What do you do to follow up after an interview?
stethoscope lying on keyboard of a laptop

stethoscope lying on keyboard of a laptopOne of our Twitter readers, Tina Klein Walsh, asked us a very good question: What do you do to follow up after an interview? I’d like to address that question in this blog post.

You should absolutely follow up after the interview to keep yourself front of mind for the potential employer. Your mother was right when she told you that it’s only good manners.

To prepare, make mental notes to yourself at the interview. At the end of the interview, remember to ask what the next steps are.

First thing after the interview…

…jot down some ideas and questions you might still have, along with the names of everyone involved in the interviewing process. Note the challenges you see associated with the job, and of course, why you are especially up to those challenges. Now, use these to organise your thoughts about what to say in a short note.

Is a hand-written note or an email better?

At Firehead, we think an email is better, simply because it is faster – and we’re working within the field of digital communications. The important thing is to get your note in front of the decision-makers as soon after meeting them as possible. Try to send your email within 24 hours of the interview – one to each of your interviewers.

What should be in the note?

Use your notes and keep it short and sweet. Make an honest assessment to yourself of how you think it went, including your performance. Even if you feel you bombed the interview, you should still send a follow up email. If you feel you didn’t present yourself in your best light, explain that – concisely – but don’t focus on it.

What do you do next?

Wait for a response. I know, I know… If you don’t see a response within a few days, send another email. If you still don’t have a response to your second email, give a polite phone call expressing your thoughts. You’re not demanding answers, you’re expressing your interest. It’s all-important to stay front of mind.

At Firehead, we’ve seen this simple act make the difference for hiring managers’ decisions on whom to hire.

Image: (CC) jfcherry/Flickr

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  1. Tina Klein Walsh

    Well said, CJ. I would add that hiring is a process. The interview is intended to support that process. A sharp focus on “relating” will ease up the pressure of a “relationship.” After you leave, follow up on what was promised by you in the interview: writing samples, references, etc. Pull what was promised to you if it doesn’t turn up promptly: client samples, for example, if they are kept under lock and key but have been offered to help you with your decision.

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