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Post Interview Etiquette

As a program manager with over 10 years of experience hiring hundreds of people, I find that the candidates are very anxious in finding out the results of the interview and they try to find the most delicate ways to find out how they may have fared.  Which brings to mind, what are the applicable rules or “dos” and “don’ts” for getting feedback following the interview? People should bear in mind that HR recruiters and interviewers are people too and letting them know you appreciate their time and consideration is a wonderful act of kindness.  Sending a hand written thank you note is an ideal way of saying you appreciate the time they took to speak with you and it can absolutely separate one candidate from another.  In many of the courses I facilitate for federal employees, I urge people to bridge the gap of communication between the interviewer and themselves by sending a written note of thanks so that they may stand out as someone who truly wants to make the best and most positive impression. Many people who conduct interviews are not professional recruiters, so it can make a big difference if they are the gatekeepers or a stakeholder in the organization.  I’ve compiled a short list of things people can do to place emphasis on their interest in the position including the following:

  1. Try to gain a rapport with the receptionist, secretary of HR person from the very beginning.  It will prove to be useful as you inquire about the position being filled or your chances of getting the job.
  2. When following up post interview, it’s essential to apply Rule Number 1 because the gatekeepers will know if the position has been filled.  The best way to actually apply this is during the interview by asking the HR specialist their procedure of contacting candidates e.g. when do you expect to know the final decision for this position, or I enjoyed this interview, is there something I may need to improve upon or place emphasis on to ensure being one of your leading candidates.  This will relieve a bit of your angst and show that you are not afraid feedback or criticism.
  3. Candidates should follow-up 48-72 hours or a few business days after the closing of the posted position and in doing so the initial point of contact should be contacted first in writing (briefly) and you should indicate your intent to call by a certain timeframe.  This doesn’t necessarily come across as pushy as much as it says, “I know you’re busy, so consider this a gentle reminder.  Remember, if you apply Rule Number 1 (above) from the onset, the rest will be a bit easier.

So do yourself a favor, establish a rapport with the gatekeeper from the start and the rest may lead you to the position you want or worse case scenario, they may keep you in mind for other opportunities.  Not too shabby.

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