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Post-interview behaviour

Team GradAustralia

Stay cool, kid: The dos and don’ts of post-interview behaviour, following up and average wait periods in graduate recruitment.

The next steps after your grad interview

You rocked into that interview and shined brighter than an honour student receiving the university medal. You nailed it. You listened to every question and delivered answers that we couldn’t have crafted better ourselves. You looked fab, laughed at all the right moments and checked every box from here to Winnerville. You thought your employer might actually hug you at the end – that’s how freaking well you did. 

It’s in the bag, right?

Nope. The way you conduct yourself in this crucial follow-up period can still put a damper on your chances of success. Following up reinforces your interest in the position and reassures everyone that you, too, felt that spark. Your employer may not get back to you straight away – they might be catching up on their own work after a morning of interviews or their cat needed rescuing or something. Your mission now is to resist the urge to turn into a stage five clinger. 

Following up – How much is too much?

Following up with one simple email is all you need. This should happen on the same day as your interview (preferably within hours of leaving the office). It should read something like this:

Hi Mr Johnson,

Thanks again for such a wonderful interview this morning. I really enjoyed meeting Joyce from accounting and yourself.  his job is incredibly exciting and, once again, I do believe I’m the best candidate for the role.  

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Francis

Short. Professional. Now that’s it. Even if you haven’t heard back within 24 hours DO NOT send more correspondence.

Your interviewer might be waiting to see every candidate before making a decision. In that case, they might delay your response. Some companies have mandated this. Others see it as simply good practice.

How long are you expected to wait?

The hiring process can take time. Some people have been offered a job the same day as their interview. Others are made to wait months. Smaller companies are often subject to less approvals and as a consequence can move faster. Larger corporations, and especially government agencies, often follow a lengthy protocol so don’t despair if you’re not made an offer right away.  

The best way to manage your own expectations is to ask about the hiring process during your interview. Enquire about how many people are interviewing for the same position and when they plan on making a decision. If there are second round interviews, ask when these are expected to take place so that you can map out a timeline and manage other offers. 

What to do if they’re just not that into you

You might have been The One at the time of your interview, but you never know what happened after you walked out that door. Perhaps there was someone else, maybe the requirements of the job changed or it was filled internally and you never really stood a chance.  

If things drag out past the point an employer said they’d call, send another (very brief email) asking if a decision has been reached. If another week passes, you can send an email thanking your employer for the opportunity and requesting that they keep you in mind. Remember, this is a professional relationship that you’re fostering. Chances are, you’ll get another job at a similar company and your paths will cross again.

Finally, never – EVER! – send through words that even come close to hostile. Employers and recruiters should always get back to you, but sometimes they don’t. That’s their bad. We know you feel wronged, that your time was wasted and your efforts squandered, but resist the urge to let that contempt show. You have a long career ahead of you and burning bridges this early on is not a smart move.

5 steps for effectively following up:

  1. Send a thank you email reinforcing your interest in the position
  2. Connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn
  3. If things drag out, check in after one week
  4. If you still haven’t heard anything, send one more email thanking your interviewer for the opportunity
  5. For the love of Jobs, never send a hostile response if you don’t hear back!