5 things you can do in 5 minutes to follow up after an interview

Follow up

While you’ve definitely gotten through the most challenging parts of the hiring process, there are quick, easy steps you can take post-interview that will keep you on the hiring manager’s mind and bring you closer to a job offer.

After shaking the interviewer’s hand and exiting the building, you may breathe a huge sigh of relief that you made it through the job interview and now are free to wait for their decision. However, you’re not off the hook yet.

While you’ve definitely gotten through the most challenging parts of the hiring process, there are quick, easy steps you can take post-interview that will keep you on the hiring manager’s mind and bring you closer to a job offer. Here are five things you can do in five minutes to follow up after an interview:

1. Stay organized

From the beginning to the end of your job search, keep track of your application materials to ensure that you don’t miss opportunities. “I’d suggest a spreadsheet that has all positions to which you’ve applied, contact information and link to posting so that you aren’t caught off guard should a recruiter call,” says Tara A. Goodfellow, owner of Athena Educational Consultants, Inc. After an interview, update your spreadsheet with the names of people you’ve met and the date that they’ll reach their decision by, if this information was given.

2. Reflect

Your mind may be spinning during an interview, but collecting your thoughts afterwards will help you process what just happened and what next steps to take. “Take five directly after leaving the meeting and ask yourself what went right and what didn't,” says Cheryl Rich Heisler, president and founder of Lawternatives. “Did you share everything you needed the interviewer to know about you? Which of your responses were met with a head-nod, and which left the interviewer puzzled? Did you ask/answer all the questions for which you had prepared? This five-minute post mortem is critical; if you have information you still need to get across, you can put it in your thank-you note. If you blew it this time, make notes while the – albeit painful – memories are fresh so that you will remember what to do better next time.”

3. Say "Thank you"

Fifty-eight percent of employers say it’s important to send a thank-you note after an interview, and 24 percent say it’s very important, according to a CareerBuilder survey. “I think an email ‘thank-you’ is appropriate within the first 24 hours,” Goodfellow says. “I’d suggest a handwritten note within the week of your interview. It allows the opportunity for two things: you to stand out, as many interviewees do not send a follow up thank-you. And, it allows for you to recap why you're a great fit for the position.”

4. Share resources and expertise

Even during the interview, you can help set up a good follow-up action by referencing industry news you’ve read or suggesting business solutions. “It’s best to offer something helpful you can easily send them during the interview,” says Karin Hurt, an expert in executive leadership and author of the blog Let’s Grow Leaders. She gives the examples, “Oh, I read a great article about that, I’ll send you the link” or “There’s an amazing resource we use, I’ll send you a copy." Not only does this demonstrate your knowledge, but it also shows that you have the company’s best interest in mind and can help further their goals. But Hurt adds, “Don’t use this as a time to do more self-promotion; just add value.”

5. Connect with more of the team

The more people you know on the inside, the more allies you may have when their hiring decision is made. “Make additional contacts, or learn more about people in the target organization,” says Joseph Terach, CEO of Resume Deli. “If your job interview went well, you probably learned the names of several new people within the company or organization. Now go learn about them. What are their professional and academic backgrounds? What do they do at the company? The company website and LinkedIn are good places to find out. Do they have blogs or another social networking presence? If so, follow them and read/view their posts. You might even comment. This again demonstrates your interest in the company and its personnel; it also shows your proficiency with social media...a critical skill-set in today's workplace.”

The job interview can feel like a high-pressure situation, but using these five follow-up actions can make your hard work worth it and present you as the ideal job candidate for the position.