After the Interview
Things to Do After an Interview
Reflect On and Assess Your Interview
After your interview, take some time to summarize the questions you were asked and what you answered. In addition, make note of anything you wish you told your interviewer but didn't - success stories or specific examples to a question. By doing this you not only prepare yourself for a second interview if you get one, but you can use what you've learned to prepare for any future interviews.
Evaluate the Employer and the Culture
While you wait to find out if they think you're a match for the job and the employer, spend some time considering if the employer's culture is a good fit for you. Consider: what are the employer’s visions, goals, and behaviors, and how do you fit within them? After all, career is a two-way street!
Reflecting on your Experience
- What did you notice about the culture and the environment?
- Did other employees seem satisfied and comfortable?
- Does the employer reflect your values?
Forecasting for the Future
- Will you be happy in this environment?
- Does the employer meet your needs for a work/life balance?
- Will your salary cover expenses?
Send A Thank You Letter
A “thank you” can go a long way:
- Following up with an employer is an important part of the interview process.
- A thank you reminds the employer of your candidacy and allows you to reiterate your interest in the position.
- Keep it to 1-2 paragraphs.
- Remind them of your qualifications.
- Mention the date of your interview and something you discussed or enjoyed learning about during your interview.
Your timing is important:
- Say thank you within 24 hours after every interview.
- You can use mail or email. Many employers do have quick hiring timelines, so email is generally the fastest way to express your gratitude.
Sample Interview Note
In the subject line of the email, you should list the position title (e.g., Graphic Designer) and the words “Thank You.”
Good morning, Andrea,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about the Graphic Design position at Walters & Associates.
It was a pleasure meeting with you and I enjoyed learning more about the role and the employer. After our conversation, I believe I would be an excellent fit for this position, and I am confident that my skills and experiences are a great match considering the need for creativity and advanced skill in building Excel spreadsheets.
I am excited about the possibility of joining your team and would greatly appreciate a follow-up as you move forward with the hiring process. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone. I hope to hear from you soon.
Evaluating the Offer
You had a great interview and perhaps they've made you an offer. How do you know if you should accept?
Reflection is key for determining if the position is the best fit for you. Take time to evaluate the offer. Consider:
- Job fit: Does the role fit with your goals? Will you like the work?
- Location: Consider factors such as the weather, cost of living, and city life. Will you have to relocate? Do they provide relocation assistance? What would your commute look like?
- Benefits: Beyond salary, benefits can increase the value of an offer. What benefits does the employer provide? Consider paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance, retirement, childcare or wellness benefits.
- Employer culture: Can you visualize yourself within the organization? Do your values align?
- Compensation: Is the offer competitive for the industry, job level, and location?
- Advancement: Will the position challenge you and give you room to grow? Will you learn new skills and gain experience to further your career?
Evaluating the Offer
Responding to an Offer (or offers!)
You might receive an offer during the final interview, the next day, or within 2-6 weeks after your interview. Always evaluate and negotiate offers before accepting any of them! This will help you avoid reneging on an offer (saying “no” after you already said “yes”).
Accept the Offer
Congratulations on finding the right position! Once you have decided to accept an offer you should do so verbally (by phone or even in person at the end of an interview) and in writing. The employer may ask you to sign a formal offer letter, or you can write a less formal email to create a written record. If you write something yourself, include:
- Thank you for the opportunity
- Clear acceptance of the offer
- Terms and conditions (salary, benefits, job title, etc.)
- Starting date
Decline the Offer
There are many good reasons to decline an offer: a low salary, mismatched job responsibilities, not enough room for advancement, or not a good fit between you and your future boss or coworkers. Declining an offer can be done via email or hard copy letter.
Ask for more Time
You may need more time to evaluate a job offer—that is okay. Two to six weeks is a reasonable period of time for you to consider an offer, although many employers prefer a decision from you in much less time. Asking an organization when they need your decision about the job offer shows you are treating their employment offer seriously. You can be honest when asking for more time if you are interviewing for multiple positions—this will help you make the best decision for yourself and for the employer so that you are certain the job is for you, if/when you do accept.
Accepting a job offer and then turning it down later (reneging) is considered unprofessional and unethical behavior. Accepting a job offer should be done in good faith. Once you accept one offer, professional ethics suggest that you withdraw from further interviews with other employers.
Take the time to withdraw from other applications after accepting another offer. Politely inform other employers with whom you have interviewed that you have accepted another position and are unable to move forward in the process. Thank them for their time.
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