Don’t Send a Thank You Note after Your Final Interview

At least not right away. Do this instead.

Most interview advice centers on what to do before and how to act during the meeting but generally stops there. An equally important and generally overlooked step is how to keep the door open after that final interview.

Let’s start at the conclusion of an interview and work our way backwards to see what should happen before you ever leave that meeting. You had a chance to ask questions along the way, but it’s impossible to think of everything, right? And, that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay because it opens up an opportunity to stay in touch.

Here’s how it works. Thank the Interviewer for his/her time, express your continued interest in the position and inquire about the time frame for the search. Next, ask if you may call back in the event you have additional questions (and you will have questions). Confirm a convenient time to call and verify the appropriate phone number. You have now secured permission for future contact and eliminated the dreaded fear of “stalking” the Interviewer.

As soon as you exit the interview, jot down key points related to the scope of the job, along with any open ended questions you’d like answered. Most importantly, identify two or three areas in which the Interviewer described situations needing resolution and consider how you would or have handled them. If you’re drawing from previous work experience, only consider examples that clearly demonstrate the specific role you played in adding value.

Prepare 3 or 4 questions and call the Interviewer back within a few days of your meeting. Here’s an example of an actual call back I made following an interview for an HR position. “You mentioned that your company has a problem with turnover and we ran out of time to probe it. I’d like to share some of the ways I dealt with it at my last job. I did an analysis of the rate and cost of turnover, with possible reasons and compared it to companies in our industry. I found the root cause was in hiring the right people and focused on improving the selection process. This one step decreased our turnover rate from 10% to 5% and saved $25k in the first year.”

With this one follow up call, I secured a spot at the front of the candidate queue while others anxiously awaited a phone call. By contrast, I kept the connection alive, demonstrated my active listening and problem solving AND GOT THE JOB OFFER.

Next, refer to the scorecard you’ve established for your ideal job. Note what the Interviewer indicated or that you observed during the interview about culture, amount of travel required, opportunity for advancement, etc.compared to your expectations. If an offer is made, you now have a checklist against which to judge it. And, consider all the possible outcomes if:

  • An employment offer is made. Make sure the offer is in writing, in addition to a verbal offer. Do NOT give notice to your current employer until a written offer is in hand with any background checks and testing results.
  • A different job opportunity is presented. The company may be considering you for an alternate position. Listen to what is being proposed and see how it compares to your scorecard. You may be asked to come in for another interview with a different Hiring Manager. Be open minded and explore the possibility of an even better job.
  • A different type of employment is being offered. Budget constraints could be an issue and a contractor position is available. Listen to what is being proposed and see how it compares to your scorecard that will include your compensation and benefit needs.
  • A “no thank you” e-mail is sent and you are no longer being considered for the job. Send a LinkedIn message to the Interviewer and/or Hiring Manager, thank him/her for the time and request to be connected to continue with a virtual relationship. Remember, you have a stronger connection following your face-to-face encounter, take advantage of the opportunity of continuing the relationship while getting access to their network.
  • There is absolute silence and you never hear a thing from your next potential employer. You have just learned something about their culture and have concluded this may not be a respectful workplace. Time to move on to other opportunities.

Always maintain the greatest focus on the hottest prospect, but also pay attention to other irons in the fire. There is nothing worse than an empty pipeline when your one and only prospect turns cold.

Don’t be afraid to take a breather and step away from the job search for a few days. Enjoy some physical activity, get outside and explore nature, or spend time with family and friends. You’ll need to recharge your batteries, do a postmortem if things didn’t work out, and get ready to find your next prospect. If you did get an offer, congratulations and job well done!

One final word of advice. You don’t need to be in active search mode to accept an invitation for an interview. It’s good practice, keeps you in touch with the job market, and may even give you a greater appreciation for the job that you currently have. If you have the time to interview and can maintain confidentiality if you’re currently employed, then there are few risks and lots of benefits.

Strategies to Avoid Being a Hot Mess in Job Search

Ever run into friends who spend the first half of each conversation, bit%#ing about the jobs they hate?  While you can maybe relate or, hey, you might even BE that person, it’s time to do something about it.  It’s not as hard as you might think.  Get organized and your load will become a lot lighter.

Here’s how lots of searches start.  You have a bad day at work and decide to find the nearest escape hatch.  On impulse, you reach for your phone and start applying online to every job remotely resembling your background.  Suddenly, every posting that contains your job title now seems the perfect match, so you repeat the process each time you feel disgruntled at work.     

In reality, you’ve managed to just temporarily break the inertia of an unhappy work life, but made little headway towards finding the ideal job. It’s time to redirect your efforts from ineffective tactics to proven strategies.     


So, you’re currently employed, but you want out.  How do you get there with such a busy schedule?   Like anything else in life, if it’s that important, set quality time aside to spend on job search. Follow your personal biorhythm.  Dedicate time at lunch, on Saturday mornings, or block off one hour when you get home from your job; whatever works for you. You’ll just need discipline around the process or end up spinning your wheels.


If it’s your goal to break the internet with the most-ever resumes sent out by a candidate, carry on.  However, for an effective search, you’ll need to be selective in how you spend your time. Avoid the trap of simply being reactive to postings and be proactive by first identifying what you want.

Make a list of target companies, desired positions, and get real about how far you’re willing to commute, the importance of a remote work option, etc.   In other words, know what you want and go for it.  Create a handbill capturing all those preferences and use it as a tool when networking.

Just sending out your resume to anyone and everyone doesn’t work, so be selective in postings you respond to.   Make sure online postings are not the only source of your leads.  According to LinkedIn, 85% of jobs are found through networking, so spend the majority of your time where the biggest returns happen.


Does the thought of getting organized actually “spark joy”?  Even if you’re not a follower of Marie Kondo, know that organization is an absolute must when initiating a job search. Streamline the back office with tools that free up time and ultimately accelerate your search.  Here’s a select group of online tools guaranteeing greater efficiency:   

  • JibberJobber ( Manages information by tracking companies, applications and network contacts. Can export data to spreadsheets; add hyperlinks to folders or files for quick access to information.
  •  Jobscan ( Does a comparison of your resume to a job posting to show the degree of fit of your background to a company’s requirements.
  • Jobscan ( Does a comparison of your LinkedIn profile to multiple job postings to check for a match. 
  • LinkUp ( Finds job openings from company websites so that you don’t have to seek them out.

Now you can concentrate on front office endeavors, including identifying professional connections, meeting with influencers in your industry, calling contacts; all activities paving the way to your next opportunity.   


If you have great self-discipline, simply check progress against set goals. For the rest of us mortals, job search is tantamount to getting a root canal.  Accountability groups provide a combination of peer pressure, coupled with a heavy dose of support; the perfect antidote to getting “unstuck” if you’re wallowing in the mire.  

Here’s an actual re-enactment of a group meeting I attended:  “Hi, my name is (fill in the blank) and I guess I’m a serial job applicant.  I’ve applied to over 30 positions in the last week and have connections on LinkedIn, but I don’t want to come across as a sales person, so I really haven’t contacted anyone…it’s just too weird.” 

Facilitators of these groups hold everyone’s feet to the fire. They offer a set of prescribed metrics (e.g. number of networking calls/events, number of phone screens, number of hours spent on search per week, etc.) for all to assess individual progress. 

Participants also play a role and offer suggestions with what’s worked well for them; it’s invaluable advice.  Oh, by the way, fellow members know people who know people, providing another source of good connections.     

Beyond the collective wisdom shared, these groups provide a safe place, free of judgment, where job seekers can do a reality check.  Find these accountability groups at local career centers, libraries and within networking groups.

Convert Tactics to Strategies       

Initiating a job search with no strategy is like shooting a flare off in the middle of the ocean and expecting to be found.   Get your job search in order and you’ll change from serial applicant to serious job searcher, greatly increase the odds of landing your next gig.