You walk out of the interview and think, “Whew! I’m glad that’s over!” What do you do next?
Do you ever follow up after your interviews? Or do you simply wait and hope?
When I was working in recruitment, I was amazed at the number of people who failed to continue to sell themselves effectively by providing a thank you email after their interviews. They must have thought, “I did all I could do during the interview, now I can sit back and relax.” No, no, no – there is more to be done! Here are some suggestions to consider.
Take notes immediately after the interview
After you leave the interview, I suggest that you go somewhere comfortable, sit down and, while everything is fresh in your memory, write down what transpired.
Take note of the date and time, whom you met, the tone of the interview, the focus of the questions, what went well and what didn’t go so well. Write down what the interviewer/s said were the next steps so you know when to follow up if you don’t hear back from them.
If a recruitment consultant organised the interview, give them a call to debrief and provide feedback on your take on how things went. They will also want to know if, after the interview, you are still interested in the role.
Send a ‘thank you’ email
Craft an effective thank you email to the interviewer as a follow up. This shows them that you’re able to take the initiative to do something above and beyond the norm, and by taking the extra step that many candidates don’t, you continue to set yourself apart. This will demonstrate your attention to detail, provide an effective finishing touch to the interview and give you one more opportunity to sell your qualifications and relevant experience (according to your analysis of the interview). This will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate your gratitude for being considered, your continued interest in the role, and leave a positive impression on the reader. Finally, it’s just a lovely thing to do.
You should send the thank you email as soon as possible after the interview. If you don’t have the interviewer’s business card, do some research to find out their email address. If you are working through a recruiter, you must first check with the recruiter if it would be all right for you to send an email to the interviewer. The recruiter may prefer you to send the email to him or her and then your email will be forwarded to the interviewer on your behalf.
What should go into a follow-up email? It’s simple to remember the four Rs:
R – Remember me (get your name noticed one more time!)
R – Reinforce the positives
R – Recoup your losses
R – Reminder of the next steps
This puts your name in front of the interviewer one more time. The first paragraph gives you the opportunity to express your enthusiasm and reinforce all your positives that are a match to the role, the next paragraph gives you a chance to redeem yourself if you totally messed up a response, as you can mention your capability in that specific area of concern, and in the final paragraph, if you were provided with a date by when you might hear back, mention that you are looking forward to discussing this position further by that date.
It might seem obvious, but it’s so important to: proofread before sending! Then, keep up all of your other job search activities to open up as many leads and opportunities as possible. Good luck!
For more career tips find me at www.janejacksoncoach.com – download my free ebooks on ‘How to find the job you’ll love’ and ‘Dress for Success in Business.’