I Interviewed, Now What?

I Interviewed, Now What?

3 Steps Critical to Job Interview Follow-Up

You landed the interview, you feel good about your chances for this job you've been interested in, what do you do after the interview to make yourself stand out?

The steps you take following the interview are just as important as the interview itself. If you've already made a good impression, this is your chance to cement it. Think it doesn’t make an impact? Think again. A 2011 survey by CareerBuilder found that 86% of employers determined the candidate had a lack of follow-through when no thank you note was received and 56% said it showed a lack of real interest in getting the job. This is not the message you want to send!

1. The first thing you must do is send an electronic thank you note. This should be done immediately following the interview, no less than 24 hours from the time you interviewed. You should send a separate email to every person you interviewed with that day. It can be short and sweet but is no less important than any other step.  

Make sure during the interviews you got the names of everyone you spoke to, if not a business card. This will give you their information to follow up with them and thank them for taking time out of their day to meet with you. If you didn't get everyone's information and were connected by a recruiter or someone in HR, follow-up with them to get the needed information. Don't leave somebody out of the follow-up just because you couldn't remember their last name or couldn't find their email. There's always a way and you prove resourceful by finding it.

Leaving someone out can do more harm than good because they certainly will all be talking to each other about your candidacy following the interview. No one person makes the decision and knowing who has the most influence behind the scenes is not something you can assess. Don't assume you know who's in charge. Treat everyone as a valuable and you can't go wrong.

2. The second step you must do to set yourself apart is to send handwritten thank you notes to each person you interviewed with. This is that extra mile step. This is something many people do not do and it's a way to show how interested you are in the company. Stand out in a positive way and prove that you are someone willing to go the extra mile. This is the step of dedication.

Buy nice formal thank you notes and in a decent stock of paper and write each person an individual note. It is best to take notice of something you spoke about during the interview with each person. Mentioning topics you connected on, a focus you had in common, a subject they brought to light that really resonated with you, or things they're working on that you'd really like to be a part of, is key. Making it personal and bringing up something that you discussed with each person is a way to show them that you value their time, that you paid attention, and that you really have a strong desire to be part of their team.

Everyone wants to be valued and feel important. It is an underlying factor of the human condition. Try to mentally note something during each interview and, if there's time between interviews, make a little note on your phone or on a notepad as a reminder of your conversations. It will help you to write these later.

These notes don't need to be long. Just a few sentences reiterating your interest in the position and your thanks for their time, as well as an inclusion of some sort of personal detail from the interview is sufficient.

3. Finally, make sure that you follow-up with the recruiter or HR person that brought you in for the interview. These people may have sway on the decision-making process and were kind enough to put you in the mix. Don't neglect to thank them. Recruiters and HR people are the unsung heroes of the employment industry.

They are also the gatekeepers to other roles at that company. The impression you make with them could affect other opportunities, should this one not pan out. They may keep you in mind for another job opening. If you really want to work at this particular company, they're great resources and wonderful people to know. Don't neglect this opportunity to make a positive impression and stay on their radar. Also, try to connect with them on LinkedIn.

These may seem like basic tips, but they are sometimes the most overlooked. A simple thank you note can make a world of difference in the job process and not following up in this manner may do your candidacy harm. Take the extra steps to keep your name on their radar and leave a positive impression. You never know what one thing will make the difference between getting the job and not. Leave it all on the field as they say. Know in your own mind that you did everything you could to get the job.