5 Things You Should Always Do After Every Job Interview

Although it’s important to say and do the right things during a job interview, it’s also just as important to pay attention to what you do after a job interview. This is when you can continue to make a good impression on your interviewer. The precious days after your interview are the critical time during which the hiring team is trying to decide among candidates who are just as qualified as you are.
How can you stand out from the rest of the applicants? Here are five things you should always do after a job interview and why you should do them.

1. Send a thank-you note

man writing a letter
Take time to show gratitude. | iStock.com

Send a thank-you note to the people who interviewed you. Your interviewers had to take time out of their day and possibly even rescheduled meetings to speak with you. Let them know you noticed and appreciated the effort.
An email might be quick and simple, but it’s not always the most effective way to express gratitude. Anyone can type up a quick note and hit the “send” button. A card, however, shows you made additional effort to demonstrate your thanks and interest in the job.
“Regardless of how the interview happened — in person, over the telephone, at lunch, or via an online video — a prompt thank-you note, to each participant, is appropriate,” career expert Laura DeCarlo said on career site Job Hunt.

Why it’s important

pile of letters
A letter means a lot. | iStock.com/czarny_bez

Roughly 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate who does not send a thank-you note, according to Career Builder research. Sending a thank-you card in the mail is also a great way to separate yourself from the other job candidates because not many people take the time to do this. It also gives the hiring manager a glimpse into how you will treat team members and customers.

2. Notify references

 man sitting at airport
Don’t let references be taken by surprise. | iStock.com/DragonImages

Once you’ve reached the next stage in the interview process, you’ll likely be asked for references. Instead of handing over your list and hoping for the best, make sure to reach out to the people on your reference list. You don’t want anyone to be taken by surprise.
It’s best to remind your references they could be getting a call for a hiring manager. There’s also a possibility someone on your reference list doesn’t want to be a reference anymore, so it’s always good to reach out and make sure it’s still OK to use them.
In addition, career expert Micah Abraham said it’s a good idea to provide your references with additional information about what to expect from the interviewer.
“Send the reference the job description, company information, and some of the key points you expect to bring up at the interview, including a list of what you would like emphasized,” Abraham said on Everyday Interview Tips. “Make sure they know what you will be saying and what is important to the role, so that they can provide their own responses accordingly.”

Why it’s important

manager holding a smart phone
Notifying references is common courtesy. | iStock.com/Halfpoint

Not everyone has a good memory. You could run the risk of one of your references forgetting they agreed to provide a reference. They might not pick up the phone call or fail to call the interviewer back.
This could negatively impact the results of your reference check. So make sure to send a quick email or make a phone call to let your references know you recently applied for a job, and someone might be calling them. Also, provide the name of the hiring manager and company.

3. Keep looking for work

 lady texting and using laptop
The search isn’t over yet. | iStock.com/DragonImages

It’s great you scored a job interview, but your work doesn’t end there. It’s in your best interest to keep looking for jobs until you have an offer. Continue to ask people in your network for leads, and keep pounding the pavement.
You never know. A better job could come along during the time you’re waiting for an offer to come through. Don’t stop looking just because you think you found the perfect company.

Why it’s important

woman wrapped in a blanket sitting and working
Don’t let overconfidence derail your job search. | iStock.com/Kladyk

Just because you got the job interview doesn’t mean you got the job. Don’t let overconfidence become your downfall. Now isn’t the time to sit back and relax. You also don’t want to suddenly quit your job, thinking you have the new job in the bag.
Nothing in life is guaranteed, so act like you don’t have the job until you have a signed job offer in your hands. Anything could go wrong between the time you leave the interviewer’s office and the time you get home. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

4. Follow up

woman with smartphone
Following up is key. | iStock.com/ViewApart

Follow up to check on your status. However, don’t become annoying and follow up too aggressively. If it has been more than one week, it’s reasonable to contact your interviewer to ask where things are at. However, before you follow up make sure to ask the interviewer their preferences when it comes to the method of follow-up and timing. One interviewer might love email, but another might only accept phone inquiries.
One thing to keep in mind is some industries might welcome aggressive follow-up. Your interviewer could be testing you. “If the hiring process is still underway, and you are in an aggressive profession, such as sales, you are almost expected to prove your aggressiveness by reaching out every two to three days (unless told to wait) to find out how the decision is progressing,” the experts at Quintessential Careers said.

Why it’s important

woman a smart phone
Following up shows you’re interested. | iStock.com/RyanJLane

Taking time to follow up shows you are still interested in the job. One reason hiring mangers might dismiss a job candidate is if he or she shows a lack of interest. Roughly 56% of career advisers in the Workopolis survey said disinterest would negatively affect a candidate’s chance of receiving a job offer. So get excited about the job — an offer could depend on it.

5. Stay calm

man relaxing
Don’t allow stress to get the best of you. | iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

Don’t let anxiety take over after your job interview is done. Now is the time to accept that you’ve done all you could do. Take a deep breath, and redirect your energy to other personal and work projects that need your attention.
Job search anxiety is very real, and if it isn’t kept under control, it could affect your chances of getting the position. So try to stay calm, and don’t go over every worst possible outcome.

 Why it’s important

relaxed man
Don’t worry about the outcome. | iStock.com

If you start to panic, you’ll most likely become overly aggressive with your follow-up. Don’t worry about the job if you haven’t heard back yet. If it has been less than a week, sit tight. Instead of obsessing over the decision, distract yourself with other things (such as your current job, if you have one).
Becoming overly concerned with the outcome could cause you to be too preoccupied and anxious to properly perform your current work responsibilities. Take it easy, and stay focused on the life you have right now. Getting fired while you’re waiting to hear back from another employer will just add to your stress.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.