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Keys to post-in person interview etiquette?
July 13, 2014 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Last Thursday, I had a job interview for a position that I'm really interested in. I think the interview went really well, but I want to make sure that I bring this baby home, so I'm curious about the best approach for communicating with the search committee post-interview.

I've already sent personal thank you emails to the people that interviewed me. I went with emails because I think they will make a decision quickly and I've been on the road for business, so I thought by the time I write and send a letter it would be too late.

Should I do anything beyond this? For instance, at my business meeting I learned about a few things that are relevant to the position I'd be working in, but I don't want to be annoying by sharing this fact with the search committee.

The only reason I ask is because a PR person I worked with this weekend told me I should consider sending the search committee and update. What do you all think? Do you have any other tips about what people like to see out of candidates after interviews? Thanks!interview
posted by Fister Roboto to Human Relations (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
The tough thing here is I think there are a lot of personal differences in managers/people who hire that play in to this.

By "last Thursday" do you mean the 10th or the 3rd? If the 10th and you've already sent an email, I'd say yes a follow up that you've learned a few things in a business meeting since then is too much.

If it was the 3rd...well, I'd probably say the same thing but I am one of those easily annoyed people/managers so grain of salt and all.

Thanking someone is nice. Beyond that, I would say nothing is required and any positive must be weighed against it is a possible land mine, especially if the interview went really well. I'd say if there is a chance for an offer or a second interview, save it for that discussion...
posted by freejinn at 6:36 AM on July 13


After sending thank you emails, I leave it alone. If they want you, they'll be in touch. You don't want to be a pest or appear desperate. This is not the only job in Christendom. The wheels may need to be turning from there. There are formalities like submitting the winning candidate's name, etc, etc. Especially if this is a committee thing.

All you can do is wait. If you don't hear anything after 2 weeks, it's okay to ping the committee head or the HR recruiter for a status.

This is the part that SUCKS!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:45 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Agreeing that most of our background searches and checks are taking about ten days due to summer staffing/vacation schedules instead of 72 hours. I suggest a week at least before touching base again.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:15 AM on July 13


Agreed that you should leave it alone. Sending the thank you e-mail was good. Now just hang in there.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:43 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Now is the hard part: the waiting game. You say the "search committee" so I'm wondering if this is academia? If so, the slow, torturous process is only second to waiting for job decisions in the government. Nothing you can do at this point will help - in fact, staying in too close of touch will likely only irritate the search committee members, who likely have more than a dozen hurdles to navigate before they're allowed to tender an official offer.

Seemingly overly anxious at this point (which is how I'd read multiple email/phone/mail contacts within a month of an interview without prompting on my part) can only hurt you. Put a date (a month from the interview date plus a day or two) onto your calendar and follow up then with a short, pleasant, professional email asking for status at that point. If you don't get a reply to that, make phone calls to follow up 6-8 weeks after the interview.

If you're applying for a position in the (US) government, multiply the waiting dates above by at least 3.
posted by arnicae at 8:27 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I'm in the process of hiring staff right now and when I want to hire someone, I offer the position as soon as the reference check comes in, and that can be up to two weeks with summer vacation schedules. I don't contact people to tell them I'm checking their references unless there's a problem getting hold of anyone and I need more references.

And when I know I don't want someone, I email them to thank them but I've decided to go in another direction. Again, this will be within two weeks of the interview.

When an applicant emails their thanks the first time, that's good form. When they email less than a week later, it's annoying but I understand. If they email more than twice after the interview, I scratch them off the list because I really don't want an educator who can't control their anxiety.
posted by kinetic at 8:32 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the feedback, everyone. The reason I think this process might move a bit faster is because I know the university I interviewed for wants this position to start around the start of the fall semester.

I'm definitely leaning towards letting well enough alone and hoping for the best. My references will let me know if they hear anything from the search committee, so that should give me some idea which way things are leaning.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:46 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Yeah, don't worry, they'll be in touch with you unless they're hopelessly disorganized. An on-campus means you're shortlisted, and most search committees have the good grace to inform their shortlistees promptly (either providing an offer, or closing the search). If they're not telling you anything then it's because there's nothing they have to tell (there may be news about other candidates, but they're not going to tell you that, no matter what, unless they've actually hired one of them). If you're not their top pick, the process can go months, particularly if other candidates are footdragging on making a commitment. Not knowing by midsummer totally sucks but is not unheard of.

Pretty much the only thing the committee actually wants to hear from you and will be really responsive to is changes in your status regarding employability. Like, if you had another offer on the table, or some change in citizenship/visa status, they'd want to know that. They might be willing to answer questions other than "hey, I still exist! What's taking so long?", but bear in mind that, whatever question you ask, they will probably interpret the subtext as "hey, I still exist! What's taking so long?"

Hang in there, and good luck.
posted by jackbishop at 9:59 AM on July 13


Okay, I've been on hiring committees for academics and in the private world. I, personally, appreciate a small thank you email, but any additional contact is over the top.

Once, a candidate sent a detailed and long email, discussing each point that was raised in the interview and how it could be addressed. At the time, I thought it showed a really thoughtful mind and close attention to detail that we were looking for. After we hired the person, I realized that was a sign of an obsessive person that would spend days on minutae while allowing the project to flounder.

Since then, any additional contact beyond the basic thank you raises red flags.

My best advice to you is to make sure your contact information stays correct and then to forget you applied for the position. Even when the decision is clear and everyone on the committee wants you, it's always slower than expect to make the offer.

Good luck
posted by teleri025 at 10:53 AM on July 13


Honestly: assume you haven't got it and work on your next application. You've done all you can and as well as you can.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:07 PM on July 13


I found out today that they've already contacted one of my references! Interviews ended last week! Fingers crossed...
posted by Fister Roboto at 12:49 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


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