I had a job interview today that I thought went really well. I am anxious to follow-up with the people I interviewed with and know I should send some kind of "thank you" note as well. What is the protocol for appropriate follow-up?
- Job Seeker, 23, Kansas City
Dear Job Seeker,
Congratulations on a great interview! In terms of follow-up there are various schools of thought on protocol, but I'll give you a summary of what I have heard most from employers as well as what I did that worked well back in my interviewing days.
First, never leave an interview without the business card of the interviewer so that you have their email address, mailing address and phone number. Ask for a card if they do not offer one to you. I also encourage job seekers to create business cards of their own to exchange that includes your name, email, and phone number. If you keep a professional, relevant blog include that url as well. Design your cards to match the tone of the type of industry in wich you are seeking work. For instance, if you are looking for work in financial services, keep the design simple and professional. But if you are applying for jobs in graphic design, your card is an example of your work so a more unique style is appropriate.
In terms of follow-up and thank you notes here is what I suggest:
1.The day of the interview send an email to the individual(s) you interviewed with thanking them for their time and for the opportunity. Keep it brief and professional. Include appropriate salutations, mention one thing from the interview to jog their memory of your interaction, and also indicate when you will be following up with them (I recommend one week from the interview). This is also an opportunity to answer or further address any question(s) you felt you didn't cover well in the interview (i.e. - the brilliance that occurred to you in the elevator ride down to your car after you left the office) Also, make sure when you send an email that it displays your name when it appears in someone's inbox - not an abbreviation or nickname. Send a test email to yourself and a friend to confirm this.
Here is an example of a follow-up email:
Subject line: Thank You for the Interview
Text: "Dear Mr. or Ms. X,
It was nice to meet you today and I am enthusiastic about being a candidate for xyz position and the opportunities you presented. I enjoyed discussing xyz with you and learning about xyz regarding your company. (If applicable:) I gave some additional thought to the question you presented to me about xyz and (insert response here). Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to following up with you on Monday.
2. Send a hand-written "Thank You" note on nice stationary or buy a very simple card (no butterflies, poems, or flowers please). In this note again thank them for the opportunity and their time. Keep it short and sweet. If there is something more personal you discussed in the interview, like a shared hobby or a future trip they are taking, this is a good place to reflect upon that.
3. If you do not hear back from the potential employer, call them on the day you noted you would follow-up. I recommend NOT calling first thing in the morning, right after lunch, or at the end of the day as these are times people tend to be busier. When you call, re-introduce yourself, remind them of when you interviewed and for what position. Ask them if they have made a selection, and if not, when they plan too. Again, keep it short and thank them for their time.
And one more thing, I hear many twenty-somethings be very self-critical after an interview so it is refreshing to hear that you feel good about it. Even if you don't get the job, I encourage you to leave interviews with a positive intention. You are doing the right thing by proactively following up. Now go start writing your emails and thank-you notes!
Please send me your questions by posting them in the comments section below. You can also email me at christine AT huffingtonpost.com.