After the Interview... Now What?

You've just completed an interview for a position that interests you, or perhaps you met with a networking contact who offered some insight into your job search. Now that the interview is over, it's time to swing into action with some memorable follow up activities. Depending on the nature of your interview, follow up can take several forms. What you do can greatly influence whether you succeed in generating a second interview or benefit from your networking meeting. Review the checklist below for specific activities that may apply to you.

Thank you note.

A thank you note should be sent immediately following an interview to each person with whom you met. A thank you note may be handwritten if it is brief (the "breadandbutter" thank yous our mothers taught us when we were children). However, a more effective followup is a wordprocessed letter that reinforces the points you made during the interview and reiterates your qualifications for the position. Thank you notes should always be personalized. If you are writing to more than one person at a company following a group or successive interview, do not send the same note to each; vary your missives so that the person reading it knows you recall and related to the specific information they provided.

Preparation of additional information/documentation.

During the interview, did you offer to put together a rough outline of a marketing idea you discussed? Were you asked to forward your college transcripts? Did you volunteer to send a great article you'd read about manufacturing in rural areas? Be prompt, precise, and proactive in providing additional material that may help support your candidacy. You may cover these materials with a brief handwritten note or your business card with a word or two jotted on the back.

Follow up phone calls.

It is perfectly appropriate to follow up with the interviewer after a period of time to determine the status of the position and your candidacy. One of your final questions at the end of your interview might be, "When may I expect to hear from you? May I check back with you in two weeks?" Enter the date in your calendar and follow up as promised.

Continued networking.

A successful networking interview should result in additional contact names. Follow through on all leads, and give occasional status updates to the person who originally referred you.

In all your followup activities, be sure to spell the person's name correctly and use his or her correct title. If you failed to get a business card during the interview, call the person's office to check on the name. It's a simple matter to say, "I'm sending a letter to Mr. Yastrzemski. Would you verify the spelling of his name for me?" You do not need to identify yourself in these calls, but if you enjoyed a friendly chat with a secretary or receptionist, it would be a good idea to call that person directly, identify yourself, and ask for his or her help. This is another way to keep your name and candidacy in the forefront.

Prompt, polite followup is an indicator of good business etiquette and will help to set you apart from candidates who do not follow up. Be sure you do all you can and all you've promised to cement yourself and your candidacy with potential employers. And if you need help with letter writing or have business etiquette questions, drop us an e-mail! We'll be happy to help you shine even after the interview.