After you have met your potential new employer and talked about all your relevant qualifications, you might be thinking that the job interview process is complete. The truth is that there is still much to do. Following up with the hiring manager should begin right as the interview is ending. Toward the end of an interview, you want to reiterate your interest in the position and all the aspects about yourself that make you qualified for the job. You want to say something along the lines of: “Well Mr. Finn, I know that the position calls for someone who can do X, Y and Z for you. As I have mentioned, I performed all those tasks at my previous job, and I believe with my skills in A and B, I would be an excellent hire for the organization.”
After you have briefly summarized your interest, the interviewer should give you an idea of when you can expect to hear a decision by. If the hiring manager does not tell you, then feel free to ask. You may be told that a decision will be reached the next day, or it could take a week. Either way, you want to get a clear timeframe so that you know when to contact the company again.
The Thank You Note
It might be tempting as soon as you get home to kick back and congratulate yourself on a job well done, but you need to send a personalized thank you note to the interviewer within 24 hours. Too many job candidates make the mistake of sending a generic thank you letter that is not relevant to anything that was discussed with the hiring manager. This is a crucial component of the job interview follow up, and it needs to be taken seriously.
You can either send a hand-written note or email one. In today’s digital age, many employers will be fine with an email, but if you would prefer to send one you wrote by hand, it would be best to drop it off directly at the office. If you send it through regular snail-mail, then it may not reach the interviewer for a couple days, and a decision could already have been reached at that point.
Your letter does not have to be particularly long. You should thank the interviewer for his or her time in meeting with you today, and then you need to talk about something that was relevant to the interview. You can reaffirm that your education or work experience would make you a valuable asset to the organization and that you are very interested in working with the employer. Never underestimate the influence of a well-written and heartfelt letter. It could be just the thing to give you an advantage over the other applicants.
Checking In for the Job Interview Follow Up
If your interview is on a Tuesday and you are told that they will reach a decision regarding hiring you by Thursday, then you should wait until Friday morning before calling or emailing the interviewer. Although it is natural for you to want to know whether or not you got the job, it is important to not be an annoyance.
You do not have to be overly formal or overly colloquial, but you should say something like: “Hello Mr. Finn, I am just following up on the interview we had on Tuesday. How is the decision process going?” If you send an email, it could be a little bit before you get a response (if you get any at all). Calling is a good way to get in direct contact with the interviewer although depending on the type of position you interviewed for, you may end up talking to someone else who will tell you to call back or that Mr. Finn will contact you later.
Once you have followed up, one of three things will happen. You may be told that they are still reviewing all the applicants and need more time. You may be told that you have the job, or you may be told that you do not have the job. It is also entirely possible to not hear anything from them ever again, in which case, it is time to get back to the job hunt. If you did get the position, then congratulations! Either way, you will be in a much better place to get the job you have always wanted.