< Sprint 5: How to Approach Interviewing

Step 6

Maintaining Relationships

We recommend spending 40 minutes on this section.

Your relationship with your interviewer shouldn't end when the interview does. It's important to follow up and stay engaged. Always send a thank you note immediately after an interview – if you're not sure how to write one, here's a great example. Thanking your recruiter and hiring manager is a sure way to make a great first impression. Hiring managers we've spoken to say it's becoming rarer, too, so it'll help set you apart from the competition.

If you haven't heard back after a week or so, send a follow-up message to your interviewer on LinkedIn. You don't have to sell yourself too hard – just talk about how you enjoyed meeting them and are looking forward to hearing about next steps. The most important thing is to be enthusiastic! Showing that you're genuinely excited about the role will make you an attractive candidate. Be persistent, but don't inundate them – a message once a week or so will keep you fresh in their minds without being overwhelming. Even if you don't get the job, keep the relationship warm. You never know when something else might open up. Here are a couple tips on how to do this:

Send a follow up note - If you got a rejection note from a recruiter or hiring manager respond immediately to them, and other individuals you feel you made a strong connection with during the process. Close the loop and let them know you appreciated their time. Specify what you personally enjoyed about them, or what you learned from them. Say while you know it didn't work out, you would love to stay connected. Who wouldn't appreciate receiving an email like that?

Keep them in the loop, and lean on them when relevant - As you continue to move through the interview process you'll have questions about everything from craft to a company's culture. One day you will have an offer, or multiple ones! These are all great opportunities to circle back with someone. Let them know you are in final rounds with specific companies. Let them know you are negotiating an offer, or two! If you have a strong exchange with this person, lean on them. If you know they are someone that will help you prepare and nail a final round interview, ask them for 15 minutes of their time to help prepare—and be specific about what you need their help around. If you are deciding between two offers, ask for their advice and perspective.

Make them feel part of your success - Once you land those offers, and you will, close the loop with all these people. Let them know where, what, and why you chose the place you did. Thank them again for their help along the way and ask for a few minutes of their time before you ramp up. Be specific about what you want their advice around. Is it how to approach your first 30 days? Is it an industry or product specific questions? Is it advice about leadership? Make it clear as to how they can help you, and how they have already been helpful to you.

Stay in touch - Now that you've made your pivot and started the job your interviewer has now become closer to a peer or mentor, depending on their level. As you dive deeper into your new role continue to find ways to connect with these individuals. We recommend building on your networking spreadsheet that keeps track of who the individuals are and ways they can continue to support you. Also, now when you're ready to go for that promo or find your next role, your rolodex just got more full!

Key Reflections

Who are the people you have met along the way you can add to your networking worksheet? How can they help you in the future?

What can you emulate from the great people you have met along the way?

How can you use that in subsequent conversations?

What are the top 3 things you’ve learned about yourself in this process?