Following Up Post-Interview
In the job search we find ourselves doing everything and anything possible to land an interview. We figure that if we land the interview and it goes well, then if the job is meant to be, it will be. However, even after you walk out of your interview, you continue to have the power to make an impact. How? Through the art of the thank you email. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are ready to write yours.
Send a thank you email within 24 hours after your interview. This way you are meeting the expectation of immediate follow-up and can remain fresh in the interviewer's mind. While thank you notes sent via USPS are not necessary, some job seekers insist on taking this step. If you choose to hand-write a thank you note, still be sure to send a short and sweet thank you email within 24 hours as the hand-written note may not arrive for a few days.
Each interviewer should receive a different message. To make sure you take this extra step, be sure to get the business cards or contact information for each person before you leave. Immediately after you leave, sit down somewhere and jot down a couple of notes regarding the questions and conversations you had that connected you with each person. This will be your trigger to remember when you sit down to write them an email later.
Keep your focus on saying thank you rather than overwhelming your readers with too much or new information about you. Yes, use this opportunity to Always Be Closing (the good ol' ABC's), but do it in a subtle way that allows the reader to remember your manners and professionalism more than your wordiness and overselling. Check out this video for more information.
Proofread, proofread, proofread. If your cover letter and resume is the first impression employers have of you, your thank you note is potentially the last impression they'll have of you. Your writing needs to be impeccable and without error. I have a feeling that you called yourself detail-oriented at some point in this process--prove it with your written communications as these are the times to demonstrate that orientation!
Keep your email pithy. There is no need to summarize the interview. Instead, thank the interviewers for their time, conversation, and consideration. No more than 6-8 sentences plus your greeting and closing, should be more than enough to leave a positive, lasting impression.
What are YOUR ideas for writing a strong post-interview thank you email?
Helen L. Roy, M.Ed.
Follow me @HelenLRoy on Twitter!
Career Readiness Advisor
National Louis University, Chicago, IL