The Interview Follow-Up: Dos and Don’ts

Remember, that your work isn’t done once you finish the job interview. If you want the job, you can’t just sit back and wait for the job offer. Consider these key rules, guidelines, and strategies for following-up your job interviews.

* Ask at the end of the interview when the employer expects to make a decision.

* Be proactive and consider follow-up a strategic part of your job search process. Follow-up might just give you just the edge you need to get the job offer over others who interviewed for the position.

* Use these follow-up techniques to continue to show your enthusiasm and desire for the position, but don’t make it seem as though you are desperate.

* Obtain the correct titles and names of all the people who interviewed you. (Ideally, get each person’s business card.)

* Write individual thank you notes or letters to each person who interviewed you — within two business days. Each letter can be essentially the same, but try to vary each a bit in case recipients compare notes. Don’t ever fail to send a thank you, even if you are sure the job is not for you.

* Don’t worry about hand-written versus typed thank you letters, but don’t make a mistake by sending it through the wrong medium. Make sure you know the best method of reaching the employer, whether by postal mail, email, or fax.

* In your thank you letter, show appreciation for the employer’s interest in you and remind the employer about why you are the perfect person for the position.

* Don’t have any errors (misspellings or typos) in your thank you letters.

* Alert your references — if you haven’t done so — that they may be getting a phone call from the employer.

* Don’t stop your job search, even if you feel confident that you will get a job offer. Continue to interview and attempt to find other opportunities.

* Follow-up with a telephone call to the employer within a week to ten days (or sooner, if the employer had a shorter timetable) to ask about the position. Continue to build rapport and sell your strengths during the phone call.

* Be patient. The hiring process often takes longer than the employer expects.

* Continue following-up, especially if the employer asks you to. Just don’t go overboard and annoy or bother the employer.

* Don’t place too much importance on one job or one interview; there will be other opportunities for you.

* Use other job offers as leverage in your follow-up — to get the offer you really want.

* Don’t burn any bridges if you don’t get a job offer. And try and turn the situation into a positive by bringing the interviewer(s) into your network, possibly even asking them for referrals to other contacts.