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Following Up After An Interview


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You are quite happy with yourself because that last interview went really well. You feel that your chances of getting the job are pretty good but you hate the part where you have to sit back and wait for the employer to call you back. Well, guess what? You're not supposed to just sit back and wait. An interview is never finished when you shake hands and leave the room; you have to follow up on it.

Following up after an interview can give you a winning edge over the other candidates. The manner in which you follow up is also important because it can win you or cost you the job. The best way to illustrate this is with an example.

Elizabeth had been hoping to hire a market researcher to fill a position that had been vacant for several weeks. Henry, Melissa, and Barbara were equally qualified and she was having a hard time deciding which one to hire. When she listened to her voice mail on morning after the interview, Melissa had left her a message thanking her for the interview. She made a mental note of the fact that this candidate had shown a serious interest in the job by following up. That same afternoon, when she checked her mail, she found a letter from Barbara. She was impressed by the care and effort that had gone into writing the letter. Barbara had not only thanked Elizabeth for the interview, but she had addressed some of the organizational issues that had been discussed during the interview as well. Barbara was offered the job the very next day.

Now that you know how important following up after an interview is, here are some pointers to help you get it just right.

Get the time frame right

Towards the end of your interview, always remember to ask the potential employer how long it would be until a hiring decision is made. If you get a good idea of when the company will be hiring, you will know how quickly you need to follow up. If you know the company will make their decision in 5 days, then you need to send out the follow-up letter right away.

The Letter

A follow-up thank you letter is an excellent way to get your interviewer to remember you. The letter should re-emphasize why you are a suitable candidate and discuss any additional information about your qualifications that you didn't have a chance to mention during the interview. Whether you use email, snail mail, or fax depends on the type of company you're interviewing with. If it's a high-tech, trendy one, you might want to go with email. A posted letter may be more appropriate if it's a conservative company. In any case, check that you have the correct information with regards to the interviewer's name, position, and address. Asking for a business card after the interview is a good way of making sure that you do.

The Phone Call

If the hiring time frame has passed and the company still hasn't called you, you can call them. During the phone call, let the company know that you are still interested in the position. Be gracious at all times and don't be too pushy. You don't want to give them the impression that you are desperate.

If you keep these pointers in mind when you follow up on an interview, you will be well on your way to making sure that the person who interviewed you keeps you in mind for the job. At the same time, you will also be strengthening your candidature.

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