After New York State Bar Association Career Fair, Job Candidates Discuss What’s Next
In a follow up to the first New York State Bar Association Career Fair, NYSBA hosted an informational session to help job candidates navigate the delicate time following a job interview.
Nancy Schess, who facilitated the discussion, is a partner at Klein Zelman Rothermel Jacobs & Schess with a specialty in workplace compliance and training. She says it’s important to treat the interview process as an extension of your network. “Look at the interview as a networking experience that helps you build your web.”
The webinar covered four main goals following an interview: take notes, give feedback, send a thank you message and strategize your follow up.
After the interview
Immediately following your time with a firm conducting an interview, take a breath and take down some notes. Think about who was the most significant person at the interview and write down the types of questions each person asked.
Send feedback on the interview to any friends or colleagues who helped you land the interview. If you used a recruiter, reach out to that person or firm to offer feedback.
Send a Thank You Message
Schess told the attendees that there are two schools of thought on sending a thank you message and how to do so. If you are unsure about sending a message, she encourages all job candidates to do so. The risk of not sending an acknowledgement may be greater than the time and attention needed to send it.
“if you choose not to send one, you are taking a risk,” she said.
Schess reminds candidates that thank you notes are not only read by the interviewer but often shared around the office. This can only help a job candidate show both respect and continued interest in the job.
You may choose to handwrite a note or send an email,. Both are appropriate. A typed letter on letterhead is out of style and seen as an antiquated approach to a thank you note. Keep it short with a personalized message. Include something you learned from the interview or about the firm during your time there. If several people were part of the process, send a thank you note to each person involved.
Prepare Your References
After a successful interview, a firm or hiring manager will check your references. Reach out to those people on your list and let them know they may be contacted soon. Schess says you need to be honest with your colleagues and ask them if they will be a good reference for you. You don’t want a lukewarm or cursory reference speaking on your behalf.
When to Follow Up
Schess encourages job candidates to follow up with an employer within two weeks following an interview. The follow up will demonstrate continued interest in the firm and give you another opportunity to show you want the position. One example Schess shared is to forward a recent article about a topic or issue of interest to the firm or something brought up during the interview. Include a message such as “I read this article and thought of you “ or “ I wanted to check in with you following our interview. Where are you in the process”
You got the offer – Now What?
Schess ended the event with a few tips about how to handle a job offer. She encourages job candidates to negotiate the offer while keeping the conversation polite. Be prepared for the conversation and have your points ready. Remember, she says, the firm wants you. If there is a negotiation, explain why what you are asking for in the offer is important to you.
If you are accepting an offer, do it quickly. You don’t want to drag out the process and make the firm question the offer.
“Speed is helpful to your goal and to getting the end result,” she says.
If you choose to reject the offer, be thoughtful and respectful and always keep your network in mind. You don’t know where the people involved in the interview may show up again in your career.