Interviewing? Do They Think You Are Crazy

Walking out of your interview, you're pumped; things went great! You rush to the car, email the interview thank you note ReResumeMe wrote for you, and relax.

You’re positive you hit all the high marks during your conversations with the interview panel. You left a great impression, and while you don’t want to sound arrogant, you’re pretty sure it’s in the bag. Now it's simply a waiting game.

While the above description may be true, and seems pretty straight forward, this is where the interview process gets dicey. Regardless of how well the interview went, it’s the moves you make during the wait that will further excite your new boss or leave them scratching their head and walking away. Understanding when to push, when to check in and when to walk away can be the difference in landing a great offer or none at all.

So when should you follow up? Should you call in a week, wait for the hiring manager to call you or simply send a quick email when you've not heard anything? Let’s face it, following up after an interview is for your benefit, not the team you interviewed with. They know what’s going on from their side of the fence. Checking in won’t compel them to make their decision sooner, but you may turn them off if you aren’t smart about it.

Don’t Follow Up After Your Interview

Sending a thank you note after an interview is always advised. Touching base after that point requires some thought. If a timetable for a decision was shared with you during the interview process, be mindful and use that date as a guardrail for following up.

Aim for two or three days after the deadline, not the exact date given. It’s important to show you’re interested and engaged, but you don’t want to send the message that you weren’t listening or don’t understand how business processes work.

There could be many reasons a potential employer may have missed their goal to close the position. Appropriate follow up from your side signals you understand hiring takes time and you’re patiently waiting.

If a timetable wasn’t shared, follow up two or three weeks after your last meeting; provided they don’t reach out sooner. You’ll be tempted to rattle their cage much quicker, but you need to trust the process and the strength of your candidacy- not come across as impatient or obnoxious.

Send An Email To Check In

Everyone is busy. Email gives the receiver flexibility to reply when they have time to do so vs. playing phone tag with you. If you don’t get a response to your email, don’t overact. It’s not a “sign”.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have policies limiting their contact with candidates outside of the actual interview. You have to be at peace with the fact that you’ve done your best as a candidate and the process is out of your control. Don’t send a second email. You’re not selling candy for your school band. Being a pest is a sure way to kill an offer.

Don’t Press For A Final Decision

Unless you’re ready to burn a bridge or you have another offer on the table, don’t press the hiring company for a final decision. Doing so sends a terrible message that you aren’t familiar with how companies hire, or the time it takes to execute a hire.

Perhaps the company would like to hire you, but they need to meet with internal applicants. Perhaps the hiring manager is on vacation and the process is simply stalled. Maybe they are changing the role to better fit your skills or salary requirements. The possibilities go on and on.

Just know when you demand a date for a decision, you have one foot out the door and the other on a banana peel. The only time a company will respond favorably to this type of pressure is when you have a competing offer on the table and they’ve already decided to extend an offer to you. Even then, they may still walk away from you if your timing doesn't align with theirs.

Hiring processes aren’t as easy as flipping a switch and the company may not be able to get an offer out to you any sooner than their timetable allows. If you play your hand and apply pressure, be sure you’re ready for the company to thank you for your time and move forward without you in the mix.

Don’t Throw A Fit If You Don’t Receive An Offer

No matter how well things went for you during the interview process, you might not be “the one”. Maybe an internal candidate or an individual better qualified for the position won the job.

Regardless of how frustrating the interview process was, don’t voice it after the fact. You’ll appear petty and will most certainly burn a bridge with the company going forward. Fume as much as you want, but you wouldn’t be bummed if you weren’t excited about the company, so keep your cool.

Remain professional and keep the door open. I’ve witnessed companies call candidates’ weeks, months and even years later to engage on a new opening they believe would be a better match. You want to leave that possibility open.

Relax, It’s Out Of Your Hands

After years of interviewing and hiring folks for both our organization and client companies, I’ve met a lot of candidates. While I can’t say I know how well everyone I’ve interviewed handles the wait, I can tell you I recognize it when someone doesn’t handle it well.

Don’t ruin the awesome impression you’ve made during the interview process by freaking out after the fact. Relax, understand it’s out of your hands, and remain professionally engaged. Regardless of the outcome, when it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad you kept your head on straight.

Still Need Interview Help

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About The Author

Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe.com, a Board Member at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. and a recognized Coach for Forbes Coaches Council. Leveraging more than 16 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna and her team are refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or the ReResumeMe team on Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!