Some job candidates believe the interview is over after they’ve shaken hands with the interviewers and have left the room. Well, that went well, they think, and now it’s time to wait for the decision.
And perhaps it went well. But perhaps one or two other candidates also had stellar interviews and followed up their interviews with notes sent via e-mail or a thank you card.
So here’s the question: when is the interview really over?
The answer: after you’ve sent the follow-up note.
If you don’t believe that a follow-up note is important, read the article, Write a Post-Interview Thank You that Actually Boosts Your Chances to Get the Job, and note that by not sending a follow-up note (according to CareerBuilder):
- Employers are less likely to hire a candidate–22%.
- Employers say it shows a lack of follow-through–86%
- Employers say the candidate isn’t really serious about the job–56%.
If these figures aren’t enough to convince you to send a follow-up, then don’t hold out much hope of getting a job, especially when smart jobseekers are sending them. I hope this gets your attention.
So if you’re wondering how to go about sending a follow-up, consider to whom you’ll send it and how you’ll send it.
Who do you send it to? If you’re interviewed by five people, how many unique follow-up notes should you send? That’s correct, five. Take the time to write a unique follow-up to everyone who interviewed you.
(Read my post on a thank you note that was sent to my daughter after a college visit.)
How do you send it? You can send your follow-up note via e-mail or hard copy. This depends on your preference and/or the industry, e.g., someone in the humanities might prefer a thank you card, whereas someone in high tech might appreciate an e-mail.
Here’s an idea: send both, an e-mail immediately after the interview and a professional card a week later.
What do you say in your follow-up note?
1. Show your gratitude. Obviously you’re going to thank the interviewers for the time they took to interview you; after all, they’re busy folks and probably don’t enjoy interviewing people.
2. Reiterate you’re the right person for the job. This is the second most obvious statement you’ll make in your follow-up notes. Mention how you have the required skills and experience and, very importantly, you have the relevant accomplishments.
3. Interesting points made at the interview. Show you were paying attention at the interview. Each person with whom you spoke mentioned something of interest, or asked a pertinent question. Impress them with your listening skills by revisiting those interesting points.
4. Do some damage control: How many candidates wish they could have elaborated on a question, or totally blew it with a weak answer? Now’s your chance to correct your answer. This may be of little consequence, but what do you have to lose? Besides, interviewers know you were under a great deal of pressure–it’s hard to think of everything.
5. Suggest a solution to a problem: Prior to the interview you were unaware of a problem the company is facing. Now you know about the problem. If you have a solution to this problem, mention it in your follow-up or a more extensive proposal.
6. You want the job: You told the interview committee at the end of the interview that you want the job. Reiterate this sentiment by stating it in you follow-up note, which can be as simple as asking what the next steps will entail. This shows your enthusiasm and sincere interest in the position.
After you’ve made it this far in the process–networking, writing a tailored resume and cover letter, and multiple interviews–it would be a shame to blow it by not sending a follow-up note. Take the time to send a unique follow-up note (within 24-48 hours). When you get the job offer, you’ll be happy you did.