You should be doing more than sending the perfunctory “Thank you for your time” email if you want the job.
It’s a familiar situation — you’ve just completed the last round of interviews for the job you’ve always wanted. After spending countless hours preparing to dazzle and impress, you walk away with the feeling that you’ve aced the interview. The interviewers seemed to like what you had to say, the conversations were easy and free-flowing, and you stated a convincing case for why you’re the best person for the job. You feel a job offer is on the horizon.
Performing well in the interview is a crucial step for candidates in the hiring process; however, it’s not the only thing that matters. Besides persuading others that you have the kind of experience they’re looking for, landing the job you want often depends on the things that happen after the interview.
They often include post-interview discussions, including hiring manager conversations that vet your skill level or decide whether you’d be in sync with the work style and personalities on the team. They may debrief about whether you’d be able to contribute to a team quickly.
However, the things you do to show your interest in the role can make or break your candidacy even after the final interview. While it’s common to hear that job seekers need to take action, and remind their interviewers of their interest, they often overlook important things that can influence the outcome. Here are three things after the interview that can surprisingly factor into whether you might receive a job offer:
1. You show a clear vision of how you’d add value to the team.
Odds are that if you’re lucky to make it to the final interview, you’re not alone. Companies routinely build up slates of candidates to interview for a coveted role. That said, it’s not enough to tell an employer that you’re interested in the role to show you hope to be selected. Rather, you need to set yourself apart from the rest by stating why it makes sense to select you.
The time after the final interview separates the good candidates from the great ones. To stand out from others, you need to communicate your interest in joining the team and how you will directly impact the organization. Sharing details such as your plan of action for the first 90 days in the role or an approach to how you’d solve an existing challenge facing the team serve as excellent ways to show why you’d make the best choice for hire.
2. You’re forthcoming about your current status, your concerns and your interest in the position.
In the beginning, a future employer might play it cool when showing their interest in you for a role. However, as you progress through the rounds of interviews, you may find that they seem to open up, asking you detailed questions to gauge your interest level. They may ask whether you’re interviewing elsewhere, how you view the team or even how the position ranks among the roles you’re considering. You might want to stay quiet and keep your opinions to yourself so that you don’t give up any perceived advantage in the interview process.
However, before you decide to play coy, consider the impact of being open about the opportunity when asked by a future employer. By providing insight into what you’re thinking, you’re not only signaling your interest but creating the space to see if the feelings are mutual. No one wants to waste time on opportunities where there is no interest in one other. Sharing some detail about how you’re feeling, especially after a company’s genuine effort to show theirs, suggests that your willingness to reciprocate. This level of openness can be especially helpful as you navigate any concerns that popped up during the interview process. As the company’s questions might jump right to the point as you advance through the rounds of interviews, you should take the opportunity to provide equally direct feedback and not hold back on your inquiries. Doing so will suggest a level of maturity and openness you’d like to have in relationships with a future employer.
3. You ensure your references sing your praises rather than provide a generic endorsement of your professionalism and expertise.
When reaching the final stages of the interview, the employer may ask you to provide a list of professional references. Many are quick to reach out to the relevant people in their network they feel could provide a positive review. Few take advantage of the opportunity to “wow” a future employer with first-hand accounts with effective examples. It’s common to request a former colleague or manager to vouch for you and leave the door open for them to give generic commentary. However, you can make a powerful impression on the company by asking your references to create a shortlist of concrete examples that show you at your best.
By paying attention to these details after the interviews have concluded, you can help tip the odds into your favor to receive a job offer.
Note: This article first appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community and job board for women.