What to do After the Interview

July 16, 2010 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

So, congratulations, you got through an interview (or a series of them with different members of the organization) but it’s not time to put your feet up and wait for them to get back to you! Job-hunting champs seize this moment to review and get ready for the next round in their search.

Here are a few moves to make right after an interview to bolster your candidacy at that organization and to make a better case next time as well:

*Determine how you did. First, do an honest self-evaluation. Often, we’re pretty good critics of our own skills. When you get home, sit down at the computer and write a review. (If you’re a journalist, pretend you’re writing a story about this experience.) It will be useful, in any case, to have a log of the interview if you’re going to move forward with this organization so you can prepare for the next round. Note who you met with, the key questions they asked, the questions you asked (and if there were none, no dessert for you tonight as it’s important to come armed with at least a few questions) and then how you think you handled their questions overall. If you think you flubbed something, make a note of it. If you didn’t know the answer to something, note that, and then get the answer and put that in your review as well.

*Check in with others. Again, it’s always useful to know people in the organization where you’re seeking a job. And if you do, give them a bit of time (a few hours to a day, depending on their schedule) and then check in with them to see if the hiring manager shared anything about the interview with them. If you trust them, run your impressions by them — perhaps they can double-check to see if the hiring manager felt the same way about the interview as you did. They may also be able to give you a strong sense of whether you’ll be moving to the next stage in the hiring process. If you don’t know people there, check in with others who know you well and run the interview by them — they may be able to validate your sense of how you did, and this will help you figure out whether you should expect a callback or not.

*Write your thank-you note, and use this opportunity to fill in any blanks. A job candidate should send a thank-you note to everyone who interviewed them at an organization. If you have nice handwriting (unlike me and so many other journalists I know whose handwriting seems to be “naturally encrypted”) consider writing a note on stationery — you may impress the hiring manager with your good manners. But an email thank-you is perfectly fine as well. Make sure to send the note within 24 hours of your interview (but wait a few hours; I once got a note just an hour after the job candidate had left my office — it seemed a bit obsessive) and make it personal yet professional. Make SURE you spell their name correctly and have no spelling or grammatical errors. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you and reiterate your interest in the position. Keep it brief. Don’t gush. And if there is something you want to emphasize or to answer that you didn’t fully answer during the interview, this is a good time to do it as well. Show them you were paying attention.

*Follow up. If you don’t hear back from the organization within a week to 10 days after the interview, it’s fine to send an email to the hiring manager or recruiter asking when you might expect to hear more. If they are vague or don’t get back to you and you suspect you didn’t do very well in the interview, it may be time to put this position on the back burner in your search. In any case, if you find out that you are no longer being considered for this job, request a few minutes of their time, and then ask how you could be a better candidate for the next position that may open up. I can’t underscore enough how many times someone who didn’t get a job lands the next position open in that organization — or the one after that. So stay in touch, and try to get this hiring manager to be your advocate with their colleagues.

*Here is a course (courtesy of dcrtv.com) that’s starting soon that could be quite interesting for journalists seeking more “real-world” multimedia skills:

UMD Launches Multimedia Journalism Program — The Merrill College Of Journalism at the University Of Maryland  is launching a certificate program this fall in multimedia journalism aimed at working  professionals. The Saturdays-only, two-semester certificate program will include classes in multimedia journalism, online journalism, mobile journalism, and “new media entrepreneurship.” There’s an August 15 deadline to apply for the 12-credit program. More at umd.edu…..

*And our friends at the National Press Foundation are spreading the word about journalist applications for an upcoming fellowship through the U.N. Foundation:

JournoExtra: UN Foundation/Better World Campaign Millennium Development Goals

NPF is happy to pass along the following opportunity offered by the United Nations
>Foundation and the Better World Campaign.

>style=”color:#192863;” target=”_blank”>The United Nations Foundation
and the
>style=”color:#192863;” target=”_blank”>Better World Campaign
are offering a three-day fellowship for journalists from September 7-9, 2010
>in New York City, in advance of the
>style=”color:#192863;” target=”_blank”>UN MDG Review Summit
in mid-September. This fellowship is geared towards Washington, DC reporters
>who do not have regular access to key UN experts, but are interested in foreign
>policy, international development and the United Nations. Fellows will be given
>direct access to officials from the UN and a behind-the-scenes look at agencies
>and organizations, including the Millennium Campaign. For more information about
>how to apply,
>style=”color:#192863;” target=”_blank”>please click here
>style=”color:#192863;” target=”_blank”>Click here
to download the complete application.

*Wrapping up the work week, here are some fresh leads:

*The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda has an opening for a lead technical writer:

Lead Technical Writer-Editor – NHGRI – CR-DE
Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Bethesda, MD
Writer-Editor within the Communications and Public… communication of the strategic plan and mission; balance workload; edit content; and facilitate training… $105,211 – $136,771 a year
From usajobs.gov

*The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (better known to us as Metro) in D.C.  is looking for a project manager in communications:

Project Manager Communications
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – Washington, DC
Project Manager Communications Location: Jackson… timesheets, and ensuring appropriate subordinate training is provided. Assigns detailed work tasks to be… $84,050 – $126,190 a year
From washingtonpost.com

*The American University in D.C. is seeking an inaugural dean for its new Washington Professional Development and Training division:

Dean, Washington Professional Development and Training Programs
American University – Washington, DC
Development and Training division who will… programs. Coordinate with training providers to design and deliver timely training and consultant-related…
From Isaacson, Miller

*With a hat tip to dcrtv.com, here is an interesting broadcasting opportunity for the right person — Centennial Broadcasting has an opening in northern Virginia for an assistant engineer:

Broadcasting Job Vacancy WINC AM / WINC FM/ WXBN FM/ WXNB FM Job Title: Assistant Engineer/IT Description: Centennial Broadcasting II, LLC. has an immediate opening for Assistant Engineer/IT Specialist. Our cluster is comprised of 92.5 WINC FM, 104.9/105.5 The Bone, NewsTalk 1400, and Cable Channel 6. This position requires a real Jack of all Trades! If you are a person that enjoys keeping all systems functioning at a high level and helping create and implement improvements, let us know! Skill set should include: studio/broadcast systems, graphics/photoshop, interacting with clients, IT experience, maintenance, and the ability to rapidly react to any technical difficulties. Broadcast Engineering experience is preferred, but not necessary. This position will also occasionally help provide IT support to our Fredericksburg Cluster (travel expenses reimbursed). Please email cover letter and resume to : Valerie Mayer HR, 520 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Winchester VA 22601, Or email: vmayer@winc.fm. No phone calls please. Centennial Broadcasting II, LLC. is a privately held broadcast company with operations in Winchester/Northern VA, Fredericksburg, and Roanoke/Lynchburg. Centennial Broadcasting II, LLC is an equal opportunity employer.

*With a hat tip to poynter.org (via businessjournalism.org), the AP has an opening in D.C. for a sales operations administrator:

poynter.org »Sales Operations Administrator | Associated Press
07-15 07:30
US – Washington/District of Columbia/USA, Please See Above The Associated Press seeks a Sales Operations Administrator for its Washington, D.C. location. This position will support AP’s broadcast sales teams and is responsible for the effi

*And last but not least today (from journalismjobs.com, also via businessjournalism.org), the Atlantic.com has an opening in D.C. for a journalist for its Technology channel that will launch in September:

  • journalismjobs.com »TheAtlantic.com Technology Blogger/Producer
    07-14 18:56
    TheAtlantic.com is looking for a journalist to work on its new Technology channel. Launching in September, Atlantic Technology will cover the way technology and innovation are changing the way …

Happy hunting and have a relaxing weekend. I’ll be back with you Monday morning!



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