From Interview to Offer: 8 Steps to a Successful Job Search

people in suits sitting in a row waiting for an interview

Congratulations, you’ve been called in for a job interview! An exciting new phase in your job search has just begun, and to navigate each step along the way from interview to a final offer, you should have a clear understanding of a timeline of events and what appropriate job search etiquette suggests you do at each step.

Step 1: You’ve landed the interview

The most important thing you should do ahead of the job interview is to research as much as you can about the role and the organization. Don’t forget that you not only have to come prepared to speak to your skills and experiences, but you should also have a number of intelligent, relevant questions prepared for the interviewer.

Step 2: The interview is getting closer

Dig deeper into the organization and its team members. Scour their social media accounts, search for news articles or current events happening in the company, look up your interviewers on LinkedIn, and comb through their website. Use the time leading up to your interview to immerse yourself in all there is to learn about the company, its culture, and the people so you can more powerfully speak to how you’ll add value to the organization.

Step 3: The day before the interview

Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep! Get your clothes and interview materials ready to go so you don’t have to scramble the next day, and make sure you feel confident about your commute and that you can easily navigate to the interview location.

Step 4: The morning of the interview

Always plan to arrive early. This allows you a little ‘cushion’ in case of unexpected delay, and it also gives you a few extra minutes to settle in and compose yourself before the interview starts.

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Step 5: During the interview

Since you’re well-prepared to give thoughtful answers to the interviewer’s questions, remember to focus on displaying positive body language and maintaining good eye contact. Your nonverbal communications speak volumes about your confidence and professionalism. And be sure to ask great questions to the interviewer about the role and the company.

Step 6: Immediately after the interview

As soon as you can, send a personal note to the interviewer thanking them for their time. Personalize it by referencing a few specifics about the meeting or any of the topics covered. Regardless of how well you think the interview went, never skip over this important step, as not sending a follow-up thank you can have a negative impact on your candidacy.

Step 7: A week later

You don’t have to wait exactly one week to reach out to the interviewer again, but if you haven’t heard from them in the expected timeframe they gave you, it’s appropriate to reach out and inquire on where you are in the process. Make sure your communication style here is polite and not demanding. Thank them again for the interview, inquire if there is any more information or materials you can provide, and politely ask about the timeline on a final decision.

Step 8: If you’ve been “ghosted”

This is a tough situation to face when you’re on the job market and can be an instant morale-killer. You’ve been called in for an interview, you think it went pretty well, but then, you don’t hear a word from them ever again. If this happens, you’ve been “ghosted” by the employer. First of all, it’s wholly appropriate to reach out and ask about the status of your candidacy or timeline. But, if you still don’t get a response, consider that you’ve just learned a valuable lesson about the team or organization and likely it would not have been a great fit for you anyhow. The key is to not let being ghosted affect your confidence -- you don’t want to go into the next interview with a chip on your shoulder or with the sting of rejection informing your attitude.

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