Following Up After an Interview
After interviewing for what could be your dream job, you are excited about the position and interested in pursuing the opportunity. Your next step is to follow up – a step that can be just as important as the actual interview. Since you may be one of several candidates for the position, your goal is to create top-of-mind awareness throughout the interviewing process.
Employers want to be thanked for their time. After an interview, write the hiring manager a letter or email expressing your appreciation for the meeting and your interest in the position. If more than one person interviewed you, send a personalized letter to each individual highlighting the key points of your conversation. In many cases, the most positive influence a candidate can have on a hiring decision is to go after the opportunity aggressively and express sincere interest.
In addition to reinforcing the fact that you want to pursue the job, thank-you letters allow you to address the interviewer’s concerns and “sell” yourself. Reiterate your accomplishments, why you want the job, what your qualifications are (based upon the criteria articulated by the client and your Toft Group executive consultant), and how you can make a difference in the company. Include any additional information that you failed to discuss during the face-to-face meeting. Remember this is a simple thank-you letter and should not be a long-winded review of your entire business career.
Keep in mind that all correspondence creates a written record. Make sure you check for spelling and grammatical errors before sending it to the employer. Asking your Toft Group consultant to review the correspondence will minimize the possibility of errors.
If you wish instead to telephone the hiring manager, prepare an outline to maintain focus prior to making the call. Although a personal conversation may be the ultimate goal, a voice message can be just as effective. If you leave a voice message, make sure you speak clearly, leave a brief message and indicate your interest in pursing the opportunity. Be careful: a rambling message will do more harm than good.
If you do not want the job, write a gracious letter removing yourself from consideration. Although this particular position was not of interest to you, do not burn bridges. You never know what other opportunities may be available within the same organization in the future.
Once your thank-you letter is sent, it becomes a waiting game. Your Sanford Rose Associates executive consultant will keep you informed of the employer’s progress in the hiring process. Although companies should be prompt, especially in today’s market, hiring decisions compete with other priorities – you must be patient.
Use any waiting period to your advantage. Find out more about the employer, the industry and the geographic area. Be ready, just in case the employer has a couple of follow-up questions.
Remember that the follow-through is just as important as the main point of contact.