How to follow up after an interview

You made a good first impression with a strong handshake and a friendly smile. Your presentation seemed to hit to mark with your interviewers staying engaged and taking careful notes. You answered all the questions asked of you with insight and confidence, giving varied examples of relevant experiences that highlight your career successes to date. As you leave the room, you are told you will hear if your interview has been successful within the next 48 hours.

Once you’ve left the building and found a space to sit down, you let out a deep breath and a big smile spreads across your face. It couldn’t have gone better.
So what happens now? Do you just wait it out and hope for the best? Have you done all you can do or are there still ways you can be pro-active now and make a difference to the final outcome?

One thing that might prove to be advantageous is writing a thank you note to the person who invited you for interview within a day of your interview taking place. This does not need to be long, but it shows a sense of courtesy and demonstrates a desire for the position you applied for.

As well as a simple thank you for the opportunity to present your case for the role, it’s a nice idea to mention something specific that you learned from the experience or an example of how the interview process re-affirmed your desire to work for the organisation.

At this point, it’s time to be patient. It can take an organisation time to finalise their decision-making process or follow through with HR procedures before they are ready to make a formal offer. Things can also change during the interview process itself. Some candidates might have flexible working arrangements to consider or there might have been more than one candidate that has impressed at interview, resulting in a new plan to find a way to employ more than one individual.
All of these issues, and others, can delay the recruitment team in reaching the point where they contact the successful candidate, so remain calm and wait for the call. Of course there is also the scenario where the first-choice interviewee is offered the job and then chooses not to accept it for one reason or another.

With these possible delays in mind, don’t panic if you haven’t heard anything before you were told to expect a decision. The vast majority of companies will be courteous enough to let you know if you have been unsuccessful in your application, so this situation is a genuine case of no news is good news.
Once the deadline you were given for a response has passed, it is reasonable to then wait for another few days or even as long as a week before you follow up for more information. This would be best done with either an email or a phone call where you briefly express how keen you are still on the role and ask if there is any further update on the decision.

Be open minded in this correspondence. While this might be the moment you hear confirmation that you haven’t been successful, there is equally the possibility that your call or email instigates a discussion around in what way you are still under consideration for the role or even a different role you are not even aware of yet.
If you learn that you haven’t got the job, remain courteous and thank the interviewer for the opportunity. If you feel it’s appropriate, you might want to suggest that you’d be keen to hear about other suitable positions in the future and make sure you give the impression of enthusiasm to work at the organisation as well as being willing to learn new skills or transfer some of your expertise into other areas, should that be required.

However the news arrives, whether shortly after your interview or after a longer period of time, if in this instance you find you haven’t got the job it is always advantageous to ask for feedback relating to your application.

The decision to employ an alternative candidate might relate to a number of things outside of your control, but equally there may be very specific things about your CV or your approach that will provide you with very useful insight ahead of a future interview – either at this organisation or somewhere else. However disappointed you may feel if unsuccessful, be assured that the right legal jobs are out there for you if you keep looking.

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Picture of Taylor Day
Taylor Day
Picture of Taylor Day
Taylor Day

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