Interviewing is like dating.
You give out your phone number, you get a call, you go on a date, and then you wait (and wait and wait).
You put in your application, you go on an interview and then you wait (and wait).
You wait for feedback, you wait to see if they liked you enough to see you again (a second date), or something more?
Sometimes you never hear back for days.
Doesn’t that waiting period drive you crazy? Wondering what you said, what you did, if it was enough, do they like me? Do I even like them? Am I ready to make a commitment or do I need to go on a second interview (date) to find out more before making the commitment (wearing their letter jacket perhaps?).
While I’m no expert on the dating game, I can give you some help with the interview process. I think you’ll find that they’re more related than you previously thought.
After the Application: You’ve sent in your resume and your cover letter last week but you haven’t heard anything from the employer. If it’s been 4-5 business days then call to check in on the status of your application. Calling any sooner makes you look desperate and needy (see the correlation to dating?), waiting too long shows you don’t have that much interest in the position (again, see the correlation to dating?).
When you call prepare your notes. Make sure to state your name, the position you applied to, and that you would like to speak with the person in charge of hiring if you don’t have the person’s name. These are all things you’ve done before when calling a love interest, right? Having your notes available helps to ease the nerves and keeps your call on track. Ask them if they have had a chance to review your resume. If they haven’t and you sound professional on the phone chances are your resume will be reviewed with a new sense of “that candidate sounds great, let’s bring him/her in!”
After the Interview: Make sure that you ask when to expect to hear back from the employer after you have finished your interview. Remember or write down their timeline (1 week? A few days? 3 weeks?). This timeline will be used as a guideline for when to follow up. Example: If they said a week and it’s been a week and a half then it’s time to follow up! Wait the required time frame and then follow up with a phone call or email soon after.
If things are going well then you will want to gather the information you need to make sure you’re ready to accept a position. If throughout the process something isn’t going right it’s okay to say, “After hearing about the position I am no longer interested because of ________.” Companies would rather hear you say that so they can address your concerns rather than offer you the position and have you reject it. (No one likes to be rejected!)
After receiving the offer: Offers are similar to saying “I love you.” The company is giving the job offer (heart) and they’re hoping you will accept (“I love you too!”). It’s important to have all of the information out in the open. If you don’t accept the position right away this can be similar to saying ‘Thank you!’ instead of “I love you too!” So think of that next time you hear the excited recruiter calling you with some good news!