FOLLOW-UP: After the Interview
Actions taken after the interview can be as important as the interview itself.
Employers have probably interviewed several, if not hundreds, of applicants
and now must decide which ones to call back or ultimately hire. One action
to take after the interview is send a thank you note. Do not just send one to the
interviewer, but also others in the organization that might have assisted in
setting up the interview. Also include thank you letters for everyone who did
the interviewing. If there were multiple interviewers, send each a different,
individualized, thank you. This will show general interest in the job and may
be something other candidates have not done. Sending thank you letters will
put a more permanent image in the interviewer's mind. They could make the
difference that will get you the job. The following are a few ideas that should
be included in the thank you letter.
- Thank the employer for his or her time during the interview.
- Mention some of the things you learned during the interview, especially
those things you feel you are qualified to do.
- If you forgot to mention something during the interview, include it in the
thank you note.
- Invite the employer to contact you for more information if necessary.
- Mention that you are looking forward to the employer's decision.
- Send requested material. If the employer requested that you submit
additional paperwork, you may attach it to the thank you letter. Be sure to
mention the attachments in your letter: "As requested, I am forwarding
letters of recommendation and certification materials."
- Be sure to sign your thank you letter.
Sending a follow-up thank you should help in gaining the interviewer's final
attention and demonstrating your commitment. However, there is still one
more important thing that must be done after the interview has taken place.
You need to carefully evaluate your performance in the interview. Evaluate
how well you think you answered questions, how well
you maintained eye contact, the appropriateness of your
posture, and the quality of as well as response from the
questions you asked during the interview. Write down
any questions that caught you off guard and practice a
better response for the next interview. Analyze all the
times you were uncomfortable and see how you could handle similar situations in the future. This is
the best way to improve your interviewing skills.
Make sure both of these tasks get completed after an interview. They are
critically important to obtaining the job. Failure to send an appropriate thank
you letter could result in the person who did send one getting the job. And if
you don't evaluate your performance on the last interview, you will be unlikely
to improve your future interviews.