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Follow-Up to the Interview

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Most candidates focus on several aspects of preparing for the interview—careful preparation of the resume and portfolio, a mock interview, and finding appropriate professional dress. However, there is also work to be done after the interview.

Once you leave the site of the interview, the temptation is great to avoid thinking about it, to relax, to focus on the drive home with the promise that you will later sort things out. From my point of view, that’s a mistake.

Each interview is a learning experience. Interviewing is not easy for anyone. Any situation that prompts us to think about what the interview entailed and how we handled it helps us to improve our interviewing skills.

Here are some tips for action to take after the interview:

• Go somewhere quiet (perhaps a coffee shop or a park) and write down who the members of the interview team were, where the interview was held, and how long it lasted. Note your initial feelings about how you think that the interview went. This approach will capture your first impression of your interviewing skills.
• Make a list of the questions you were asked and the answers that you gave. This list will give you a solid perspective about how the interview was conducted. It will also provide you with questions that may show up at your next interview.
• Make notes about what you wished you would have been asked and what you might answer differently the next time. This will be helpful if you interview again.
• Consider if any questions/answers from your interview might prompt you to revise your resume to be more specific and marketable.
• Think about whether you need to talk to a professional about this experience—perhaps a career counselor, a principal whom you feel comfortable asking about interviewing techniques, or a teacher who has recently (in the last year or two) gone through the hiring process.
• Write a thank you note to the interviewer(s) within twenty-four hours of the interview. They notice such courtesies. Make sure that the note is as well proofread as your cover letter was!

Dr. Becky Faber
Assistant Director, Career Services
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, on behalf of AAEE

3 Comments

About the thank-you-for-the-interview letter: should it be typed or hand-written?

The thank you should be handwritten on a sophisticated notecard--no cutesy stationery or colored ink.

Interview thank you's are very important. Keep in mind that the principal hires, but others on the interviewing team have some limited input as well. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a hand-written thank you note personally addressed to me from a prospective teacher with whom I had spoken at our district's teacher recruitment fair, and I was only one teacher on the interview team. I appreciated the fact that this prospective teacher sent me a thank you note even though I am not an administrator. You can be sure that I made sure our principal knew this girl's name, and the highlights of our discussion, so that when she began to narrow down all the resumes received on that day, she would have some personal information on that particular applicant. In fact, the girl was hired to teach at our school the next year.

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The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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