There is so much advice out there are about what to do in the run up to a big and important interview. There is also lots of tips and tricks to totally nailing the interview itself.

However, there is far less of what to do afterward. Once you shake hands and leave the room, what next? Should you say thank you again? How soon is too soon for following up? What if things don’t work out?

Read on for all you need to know about how to handle the after.

1. Leave the Area

This is more for your benefit than anyone else’s. After a tough interview, you might want to just go and collapse in the nearest cafe. But the nearest one could also be where your interviewer goes for coffee breaks or lunch. Bumping into him or her again could be awkward for both of you. Plus, leaving the area will give you some physical distance between the interview and allow you to start relaxing again.

2. Send a Thank You message

Around a day after your interview, be sure to say thank you. You could send a thank you card after interview day, or just an email. Showing your appreciation for the fact that the interviewer took time out his or her day out and schedule to meet with you is good practice. It will also put you back into his or her mind, without being pushy.

3. Be Patient

If the interview went well and you’re really keen on the job, you may be tempted to start badgering them for a decision. Absolutely don’t do this. Even if you ended your interview on a great note, this could really taint things. It says that you think that you knowing the outcome is more important than their time. It may, in fact, put them off hiring you, especially if they take your keenness as pushiness. Even if you’re going stir-crazy, distract yourself with something else for a few days.

4. Follow up

As all jobs, companies and scenarios are different, there is set rule for when you should follow up after an interview. One or two days is definitely too soon. In general, five to seven days is a good time. The chances are that whatever reply you get will be helpful. It may be that they haven’t finished seeing all of the candidates yet. It could be that the decision maker has gone on holiday for a week! Or it could be that they haven’t yet had time to make the final decision.

Make your follow up polite and most of all succinct. Don’t take up their time by making them read a long and lengthy message.

5. Don’t be deterred by rejection

If you hear back with good news, congratulations!

Clearly you are a great candidate for the role, so be confident and proud of yourself. However, if the news hasn’t been so positive, don’t be deterred. If they haven’t offered up any reasoning, ask if they would be kind enough to give you any feedback. The worst they can say is no, and the best is that they tell you something you are able to learn and grow from.

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