I get excited every time I find out that a friend just left an interview feeling good about their chances of landing the gig.
Because of my recruiting background, one of the first questions I get asked is, “What do I do next?” And the more I’ve been asked about it, the more I realize how important this question is.
After all, you’re pumped about the opportunity and think it went well. You don’t want to bring all that momentum to a screeching halt with an ill-timed thank you note or an extended period of radio silence.
So, with that in mind, I figured it was time to put together a checklist you can refer to whenever you’ve crushed an interview and want to be smart about your next steps.
1. Refuel With a Quick Snack (or Dessert)
This might sound unrelated, but you’ve just been through a long day of interviews! While I’m not suggesting that you drop everything, you should reward yourself for your hard work.
Take a short break after you arrive at home to refuel with a quick snack. Or. if you happen to have your favorite dessert waiting for you, go ahead and treat yourself.
2. Write Down Anything Important That You Discussed
I know what you’re thinking—time for the thank you notes! But here’s the thing, a simple “thanks for meeting me” message won’t help you stay in the hiring manager’s good graces. So, before you start drafting those emails, jot down a couple things you discussed with each interviewer. This is a great way to refresh your memory and write even more tailored notes when it’s time to put pen to paper.
3. Write Down One Reason You’re Excited About This Opportunity
Now it’s time for thank you notes, right? Not quite yet. The next step in this process is to think about why you’re excited about the job you just interviewed for. Is it a chance to make a career change that you’ve always wanted? Is it the type of company that you’ve always wanted to work for? Find the one reason that you’re excited to continue the interview process, and use that to guide the way you communicate your enthusiasm about the role in your notes.
4. Send Your Thank You Notes
OK, finally—now it’s time to write (and send) your thank you notes. You might look at all the steps to this point and assume this should take a long time, but the truth is that you can do this all in about 10 minutes.
That’s because we have this thank you template to help you write killer notes to everyone you met with.
5. Follow Up Correctly (a Week From Now)
At this point, you could do one of two things: You could wait for the hiring manager to get back to you (and put all your energy into stressing out)—or you could take a smarter (and more proactive) approach by following up.
If a week goes by and you’re still waiting for next steps, use this follow-up email template to set yourself even further apart from the competition.
Once you’ve completed this checklist, feel free to pick up where you left off on your other job searching tasks. As exciting as this opportunity is, you never know how your dream gig will materialize, so keep plugging away until this offer (or another) comes through.
Photo of person walking on phone courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.More from this Author