After the Interview
Often times after the interview can be just as important as the interview itself. Learn steps you should take, how to write proper thank you notes and the best way to follow-up with employers.
Immediately after your interview, when you are in your car, write notes about what occurred. If you talked about a shared interest with the interviewer such as the same college or hobby, make a note. If the interviewer had a concern about your experience or if there was something that you wished you had said, make a note of that too. It is also appropriate to bring a padfolio into the interview. If the interviewer communicates specific information about the position, organization or hiring process, you may want to make notes immediately to avoid forgetting what was said. You can use this information when writing your thank you notes and following-up after the interview.
Mentally review the interview questions. Was there a question you weren’t sure how to answer? Make notes of any questions you want to spend more time thinking about so that you can better prepare future responses. Perhaps, you thought of something else to ask the interviewer after the interview was over. Be sure to write those questions down also.
You have two options when writing thank you notes. The first is to use stationery or folded note cards to write a handwritten thank you note. The second option is to send an email. Writing a handwritten note is the most professional and preferred method. However, if the interviewer has told you that email is their preferred means of communication, then email is acceptable.
Send your thank you note within 24 hours of the interview, expressing your appreciation to the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to meet. Keep the note brief and professional. Reiterate your interest in the job and your match with the position and organization. If there is additional information regarding your qualifications that you failed to share during the interview, you may also choose to briefly mention this in the note. You should send a note to each person you met with. If you were called back for a second interview, don’t drop the ball by failing to write another thank you note. It is just as important, perhaps more so, that you thank the interviewer for meeting with you again.
You should have a business card of each person that you met. Use these to make sure you correctly spell names, titles and contact information. If you do not have a business card, call the company’s main number and speak with an operator. Ask them to confirm the spelling of each name.
Always proofread your thank you note to make sure there are no mistakes, and use your best, most legible handwriting.
Thank You Note Formula:
- Paragraph 1 – Use words like thank you, appreciate or enjoyed to show your genuine appreciation for the job interview and to reinforce your interest in the position.
- Paragraph 2 – Mention a few of your skills that match with what the employer is seeking for the position.
- Paragraph 3 – This is an optional paragraph. If there was something that you wanted to mention in the interview but didn’t have the opportunity, do so here. If there was a concern the interviewer brought up during the interview that you want to alleviate, use this paragraph to address that concern.
- Paragraph 4 – Thank the interviewer again, and let them know that you look forward to the next step in the recruitment process.
Dear Ms. Smith:
Thank you very much for taking the time to discuss the Marketing Manager position with XYZ Company. After meeting with you, I am further convinced that my background and skills are a perfect fit for the position.
I am excited about the opportunity to bring my marketing experiences, leadership skills and social media expertise to your department. I am confident that my skills and knowledge make me an ideal candidate for the job.
You mentioned in the interview that I might be overqualified for this position. I would like to reiterate that I am very interested in this opportunity and look forward to working for a leader such as XYZ Company. My experiences will allow me to hit the ground running and make a significant contribution to your organization starting from day one.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
- Be proactive and follow-up with the interviewer if you have not heard from them within 10 business days after the interview. If the interviewer has stated that you will hear from them by a certain date, be patient and wait until that date has passed before contacting them. Keep in mind that the hiring process takes time so you will need to be patient. However, by following up, you set yourself apart from the other candidates who interviewed but did not show the same initiative.
- When you call, introduce yourself and say, “I interviewed for the Marketing Manager position on June 9th and I am following up to see if a hiring decision has been made or if you needed any additional information.” Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position and company.
- When you call the interviewer, it is best to call after lunch or an hour before the end of the day. Oftentimes mornings are rushed so afternoons are the best time to call and have a less-stressed conversation.
- Be sure to ask references if you can use them before listing their contact information on your application or reference sheet, and let them know the employer may be contacting them. Provide your references with a description of the position and a copy of your resume. Explain why you think you would be such a great fit and ask them to attest to specific qualifications the employer is seeking. Keep references professional in nature (e.g., former supervisors, colleagues, professors, etc.), and select individuals who will be able to support the strengths you are trying to communicate to the employer.
- If you were not selected for the position, keep a positive attitude with the employer. You never know who they may know or if they will have another position available in the future.
- Remember, finding a job can be a long process. Do not get discouraged if you don’t get the job. Stay positive, and remember to keep practicing those interview skills and updating your resume, as needed.