You have just prepared thoroughly for a big job interview and are ready to present yourself in the best possible light during the actual meeting. After it is completed, it will be easy to simply breathe a sigh of relief and push it out of your mind while keeping your fingers crossed that you will get a job offer. But in today's competitive environment, you might appear less competent, less memorable, and might not get the job if you do not follow up with the potential employer. The following describes some job interview follow-up do's and don'ts that will show you in a positive light and that may give you an advantage over other applicants.
Set the Stage for Follow-up at the End of the Interview Itself
Make sure that you are able to follow-up after your interview by collecting some information during the meeting. Be proactive! First, try to get a business card from each person you speak with at the company. If they do not have one on hand, write down each person's name and title. Next, ask prior to parting ways when the interviewer anticipates the hiring choice will be made.
Actions to Take After the Interview
The job interview is over. Whew. But what comes next? When discussing interview follow-up dos and don'ts it is essential to cover thank you notes. Thank you notes are mandatory. There are several rules to follow when writing post-interview thank you notes.
- Write a thank you note after each interview, even if you have decided you don't want the job
- Write a different letter to each worker who interviewed you
- Vary each letter slightly in case coworkers compare the notes
- Send letters within two business days to appear prompt and remain relevant
- Express appreciation to the employer for being given the opportunity to interview and for his or her interest in you
- Highlight why you believe that you are the ideal person for the job
- Study a few sample interview thank you letters to achieve the right tone
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Typos and misspellings are major don'ts that would negate the positive effect of the letter
- Send the note via the best method to actually reach the potential employer (email, mail or fax)
After sending the thank you note, wait about a week to 10 days, then follow up with a phone call to politely inquire about the position. It is ok to reach out sooner if the employer previously mentioned that a candidate would be chosen quickly. Although the call should be brief, this is another opportunity to sell your strengths and increase your connection. It is also a good idea to let references know that a potential employer may be contacting them soon so they are prepared.
Positive Attitude and Persistence Count
Interview follow-up do's and don'ts cover more than the thank you note and call. During the time after the interview, don't just site and twiddle your thumbs. Be patient and know that the process takes time, but keep up the job search and continue to interview with other prospective employers. You don't want to miss a good opportunity just because you have your heart set on a position with the previous company.
Continue to be in contact with the interviewer, especially if he or she has requested that you continue to follow-up. Just don't go do it too much or for too long and become an annoyance. If you have had other job offers then you may use those as leverage in the interview follow-up to show that you are a valuable asset and to secure the best offer you can.
However, if the anticipated offer is not extended, there is no need to sever ties with the contacts you have been working to build connections with. Absorb them into your network and, if appropriate, you might even be able to ask them for referrals. Even if they decided you weren't the best fit for the position they might be willing to help uncover other options.
It is easy to get discouraged when job hunting. Remember not to let the lack of a job offer get you down. Stay positive. There will be other opportunities to find a desirable position at a great company.
Stick to the discussed interview follow-up do's and don'ts to show that you are qualified, capable, enthusiastic and a good fit for the position, but there is a fine line to walk between projecting enthusiasm and revealing desperation. Show confidence and good etiquette to snag your dream job.