After you scrupulously prepared for the interview, wore all the right clothes and nailed the interviewer's questions, now the interview is over. So what's next?
How do you make sure the company knows you are even more interested in the opportunity? How do you get to the next step in the process? If you're working with a recruiter, this is where he can earn his keep.
If you got your job interview directly through the company, all your communications will be with the hiring manager and/or HR representative who is coordinating the search. The protocol is slightly different when you are working with a recruiter, since there is another person in the communication loop. When working with a recruiter, follow these steps for your interview follow-up:
Call the Recruiter for Interview Feedback
Make the call soon after the interview, while your impressions are fresh. This is your opportunity to debrief the recruiter about the interview -- what went right and what didnt -- from your perspective. Be honest. Explain whether you clicked with the interviewer or not and if there were any glitches in your answers. If you gave an answer you wished you could take back, now is the time to bring it up so the recruiter can potentially clarify this with the client. The recruiter will also take this opportunity to provide interview feedback to you from the client, touching on specific positives and negatives and what the next steps will be.
It's always good for the recruiter to know what you, the candidate, are communicating to the hiring manager, so he will likely ask: Did you send a thank-you note? Your note should be a two-paragraph message, thanking the interviewer and letting her know you thoroughly enjoyed meeting with her. This is the perfect opportunity to state that you are even more interested in the job (if this is true) and that you hope to move to the next step in the interviewing process. Include a sentence or two reiterating the top skills you have that will help the company grow its business. Keep it brief! Although a thank-you note to the interviewer is a must, it's not necessary to send a note to a recruiter, but it's appreciated.
For Subsequent Rounds, Let the Recruiter Take the Lead
If things went well enough in your initial interview, the hiring manager will want to bring you back for a second interview to meet with more people at the company. The recruiter will coordinate all subsequent interviews and give you background on the people you will be meeting with, including their titles, experience and what they will be looking for during the interview. The recruiter should also tell you what type of interview to expect. Remember to also send thank-you notes to the people you interview with during subsequent rounds. Briefly thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in working at the company. You'll want to get interview follow-up from the recruiter on this round as well.
Remember: Recruiters are paid to act as the intermediary, so leverage their talents in this role. They should know the hiring manager well and be able to ask for candid interview feedback. Don't be afraid to use their knowledge to your advantage.