Interviews and assessment centres

After the job interview

22 Jun 2023, 13:19

What to do after an interview if you get a job offer – or if you don't get the job.

Top down view of vintage telephones

At the interview, ask when you will hear about the outcome. If you don’t hear within a reasonable time, follow up by telephone or email. It's useful to jot down some notes straight after the interview: what did you think you did well? What do you wish you had done differently? These can help you improve if you have more interviews coming up.

If they say ‘no’

The very nature of any job selection process obviously means that there will be those left disappointed. However, you’re only starting out on your career path, and while disappointment is regrettable, you should not confuse rejection with failure. You can learn from the experience by reflecting on your CV and application and the interview phase itself. What were you comfortable with and what did you feel you could have performed better at? You need to put such experiences in perspective and remember that even by getting the interview you were judged to be a high-potential candidate.

  • Ask for feedback. Many employers will be happy to provide some feedback and you can use this to benefit, your future applications and interviews.
  • If an employer highlights a skill or attribute that you were lacking, act on it! Such feedback can provide you with a sense of purpose to move forward.
  • Dust yourself down and start again. You need both tenacity and resilience to succeed in any job hunt. This means being realistic too, perhaps the job wasn’t for you in the first place. Don’t make the mistake of applying blindly within the same sector with the same CV or qualifications. Make sure you’re applying for jobs that suit not only your skills, but also you.

If they say ‘yes’

Well done, it’s quite an achievement, you have stood out from the competition and impressed the employer to the extent that they want to add you to their organisation. It’s time to be happy, but also you may have choices to make. If you are sure you want the job, and have no better offers on the table, then confirm in writing that you are happy to take the position. If you have a job offer but are waiting to hear about another job, try to buy yourself some time. Contact the employer and explain the situation (don’t mention the name of the second employer of course) and explain that you have a decision to make. Once you are honest about it an employer will be understanding, for a short period of time, about the situation. It’s important you do this. If you accept one job in writing and then reject it after getting another offer you could be in breach of contract. If you acceptance or rejection of the job is dependent on salary, then tread very carefully. Most graduate jobs have a standard salary, which you will have been aware of, so if you wish to debate this you’ll need to be very diplomatic. You need to be reasonable and ensure that what you are asking for is justified. When considering the salary for any position, you need to look at the whole package on offer, benefits, annual leave and any other perks or bonuses.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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