The best and worst things to do after a job interview

Cartoon Manager addressing their employees

We've asked our expert recruiters for the best and worst things a candidate can do after a job interview.

In those anxious days after a job interview, it’s hard to know the right thing to do. If you haven’t heard back, how long should you wait before you get back in touch and ask how you went? Would that help your chances? Or damage them?

We’ve asked our team of expert recruiters for their advice on what are the best and worst things you can do after a job interview. Here’s what they had to say.

What’s the best way to follow up after a job interview?

  • Firstly, set yourself up for success as you’re leaving the interview.
    • You might need an excuse to get back in touch with the interviewers later on, so a good tactic recommended by our Business Services Consultant, Paula MacKenzie, is to identify something small that you can follow up after the interview but can mention in the interview. For example, you could say you will get back to them to confirm the notice period you’re required to give, or to confirm a referee’s details. That gives you a reason to get back in touch.
    • Use your manners. Thank everyone on the interview panel (and, indeed, in the room) as you’re leaving. First impressions are important, but you want to leave a good impression, too.
  • Go away and write down the names of the people who interviewed you and anything you can remember about them. It’s particularly important if you’re going for lots of jobs — you don’t want to get confused when they contact you later.
  • By all means later that day or the following day send a follow-up “thank you” email (including the additional information you promised) that is succinct and polite and reiterates your interest in the role. But resist the urge to sell yourself for the role and certainly don’t say “I forgot to mention X, Y or Z in the interview — that could easily turn out to be the worst thing you could have done.
  • Give your references a heads up that they might hear from someone at the company or from a recruiter. Word them up on the position, the company and the people who might call. You want to set them up to give you the best reference possible.
  • If you haven’t heard anything and want to follow up, call about a week later — or the day after the person said they would get back to you with an answer.
  • If you haven’t already done so (and you really should have by this stage) do your due diligence on the company concerned and make sure it’s somewhere you’d want to work, just in case the offer comes through.
  • In the days after the interview, celebrate! Relax and reflect on whether it really is the role and company you are looking for.

The worst ways to follow up after a job interview

  • If your interview was over the phone, Skype or video (are you ready for this?) double-check that the connection has been terminated properly before you say or do anything.
  • Immediately after the interview, avoid meeting up with anyone near the interview location. You really want to avoid bumping in to the interviewers —and you certainly don’t want to risk them overhearing you rehash the interview with your friends.
  • Don’t annoy the hiring manager or recruiter and undo everything you accomplished in the interview by badgering them or contacting them unnecessarily. Certainly don’t follow up the interview the same day asking for feedback — that doesn’t go down well at all. 
  • Stay off social media. Or, at least, don’t post anything about the job interview or the company concerned on social media. If you need to talk about it, talk to your friends rather than on a public forum where the recruiters, interviewers and company representatives can see it.
  • Don’t get in touch with follow-up questions. When you do this it implies you can’t think on your feet in the interview itself — which tends to mark you down in the minds of the recruiter and potential employers.
  • Don’t use the interview and the possibility of a job offer to go back to your current employer and see if you can get a counteroffer from them. This might work for you in the short-term, but it’s the kind of thing recruiters and potential employers remember.
  • Don’t stop searching for work, assuming you’ve got the job. Keep looking. You don’t want to waste valuable time and miss out on the perfect job.
  • And, finally, here’s a really important mining industry specific warning from our Candidate Services Senior Consultant, Gail Rogers: Don’t go out celebrating because, in your head, the amazing job is yours. If you get called up the next day to complete a medical and a drug and alcohol screening, you’re risking failing this final screening. “True story,” she says.

If you’re looking for your next mining job opportunity, get in touch with Mining People International.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International