The interview might be over, but don’t get too complacent; you still have an opportunity to influence its outcome and distinguish yourself from the competition! In this Insights article, we discuss the steps executives should take post-interview to maximise their chances of receiving a job offer.
Reflecting on your interview can help you gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and help you identify areas for improvement. Set some time aside to jot down notes on your interview performance. If you were interviewed by a penal, you might also find it useful to take down notes of who specifically asked what. This will place you in good stead should there be any follow up interviews and help you spot any red flags.
Introducing the W3 feedback model
The W3 feedback model can help you constructively reflect on your interview performance while ensuring you are not overly critical or lose sight of where you excelled. When reviewing your interview performance with the W3 feedback model, consider these three important points:
What went well?
Where do your strengths lie, which interview questions did you answer well and how did you differentiate yourself?
What didn’t go well?
Identify areas where you fell short, including questions you failed answer to the best of your ability.
What could I improve on?
List your current weaknesses and prepare an action plan so that you are better prepared for your next interview.
When reflecting on your interview performance with the W3 feedback model, consider these points:
Reflect on any information disclosed by the hiring manager and/or interview panel about the role, it’s remit and the organisation. ‘Insider’ information trumps external sources, especially those crafted by marketing departments on the organisations’ website, annual report and other collateral. You might even identify some red flags that you need to follow up on.
This covers the questions you answered, the responses you gave and the questions you asked. When answering competency-based interview questions, how well you articulated your responses can be the difference between success and failure. If you fell short in any of your responses, consider re-addressing these shortcomings in any follow-up correspondence or interviews.
This relates to your body language and how you conducted yourself throughout the interview. Reflect on how well you presented yourself, your brand message and any improvements you can make. Remember that post-interview etiquette is essential to landing your dream life science role so be sure to maintain a professional manner in follow up communications.
Reflect on how far you’ve come and what challenges lie ahead. Do you have any unresolved questions? Will there be further interviews? When will you next hear from a hiring authority?
If you found this opportunity through an executive search firm or specialist recruiter, follow up with the consultant leading the search within 24 hours of the interview. This allows you to feedback on how you felt the interview went while raising any concerns you might have. It also demonstrates that you are interested in the position and keen to proceed further.
Utilising the W3 feedback model above is an excellent way of ensuring that you have addressed everything effectively and efficiently. You should also take the time to clarify the next steps in the interview process, so you have an understanding of timeframes and what to expect. Clarifying what the next steps will allow you to prepare adequately and improves your chance of success.
One aspect of post-interview etiquette that is frequently neglected among senior managers and executives is the humble thank you note. Send by email or mail to the hiring manager post-interview, a personalised thank you note helps you stand out from your competition and puts you in good stead with the hiring manager and organisation.
When writing your thank you note or email you should:
- Thank them for their time.
- Reference a conversation from your interview.
- Restate your interest in the position and working for the organisation.
- Emphasise your skills and competencies.
- Clarify anything you didn’t answer successfully.
You should consider the personal thank you note as an extension of your personal brand and part of your job search toolkit alongside your CV and cover letter.
Leverage your network
Once you have completed your interview, reach out and connect with those who brought this opportunity to your attention or provided guidance. Take the liberty of updating them on how it went; they may be able to provide you with additional insight or advice about the organisation which you can use to your advantage should further interviews be required.
You should also contact your references so they are prepared to provide a glowing testimonial. If you’re truly in the running for a job offer, you can be sure the hiring manager will be following up with your references real soon. On a similar note, should you know anyone at the hiring organisation, consider reaching out to see if they can give you an internal reference.
You will likely get a feel for the hiring process and time frame from the interview. However, if you haven’t heard anything back after a week, it’s appropriate to follow up by email.
If you are working with an executive search firm, be sure to follow up with them first before reaching out to the hiring manager directly. Inquire as to the state of the decision-making process and restate your interest in the opportunity. Remember, never demand a response and always be polite and respectful in your dealing with hiring authorities.
If it has been several weeks and you still have not received a reply, you can probably conclude that you won’t be receiving a job offer on this occasion. However, consider sending a follow-up email just in case. Delays in the hiring process are commonplace. Even though they may have the best intentions, hiring authorities can sometimes be slow in responding to prospective candidates.
Continue your search
No matter how well you think the interview went or what was said in the interview, continue your executive job search and networking. You never know what new roles you’ll discover or who you’ll meet. Who knows, you might uncover a better opportunity which surpasses the role you just interviewed for! Worst case scenario is you receive two job offers. That’s a great problem to have.
Continue your executive job search until you’ve received a job offer and signed a contract at the very least. You won’t truly know whether the role is a good fit for you until you’ve started in the role. In fact, you probably won’t know whether you’re a good technical and cultural fit for several months. Even if you are happy in your new position, continue to expand your personal network.
Accept rejection gracefully
Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. If you don’t receive a job offer, send a thank you note or email to the hiring manager reiterating your appreciation for their time and consideration. This can set you apart from other contenders and ensures you’ll stay top of mind should a future position open up at the organisation which you might be a good fit for.
Likewise, if you worked with an executive search firm or specialist recruiter, be sure to thank them for providing you with the opportunity and reiterate your interest in similar roles.
For more job search advice tailored to senior managers and executives…
* Fraser Dove International is a talent consultancy operating exclusively across the life sciences industry. While our roots lie in executive search, we provide more than the traditional recruitment services. Uniquely placed within the market, we have been providing cutting-edge talent solutions and insight to organisations at all stages of their journey – from start-up to established leaders – since 2013.