interviewer’s names.

Act fast:  Within 24 hours of the interview, you should be prepared to send out a personal “thank you” email to everyone who interviewed you while you remain fresh in their minds.  If you can, try to reinforce and make the case why you think you are the candidate for the job.  Especially if you wish you had said something during the face-to-face interview.  Draw a connection with something significant or memorable they said during the interview or follow up with further expansion of a question or a problem.  Consider creating a proposal or offer insight on how you would address a problem area on a topic that was discussed.  This will demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skill-set to make a contribution.  Try to continue the dialogue, showcase that you are qualified for the opening or express your interest in the job and the company.

Stay in Touch:  Nothing is wrong with calling the recruiter and getting a sense on how you did or what’s the next step, if any.  Recruiting is all about establishing relationship between you and the employer.  It started before the actual interview and it continues even after the interview.  Being open and transparent during the process can help but be sure to keep a good balance so that you do not appearing desperate or try to force a decision.  Keep in mind, that time may be needed to get the candidate evaluations from the interviewers or time may be needed to allow the company to interview other candidates – respect their time and their selection process.

Accept the fact:  Like many relationships, fit and “chemistry” are important attributes.  It has to work out both ways.  You need to accept the fact that the interview may not have gone well or it just is not a good fit.  If that is the case, don’t get upset or feel rejected that the company has decided to hire someone else for the position.  Dust yourself off.  It is time to move on and continue your job search elsewhere or pursue a new date with another company.  But before you do, send another “thank you” note for consideration for the position.  You will stand out from the other candidates and you will never know if a different position may come available which may be better suited and you may be called back again.

Like many first dates, the waiting period can be very difficult.  By taking some initiative, you maintain contact with potential employers after an interview and it helps you stay in the loop.   Have patience and show your enthusiasm for the position.

Do you have any stories to share about a first date, errr, I meant first job interview gone bad?  Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.   Like us and join the conversation.

Good luck and happy job hunting!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2012 7:05 am

    You don’t need to collect interviewers business cards. One name and a contact email/number should be fine, both of which you should have before stepping through the door in the first place.

    Sending a “thank you” email 24 hours after the interview is terrible advice. If an interviewer can’t remember who you are after 24 hours then you made no impression and you’re not going to get the job.

    I agree with staying in contact. I’ve had interviews which I’ve been rejected for the intial position only to be offered a different position a few weeks later.

  2. Edward Avila permalink*
    March 4, 2012 11:15 am

    Thanks for the feedback and you make some good points. A follow-up “thank-you” email allows you to reinforce your interest in the company and the position as well as continue an open dialogue beyond the face-to-face.


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