Well you did it! Going on the interview is a major milestone to accomplish on your journey to being hired. You invested all the time and resources that you had available into procuring the actual interview and now it is NOT the time to just sit back and wait. At the conclusion of an interview, both interviewer and interviewee should be fairly certain how the interview went and what possibility there is that the company may move forward with the process for this particular candidate. This is where the “follow up” can be a unique tool and provide an advantage over other candidates should the organization still be in the consideration phase of the process.
- You must immediately send a thank you note to the interviewer or search committee/panel. This letter should be a brief thank you for their time and possibly to indicate how much you were impressed with their organization and are excited about the possible opportunity to serve in (name of potential position.) This letter can be sent via e-mail or regular mail.
- Don’t be afraid to research the company and provide some suggestions that would directly involve the position for which you are applying. You must be cautious here that you do not appear too aggressive or critical of current procedures; however this is a wonderful opportunity to show initiative and showcases some of your skills. For example: the position that you applied for is Marketing Manager for a company called Sweet Treat Candies. If the interviewer asks a question like, “What would you do to increase sales and exposure of our product in your market?” If you are truly qualified for the position, you would most likely come up with a pretty good explanation on how you would increase sales and exposure, but it is difficult to determine strategies about your potential position when you have had exactly 3.4 seconds to think about it. Here you could do some market research and include some actual and factual projections that you believed possible with your thank you letter.
- If the interviewer does not indicate a timeline for filling the position, ask when they plan to make a decision BEFORE you leave the room. Most if the time, interviewers should be specific as to when they plan to make a decision. If not, wait AT LEAST 5-7 days before calling the organization and asking about the progress of the search. If they still do not know after 7 days, then wait another week before calling. Do not call every day.
- Always leave on a positive note. Whether it is your thank you note or the follow up phone call, never burn your bridges by being negative with your comments about the interviewer or the company. Even if you do not get this particular position, you never know what else they will have in the future and may possibly consider you for.