Today I had my first “big” interview since my graduation. I
guess I wasn’t entirely prepared though. I was asked about my college experience
and I don’t feel like I really went into enough detail. I know if I was given the
opportunity to have a second interview I would be able to talk about how
successful I was in college. I had a 3.8 GPA and I organized and participated
in many events. I also participated in the virtual stock market and was respected
a great deal by many of my teachers including the Director of Education.
Should I include my feelings in the follow-up letter or just cross my fingers
and hope for the best?
The Career Doctor responds:
Let me give a little lecture first — what else would you expect from a former college professor –
and then some advice. Interview preparation as you have now learned the hard way is
critical to successful job-hunting. You can’t anticipate every interview question but there
are many sources for finding the common questions employers ask — and all job-seekers
should at least have a handle on how to respond to those.
I just heard from one of my alums who has still not found a job that the employer did not
have a complete copy of her resume during her recent job interview so the interview was
awkward. What was her big mistake? Even though she had been told many times to always
bring extra copies of her resume to the interview she actually did not even bring one!!
So repeat after me if you really have any interest in a job be sure to prepare for the interview.
Okay. So what can you do now? Write a more detailed thank-you letter than one normally
would. We call it a thank-you letter that mentions afterthoughts. You still write the traditional
appreciation for the interview but then you add a paragraph that details the one or two key
points (relevant to the job) that you forgot to mention in the interview.
And yes this approach is much better than waiting and hoping. You also need to be
proactive and (politely) aggressive when job-hunting.
Find a sample thank-you letter that mentions interview afterthoughts as well as all sorts of
other tank-you notes and post-interview follow-up letters in this section of Quintessential Careers: Sample Job
Interview and Career Thank-You Letters.
And for help with preparing for interview questions check out these
Interview Question Collections for Job-Seekers.