Have you had this experience?
Interview day. It’s a beautiful, sunny day and I walk out of Company’s X’s lobby with a spring in my step because I know in my heart of hearts that I rocked this interview! I was “on my game” the whole time. I shared great stories about my professional life, I provided great responses to your (recruiter/hiring manager) case study questions.
I think things are looking good, because not only did you do a lot of smiling and head bobbing when I was talking, you took the time to walk me around the office when the interview was over. You introduced me to people we passed in the hallway, and you even pointed out my desk! When we said good bye, you promised to call me by Monday. It was interviewing as it should be, positive and productive.
At the End of the Following Week
Nothing. I have heard nothing! No calls, no emails, no texts, nothing. We haven’t communicated like you said we would. The post-interview glow I’ve had for four days is starting to fade. What happened? I thought that this interview went well and that this job was going to be The One!
Did I do well or did I just imagine it?
How to Address the “Now What?” Moments
The scene I wrote is one that I’ve had coaching clients describe on many occasions. I acknowledge that it is frustrating to be in the “not hearing back from the recruiter zone,” so here’s my guidance on how to address the days that follow your interview.
- Don’t stop networking, applying for jobs or interviewing. No matter how positive you felt after the interview, and no matter how many “next interview dates” you shared, don’t interrupt your job search process. This isn’t the time for you to take an impromptu break! Use the “Sandwich Method” and divide your activities between post interview and job search activities. Do what you need to do to manage an effective and strategic post interview follow-up, but use the majority your time to pursue new opportunities.
- Utilize the post interview “glow.” Use your positive post interview energy to make those cold calls and follow up networking calls you’ve been avoiding. Trust me when I say that you will see a difference in how you present.
- Educate your core network. Update your network on your progress, let them know what skills were highlighted in this past interview so they can keep you on their radar screen.
- Find advocates. Continue to identify people who could serve as your advocate, when you don’t hear back from a company. The right advocate could serve as an informal, internal reference and also be a source of information (i.e., has there been an internal change? Is the job still posted? etc.) Use these advocates to keep your name alive.
- Manage the tone of you your communication. Feeling frustrated is understandable when you don’t hear back from recruiter for a period of time. Just make sure that your voice doesn’t give you away. Remember the period of silence you experienced might not have anything to do with you. Many candidates shoot themselves in the foot, by allowing their frustration to seep into their follow-up conversations.
Remember that the best post-interview strategy is to make sure that you maintain an active and thriving job search until you have an offer letter in your hand!