How to Follow Up After an Interview

From the moment you apply the interview process is already underway. Employers and hiring managers, especially in the bay area, will need more than your resume to assess your qualification, and that means every interaction counts. They expect you to be on top of your game, but some are never taught the proper process for following up. If it’s between you and another candidate, this may be more important than the interview itself.

Set yourself up for success in the next stages of the hiring process and beyond:

The last words you say to a prospective hiring manager don’t have to happen during the skype interview or before you leave the corporate office. It doesn’t matter how you think it went; not following up is a missed opportunity.

To prevent yourself from getting lazy and just moving along with your day, prepare the thank-you note prior to the interview. During the interview you can make mental notes on topics to follow up on. More importantly, don’t delay. The time it takes to handwrite a thank you note is well worth the potential of being considered – this can make or break your odds. What’s more, you can be sure others aren’t taking this extra step. For any job in a professional environment, this may give the hiring manager a cue as to how you approach building rapport.

Even if the interview went poorly, it’s important to send the thank-you note when the interviewer’s impression is fresh in their mind. Try and find out where you sit in the hiring process. If there is more than twenty-four hours until they are done interviewing, this is your chance.

Conversely, if you’re one of the first candidates to be interviewed, promptly follow up with an email and delay sending a thank-you note. Often, the first- and last-interviewed candidates have the greatest opportunity to stand out so use this to your advantage.

What do you put in the note?

By preparing your thank-you note before you even have the interview, you prepare yourself to create a conversation worth recalling. This will encourage you to foster a “remarkable” interview. In addition, following up is a kind gesture to show gratitude and creating a lasting impression after your formal interview.

Ideally, you’ll be able to pull from a positive and conversational interview with a receptive hiring manager. After all, you want to ensure that they are the best fit for what you want. Although it varies depending on industry, most interviews should last between 45 minutes and one hour. This will be plenty of time to create adequate conversation for consideration. Making mental notes during the interview that you can follow up on will save you time after the interview.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember to send it.