When it comes to landing a job, it’s up to you to take charge – and it doesn’t end when your interview is over. Employers use your resume and their interview notes to help them make a final hiring decision, and good follow-up can be a deal breaker. Interview follow-up is your opportunity to establish your reputation as a reliable candidate and a consummate professional.
The First Steps
At the conclusion of your interview, ask what the next step in the hiring process is and when it will occur. Get business cards or find out the names and titles of your interviewers, so you can institute follow-up.
As soon as you get home, while details remain fresh in your mind, write down any relevant points from your interview. These will likely include:
- What went well.
- What did not go well.
- What stood out to you regarding the company and the role.
- Any important points that you forgot to mention.
This will help you to reflect and prepare to make your follow-up as effective as possible.
Send a Thank-You Note
Your interview thank-you note is more than just a professional courtesy. Like every aspect of your search, it should illustrate one thing: That you are the right person for the role.
- Connect with your interviewer on a human level. Demonstrate your personality and show your appreciation but at the same time, keep it professional. Let the recipient know that you’re still interested and that you value the time they’ve spent with you.
- Mention specific topics from the interview. This shows you were listening and is a good way to remind the employer of the high points of your conversation. If there’s anything you forgot to mention that may help your case, include it. For instance, you may say something like, “I will be completing my MBA this summer. I hope you will find this to be an added benefit for the position.”
- Be concise. Get to the point. Your well-written note is further evidence of your communication skills, which enhance any candidate’s standing.
- You might reference a relevant article, blog post or event. This gives your message additional value for the recipient and reinforces your level of enthusiasm.
If the employer has given you a time frame, generally waiting one business day after that deadline is a good rule of thumb – and then follow up one more time. If you don’t have a precise deadline, email or call back about 14 days after your interview. If you’re told you will hear back “within a few days,” then a week later is a good time to reach out if the employer has not yet contacted you.
- Being prompt accentuates your organizational skills. Tardiness or lack of follow-up may be perceived as disorganization or lack of interest. Avoid badgering or negativity, at all costs.
- Mention the deadline provided. This gives you follow-up credibility and allows the hiring manager to take responsibility for the information they provided you. If a month passes and there is no word, it’s probably time to move on and detour your career path toward other opportunities.