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Recruitment 411: You survived the interview – now what?

The saying ‘no news is good news’ could not be further from the truth when it comes to job interviews. There’s often a long nerve-racking period of ‘no news’ while you wait for any news (and hope for good news) after an interview. Here are some quick ‘dos’ and one really important ‘don’t’ for surviving the post-interview waiting period.

Send a thank you

E-mail and e-cards are perfectly fine, but you can really stand out with a hand-written note. Remember to ask for a mailing address, or leave a hand-written note before you leave the office to eliminate any guess-work or mail delays.

Reiterate your qualifications

If there is something you wanted to say in the interview, but forgot, the thank you note is the place to do it.

Respond promptly

Be sure to answer any follow-up questions from the miring manager or interviewer as soon as possible.

Be patient

You’re probably not the only person being considered, and it’s likely the interviews aren’t all being done on the same day. We also know there are many steps in the hiring process for federal jobs, so it may take a while before a selection is made. There’s no reason you can’t ask the interviewer how long they expect the process will take.

Network with other applicants on social media sites

Sites like federalsoup allow users to create discussions about any topics related to federal employment. There are many threads on forums like these dedicated to specific job announcements. It’s a great way to network with other people applying for the same job, which will give you a better sense of where they are in the hiring process. Don’t forget many government agencies are also active on Twitter, Facebook and GovLoop, of course!

Don’t call every day to check on the status of the job

There’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying

What are some of your best after interview tips?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

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Jeff Ribeira

Those are some great tips! I’m curious to know more details about handwritten thank you notes. I mean, I’ve heard lots of people say they’re a great way to make yourself standout, leave an impression, etc. (which I don’t doubt at all), but I was wondering how many job applicants actually do it? I think it’s a great principle, but I’ve actually never known someone who was applying for a job, and made a habit of hand writing thank you notes after an interview (myself included). Emails, definitely, but not handwritten notes. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I know for myself, what keeps me from hand writing thank you notes is that it just seems too personal. Also, what kind of card do I use? What if my handwriting isn’t the greatest? But if it’s something that would really put me at the head of the pack in applying for a job, I might have to start working on my penmanship a little more 🙂

Eric Erickson

I applied for a job back in 2006 – It was a job in management and the competition was stiff. After interviewing, I dropped off hand-written notes for all three people on the interview panel. I was told later by the executive who hired me – it was my interview, along with my qualifications and experience that got me the job – but it was the personal touch of hand-written notes that sealed the deal and left no doubt in her mind that I was the right person for the job.

Susan Thomas

@Jeff, Earlier this year, I interviewed a person for a position on my staff. As soon as the interview concluded, she presented printed “thank you” notes to each of the panelists. I thought this was a bit over the top and made me question the sincerity of the act. Had she waited for a period and then presented the notes, I would have looked more favorably on the gesture. In general, I think it is good to follow-up with the interviewer.

Susan Thomas

@Julie, My first tip is to show up on time and dress professionally. An applicant for a position in my office showed up 45 minutes early for the interview. To me, his early arrival was a sign he could not take direction. It also signaled to me that he wanted to be interviewed as soon as he arrived. My second tip is to not be tardy. Don’t take the interviewer’s time for granted.