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6 Things To Include In Your Follow-Up Note

This is a guest blog post by Bob McIntosh about sending a follow up note after interview.

follow up note after interview

Some people erroneously believe the interview is over after they’ve shaken hands with the interviewers and are safely out the door. Well, that went well, they think, and now it’s time to wait for the decision. And perhaps it went well. But perhaps one or two other candidates had stellar interviews.

So here’s the question: when is the interview really over?

The answer: after you’ve sent the follow-up note after interview.

If you don’t believe that a follow-up note is important, read the article, note that by not sending a follow up note after interview (according to CareerBuilder*) employers:

  • are less likely to hire a candidate–22%.
  • say it shows a lack of follow-through–86%
  • think the candidate isn’t really serious about the job–56%

If these figures aren’t enough to convince you to send a follow-up, then don’t hold out much hope of getting a job, especially when smart jobseekers are sending them. I hope this gets your attention.

So if you’re wondering how to go about sending a follow-up, first consider to whom you’ll send it and how you’ll send it.

How do you send it?

You can send your follow-up note via e-mail or hard copy. This depends on your preference and/or the industry, e.g., someone in the humanities might prefer a thank you card, whereas someone in high tech might appreciate an e-mail. Here’s another idea: send both. An e-mail immediately following the interview, followed by a follow-up card a week later.

What do you say in your follow up note after interview?

1. Show your gratitude. Obviously you’re going to thank the interviewers for the time they took to interview you; after all, they’re busy folks and probably don’t enjoy interviewing people.

2. Reiterate you’re the right person for the job. This is the second most obvious statement you’ll make in your follow-up  notes. Mention how you have the required skills and experience and, very importantly, you have the relevant accomplishments.

3. Interesting points made at the interview. Show you were paying attention at the interview. Each person with whom you spoke mentioned something of interest, or asked a pertinent question. Impress them with your listening skills by revisiting those interesting points.

4. Do some damage control: How many candidates wish they could have elaborated on a question, or totally blew it with a weak answer? Now’s your chance to correct your answer. This may be of little consequence, but what do you have to lose? Besides, interviewers know you were under a great deal of pressure–it’s hard to think of everything.

5. Suggest a solution to a problem: Prior to the interview you were unaware of a problem the company is facing. Now you know about the problem. If you have a solution to this problem, mention it in your follow-up or a more extensive proposal.

6. You want the job: You told the interview committee at the end of the interview that you want the job. Reiterate this sentiment by stating it in you follow-up note, which can be as simple as asking what the next steps will entail. This shows your enthusiasm and sincere interest in the position.

After you’ve made it this far in the process–networking, writing a tailored resume and cover letter, and multiple interviews–it would be a shame to blow it by not sending a follow-up note. Take the time to send a unique follow-up note (within 24-48 hours). When you get the job offer, you’ll be happy you did.

*Write a Post-Interview Thank You that Actually Boosts Your Chances to Get the Job, LifeHacker.com

Thanks ralph and jenny for the photo via Flickr. 

Written by: Bob McIntosh
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