You’ve networked, you’ve applied, and now you’ve completed your first interview and it went better than you had hoped. If you think the next step is to sit back, relax, and wait to be called with an offer, think again.
One of the most important steps after an interview is the follow up. This should not be taken lightly. Often times this crucial step can set you apart from the other candidates interviewing. Worried about sounding anxious? Unsure about what to say or how quickly afterwards to send something? Look no further. We will debunk the myths about how to appropriately follow up after an interview and land that job.
The follow up process starts directly after, and even before you leave a face-to-face interview.
When you’re leaving the interview, make sure to thank everyone for the opportunity and ask about the next steps. Show your excitement for the potential position and ask where the recruiters are at in their decision making process. Be sure to ask for business cards or jot down the interviewers’ names and contact info.
In the car before you leave the parking lot, or the minute that you get home, write down notes and questions about the interview before you forget! Write down specific concerns or questions that each of the interviewers had so that you may address these directly with your follow ups.
Either in email format or handwritten note card format, start writing your personal notes to each person you met during your interview. Keep things simple and concise. Remember, the individuals that you’ve spent time with today most likely have busy schedules. The main objective is to leave a lasting impression, and not to seem generic or cliché. Timing is everything, so send the letter the following morning.
Nathan Mirizio, content marketing writer at The Resumator, a recruiting software company, explains how to best deliver your follow up, “Go with that medium, or follow whatever instructions have been given to you. Email is always a safe bet, but always contact recruiters through their business accounts. Personal email accounts and phone numbers are for personal friends, and trying to reach [hiring managers] at home can be an awfully quick turnoff.”
Items to Include in Your Letter
- Thank them for their time and opportunity to work with such a great company.
- State that you are extremely interested in the position.
- Mention something specific about the interview – perhaps something that the interviewer said, which stuck out to you and aligns with your personal traits, experiences. Or something that genuinely interested you in the company.
- Add in some value about yourself that you may not have been able to bring to light during the interview.
- Use real words and correct grammar. For example, use “you” instead of “u”… when in doubt, use common sense!
Business Insider reported on an interview with James Caan, CEO of the Hamilton Bradshaw Group, stating that two lines can show your enthusiasm and reinforce that you’re a perfect fit for the job.
He suggests something along the lines of this: “I’m really excited about the opportunity you are offering; this seems like an exciting time for the business and the role is a great fit for my skill set and experience. If you need any additional documents or information from me, do let me know.”
This would be a great ending line to your follow up note. The most important thing however is to not sound too generic. Hiring managers and those that spend time interviewing you don’t want to read the same message over and over again. Founder of Pandora, Tim Westergren, recently wrote an article for LinkedIn that emphasizes this exact point. “…really make them count” he states. This opportunity should not be taken lightly or as some formality. Westergren says, “it should be treated as another chance to demonstrate your skills and your particular suitability to the company and that job, and to reinforce a personal connection to the recipient.” He stresses that a candidate should do their homework and take advantage of each “touch point” in which there are limited opportunities during the job interview process. Each one counts.
Many people may feel like their note or follow up is an annoyance to a recruiter or interviewer, which is the complete opposite. However, there are definitely ways to LOWER your chances by showcasing some bad etiquette in the ways that you follow up afterwards.
What NOT To Do After Your Interview
1. Don’t Harass the Recruiter
It may be hard to wait for an answer, especially when it comes to a job that you really desire. However, your impatience is no reason to send multiple emails, or call multiple times without hearing back from the recruiter. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one that may be interviewing. The process to schedule and then review candidates takes much longer than you may think. If you haven’t heard back yet, don’t panic! A good way to avoid the long wait, is to ask the recruiter or interviewer, when you should expect to hear back. This should give you a better idea and ease the tension of waiting. If you haven’t heard back within the time frame you were given, then you can shoot them a quick email or phone call.
2. Don’t Send Flowers or Plants
A simple and concise thank you note follow up is appropriate, anything more than that is not. It’s never proper to send a gift after an interview, as it can be conceived as a bribe. This move, instead of helping you land the job, can hurt your chances.
3. Don’t Friend an Interviewer on Facebook
Trying to connect to an interviewer or recruiter via Facebook is highly inappropriate behavior and should be avoided. Even though social media is a tool that’s being utilized for networking more and more, Facebook is not the place to create these relationships. If you would like to connect on social media, use LinkedIn. This type of connection can show that you are interested in growing your network. It is also a safe way to have the recruiter or interviewer see more about your professional life through your LinkedIn profile, as opposed to your Facebook page.
No matter the outcome, maintain a professional attitude throughout the entire process. When in doubt, put yourself in the shoes of those making the hiring decisions. Would you hire yourself based on your actions and follow up? If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track. It’s always a good choice to have a friend or trusted colleague look over your letter before sending it, in order to gain a non-biased opinion. Lastly, spell-check everything you send for accuracy. The worst mistake you can make other than not sending a thank you note, is sending one with typos.
Good luck and happy job hunting!