Once you and the hiring authority have reached the end of the interview, you’re probably going to get an idea of what the next steps might be. Don’t be afraid to be assertive about pushing yourself into the next steps!
You may be surprised to discover a lot of the interviewers are not sure of the next steps in the process. Most often, although you’ve pushed for the next interview, the interviewer is going to say something like, “Well, we have a number of people to interview, then, we’re going to complete that process and work on the subsection interviews.”
This is a perfect time for you to ask again, “Based on our conversation today, I want to think that I would be in that group, would you agree? So let’s set up that second interview now.” Then you pull out your notepad and ask, “When would a good day for me to come back?”
You’ll probably still get the standard, “Well, we’ll get in touch with you.” Again, this is an excellent time for you to find out how you really stand, relative to the other candidates, by asking, “Well, Mr./Ms. _______, you must have some idea how I stack up with your ideal candidate and the others whom you have interviewed. Please tell me what you think.”
This kind of questioning will usually provide a good idea of how you rank. They are relatively aggressive and do not necessarily come naturally or easily, but if you practice enough they will wind up becoming very easy for you.
If you are unable to confirm a date and time for the next interview at the end of the initial interview, you will need to ask for, and get clarification on, exactly what the next step will be. Usually, the interviewer will give you an idea about the next step. He most likely will not commit to your inclusion in the next round, but don’t worry about this too much. Remember, I’m emphasizing process. Getting confirmation of how you stack up against the other candidates is merely part of the process.