The interview is over. What’s next?

It’s critical to explicitly ask about the employer’s next steps and timeline before you leave

Paula S. Katz | June 6, 2015

The interview is over and you have a good feeling. If all goes well, you may very well walk out with wonderful feedback and a promise that the interviewer is planning to send a letter of intent to hire that you can expect in a couple of weeks, says Regina Levison, vice president, client development, Jordan Search Consultants, St. Louis.

But if you don’t get that specific feedback, it’s critical to explicitly ask about the employer’s next steps and timeline before you leave, she says. “Say these words: ‘I have truly enjoyed my site visit. This is the kind of community I’m looking for. I enjoyed meeting everybody in the practice/hospital and I think I could do very well in this group/community,’” she says. If you’re excited about the position say so: “I am very interested in this position; what is the next step? What is your timing for making a decision?”

To get noticed after you leave, send a thank you note—a rare commodity these days—within 72 hours to everyone who talked to you. Employers like this gesture because it shows you have the kind of social skills that they’re looking for in emissaries for their hospital or group. As a result, you might get moved higher up on the hiring list, she says.


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If you really liked the position, use the thank you note to explicitly say so. “Say, ‘This is exactly the kind of community I want to be in and the kind of practice I want. I’m looking forward to the next step,’ ” Ms. Levison says.

Also mention if you’re involved in other interviews, advises Steve Look, executive vice president of recruiting, The Medicus Firm, Dallas. Share your timeline. “You can say, ‘I have two other interviews but I’m planning to make a decision by the end of February,’” he says.

Maintain contact post-interview by texting with the internal recruiter or physician. This is not a time to negotiate a contract—that comes after an offer is made.

Still waiting? Take the hint, Mr. Look says. “Excessive delays in communication from the employer indicate a lack of interest or internal issues,” he explains.

Even if you knew this wasn’t the right fit for you, remain neutral during the interview and avoid negative comments. “It doesn’t do any good to say, ‘Thank you, but I’m clearly not interested,’” he says.

“You don’t want to lead people on, but you don’t want to close a door.”

The importance of the Thank You letter


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