Woman shaking hands with hiring manager after interview

What to Do After an Interview

9 Tips to Stand Out as a Top Candidate

Congratulations! You aced the interview and the hard part is over. However, there are still steps you can take after the interview to stand out as a top candidate. In this post-interview guide, we’ve provided insight on what to do after an interview, such as:

  • Questions to ask before you leave the interview
  • Advice for saying thank you after an interview
  • The best way to follow up after an interview

By following these 9 post-interview tips, you’ll leave a strong impression on your interviewer and optimize your chances of landing the job.


1. Reiterate your interest.

While you may be anxious to get out of there and breathe a sigh of relief, saying thank you after an interview and restating your interest in the position is key. Don’t leave without expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and reassuring the hiring manager that you’re excited about the job.


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2. Figure out next steps.

Once you’ve done that, ask the following key questions:

When can I expect to hear from you?

This question is important for a few reasons. For one, it will set expectations and give you some peace of mind as you’re waiting to hear back. Two, it will give you some insight on when it’s appropriate to follow up with the employer.

What are the next steps in the interview process? When will a hiring decision be made?

There may be another round of interviews, a skills assessment, or perhaps just a waiting game. Either way, you’ll want to find out so that you know how to prepare.

Whom should I follow up with?

The best way to follow up after an interview will vary, so make sure you seek clarification.  Sometimes the hiring manager will prefer that you reach out to the recruiter instead.

Do you mind sharing your email address?

Collect contact information from each of your interviewers so that you can send a thank-you note afterwards. If they don’t feel comfortable providing their email address, then you can send them a handwritten note instead.


Woman asking question to interviewer


3. Reflect on the interview.

After you leave, think about what went well (and what didn’t) and write down anything you forgot to mention. If there is a major selling point for yourself that you’d like to clarify or didn’t get a chance to discuss, you may be able to bring it up in the next round of interviews. Aside from your own performance, also consider how you feel about the company. Does the position sound interesting to you? Did you like your interviewer? Do you think you’d enjoy working for the company? If you have any clarifying questions to determine whether you’d be a good fit for the role or the organization, you may have an opportunity to ask them later in the selection process.


4. Send a thank-you note.

Saying thank you after an interview is standard practice for savvy job seekers. Reach out to your interviewer within 24 hours to thank them for the opportunity. In your note, briefly highlight a couple of your key strengths and how they would help you excel in the position. And if you had multiple interviewers, make sure you write a personal note (no copying and pasting!) to each of them.

When deciding whether to send an email or handwritten note, consider the company culture. Usually, an email will suffice (especially for tech companies). However, if the company is more traditional or the interviewer wasn’t comfortable sharing their email address, then send a handwritten thank-you note instead.


Man taking notes


5. Continue to prepare.

Keep the momentum going, because you may be called in for another round of interviews or asked to demonstrate your skills. Continue to research the company, practice your interview questions and/or technical skills, and perfect your elevator pitch. The closer you get to landing the job, the sharper your performance should be during the interview so that you can stand out among the other top candidates.


6. Leverage your network.

If you have any connections within the company, reach out and ask them to put in a good word for you. A referral from a trusted colleague can help to affirm the hiring manager’s confidence in your ability to do the job well and give you an edge over the other candidates. Plus, savvy managers know that referrals make great hires.


7. Follow up mindfully.

The best way to follow up after an interview is to be respectful of the employer’s process (and inbox). If your interviewer told you that you’d hear from them within a certain timeframe and that date has passed, feel free to follow up with the recruiter or hiring manager and ask when you should expect next steps. If they didn’t set follow-up expectations, then you can reach out 4–5 days after your interview. Too many emails can come across as overeager or annoying, but if it’s been a couple weeks and you’re still waiting with bated breath, it’s okay to reach out again and inquire about the timeline.


Man searching for jobs in cafe


8. Keep searching.

Even if you nailed your interview, don’t stop applying for jobs. It’s not a done deal until you’ve received an offer. Plus, if you have multiple job offers, you’ll give yourself more options and may even be able to leverage them during the negotiation process.


9. Respect the decision.

If you don’t end up getting the job, respond to the rejection graciously and stay in touch. The company may consider you for a position in the future so long as you end on a positive note. To stay connected, consider sending your interviewer or recruiter a personalized message on LinkedIn – thank them again for the opportunity and express that you’d like to be considered for future job openings.


While your interview performance is the biggest factor in an employer’s hiring decision, knowing what to do after an interview can boost your chances of landing the job. Use these tips to impress the hiring manager and continue to stand out as a top candidate even after you’ve left the interview.

By Sarah Ballow, iHire | December 30, 2019
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