You’ve done it. You submitted your resume and cover letter, and you just made it through an interview with the nurse manager for a nursing job you really want. Now what? Do you wait for a call? No, you get your ducks in a row, follow up in a timely manner and plan your next move.
After you’ve been interviewed, there’s still plenty to do. When you walk out of the interview, it’s time to take stock. Ask yourself the following questions:
• How did it go?
• What went well and what could have been better?
• Did you sufficiently highlight your strengths?
• Did you assuage any concerns expressed by your interviewer?
• Are there unanswered questions on your mind?
Job interviews are research and development for your nursing career. Each experience builds upon the last. Your interview skills and comfort will grow with time. Learn from your experiences; study interview techniques; practice with a friend, family member, colleague or career coach; and use these conversations as a training ground for your career. Make note of what you could have done better and bookmark it for next time.
Follow up is crucial. In this fast-paced world, most interviewees will send a thank you by email. This is fine, but if you want to stand out from the crowd, send a typed thank you letter, using the same letterhead, style and paper as you did with your resume and cover letter. If you were interviewed by more than one person, send a thank you letter to each individual.
Your thank you letters should be concise, reiterating your enthusiasm about the position and the employer and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to have a substantive conversation. Briefly — but powerfully — highlight the skills, knowledge and experience that make you the perfect candidate. Always include a copy of your personal business card with your thank you letter.
If you have not received a return call within the time frame you were told to expect a response, call your interviewer and graciously inquire regarding how the hiring process is proceeding. If you are informed that you were not selected for the position, feel free to politely inquire if there is something about your experience or interview skills that they feel you can improve. It never hurts to ask, and it shows a high level of maturity and professionalism.
A few extra tips
If you are waiting to hear back regarding a position for which you’ve interviewed, here are a few more things you can do — and one you shouldn’t do:
• Find your interviewer or interviewers on LinkedIn; send a personalized invitation to connect. Do not send a generic invitation under any circumstances.
• Enter the interviewer’s email address in your email contacts, so any emails from them do not mistakenly go to your spam folder. Check your spam folder daily, just in case.
• Enter your interviewer’s phone number in your phone’s contacts. This will help you recognize the incoming call if they call you, and be prepared with your best professional voice.
• Conduct further research on your potential employer to prepare for a possible second interview.
• Never send a “friend” request to an interviewer on Facebook.
Always be the consummate professional. Learn to ace your interviews and the all-important follow-up process.