December 03, 2010

Post-Interview Etiquette

You wrote a great cover letter and put together an impressive resume. You've figured out what you're going to wear, thought of some questions to ask your interviewer, and tried to get some sleep the night before. Still, there's a few things to keep in mind as you head into that interview that will make your life a little bit easier after the fact.

When should you expect to hear?
Try to ask this at the end of the interview and use it as an opportunity to express your interest again. For instance, you could say something like "I'm really excited about this opportunity and would love to work with you, when should I expect to hear something?" This demonstrates your interest again, which is good, but it will also help calm your nerves. There's nothing like waiting around hoping for a call after that interview to find out if you got the job. The trouble is some companies may call you in a few days and some may take a few weeks. Finding out what to expect can help you to stop worrying about it later and give you a better idea of when you should follow up again.

A little more personal

Don't try to force this, but if it's possible try to start a conversation about something a little more personal and a little less serious. Maybe you love the shoes your potential boss is wearing or the golden retriever picture on the desk? Tell him or her, it could be a good opportunity to break the ice a little bit. If you do talk about something more personal, like your mutual love of tennis, it's a good tool to use to demonstrate your attention to detail in the all important thank you note by sharing an interesting article on the topic or just saying how much you enjoyed the discussion. Part of the point of an interview is to see if your personality fits well with the company and its culture so don't be afraid to actually show your it.

Get a card
This may not be necessary if you've already corresponded by email and have your interviewer's contact information in their signature, both make sure you have it somehow. If you don't get it at the interview you could try asking the receptionist as you leave or, if you forget then too, you could call ask after the fact. Why is this so important? It's for the aforementioned thank you note that you have to write. Yes, have to. I know you hated when you were a kid and your mom would sit you down with note cards and a list after your birthday and make you write notes to every single gift giver but at least you have a reason to put those skills to good use now. Most applicants don't actually send a thank you note and that is exactly why, if you want to stand out, you absolutely must. It puts you a little bit ahead of the competition and makes you look professional and thoughtful. Most people will tell you to send a thank you via mail, but most correspondence in the music industry is done via email, so it's perfectly acceptable to send an email thank you note as long as you keep it just as professional. If you'd really like to add an extra physical note to the mix, then it certainly can't hurt to send one.

This post is dedicated to Jason. Good luck at your interview next week!
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