The Interview’s Over…Now What?

Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver's photostream

You just completed the interview and one of three things is probably going through your mind:

• I did really well!
• I really blew that one.
• That was good.  I think.  But maybe not.  Oh, I don’t know.

Some people don’t know what to do next and this could impact whether or not you get the position.

Regardless of how you think you did, you should ALWAYS follow up with the employer. The preparation for this follow up all starts DURING the interview. Follow these five steps for effective interview follow up.

1. Pay attention and take notes during the interview. The person conducting the interview should tell you more details about the position, and by taking notes during the interview, you can reference them in your follow up.
2. Before leaving the interview, be sure to get a business card from the person you interviewed with. If they don’t hand it to you, make sure to ask for one before you leave. This is a must because if you send a thank you or follow up and incorrectly spell the person’s name, they may rule you out. If you leave without a business card, call and speak with the receptionist or someone other than your interviewer and ask how to spell their name.
3. Always send a short thank you email on the same day as the interview so it is waiting for the person when they arrive at work the next day.  Follow this simple format.  Thank them-reiterate how you can contribute-let them know when you will follow up. Did you meet with multiple people? If so, don’t be lazy…send each person a unique message that references a specific topic of discussion that you found interesting.
4. You will also prepare a letter to send through the mail.  In the letter, you want to express your interest in the job and mention some of your strongest points as they relate to the job. Remember those notes you took in the interview? This is when you should start referencing specific details and responsibilities. This is also your opportunity to provide details or explain a question that you may have bumbled during the interview.
5. After sending the email and letter, wait a week for a response. If a week has passed, the next step is a phone call. From this point on, you should alternate communications between phone and email. I recommend once a week, but you shouldn’t attempt more than twice a week. Don’t be afraid to leave a voicemail for the person either! Modern technology has given most people caller id and if you keep hanging up and calling back until they pick up the phone, the person will just get annoyed and likely rule you out.

Some candidates don’t follow up after an interview. They think the wait and see approach works best or they just don’t know what to do. Well, now you can’t use that excuse! I interview sales representatives on a daily basis and consider the follow up a MUST. With sales representatives, if I don’t get some type of follow up from the candidate within a week, I’ll usually rule them out. Especially when it comes to sales representatives, my logic is that the candidate is selling him/herself. If they are in sales and can’t follow up with me, then they probably aren’t going to follow up in a timely manner with customers either.

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