How to Follow Up an Interview

Although it’s often tempting to relax after finishing up a round of job interviews, remember that there is another important step in the process – the follow up. Taking the extra few minutes to follow up with your interviewer(s) can help you stand out, make lasting connections, and is simply the best way to conduct yourself professionally. Here, we’ll discuss the basics of leaving an effective follow up note, so you’re prepared to make a great impression.  

Follow up with an interview thank you. Send one to each person you met with.

First things first – any follow up you send should include a thank you. It shows that you appreciate that your interviewer(s) took time to evaluate you as a candidate. This simple show of respect could push you over the line if you’re in close competition with another applicant after interviews have been completed. If you spoke with more than one person, make sure you send a separate note to each one. Lumping them all together could make it seem more like a box you’re checking off instead of the genuine courtesy you want to display.

Consider your audience, and make your interview follow up original.

This next point also relates, in part, to the point above. Sending a note to each person you’ve interviewed with also means that each note should include a slightly personalized touch. Making a reference to a joke or story he or she shared during the interview can be an effective way of doing this. When considering your audience, it’s also important to consider things like how formal of a tone you should use in your note. Typically, software development has a less formal office culture than you might expect to find in the legal or banking industries, for example. You should try to write with these distinctions in mind.

Similarly, it may benefit you to send a handwritten note in some cases. Often, a written note may be more appreciated than an email in a formal office environment. In office cultures which operate informally and/or where technology use and digital fluency are high, an email is usually enough.

Proofread your note(s) and keep them short.

Regardless of the industry you’re applying to work in, you’ll want to ensure your follow-ups are free of typos or other issues. Fortunately, it’s also a good idea to keep your notes short and sweet, so proofreading each one shouldn’t take up too much of your time.

Don’t wait too long.

Finally, make sure you don’t wait too long to send a thank you. This is more likely to highlight that you’d forgotten to send one earlier and may reflect negatively on your organizational skills or professionalism as a candidate.

In conclusion: If you can follow the simple tips outlined above, the follow ups you send will be a boost to your networking arsenal and potentially be the deciding factor in helping you get that new job. At minimum, they will help to solidify your reputation as courteous and professional.

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