A Guide on What to Do AFTER The Interview
Ah, they’re finally done asking you questions. As you breathe a sigh of relief and are ready to depart, the interviewer asks you that last dreaded question:
“Do you have any questions for us?”
In today's post, we’ll go over best practices for how you can best exit your interview and optimize your relationship with the firm and recruiter during the nerve-wracking, interstitial phase of agonizing over whether you got the job/internship or not.
STEP 1: Ask questions. Not asking questions at the end of your interviewer is a HUGE MISTAKE. Asking questions indicates interest, passion, and curiosity. Not asking questions indicates laziness and a lack of initiative and interest for the role.
What are the role’s day-to-day responsibilities like?
What are the company’s values, and what do you look for in employees who live out these particularly values?
What is your favorite part about your job? What do you enjoy most about working in COMPANY X?
What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
What is the most challenging part about this job?
How is COMPANY X committed to diversity & inclusion / sustainability / etc. [if you bring up relevant examples of what the company has done, bonus points for impressing your interviewer and doing your HW]
When can I expect to hear back from you?
How much are you paid?
Do you like your job?
Are you thinking of moving jobs soon?
I heard COMPANY Y does ABC. Why aren’t you doing the same?
How hard do I need to work to get promoted and move up?
Did I get the internship / job?
Good questions focus on the individual and their story, path, and experiences. Bad questions are vague, can be answered with a yes or no, and are generally irrelevant. This is where you can personally find more about the company; you are as much interviewing them as they are unto you. Use this Q&A session to your advantage!
STEP 2: Thank them for their time. Do so at the very end of your interview, and then send them a thank you note no later than 24 hours after. If this is a final round interview, I even suggest hand-writing a letter and delivering it to their front office. You can write this letter immediately after your interviews in the company lobby or waiting area, and kindly ask the front desk to deliver it to your interviewer. Be specific: mention the little details in your interviews - what you’ve learned from them, how you are inspired, how you are so excited about the team and role from listening to them speak - and be sure to thank them for their time, energy, and enthusiasm.
STEP 3: Ask for feedback. This step, in my opinion, is optional. Many firms are too busy to provide feedback, and others make it an official policy not to do so (otherwise, they may be spending more time writing feedback than actually recruiting). If you are applying to a smaller and more intimate firm, however, then the odds of them actually providing feedback when requested is much higher. Indeed, doing so may help you understand your strengths and weaknesses from an objective third party.
STEP 4: Follow up. This is the worst part of recruiting; you’ve seemingly smashed your final round interviews, and are excited to learn about the final decision. As you wait, hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks, and before you know it you’ve realized you’ve been GHOSTED. I don’t know why companies do this, but it’s as pervasive as it is unfair and lazy. Companies need to do a better job at being considerate to candidates, but many times companies - especially larger ones - will ghost interviewees and never get back to them. I would always ask the interviewer when you can expect to hear results, but if you weren’t able to I would generally wait up until at most one business week until sending an email to the recruiter to follow up.
STEP 5.1: If you get the offer, CONGRATS! If you’re still recruiting, check with your career center to learn official guidelines on accepting offers vs continuing to compete for additional opportunities and using your initial offer as leverage for future ones.
STEP 5.2: And if you don’t, IT SUCKS. I know how it feels. But this is not an admission of your inability to do the job, your inadequacy as a student, or your failure as a candidate. There are +1,001 reasons you may not have gotten the offer.
Improve. Adapt. Overcome. Practice, and over time you will begin getting THAT BREAD. If you find yourself struggling to seal the deal in your interviews, set up more time to practice, identify your weak points, and practice, practice, practice.
And for pointers on practice, check out our post on how to properly conduct mock interviews!