You walk out of the interview and think, “Whew! I’m glad that’s over!” What do you do next?
The key to interview success is preparation, preparation, and preparation. And effective follow up. How many of you follow up after your interview? How many of you simply wait and hope after an interview?
When I was working in recruitment, I was amazed at the number of people who failed to create an opportunity to continue to sell themselves effectively by providing a thank you email after their interviews. I expect they simply thought, ‘I did all I could do during the interview, now I can sit back and relax.’ No, no, no! There is more that can be done.
Here are three simple steps to follow to ensure you leave the best possible impression after an interview and, potentially, tip the decision in your favour.
1. Analyse the Interview
After each interview, write down what transpired. What went right, what went wrong, what was the main focus of the interviewer, what did he/she seem most impressed with and how suitable you feel you are for the role with the information you gained during the interview process. Think what else can you do to put you a step above the competition and how can you convince them you are the best candidate for the role.
2. Send a Thank You email
Take the extra step that many candidates don’t. Craft an effective thank you email to the interviewer as a follow up. Show them that you have the initiative to do something above and beyond the norm. 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, relevant experience (according to your analysis of the interview.) This will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate your gratitude for being considered and leave a positive impression on the reader.
This process of following up also applies at all stages of your job search process. If someone has given you a referral, provided you their time for networking purposes, helped you in any way in the process then you must express your thanks. This can be in the form of a phone call, thank you email or written note – whatever is appropriate for the circumstances and works according to your personal style. It’s simple good manners.
When to send a Thank You email? It should be sent as soon as possible after the interview.
Why should you send a Thank You email? It provides you one more opportunity to create a positive impression.
3. What if You are Turned Down for the Job?
Don’t burn bridges. Send a thank you email. Let the employer know that you appreciate having been considered for the role and if, in the future, suitable positions arise, you would be delighted to be considered. This will keep channels of communication open – their preferred candidate might not make it through the probationary period, you could be their next choice!
If you need more guidance, seek the assistance of a career coach who will be able to provide a systematic approach to the entire job search process, guide you through that process and keep you on track each step of the way.
For more information contact Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.janejacksoncoach.com