Successful Job Interviews Include Good Follow-up
Follow Up -- Don't Drop the Ball!
After you have done all the hard work of preparing a resume and cover letter, applying for a job, researching the company thoroughly and then completing a fantastically good interview, don't just leave and hope they call you! Your interview is really not finished yet. You need to do some post-interview follow-up.
Just as a good golf swing has good follow through, good interviewing has good follow-up. Even if you don't want the job, so the follow-up in order to make good business contacts for the future.
What Should I Do After The Interview?
Here are several more good suggestions that you can use to help yourself have the best chance of winning the job during your interview. They have worked thousands of times for my clients.
Interview Follow-Up Tips and Suggestions for Success in Obtaining Your Dream Job
Take interview follow-up very seriously as a strategic part of landing the job of your dreams.
Follow-up all interviews, even if they did not go as well as you expected, or you decided that you did not want the job. Interview follow-up will definitely place you ahead of other job candidates who interviewed for the same job, all other things being equal. Among equally-qualified candidates, the person hired will be the one who did the best and most sincere interview follow-up.
Follow-up well in a timely manner, but do not make yourself look or sound desperate for the job. If you seem desperate, then your potential new employer may develop the idea that you have poor planning skills and ran out of money, that there is substantial reason that no one else has hired you, and/or that perhaps you were fired from your last job or all of them. Your new employer would not want employees who let things deteriorate to the point of desperation, whether it is as complex an issue as a bankruptcy or as simple as running out of toilet paper for the company bathrooms and forgetting to order it.
At the end of your interview, ask the interviewer or panel of interviewers 1) when they will make their decision, and 2) when you might expect a call for a second interview.
Write down the correct names and titles of every individual who interviewed you, in addition to the receptionist, personal assistant, or executive secretary who served you. Request their business cards or make notes of their information in a small notebook. Interviewers, and even company presidents, will ask the receptionist what he or she thought of you as a job candidate and as a person. Make a good impression on everyone there.
Effective Attention Getting Follow-Up
- Send a Thank You note card to the receptionist of the company with which you spoke. Reception duties can be tedious and taxing and a little appreciation is not only compassionate, but makes you a remembered job candidate who will receive better telephone follow-up service than average through this individual.
- Write Thank You note cards or short letters to each Interviewer with whom you spoke within 24 hours. I mail these the same evening at my nearest post office branch, from which mail is collected beginning at 5:00 AM. Often, the notes are received the next day in my town. Individualize the notes. You may wish to send email Thank You's as well, especially within IT firms where email is checked frequently. In 2011, I still send hard-copy Thank You's, because it shows class, appreciation, and good manners..
- Write thank you notes after every interview, even if you do not want to job. This will help make you known in the business world and ensure a growing number of good business and personal contacts for you.
- Find out whether snail mail, email, or FAX is the best way to get hold of the Interviewer(s). Ask the Receptionist -- You can also car this person for correct name spellings. Proofread your thank-you letters or cards before sending them and make 100% sure that there are no grammar or spelling errors.
- In your Thank-You letters, write that you appreciate the company's interest in you and re-state why you think you are the best candidate for the job.
- Call all your references and tell them they may be contacted. Ideally, you should talk to them before you apply for jobs and ask their permission to use their names, addresses and phone numbers.
- Continue to search for jobs and go on interviews, even if a particular interview went so well that you think the company is definitely going to hire you. You do not know that for sure, and you do not want to lose momentum in the job market while you are waiting for a job/company that hired someone else.
- Even if you are hired by the company that you expect to hire you, you can use additional interviews to gather information and to make good business contacts long-term. Further, if the job you receive does not work out, you will have ready contacts to help you secure your next one.
- Stay visible in your business by continuing to look for other job and career opportunities, even after you have been hired. Stay informed about the job market and your industry, because you will be able to use the information to help yourself and others.
- Do additional interview follow-up after the thank-you letters or notes have been received. Allow 48-72 hours after mailing, then make a telephone call to the Interviewer and ask about the position. Re-state your assets during your telephone calls.
- Be patient, but persistent. The hiring process can seem a long one. This is especially true of jobs in the educational system or those connected with the city, county, state, or federal governments. These entities, as well as the Board of Directors of non-profit organizations and of some commercial enterprises must vote on job candidates. If they have a meeting only once a month, then results are delayed. Follow-up with the Interviewer by telephone once a week during a long-term process. Continue follow-up efforts until the job is filled. If an employer tells you that it may take 30 to 60 days to fill a position, you can call once a week.
- Do not forget about the company if you do not receive a job offer or the job-offer package does not work out for you. Keep that firm and its staff as important business contacts.
- Small employers are as important as large corporations for business contacts. Add your Interviewer into your business circle, such as on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com. Ask them to keep you in their circle for future referrals.
- You can use job interviews to gain important information for your future about business trends, plans in the future for certain companies, etc., not only for obtaining a new job.
Thank You Cards and Thank You Letters
Use effective judgment in deciding to write letters, use email, or prepare handwritten thank-you cards for follow-up. It is always wise to send a handwritten message and then quickly follow it with one of the other methods of contact.
I always prepare word processed thank-you letters for interviewers and a handwritten notecard to the receptionist. I find emails less satisfactory. In fact, after interviewing job candidates myself, I have found these emails usually poorly-worded, trite, slangy, and even flippant. A well worded, email thank you is accceptible, if you send a handwritten or typed note at once - or if you interviewed with a highly IT oriented company.
Remember These Five Top Tips for Interview Thank You Notes and Letters
1) Show good etiquette and good manners in using proper titles, punctuation, grammar and spelling.
2) Near the beginning, show verbal appreciation for the company's interest in you.
3) Re-state your interest in the job and the company, but without sounding desperate.
4) Re-state your qualifications for the position and add anything you forgot in the interview.
5) Enclose any information the interviewer asked you for, including references or other materials.
Example Post-Interview Thank You Letter
Date (May Day, Year)
City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number / Your Cell Number
Your Email Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Thank you very much for providing time from your busy schedule to talk with me about the Sales Manager position at McDonald's Blinds and Shades. I truly appreciate your time and consideration in interviewing me and feel that I am a perfect fit for this position.
After speaking with you, I know that I will excel in the job duties in a way that will bring an increased customer base and increasing revenues to your company. In addition, my enthusiasm for the work and managing people will bring higher motivation levels and results overall to the sales team.
I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you soon regarding this position. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information. My cell phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx and I carry it with me at all times.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Your Typed Name
Dear Readers - I appreciate each and every one of your comments. This article has had so many good posts, that I've archived a few hundred. Keep asking questions and I'll continue answering to the best of my knowledge and experience.
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© 2007 Patty Inglish MS