You've just had a great interview. You know that you are a perfect match for the role you've just interviewed for, but that doesn’t mean that you can afford to take your interview for granted. The follow-up remains one of the most important things you can do after an interview to increase your chances of securing a second meeting (or a job offer). Not sure exactly the best strategy for your interview follow-up? We're here to help. We've helped thousands of candidates like you secure their dream jobs, and we've also seen our fair share of classic mistakes in the job market. Here are five tips to help you when following up after your job interview.
Tip #1: Follow-up within 24 hours
Ideally, a thank you email within 24 hours results in the most positive impression on hiring managers. Delaying your follow-up for a week, two weeks or even three raises your risk of being forgotten by the employer who will assume their vacancy wasn’t a priority for you. If you are serious about the job you’ve applied for we recommend making contact as soon as you’ve had chance to gather your thoughts. Stick to this rule even if you’re working with a recruiter. Your personal feedback tells the employer you’re interested in their vacancy. Even when the holidays are approaching, it’s still vital to follow up quickly. If your interview takes place on New Year’s Eve, for example, follow up by no later than January 4th.
Tip #2: Keep It Short
A personalized, concise e-mail is essential to catch the hiring manager’s attention and summarize your view on the interview. Limit your letter to no more than three brief paragraphs as follows:
- Thank the employer for their time and interest in your application. Reinforce your interest and enthusiasm for their vacancy. Personalize your message by addressing it to the person who interviewed you and write a separate letter if you met more than one person at the company.
- Highlight your skills and achievements relevant to the job which would benefit the company if they hired you.
- Conclude by providing any information that was requested, or points which you didn’t feel you covered during the interview. You may wish to also add some additional information about your background but the key is to keep your letter succinct.
Use bullet points to make it easier to read and conclude by referring to what was agreed, for example, “I look forward to hearing from you and will contact you again within the next two weeks/as agreed” or “I look forward to hearing from you within two weeks.”
Don't forget, crafting the perfect subject line is just as important as the email body itself. Check out our list of example email subject lines for your follow-up email.
Tip #3: Do A Name Check & Include A Detail From Your Conversation
You’ve gone to all of that effort, don’t fall at the last hurdle. Check the spelling of your interviewer’s name, and confirm their title. Especially if you've interviewed with more than one person at your prospective company (so are crafting multiple thank you emails), I recommend that you inclue an extra sentence in your email that is specific to the conversation you had with the recipient. For example "here is a link to that book we chatted about..." or "I bet your puppy, [name], is loving this beautiful weather."
The take-away here is that attention to detail is a must.
Tip #4: Avoid These Classic Mistakes
Carry out one final check to ensure you haven’t made any of the following errors:
- Too informal
- Grammatical and spelling errors (you might love the Grammarly chrome extension for this)
- Too many exclamation points!!!!
- Negative remarks about the company, hiring manager, vacancy or your background
- Repeating yourself
Tip #5: Don’t Stalk The Hiring Manager
The employer will normally give you an indication of when you should expect to hear from them. If not, as indicated above, let them know you’ll contact them in say, two weeks’ time. Don’t contact them before the agreed deadline has passed, it smacks of desperation. If you are working with a recruiter they will liaise directly with the client on your behalf so your first point of contact after your follow-up letter should be with them. They will work swiftly to secure feedback and a decision on the outcome of your interview as soon as possible.
As always, as you are preparing to follow-up with an employer after a job interview, give your recruiter a call to gain extra insight and chat through your strategy. Don't have a recruiter to help you as you seek change in your career? Get in touch with us!