Many applicants consider the interview to be the hardest part of the job search process. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into interviewing well and even then, how well an applicant comes across in the interview can depend on the interviewer and what they’re looking for. If the interview goes well, applicants could reasonably expect that they’re a good candidate for the job.
However, there are some common mistakes that applicants make after the interview is over which can jeopardize their chances of getting the job.
Following Up Can Hurt Your Chances
A common mistake applicants make after the interview is in the follow-up process. Following up with a potential employer is perfectly acceptable and may even be expected. It’s when applicants follow up too much that it starts to become a problem.
Hiring managers are busy and receiving follow-up phone calls or e-mails too soon after the interview, too often, or in a method of communication they don’t prefer can actually end up hurting your chances of being hired by that company. Here are some common follow-up mistakes to avoid after the interview.
Failing to Follow Up
No follow-up at all can lead your interviewer to think that you’re ghosting the company. Any kind of follow-up, whether that’s a card, a phone call, or an e-mail, will go a long way towards not only making a good impression but also letting the company know that you’re still interested. A lot of applicants make the mistake of not realizing how important follow-up is to the interview process. It’s another opportunity to make a good impression and demonstrates commitment and politeness.
Sending a Generic Thank You Note
Although it’s up for debate whether a thank you note is necessary following an interview, it’s polite to do so. It can give the company a good impression of your manners and show that you not only enjoyed the interview, making you a good fit for the company, but that you’re still interested in the position following the interview. A thank you note should be sent, either via e-mail or snail mail, within one to two days after the interview.
A mistake that many applicants make is sending a generic thank you note. Doing this might be quicker and easier, but it can make it look like you forgot what you discussed in the interview or like you just don’t care. This mistake is especially devastating if you’ve send similar generic notes to multiple people at the same company who will meet together to discuss whether or not to hire you. They will compare their letters and realize that you didn’t take the time to write them each an individual note.
A thank you note doesn’t need to be award-winning, but it does need to be personal. Mention something specific from the interview that you remember discussing with each person or address a question that the interviewer asked you. Don’t forget to mention how much you appreciate the opportunity or why you feel that you’re a good fit for the position.
Following up Too Much
Even though following up with your interviewer is expected and courteous, it’s important to not do it too much. Respect any limitations that your interviewer has set up. If they prefer to be contacted only via e-mail, don’t waste their time and yours by calling them.
If your interviewer has given you a specific date by which you should hear back from them, don’t contact them for a status update before that date. Send a thank-you note either through snail mail or via e-mail within a day or two of your interview, but otherwise, respect that date. Once that date has passed, a check-in for a status update may be more appropriate.
It’s a good idea to ask your interviewer at the end of your interview when you can expect to hear back. You can also ask at that time when and how they would prefer you to contact them. Hiring managers are very busy and if you continually call and e-mail asking for a status update, they’ll feel more harassed than impressed with your dedication.
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