Your follow-up activities must begin immediately after an interview. After all, the interviewer meets with countless candidates on a daily basis and you don’t want to be filed away in the back of his or her mind.
As soon as you get home analyze and write down a summary of the key points of the interview while it’s still fresh in your mind. Such as: the name and title of the person(s) you met; what the job involves; what aspects of the interview, in your view, went wrong and why; what was said at the end of the interview and what was the agreed upon next step. You can start thinking about all of these points on your way home, while in the car or bus.
While it’s difficult to critique oneself objectively, this is a very important step you can’t overlook. Job offers aren’t made based solely on your expertise. Many people get job offers based on their relative lack of negatives as compared to other applicants, says consultant Martin Yale. He says it’s mandatory that you look for and recognize any negatives from you performance. In doing so you’ll have the chance to avoid these negatives in your follow-up procedure and in subsequent interviews.
Your next move is to write a letter to the interviewer to acknowledge the meeting. Not only will that refresh your image in the mind of the interviewer, but it will reconfirm you’re seriously interested in the job.
Refresh Your Image by Writing a Follow-up Letter
The most important thing about your letter is that it must be typed. If you don’t have access to a computer or typewriter, go to a typing service. Your letter should make a number of points clear to the interviewer:
- You took in everything that was said.
- You want the job and have what it takes to do it.
- You can make a valuable contribution to the department and the organization.
Naturally, you want your letter to stand out from all the other ones the interviewer receives. There are certain phrases and words you can use to help achieve this.
Use of Certain Words & Phrases Will Make You & Your Letter Memorable
- Appreciation – for the time spent with you – “I appreciate your taking the time to meet with me…”
- Confidence – that you can do the job – “I’m confident that…”
- Interest – to indicate you want the job – “I’m most interested…”
- Challenge – to show you would be challenged to do your best – “…a welcome challenge”.
- Recognize – indicates your awareness – “I recognize the need for…”
Whenever appropriate, mention the names of any other people you may have met at the interview in your letter.
Keep it short. Your follow-up letter shouldn’t exceed one page. The last time a busy interviewer wants to do is to plow through a long-winded diatribe. (You’ll be remembered all right, but not the favourable way.)
Send the letter within 24 hours of the interview. If you’ve been told the hiring decision will be made in a couple of days, it’s a good idea to hand deliver it or send it by courier to ensure the interviewer receives it before the decision is to be made.
Sometimes no news can mean good news, but don’t leave it at that! If you’ve not heard anything after four or five days, call the interviewer. Repeat the key points you have made in your letter.
The business of job hunting is inevitably a waiting game. Because the hiring person meets and talks with so many people, his or her memory of you will be vague. If you’re not remembered, you won’t be offered the job. The onus is on you to follow these simple suggestions to keep your name and skill in the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.