Take some time immediately after your interview to reflect upon the interviewing exerience. Ask yourself:
- How could I have better answered the questions?
- Where did I succeed? Where did I fail?
- What will I do differently next time?
- What have I learned about the organization or institution? Will it be a good place for me to be?
- Evaluate what you are most looking for in a job or graduate program. Did this organization match the hours, pay, and work environment you were hoping for? Did this program meet your expectations for research opportunities, mentoring relationships, and coursework? It is your responsibility to assess the "fit" with your expectations.
Thank You Letters
As soon as possible after your interview, mail a thank-you letter to everyone with whom you interviewed. "This is one of the most important yet least used tools in a job search. It is used to establish good will, to express appreciation, and/or to strengthen your candidacy. The basic rule of thumb is that everyone who helps you in any way gets a thank you letter. When used to follow up on employment interviews, thank you letters should be sent within 24 hours to everyone who interviewed you. Also, be sure to send thank you letters to each of your contacts who granted you informational interviews and to people who provided references for you." (Planning Job Choices: 1999, National Association of Colleges and Employers). It is better to type your thank-you letter if your handwriting is not easily readable and legible.
Make your thank you letters warm and personal. Use them as an opportunity to reemphasize your strongest qualifications. Draw attention to the good match between your qualifications and the job or program requirements. Reiterate your interest in the position/program. Use the opportunity to provide or offer supplemental information not previously given. Restate your appreciation.
SAMPLE THANK YOU LETTER
During the interview process you should inquire as to when you can expect to hear about the status of your candidacy. If you do not hear by the date indicated, do not hesitate to follow up with a phone call. Interest and persistence pay off.
Check this out for tips on how to think about your offer and possible questions to ask when you receive an offer of employment.
Dealing with rejection
If you are not selected, don't take it personally. Think of these interviews as a learning experience. Make a list of ways you can improve when the next opportunity comes along. Then move on. The average professional changes careers six times in his or her lifetime. You've got other interviews in your future!