Ch. 5: Interview Follow Up
In Ch. 4: Interview Questions we went over the questions that jobs seekers ought to be most familiar with when hunting for new opportunities. In this chapter, we'll discuss the follow up thank you email that's customary after the interview has been conducted.
You had the interview and you think it went well. Good. Now what? Take this downtime to send thank you letters. Thank you notes will help maximize your chances of landing the job.
It is important that you send the letters within a day of the interview; a quick follow up indicates a strong interest in the position and shows them you are serious about the job.
Also, consider the company culture when making thank you letters. You can either send an email or a nice, handwritten letter. Handwritten letters are usually for more traditional, old-fashioned jobs. Seeing as how you are writing one for the healthcare industry, you should probably just stick to email.
What to Include in Your Interview Follow Up
First, be sure to thank them for their time and for the opportunity. Include something to flatter them. Flattery is always a useful tool to use when trying to get something. Say something relevant though. Don’t be dishonest.
Second, make sure to reiterate why you’re a good fit. This will refresh in their mind the highlights of your qualifications and give them something to remember if it takes them a couple of days to read the letter or get back to you.
Lastly, close by saying you’re looking forward to the next step and thank them ahead of time for a timely response. It makes people more willing to act if they are already being thanked for that action. They will want to live up to the expectation set in front of them.
They Didn't Get Back to You on Time
Uh, oh. It’s been a week and they said they would get back to you in two days. Don’t worry. More than likely they just got caught up and are busy. They probably had more interviews among other job responsibilities. We like to think we are first priority, but we are not, and they, too, have lives.
What Should You Do?
Call or email. Send them a quick little follow up asking where they are in the process. Be polite, curious, understanding, and brief. Don’t take up more of their precious time.
If they don’t respond, wait a couple of days and send a follow up to your follow up. Again, remain polite and understanding. Even if they get a little peeved, they will likely admire the perseverance and interest. It will demonstrate strong communication skills and show them you really want the job.
Be careful not to come off as needy or insecure. Just remain polite and ask for a simple timeline of expectations. Try not to worry so much of how you’re perceived, but worry about what you contribute.
A Time to Recover
A follow up is a good time to recover bad first impressions and make up for anything you left out. This is a time you can send them references and letters of recommendations if need be. If your reason for worry is minor and you just are nervous, then don’t send them references or letters of recommendations; it will come across as needy and insecure. Trust your skills and believe in yourself.
Keep your confidence up through the whole process and don’t sweat the small stuff. Take the time to continue networking and sending more resumes to other employers. Give yourself as many options as possible—it will reduce your stress and insecurities.
If they reject you be sure to thank them for their time and consideration. Ask for feedback and see if they will highlight any areas you can improve. If they don’t, oh well. It will show that you have the willingness to improve and you can still keep them in your network.
Keep trying and use the practice to be better next time. Take note of your mistakes and learn from them. As with anything else, practice makes perfect, so don't expect to do exceptionally well if you're new to the job market or industry. Your interviewing skills will improve over time. The worst thing you can do is take it personally and let it affect your confidence!
You Got the Job
Congrats, you landed the job! Now take a moment to take a breath and ramp up for the on boarding procedures of your new employer. Relax and celebrate in any way you see fit. Clear your mind and congratulate yourself. Your hard work has paid off and you've followed the steps to successfully finding a new position.
Regardless of how your interview ultimately went over, it's important to send a follow up email after the interview to touch base once again and get more information on what's going on. Opening a post-interview dialog can help you save time in the long run as you may not even need to continue your job search!
Regardless, it's an important aspect of professional hiring that many overlook. The majority of applicants don't take the initiative to follow through with this step, so if you're the one who does, it'll help put you above and beyond the competition!