Things to avoid after a job interview

Don’t blow a successful interview with an inappropriate follow-up. Heed these cautionary examples before you seal the deal with a potential employer.

Things to avoid after a job interview

In the job search, there's nothing like performing well at the interview. And after researching the company, practicing your interview presentation and answering the interview questions with confidence, you want to follow up with something impressive. You want to thank the employer with a gesture that makes the company want to hire you—or at least bring you back for another round of interviews.

This is the point when some people come up with what they believe are clever ways to thank people for the interview. Sadly, these attempts at being memorable can leave the wrong impression with the interviewer.

So be sure to avoid these three unconventional post-interview thank-you strategies in your job search: 

  • Don’t say it with plants or flowers: A candidate for a communications position thought sending a plant would be a nice way to say thank you after her interview. What it really said was that she did not know that doing so was unnecessary and inappropriate. It is never proper to send a gift after an interview. The interviewer is doing his job by interviewing you, and sending a gift of any kind can be interpreted as a bribe to move your candidacy forward. Rather than helping your cause, this move could hurt your chances of getting the job.
  • Don’t friend the interviewer on Facebook: Trying to connect with an interviewer on Facebook crosses a boundary that should not be broached. It tells the interviewer you don’t know how to draw the line between employer and employee, and you would likely have difficulty with that distinction if you were hired for the job.
  • Don't follow up with a call the day after the interview: If you follow up by phone too soon after the interview, the interviewer will interpret the action as too aggressive. A follow-up call the next day will signal that you lack good judgment and that you would probably act inappropriately on the job. At this point, the ball is in the prospective employer's court. Any follow-up by phone on your part should reflect what you and the interviewer discussed.

What should you do? Send an interview follow-up letter

The best advice is to follow up with a short thank-you letter after the interview, thanking the interviewer for his time and reiterating your interest in and qualifications for the job. The more succinct, the better. An articulate post-interview follow-up letter or email can only strengthen your candidacy.