After reading U.S. News’ 5 Things You Should Never Do While Waiting to Hear Back About a Job, I felt compelled to write what we should do when waiting to hear if we are selected for positions. Maybe you’re not currently in that seemingly-drawn-out, giving-me-ulcers circumstance, but if you’re looking to change positions or are hoping to secure a position, I’m sure that high-stakes time will come; and along with it, high blood pressure.
And when that time comes, congratulations will be in order for making it far in the hiring process. Your job-seeking work, however, won’t be done quite yet; it will be time to take a deep breath and execute the following:
- Immediately send a “Thank you for the interview” note. An e-mailed thank you will do, but a sturdy, hand-written card is the most impactful. In addition to writing “thank you”, write a sentence about the work you hope to perform for the company (as it relates to the company’s goals, of course). If your handwriting is less than impressive, ask a friend or family member to record your words. If you are a braille reader, consider adding a brailled “Thank you!” to your message and asking your friend to print “Thank you!” just above the braille. Lastly, get a second or third set of eyes on the thank you note to check for misspellings or improper grammar.
- After a week has passed since the interview, contact the hiring personnel by phone to ask if a decision has been reached. If no decision has been reached, briefly state you are very interested in the position and you’re looking forward to hearing back from the company. If there is no answer, leave a message instead of continually calling. Now, if you were told at the interview to wait a particular amount of time before hearing a decision, wait that length of time before contacting the company. This contact will let the hiring personnel know you are interested and motivated; it will also put you on the forefront of their minds. I recommend contacting the company only once to show interest; multiple calls may give the impression that you are aggressive or pesky.
- Participate in stress-reducing endeavors. Yes, this is a high pressure situation, but don’t let stress steal your mental and physical health.
- In agreement with the U.S. News article that states “Do not stop applying for jobs and interviewing”, I say do continue your job search; keep the momentum. No job is a guarantee, and it’s certainly better to receive a handful of job offers than to stall your job search while you wait for a response from your preferred job.
- To prepare for future job interviews, record the questions you were asked and your responses. Think through how your answers can improve. Perhaps you can think about problems you have encountered on past jobs, and how you overcame them. Next time you can work those stories into the interview. Perhaps you can spend time preparing documents, collecting pictures, or gathering technology to showcase your strengths and “show” your job accommodations, instead of simply talking about them. Or maybe you can prepare to better pitch yourself at your next job interview. In other words, even if you aren’t selected for the position, you can use the interview as a catalyst for growth.
Can you think of any other actions to take when waiting for a callback? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section.