Hays UK jobs and employment blog


How to prepare for success after an interview

By Barney Ely, Director of Hays Human Resources

Time drags after an interview, whether it’s been two hours or two days. You are sat holding your phone, willing it to ring with some positive news. You're confident this job is a great opportunity, and hopeful that your eagerness and suitability came across on the day.

Sadly, this feeling of uncertainty can prompt candidates to jump the gun, and these moves often miss their mark. Some candidates demonstrate pro-activity and politeness (sending a thank you email, for example). Others have come across as inappropriate, for instance connecting with the interviewer on LinkedIn.

To help clear up the confusion, here is a definitive guide for the actions you should and shouldn’t take following your interview.

DO: Talk to your recruiter as soon as you're finished

Following your interview, speak to your recruiter as soon as possible and provide feedback on how it went, while it's all still fresh in your mind. Prior to the interview, determine whether you will call them or they will call you. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and how much you enjoyed meeting with the interviewer. This will be relayed to the company and work in your favour. The recruiter will know their client pretty well, so this is also a good chance to flag up any questions you have thought about in relation to the role or company since the interview.

Ensure to use this time effectively, ask the recruiter for feedback if they have received it. And If not then, politely try to get an idea of when you can expect to hear back.

In being proactive and communicative with your recruiter, you will demonstrate to both them and the interviewer that you are serious about this job and see you as a potential candidate.

DO: Follow up to the interviewer with a thank-you email

If during the recruitment process you have been in direct contact with the interviewer at any point, do send them a follow-up email to thank them for their time. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role. You could even explain that upon meeting with them and learning more about the opportunity, you are even keener than before, and how you look forward to hearing from them.

If you haven’t had any direct contact with the interviewer, then, when you speak to the recruiter after your interview, let them know that you would like to send a follow-up email, and to forward it on to the hiring manager. Again, it is better to do this sooner rather than later in order to stay at the front of both the recruiter and company’s mind which will showcase how enthusiastic you are about the opportunity.

DON’T: Send any LinkedIn requests

Whilst a thank you email to your interviewer is appropriate (provided they have emailed you directly in the past) it is not ok to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn. This presumes a level of familiarity that isn’t there yet. Once you have been offered the job, by all means, send a request, but for now, just use the site to find out more about the company via their LinkedIn page.

DON’T: Forget who you have interviewed with

If you are actively job searching or at least considering multiple roles within multiple companies, it can be easy to lose track of where, when and what role you applied for and whom you spoke to. It’s important you understand how crucial it is for you to remember this – there is nothing more off-putting than a candidate who phones us up to feedback or chase up on an opportunity, and start talking about the wrong company, role or hiring manager. This frankly shows a lack of attention to detail and organisation on their part. A simple spreadsheet that logs all this detail will ensure you never get this wrong.

DO: Give your references a heads-up

This is common courtesy but it's amazing how many people forget. Your references should be aware that they are being contacted, but drop them a line to remind them and ask them politely to keep an eye out. Thank them after they have provided this.

DON’T: Cease your job search on a hunch

However well this interview went, do not by any means cancel any other upcoming interviews you have scheduled for different roles, or give up the job hunt on this basis alone. Think about what is making you so keen for this specific opportunity, and use these key points to steer your search for similar roles. Nothing is solid until you have signed a contract.

DON’T: Drop the ball in your current role

Just because a new opportunity is on the horizon, that doesn’t mean you should clock off and let your performance drop within your existing job. Be mindful of your focus and diligence, be discreet and don’t keep checking your phone right under your boss’ nose! It is important to maintain both your reputation and relationship with your current company. You don’t know how much longer you will be working there, and even if you are offered another role, you never know when you might need their help (and a reference) in the future.

DON’T: Cut relationships if you fail

Finally, if you are not successful following this interview, don’t lose hope and certainly don’t cut ties with your recruiter (you might need them on the future!). Thank them for their support so far and get as much feedback as you can as to why you weren’t successful. Be sure to take this on board ahead of your next interview.

Your recruiter is a valuable ally to have during your job search, and it is important that they get to know you and what you’re searching for in your career. Work on building a professional rapport with them. Connect on LinkedIn, keep in touch, and if you haven’t already, arrange a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss your career goals.

Whether you are offered this job or not, don’t give up on your job search, whilst continuing to maintain your reputation in your current company. Keep up this positive, professional approach following your interviews, and you will find career success in no time.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Barney joined Hays in 1993 as a business graduate and is now Director for Hays Human Resources. Barney also has operational responsibility for Hays offices across the South of England, placing professionals in over 20 industry sectors covering everything from accountancy and finance to construction, IT education and healthcare.


Hays Thrive

Free staff diversity training

Sign up to Hays Thrive so your team can benefit from our Diversity & Inclusion package – as well as dozens more free training courses.

Sign up now


My Learning

My Learning

My Learning is your portal for free training courses to support you throughout your career and get you market-ready for your next job search.


Hays Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Report 2020

In our latest Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Report, we explore whether flexible working can help create more diverse workforces and more inclusive workplaces.


Job search

Search for a job

Looking for a new role? Search here for your ideal job or get in touch with one of our expert consultants.


Register a job

Register a vacancy

Have a vacancy? Fill in your details here.


Contact us

Find your nearest Hays office

Hays has offices across the whole of the UK. Contact us to discuss your employment needs.