job offer, job interview, no offer, why no job offer, tough questions, interview questions, waiting for job offerSo you interviewed. And you thought the interview went pretty well and answered the tough questions correctly. And then you waited. And waited. And . . . nothing.

There are many articles explaining effective interviewing techniques, but this article instead focuses what to do when you do not hear back and nor get an offer. How do you proceed?

First, Send a Follow-Up Email

It is completely appropriate to send a follow-up letter if you have not heard back from a company after interviewing with them. Sometimes the company is just slow in their process.

After you have sent your thank you letter immediately after the interview, if you have not heard back by the time they said they would get back to you, or haven’t heard back 2 weeks after you have sent a thank you letter, a follow-up email is a great way to stand out and express continued interest.

Keep it sweet, simple, and short.

Mr./Ms. Smith,

I had the pleasure of interviewing with you on April 5. I wanted to follow-up and express my continued interest in the position. I believe that my skills and experience, such as designing the golden gate bridge, will greatly benefit your company. I am excited to potentially be part of a growing team.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,

Bob Smith

If you would like to, you can ask for a time frame and by what time you can expect to hear back. (My personal opinion is that it is not necessary to ask for a time frame, because if a company is interested in you, they will get back to you. If you receive another offer, however, definitely get in touch with the company and let them know that!)

Second, Analyze and Debrief

The most important “trick” to learn about interviewing is analyzing what you did well in an interview, what went okay, and what could be improved.

When you are done with the interview, your mind will be whirling. As soon as you can, whether it’s in the car or when you arrive home, take a few minutes to jot down the interview questions that you were asked. If you do this for 2-3 interviews, you will find that you will have a fairly comprehensive “library” to all the interview questions you’ll ever be asked in your field. Most of these questions repeat themselves, or are different variations that are asking the same thing.

Reflect not only on your answers, but also on your body language, your posture, whether you smiled, and came across as energetic and enthusiastic. The interviewer will never provide you with this feedback, so it’s up to you to be as objective as possible.

Jot all of these impressions down. Your goal is to discover strengths as well as weaknesses.

Interviews + Self-Reflection + Improvement = An Inevitable Job Offer

The takeaway is simple. The interview may not have gone the way you wanted it to, but it serves as an important learning experience. As long as you analyze what could be improved, the interview was never a waste of time—it was merely a practice interview for your next, real interview.

The biggest error that you can make it failing to do this self-analysis. Without it, it is very easy to make the same mistake over and over again. Video record yourself when you practice, so you can pick up on nervous ticks and eliminate them with practice. But more importantly, figure out what went well and what didn’t in an actual interview. Many people perk up and become more energetic when they’re actually interviewing; others contrarily drop in energy because of nervousness. Video recording a mock interview cannot always catch this.

It’s easy to say “I’m done” after the interview. But an effective job seeker will never assume they have a job until the offer comes. That means analyzing the job interview as if an offer will never be extended, and using that experience to better perform in the next interview. If you do that, your interviewing skills will grow by leaps and bounds.

Conclusion

Interviewing tips can provide a useful framework on how to answer difficult interview questions that are meant to trip you up. Preparation for those questions is key.

But writing down actual interview questions and analyzing how to better answer them is where you will exponentially improve your interviewing skills, and doing so will help you find employment that much faster.

Photo via Wikipedia.