Too often, after a job interview, we fail to follow up with the company. This can be a mistakes, since it might mean that you drop out of the consciousness of the interviewers. If you are among the first to be interviewed, this can be an even bigger problem, since newer candidates will replace you in the minds of interviewers. Following up can be a good way to keep your name in the picture, and remind would-be employers of your good qualities.
Ford R. Myers is a career coach and the author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. He points out that, “There is no secret trick or magic bullet that will get the employer to offer you the job.” However, Myers does have some suggestions that can help you as you follow up after a job interview.
1. Develop a Follow Up Strategy Ahead of Time
According to Myers, your effective follow up starts early. “Developing your follow up strategy before the interview will enhance your behavior during the interview.” Having a strategy can provide you with a certain level of confidence, and that confidence comes through in an interview and is attractive. Think about your strategy ahead of time, and figure out how you will follow up, and coordinate your efforts.
2. Confirm What’s Next
You can ask about next steps at the end of the interview. This is, essentially, your first follow up. As the interview is wrapping up, says Myers, you should assume a more active role. “Get a commitment from the employer for what comes next,” he says. The idea is not to push for an offer, but to get invited back for the next round of meetings.
3. Write a Prompt Thank You Note
One of the best things you can do after an interview is write a thank you note within three days. If you can, get the names and positions of everyone who interviewed you, and send them individual notes. Thank them for interviewing you, and take the chance to remind them of a couple points. Don’t go into too much detail, though — it is a thank you note and not a letter meant to convince them to hire you.
4. Set a Follow Up Time
At the close of your thank you note, you can mention that you will call back in a few days. You can also do this at the end of the interview. Mention an interest in calling to follow up by the end of the week. In some cases, you might be asked to submit additional material or information. Set a deadline for this, letting the interviewer know when you will turn in what’s needed.
5. Be Punctual in Your Follow Up Communications
Since you’ve promised something, you need to deliver. If you told the interviewer you would submit additional materials by the end of day on Wednesday, you should have those items submitted by then. “Always call when you say you’re going to call, and do what you say you’re going to do,” says Myers. That way, you set up your reputation as someone who can be relied on to do what you’ve promised.
6. Leverage Outside Resources
Do you know anyone who might be able to influence decision makers? “If you have contacts and connections with anyone who might influence the hiring decision, or who actually knows the interviewer, ask them to put in a good word for you after the initial interview,” suggests Myers.
This is not the time to be noble and try to “get the job on your own merit.” Networking is important, and who you know matters. If you can take advantage of these outside resources, use them in your follow up efforts to boost the chances of getting hired.
7. Be Gracious If You Aren’t Offered the Job
You also need to be gracious even if you aren’t offered the job. Don’t try to force it if you aren’t offered the job. When you are contacted with the news that you haven’t been offered the job, make sure that you express your continued interest in the company. “Express your sincere appreciation for having been considered for the position,” says Myers. “State that you would be happy to be considered for the position again, should the selected candidate not work out for any reason.”