How to Follow Up After an Interview

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Are you a Mom who’s returning back to work after maternity leave, or after being a stay at home Mom for a couple years? Or maybe you’re already working, but ready for a job change.  Either way, there’s one important step you can’t skip- following up after an interview.

Following up after an interview is crucial part of the process when trying to secure a new job. Failure to do so will leave you very little chance of landing the position since you can be sure that other candidates vying for the same role will be doing so.

What many job-seekers fail to understand however, is that the process starts as soon as the interview concludes, as opposed to a few days later.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to make sure you follow up in a manner destined for success.

If you ever need help with your resume or getting ready for an interview, let me know.  That’s what I do.  And there’s a Working Mom discount.

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Ask About Next Steps (Before Leaving the Interview)

As I’ve just mentioned, the following up process begins before you’ve even left the room.

First, ask about what happens next. The answer to this question will help you to form an appropriate follow-up strategy.

For example, if they say that they are concluding interviews within 7 days, it makes no sense to follow up within 48 hours, since they won’t yet have interviewed all of the remaining candidates.

This is also an opportunity to grab business cards or note down the contact information of any personnel within the interview that you didn’t previously have the details of. These details will present you with an opportunity later down the line (see below).

Send a Thank-You Note

A staple of any good follow-up strategy, the thank-you note gives you chance to touch base with the decision maker right away.

Speed is of the essence here. The faster you can get the thank you note to them, the better. Some people even draft up their thank you emails up in the parking lot before heading home.

I think this is perhaps a bit quick. With adrenaline still flowing through your veins, you may not be typing with a clear head. It’s much better to head home, reflect on the interview, and then compose your thank-you note.

Some hiring managers are impressed with hand-written thank-you cards, whereas others value the speed and ease of an email. I’ll leave it up to you which you decide to opt for.

Whichever method you choose for delivery, make sure to reiterate why you and this company are such a good fit.

Since hiring managers often forget up to 80% of what you talked about, take the time to clarify any points where you think you could have explained yourself better. Lastly, mention anything relevant that you forgot to mention under the pressure of an interview situation.

Connect with Key Individuals On LinkedIn

I’ve already explained in a previous blog post why LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important for careers, and it’s totally fine to involve this platform after completing an interview.

Using the information you gathered at the conclusion of the interview, connect with the hiring manager and any other key personnel that you felt you struck up a rapport with to help build a professional relationship.

However, don’t just post a generic request. This is likely to end in failure.

Offer some value by offering to introduce them to someone in your network with a common interest.

Perhaps you found out that your recruiter is training for a marathon. You happen to know your old colleague Jim runs a training group on Tuesdays and Thursdays just around the corner from their office. You might want to make an introduction.

Or maybe you could start the conversation about an article you read concerning a topic they highlighted as an important subject area important during the interview.

Either way, once you’ve successfully connected, you’ve developed a valuable professional relationship whether you get the job or not.

Check in Periodically

Another reason asking questions is so crucial at the end of an interview is that you learn the proposed timeline of events.

So when you haven’t heard anything after those 7 days (used in the example above), it’s perfectly acceptable to send a follow-up email (or place a call) to get an update on the situation.

Ask if there’s any additional information you can provide to help the decision making process and remember that this is yet another opportunity to add value by forwarding useful articles, podcasts, or videos pertaining to your specific industry.

Do not ask blunt questions such as “Have I got the job?” “Have you made a decision yet?” as these will turn the hiring manager off.

Following Up Can Make the Difference  

If you don’t follow up after an interview, it’s much less likely that’ll get the job.

You can’t plot a follow-up strategy without knowing the proposed timelines, so always ask the right questions at the end of an interview.

During the following up process, do not be forceful. Instead, act with the utmost politeness and integrity. Use your thank-you note and follow-up emails to go the extra mile before forging professional connections using platforms such as LinkedIn.

If executed correctly, your follow-up strategy will enhance your prospects of landing yourself a new role.

What are your top tips for following up after interview? What helped you to land the job? Let me know in the comments below!

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