As I discussed in my last post, a successful interview means a thorough preparation with lots of practice that will give you the mindset of a victorious warrior who wins first, then enters the battle. But that’s not the end. If you follow the analogy, then the first interview is your first battle, and a battle is a war won.
You must prepare for the subsequent battle (I am leery of using the war analogy – because some might misinterpret this as a you versus them kind of a thing and it is not).
“To … not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues.”
Most understand that preparing for an interview is important. But what is equally – perhaps more – important is preparing for after the interview.
In those moments after you walk out; it is critical that you act and act correctly to either cement a great performance or attempt to redeem a poor performance. That is, you must prepare for all the contingencies as Sun Tzu advises.
In the closing moments of the interview, you should have pinned down a followup schedule of sorts. If your objective was not necessarily to get a job offer (although that would be nice), then your objective must have been to get that second interview. You should have secured some sort of commitment for a follow-up contact.
If not, then that is your first task upon leaving.
Either before, during, or after the interview; you want to secure the contact information for a key players. The key players might only be a secretary or assistant and the interviewer. It could be a recruiter. Whoever you shake hands with, remember or get their contact information (a business card).
Immediately shoot a very short, thank you letter to all, except for the interviewer. You want the thank you letters to hit the key players while you are still fresh in their minds (within a day or two).
For the interviewer, the thank you letter will also include a brief recap of your discussion and why you would be a great solution/fit for them plus either a confirmation of followup action or request for followup action. Hey yo, that kinda sounds like a cover letter – and yes it does. For an automated, yet intuitive software that can help you write followup letters, I suggest you visit Phil’s OneClick Cover Letter Creator.
If you were able to secure a followup commitment prior to ending the interview, then you need to immediate record that somewhere (your planner?) so that you remember to do whatever it is you are suppose to do. Should be a no-brainer, I understand, but yourself a favor and write it down.
Immediately debrief yourself:
- What questions were asked
- What were their issues
- What were their concerns
- Which answers got what response
- Which questions that you asked got the most response
- How did you feel
- Were you prepared enough
- Was the interviewer enthusiatic
- How did the interview
These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself. Brainstorm with a mentor prior to the interview on what to look for and what to expect. The saying, “inspect what you expect, and expect what you inspect,” holds true here also.
That 24 hour period after your interview might be the most critical point in a process where you go from a sea of applicants to an inner circle of could-be’s. Prepare for it as solidly as you would prepare for the interview itself.