So that much-anticipated job interview is finally over, and you feel good about how it went. You are probably breathing a huge sigh of relief, and keeping your fingers crossed that things pan out the way you want them to (i.e. you get the job). But your work isn’t over yet. If you don’t follow up after the interview properly, you may end up negating some of the hard work you put into the interview itself. On top of that, the job interview follow-up is your chance to say the things that you forgot in the interview but wished you had said. Here is how to properly follow up on a job interview:
1) Get a timeline for follow up at the end of the job interview
At the end of the interview, be sure to ask when the hiring managers plan on making a decision about the job. That way, if you don’t hear from them by that time, you know to contact them shortly after. Get business cards from each person that interviews you so you can follow up with them all separately after the job interview.
2) Write some notes immediately after the job interview
While the job interview is still fresh in your mind, make notes of critical points such as what the interviewers seemed to like the most about you, topics that were brought up that you’d like to find out more about, and any concerns you may have had. These are all things that could be used in your thank you notes, or on a second interview if there is one. If possible, recap the interview with a trusted friend to get a more objective perspective on how it went.
3) Craft individual thank you notes
At the job interview, get an idea of the best way to contact the people who interviewed you (these days sending a follow up e-mail after a job interview is most common, but it depends on the company culture). Then write individual thank you notes for each person, briefly expressing your interest in the position and some reasons why you think you will be a good fit. Make sure your messages are individual to each person who interviewed you. Avoid a cookie-cutter message since the interviewers will likely share your responses with each other. If there’s anything about the position you heard in the interview that really stood out in relation to your experience, be sure to include it. Send these follow up letters or emails within the 24 hours after the job interview.
4) Contact the company a week or so after the interview
Wait a week after the interview (or however long the timeline was that the hiring managers gave you) and if you haven’t heard anything about the job yet, give the lead interviewer a phone call, followed by an e-mail if you do not get through. Keep in mind that some hiring decisions can take much longer than expected, and if you don’t hear back right away it’s not necessarily a bad sign. If they haven’t reached a decision yet, check in every couple of days until they do. Keep your follow up e-mails and phone calls after the job interview brief, as you don’t want to seem too desperate.
5) Build a relationship with the company
Follow-ups after job interviews are important even if you do not get the job, because this is part of establishing a professional reputation for yourself, and you never know if there could be a future job opportunity at the company down the line. So if the job doesn’t work out, thank the hiring manager, wish their company the best, and indicate that you would like to keep them in your network for the future. A good way to keep in touch is by strategically e-mailing them every couple of months. In these follow up e-mails you can link to an article that is relevant to type of business the company does, or if there is anything happening in the news that affects the industry or company, write a little blurb about it.
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