Imagine you finally get your resume into the right hands. Then, you finally get a chance to interview with key decision makers with the company of your dreams. Are you ready to make the right moves before, during and after the interview? Are you ready to provide the perfect job interview follow up? Ready to seal the deal?
Exceptional candidates know effective job interview follow up continues well after the interview!
How you conduct your search communicates to the employer how you will conduct yourself on the job. So you need to continue your follow-up appropriately and professionally to seal the deal.
Keep these things in mind when following up after an interview. And remember: interview follow-up steps begin while you are still on the interview. Not after it has ended!
1. Before the Interview Ends, Ask About the Next Steps in the Process
When the interview is coming to an end and the hiring manager or recruiter asks if you have any questions… ask! Ask your questions about the business, the position, etc. Then ask about the next steps in the process.
By asking about next steps, you’ll get an action plan for appropriately following up and in what timeframe. It’s a no-brainer that eliminates the guess work on your part. As a former recruiter, it would stun me that so few people ended the conversation with this question.
2. Ask If You Can Connect on LinkedIn
Yes, you’re interviewing in the hopes of getting the position. But you’ve also just formed a new professional relationship and added another name to your list of business contacts. Asking the interviewer if you can connect on LinkedIn is perfectly acceptable.
During the interview, look for natural segues into a connection request. Did the interviewer mention they love to golf? Mention a great article on golfing you just read and offer to forward it to them. Did they attend your alma mater? Mention how great its LinkedIn group is and offer to introduce them to some former classmates.
Even if you don’t get the job, you’ve still made a great new professional connection. And one who could wind up assisting your job hunt or career in the future.
3. Take the Traditional Route and Ask for Their Business Card
At the end of each interview, ask the interviewer if you may have one of their business cards. This will help you when writing the interview follow up thank you note we’ll cover in the next section. Business cards are an easy way to make sure you get key information correct when following up. That includes the correct spelling of the interviewer’s title, their exact position, and their email address. The interviewer doesn’t have his business card on him? Jot down this information on the notepad you should be bringing along to every interview.
4. Make the Effort to Send Thank You Notes Immediately
Do not underestimate the importance of this step. Interviewers see multiple candidates each day without much to differentiate them. Thank you notes are a quick and easy way to distinguish yourself from the competition, emphasize your interest in the position, and leave the interviewer with a positive lasting impression. Send interview follow up thank you notes via email and/or express mail. When appropriate, sending something tangible will, no doubt, set you apart from other candidates.
How you send this thank you note depends on the interviewer. So it’s always best to ask them how they prefer to be contacted.
Email is usually best method due to its immediacy. You can send it from anywhere and the interviewer will receive it instantly (and you’ll impress them with your timeliness). Does the interviewer prefers traditional mail? Or do you want the extra personalization that comes from a handwritten message? A physical note is also acceptable. Just make sure you send it via express mail so you don’t lose the immediacy factor.
5. Reach Out Meaningfully, and More Than Once
It’s okay to check in occasionally after the interview, so long as you do it the right way. Do not send multiple emails and leave multiple voice mail messages. Repeatedly asking if a decision has been made will not do you any favors. Rather, touch base periodically in a way that demonstrates your value. Clarify your interest in the position. And do so without coming across as pushy or desperate.
Because you asked about the next steps in the process, you know the employer’s timeframe. LKnow it will take about a week, for example, for the company to make a decision? Gently follow up after 10 days to check in and see if there is any other information you can provide. Demonstrate extra value by attaching an article you’ve come across the interviewer will find interesting.
Remember: you’re not the only person following up on this position. So if you can do something to differentiate your message from the other candidates’, do so.
6. If You Don’t Hear Back Immediately, Don’t Assume the Worst
In the absence of information, don’t choose to fill in the blanks with negative information. That often isn’t productive. Everyone in the hiring process has good intentions to move the process along. But so much of it is out of their control, despite those good intentions. So always keep in mind that no news does not necessarily mean bad news. Maintain a positive attitude. And try not to dwell on it if you’ve yet to hear back from someone.
7. Remain Confident in What You Have to Offer
Remember … You are awesome! Your experiences, knowledge, achievements, and contacts are unique. You can bring something (or multiple somethings) to this opportunity that nobody else can. Bring this confidence into the interview with you. Carry it with you afterwards and during the interview follow up, as well.
And if this particular opportunity doesn’t come through for you? Well, know there is another company, or opportunity, out there. Know that is going to be a better fit for you, where you will be fortunate to find EACH OTHER. Believe this.
8. Don’t Wait to Move On and Look for the Next Opportunity
One of the most important pieces of advice I give my clients: Don’t just sit and wait on this one position; keep your job search moving along.
This tactic will preserve your sanity and give you a greater chance of ultimate success. Even if the opportunity you’re waiting to hear about is your dream job… sitting around and wait for the company to get back to you is as productive as watching a pot of water come to a boil.
Resume your search immediately. Go for a run. Head out to meet a friend. Do all of these things, in fact. Distract yourself from this particular opportunity… and remain productive in your job search.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes.
About the Author: Lisa Rangel, founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. Lisa has helped hundreds land the exact job they want. A former recruiter, she is a 10-time certified resume writer and job search consultant. She is a paid moderator for LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Premium Group and an Official LinkedIn Blogger since 2012. Lisa is a featured expert on Fast Company, Investors Business Daily, The BBC and the author of ResumeCheatSheet.com. Follow Lisa on LinkedIn.