How to Follow Up a Nursing Job Interview
Following up with a potential employer after an interview is another opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, reveal how you can contribute right away and express why you want to work in this particular clinical area. The way that you follow up and how frequently is critical. There is a fine line between aggressively pursuing your goals and being too pushy, which is a quality that can easily cost even the best candidate their dream job. Follow these tips on post-interview etiquette for nursing jobs to help you shine as a standout candidate:
- Evaluate Your Interview - As soon as the interview is over, set aside 20 minutes to reflect on how the conversation went. Think about the questions that you weren't fully prepared for and better ways that you can answer them. You may have the opportunity to address the issues in a second interview, or you can follow up on a specific topic in your thank you letter.
- Reconnect with References - Inform your references that you have interviewed for a position. Email them the job description, your resume and a few reasons why you are excited about this position and how you are an excellent fit. Your references will appreciate the guidelines and are often willing to reinforce the key points that you want to make.
- Thank Your Networking Contact - Reach out to any networking contacts that helped you get the interview to convey your appreciation for their role. This not only strengthens your relationship but may also encourage your contact to follow up with the interviewer on your behalf.
- Send a Sincere Thank You Note - Sending a thank you letter to the interviewer is a courtesy that showcases your professional and social skills. Whether you send an email, mail a formal letter or drop off a handwritten card, what you put into the letter is critical. In just a couple of paragraphs, you must strike a balance between thanking the person for their time, expressing your interest in the position and addressing why you are an excellent candidate to consider -- all without coming off as too salesy. Achieving this goal requires sincerity.
- Personalize Your Letter - Be clear about why you want to work for this specific health provider. Show appreciation for something you learned during the interview that makes you excited about the position, unit or facility, or mention how the company's mission aligns with your personal values. Use an example to demonstrate how your skillset has prepared you to meet the challenge of a certain topic that was discussed in the interview.
- Ask Follow Up Questions - This is also an appropriate time to ask a couple questions about the position that you missed during the interview or inquire about next steps if the information was not provided. Additionally, you can attach requested documentation that proves your credentials, certifications and continuing education credits. End on a positive tone by noting that you are anticipating a decision or an opportunity for a second interview.
- Prepare for a Second Interview - One of the best ways to wait out a reply is to start preparing for a second interview. Although you already gathered important details about the health facility in preparation for the interview, now it is time to dig deeper. Look for innovative programs, specialty research or charity events that align with your passions and values. Prepare questions around these topics that you can ask if you are invited back to meet executive members of the team.
- Don't Connect on Social Media, Yet - During your research, you may discover the LinkedIn profile of the company's nurse recruiter or the interviewer. Unless they invite you to connect, avoid the urge to send a request on any social media channel. This crosses a professional boundary by implying a deeper level of familiarity that hasn't yet developed. Once you are finished job searching, whether you land the job, stay with your current employer or accept a position at another facility, then you are free to reach out with an invitation to connect. In a personalized message, thank them for their time and ask them to please stay in touch if new opportunities arise.
- Be Patient - As an anxious jobseeker, it is frustrating when the given timeline for next steps passes with no response from the employer. It is easy to sink into self-doubt, but no news is not necessarily bad news. There are many legitimate reasons why the decision may get delayed, such as difficulties scheduling interviews of other candidates, issues connecting with references or decision-makers attending a conference.
- Avoid Being Too Aggressive - It is acceptable to send one more follow-up email to the interviewer one week after the designated date has passed. If you were not given a timeline, wait two weeks after the interview before politely sending a second short request for an update and reinforcing your interest. After that, it is in the employer's hands. Any further contact will come across as too pushy and may bump you from consideration for the job. Pushing your own timeline not only comes off as annoying but also shows how you might behave as an employee. Nurses must be able to follow established processes, respect others' busy schedules and navigate frustrating delays.
- Exceptions to the Rule - There are only two instances when additional communication with the hiring manager is appropriate. If you receive another offer, then let the company know immediately. You can either withdraw as a candidate or express your continued interest in the position and request a hard date for a decision. If you are not ultimately selected for the position, then you can send an email requesting feedback on your interview skills. This contact potentially provides information that could help land your next job and strengthen your professional network connections.