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Job interviews: an overview

What to do after a job interview

After the interview, spend some time reflecting on your answers as this will be fresh in your mind. If there were they any difficult or unexpected questions write them down to help you prepare for any future interviews.

It's important to have some patience, as sometimes a well-meaning employer might not get back to you by the date they said, this could be down to a number of reasons, so it's best to just wait a bit longer, without chasing.

If the date they specified comes and goes, it’s not inappropriate to politely ask for an update after a week or more.

If you've applied through a recruitment agency and the decision date passes without any news, your recruitment consultant will usually want to chase the employer and will do this on your behalf.

What to do if you've been offered the job

Congratulations! You got a job offer. If you've made the decision that you would like to take the job, then there are a number of things that you must consider.

1. Show the employer that you're grateful 

Show them you're excited by the offer, thank them and express enthusiasm.

2. Check the offer

Is it what you expected? If so, great, move to step 3.

If not, what is it that is not as you expected? Benefits? Salary? Company Car? If the offer doesn't match your expectations, does it match the details on the job advert / description? If so then you may not have any room for negotiation here, as you applied for and interviewed for the job accepting that these were the terms of the job. So you'll need to either accept the offer as it stands, or politely decline it.

If the offer doesn't match the job advert. Say something along the lines of, "Thank you for this offer, I am so pleased that you want me to be part of the team. However, the offer isn't what I expected" then you can elaborate on the reasons why. Maybe the salary quoted on the job advert / description was a salary band, with £10k difference between the start of the salary bracket to the top of it. In this instance, you'll need to have a discussion about the salary you were seeking and justify it with why you feel that you're worth that figure.

3. Ask the employer to provide the job offer in writing

You'll need this before you can even consider handing in your notice with your current employer. The offer and contract of employment are also an assurance on what the offer actually is, relating to hours, benefits and salary.

Find out the next steps. When will they need the signed contract returning to them by? What is the date that they would like you to start? Do you need to negotiate a start date if you need to give a certain notice period to your current employer?

4. Keep the offer to yourself and close family 

Wait until the contract is signed and returned, it's usually to look to resign from your current employer at this point. Monster has some advice for giving notice to your employer in their resignation letter samples article.

What to do if you've been rejected

Bad luck, it happens to us all at some point in our life. Sometimes you can take it on the chin and not feel too bad, as you knew deep down that it probably wasn’t the right job for you anyway. But at other times, it can be really disheartening to get this news if you really wanted the job.

The best way to deal with rejection is to not take it personally. The majority of the time, it's down to something as straightforward as there was another candidate on the day who was simply a better fit for the job or the team.

Ask for feedback on your interview performance

There may be occasions where you did not secure the job due to your interview performance. In this instance you'll either just have a feeling that this was the case, or you'll get feedback stating that this was the reason. Either way, you can learn from this and use the experience positively to make your next interview better.

If you receive a phone call to tell you that you didn't get the job, express disappointment, thank the employer for their time and ask if there's any feedback that they can provide to help you perform better in the future. For any feedback that they give, you should thank them for their honesty, note what they've said and give it some thought later on, thinking of ideas and resources on how to improve.

If you receive the rejection by email or letter and would like feedback, you're best to call or email the employer and follow the step for asking for feedback over the phone.

Not all employers will provide feedback, so you need to be ready to not get a reply. They're busy and may not have the resources to give you a response to why you were unsuccessful, in such instances, there isn't anything you can do.

If feedback is given and it was nothing to do with your performance, tell the employer how much you enjoyed meeting them, how you appreciated their time and would they be happy to accept an application from you for any other roles in the future. This ends things on a positive note and hopefully keeps you in the employer's mind for any other jobs that might come up.

Dust yourself down and pick yourself back up, time to look for your next challenge. Use this experience to build and not sap your confidence, getting to interview stage is no easy task and you did great to get offered an interview in the competitive job market.

Last updated 1 year ago