You’ve Answered The Magic Question, What’s Next?

What are the next steps after your first interview? First, ask the most important question, but what about after that? Find out more here.

Congratulations! You’ve now had the first interview with the hiring manager, you’ve done what’s been suggested, and you’re ready to answer the question: Do I want to learn more? At this point you only have two choices “yes I do” or “no I don’t.” This blog will share with you the steps to take depending on which way you answer that question. The easier of the two is if you do not want to go forward, what you say, when you say it and whom do you say it. Let’s start with that first.

You Don’t Want To Learn More: What To Say

After your interview, being open-minded it is possible you have now made the determination this is not the right situation for you. You have decided you do not want to learn more. The first thing that you need to do whether you want to learn more or not is to write the hiring manager a thank you note. Since you have determined that you do not want to learn more that should also be conveyed in the thank you note. I can hear you asking, “Why should I send a thank-you note, as I’ve already determined I do not want to go forward?” The simple answer is common decency requires it. The more complex answer is you never know where somebody is going to wind up and be in a different position to hire you. Therefore, you never want to burn any bridges whatsoever. After sharing the common pleasantries, the way to tell someone you do not want to learn more is by utilizing the following sentence, “At the present time, I do not believe that this is the right opportunity for me.”

When & To Whom: The Significance Of “Present Time” & The Hiring Manager

Why am I so specific with this wording? If you look at it carefully you will realize there is still an opening for you to come back to this firm if something should change in your current situation and you want to revisit going to work for this particular firm. By using the words “at the present time,” you have indeed left that door open as present time changes to a future; therefore, you could go back to the hiring manager if you should so desire to resume conversations. If you shut the door completely you will never have that option. I also recommend if a recruiter is involved, you should share with them your same sentiment that you do not want to learn more. in this case I recommend you tell the recruiter exactly why you do not want to learn more. By sharing your actual sentiments, the recruiter can potentially find you a new situation which would not cause you the same lack of forwarding movement

What If You Want To Know More? Next Steps In Communicating With Your Hiring Manager Or Recruiter

Now let’s address the scenario where you do want to learn more. Before you convey that to a recruiter or the hiring manager, if there is no recruiter involved, we recommend that you have questions that you would like to have addressed in that second interview. It’s particularly important at this point again not to think is this as the firm I want to go to but now more specifically what do you need to know or be exposed to help you in your process to move continually forward with this company. Was there something specific that the hiring manager raised that intrigued you that you want to know more about? Or was it someone that the hiring manager mentioned that may be the right person for you to speak to next? Many times, a hiring manager will have in their mind who they want you to speak to next, but in your mind, that person may be a couple of interviews away and there’s somebody closer that can help you make the determination that you still want to learn even more. This is the time to share that information with your recruiter if you’re working with one. If not, then directly with the hiring manager. All of this assumes of course the hiring manager also wants to learn more.  Clearly, this is one of the benefits of working with a recruiter as that person would have already had a conversation with the hiring manager prior to talking to you, the candidate. In conclusion, continue with your due diligence talks to the right people and learn more.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.