The Right Way to Follow Up After a Job Interview
3 common mistakes to avoid, plus advice about thank-you notes
Job candidates frequently make one big mistake after an interview: idly waiting for the employer to call with good or bad news. But the right follow-up can maximize the positive impact you made during the interview and increase your chances of getting hired.
Interviewers like proactive and ambitious candidates; they are the lifeline of the employer and its future. What’s more, some interviewers dismiss candidates who don’t follow up.
3 Common Mistakes After a Job Interview
But it’s highly important to follow up after a job interview the right way. There are three common mistakes job applicants make:
1. Contacting the employer too frequently One of the worst mistakes a job seeker can make is coming across as obnoxious or pushy. Before leaving the interview, ask when you can expect to be contacted and how he or she would prefer you follow up. Some favor applicants email them; others give candidates their work phone numbers. If you don’t hear anything by that time, follow up. But only contact the employer once a week (or so) to remain professional and interested.
2. Being too casual Be as professional as possible in your writing and the way you talk to the employer after your job interview. Your vocabulary doesn’t have to be academic or entrepreneurial, but the way you address your potential employer could be the deciding point in whether or not you get hired.
3. Any form of negativity Complaining or saying negative things about the employer to the employer can sometimes be misunderstood and cost you the job. Focus on the positives of your experience with the employer so far and make sure you include them in your follow-up.
Writing a Thank-You Note
Thank-you notes are a good way to nudge interviewers into delivering the verdict about your employment.
Let’s take a look at two drastically different types which will give you a good indication of the formatting and the information they should contain.
The first type of thank-you note can be used by people with professional experience who don’t require much feedback, but do want to come across as friendly, cooperative and team-oriented. It focuses on highlights from the interview. In this type, you might say something like: I wanted to thank you for the opportunity your company presented for me and your sincere consideration of my application. I enjoyed the questions you asked since they really helped me reflect on my past professional experiences. I hope to hear from you soon.
The second type of thank-you note works for self-aware people who want to learn as much as they can about themselves. It consists of a subtle follow-up note that emphasizes feedback and employment status update. It might say something like: I’d like to thank you again for the time and patience you had with my application — I can imagine a lot of candidates applied for the position. I’d like to formally ask you for your professional feedback about my performance on the interview itself.
How the Entire Process Pays Off
The road from writing a job application to writing a thank-you note can be stressful and unforgiving even for the most resilient candidates. Keep in mind that the process will pay off once you receive concrete information about your future employment status.