Whether you had a fabulous interview or stumbled a bit, your follow-up can keep you in the game and allow you to continue shining. Consider the steps below as you develop your interview follow-up.
Step 1: Reflect on your interview
- Determine what you did well or what you might have neglected to do.
- Jot down any personal connection you might have made with each interviewer. Perhaps you attended the same university, root for the same sports team or share a common interest in cooking.
- Write down any questions not discussed or addressed in your interview.
- Add information to your notes about projects you discussed during your interview, along with any ideas or input on strategies and solutions you might have.
Step 2: Create and send your thank-you email
Send an enthusiastic, custom thank-you email to each interviewer within 24 hours after the interview and, if possible, during the interviewer’s working hours. If your interview was with a team of people and you’re finding all your emails sound the same, you may elect to send one email to the entire hiring team.
Use the information you gathered during your reflection and any appropriate suggestions below to create your thank-you email.
- Offer a sincere thank you for the time and opportunity to interview.
- State how you will add value to the organization beyond what other candidates can offer.
- Include a specific reference to remind the interviewer who you are.
- Clarify a statement made during the interview or mention something you didn’t cover in the interview.
- If you had trouble answering an interview question, state the question and note your response.
- Share your ideas or input on strategies if you discussed projects during your interview.
- Re-affirm your interest in the company and position.
Remember the following style tips.
- Use a professional greeting.
- Avoid slang; instead, use business-appropriate terminology.
- Be direct and concise.
- Proofread for typographical, grammatical and spelling errors.
Step 3: Additional follow-up steps
It is appropriate during your interview to ask for next steps. The interviewer should be happy to give you an idea of what to expect, including the timeframe for a second interview or anticipated decision. Understanding the employer’s timing can help you plan your follow-up steps.
Mailing a card. Sending a thank-you letter by mail after you send an email thank you is an additional way to follow up but may prove to be overkill, particularly for fast-moving, high-tech industries. However, since most applicants skip this step, it could also prove to be memorable.
Follow-up calls. Follow up with a phone call if you haven’t heard back from the company in one week, unless the interviewer warned you of an extended hiring cycle. Continue weekly follow-ups for three to four weeks or until you’ve received a response. After three to four weeks with no response, you can probably assume the company has selected another candidate.
Not interested? After your interview, you may decide the position isn’t for you. It’s appropriate to send a thank-you email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and letting them know you are not interested in moving forward because you don’t think the position is a good fit or have found another opportunity. Keep your email short and professional without offering details.
Even if you believe you’ve found the perfect job and aced your interview, stay focused on your job search. Continue networking, sending resumes, interviewing and following up on positions until you receive the job offer you want.
If you have questions about interviewing, following-up after your interview or any aspect of employment, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to speak to a SECO career coach or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO. You may also want to review GCF LearnFree Following Up after an Interview for additional tips and information.