Learn to Wait

So when the interview is over and you’ve done the hard work—you’ve answered their questions the best you knew how; you’ve asked the kinds of questions that show you’re a self-starter and engaged; you’ve done your research and tried to impress—that’s when the next step of interview tactics comes into play. It’s called, “The Wait.”

The Wait

The Wait is when you leave the interview feeling really great (or really terribly) about how it went and you wonder how long until you hear back.

The Wait is when you replay certain parts of the interview and think of a dozen other ways you wished you’d answered a question.

The Wait is when a lot of applicants lose their perspective on the interview.

Here are a few tips on managing the time between your interview and your next interaction with the person you met with.

Always Say Thank You

It’s crazy to think we still have to live by the things we learned in kindergarten, but the principle stands. Be sure to reach out to the person who interviewed you with a note of thanks. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. A simple, “Dear {person}, Thank you for taking the time to meet today. This seems to be the kind of opportunity I’ve been looking for and I look forward to seeing what’s next” is a great way to express your gratitude for the time they gave you. Saying thank you shows you’re aware of the work it takes to hire new people, and that you value the time they took for you.

Don’t Change Your Answers

There’s often a temptation after an interview to clarify an answer you gave. “I feel like I wasn’t clear when I answered your questions about my weaknesses.” Interactions like this aren’t helpful. What was said in the interview is what was said. You can’t undo it and expect to keep the interviewer’s attention.

The only exception to this rule is if the interviewer asked you for specific feedback after the interview or has requested that you send over some examples of your work.

Learn to Wait

This is a tough one. On one hand, you should expect feedback within a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, the word “reasonable” means different things to different people.

Frequent contact to follow up on an interviewer’s decision can look desperate, and desperation is a tricky motivator. People don’t want to hire someone who needs to work there, but someone who wants to. So be careful to not come across too strong. The person who interviewed you will reach out eventually.

The wait is, in some ways, just another part of the interview. Remember that just because the hard work is done, there's still a lot you can do to set yourself apart from the other candidates for the job. 


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