Wondering if you’re still in the running for a job after your interview can be tough to deal with – cue relentlessly checking your phone for a missed call or email. Of course, it’s natural to want to ‘close the loop’ and hear back from the company as to how you did. However, it’s worth remembering that if you weren’t successful, employers aren’t obliged to provide feedback and most don’t have the time to.

So, what steps should you take after an interview? How do you know when it’s time to move on? Follow our tips below.

1.Follow up after the interview

Within a day or two of having the interview, it’s a good idea to send a thank you card or email. This is where you thank the employer for taking the time to interview you and reaffirm that you’re very interested in the role (assuming, of course, that you are!). Although this won’t be enough to secure the job, it’s a useful way of making a positive impression.

After you’ve sent a thank you note, wait 10 business days to contact the employer again if you don’t hear back. A short, polite email reaffirming your interest and asking if there’s any additional information you can provide is more than sufficient.

2.Don’t take it personally

Don’t second-guess your worth as a candidate if you’re met with silence after making contact. There could be a whole host of reasons for the lack of communication – for instance, you could be the first person out of many candidates they’re interviewing, there could be a hiring freeze, or perhaps the HR manager is out of the office and can’t sign off the job offer. Instead of believing you did something wrong at interview, recognise that there may be circumstances which are outside of your control.

3.Stay professional

Always try to be courteous in your correspondence, even if you’re annoyed with the employer. They may not have made a decision on who’s got the job yet, especially if they’re still interviewing other candidates. How you interact with an employer will be remembered. So, even if you don’t get the job, make sure you don’t close the door on being able to work for them in the future by being rude or disrespectful!

4.Form a positive relationship

Even if you didn’t get the job this time around, it can pay dividends to form a good relationship with the HR manager. You could email them to say something along the lines of: “If any other similar roles come up in your company, I’d love to chat with you about them.” Don’t hound them every week, but you could check in with them from time to time to see if there are any suitable vacancies which have cropped up.

5.Don’t harass the employer

There’s a delicate balance to maintain: if you call and e-mail too much after your interview, you may well annoy the employer. If you don’t follow up enough, you may communicate a lack of interest. Therefore, it’s important to make contact once or twice and then, if you’re still met with silence, take it as your cue that you’ve been unsuccessful and move on.

No matter what the outcome, remember that each interview is an opportunity to practise your interview skills and show your professionalism to others. So, even if you don’t get the job, it’s a worthwhile experience for your career. And, with persistence and patience, you’ll get there in the end!

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