Following Up After an Interview
Toward the end of an interview, the interviewer typically will ask you if you have any questions. Take the opportunity to ask when the company hopes to make a hiring decision. Ask the interviewer if you may contact him or her in a few days to follow up. Just remember, if you say you are going to follow up, do it.
Following up improves your chances of being hired. Many companies measure an applicant’s interest in the position by what he or she does to follow up after the interview. Remember that each interaction with an employer is an interview, whether formal or not.
Before you leave the interview, make sure you have the contact information for those who participated in the interview. Verify the spelling of their names and titles. The easiest way to do this is to ask them for business cards. You may also ask the receptionist or secretary for the information. Even though the secretary or receptionist may not have been in the interview, leave a positive impression with him or her.
Your form of follow-up will depend on your circumstances. It may be by telephone, letter, or in person. Regardless of the method, make certain you:
- Restate your interest in the position.
- Refer to things you discussed in your interview.
- Reemphasize, in concise, powerful statements, how your skills can help the organization.
- Resolve concerns.
- Thank the person for his or her time.
- Do not pressure the person to hire you.
One way you can follow up with the company is to send thank-you notes. Not only does a thank-you note reinforce in the employer’s mind your interest in the position, but it also shows your gratitude to him or her for considering you.
“Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character,” said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable” ("Living in Thanksgiving Daily", BYU Devotional, 31 Oct. 2000).
Sending a thank-you note after an interview is good business etiquette. Some employers even expect to receive one. Surprisingly, only a small number of applicants send thank-you notes. Perhaps for this reason, many employers hire the people who send thank-you cards or letters to them.
Even if you are not sure whether you are interested in the position, make certain to follow up with a thank-you note. Leaving a good impression on your interviewers creates opportunities for future networking and other job prospects.
When you write your thank-you notes, use the contact information you collected during the interview. Send an individual card to each interviewer.
The circumstances of the interview will dictate how you should deliver your thank-you notes. Make sure the company receives your letter before they make their hiring decision. If you know the employer will make a hiring decision before a letter could arrive in the mail, send it via e-mail. If you have several days, send it through the mail. In any case, send thank-you notes within 24 hours of an interview.
If you send the letter through the mail, you may send either a handwritten or a typed letter. Handwritten letters can seem more personal and thoughtful than typed letters. If you decide to send a handwritten note, make sure it is legible. If you send a typed letter, remember to sign it.
Regardless of how you send the letter, be succinct and make sure there are no errors.
Example of a Thank-You Letter:
June 14, 2014
Dear Ms. Jones:
Thank you for sharing your time with me today to discuss the technical assistant position at ABC Corporation. I also appreciate you taking the time to acquaint me with the needs and accomplishments of the company. It would be exciting to contribute my skills and experiences to meet your needs and contribute to those successes.
The opportunity to help the company advance its internal communications using technology excites me. My experience in organizational communications and the use of new media to facilitate the sharing of information and knowledge seem like a good fit. As I mentioned, my most recent project was to help create an internal knowledge base. I was able to keep the project on schedule and within budget, and the knowledge base increased worker productivity by decreasing the number of calls for technical support.
I am very interested in working together to see how my skills and experience can benefit your company, and I would like to contact you on Thursday to discuss my potential to become your technical assistant.
Following Up with References
In addition to following up with the employer, you will want to follow up with your references. If you shared specific references with the potential employer, contact them and let them know that you had an interview and that they might receive a call from the company. Be sure they are ready to highlight the skills and experience you would like them to focus on. Remember to thank them for their assistance.
Persistence and Patience
It may take employers longer than they anticipate to make a hiring decision. Be patient and gently persistent, but avoid over-contacting the company or employer. Follow up within two weeks of your last interaction with the employer to ask about the status of the position. Continue to build rapport and highlight your strengths at these times. Follow up again if the employer asks you to do so.
Continue Searching for Jobs
Even if you feel that the job you have applied for may be perfect for you, continue with your job search. Constantly stay engaged in all your job search activities.
“I urge you to examine your life,” said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin during the April 2007 general conference of the Church. “Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be. Create inspiring, noble, and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart. And then keep your eye on them. Work consistently towards achieving them.
“‘If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams," wrote Henry David Thoreau, "and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours’” ("Life's Lessons Learned," Ensign , May 2007, 45).