Job Seeker 101: The Follow Up

By:  TSP Blog | @TSProckstars


If you think the job hunt ends after an interview, you're mistaken. Truth is, a large component of whether or not you’ll land the job is based on what you do following the interview.

Despite 58 percent of employers saying it’s important to send a thank you note, 57 percent of job seekers don’t send thank you notes after an interview. More importantly, one-in-five hiring managers say they are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t send a thank you note after an interview. Why? Because it shows two things: 1. the candidate isn’t serious about the opportunity, and 2. a lack of follow through.

There is a delicate balance in perfecting the art of the follow up. You don’t want to harass your potential employer, but you also don’t want them to forget about you. Knowing what to do in the following hours, days and weeks after your interview can keep you top-of-mind and at the lead of the pack.

Following your interview, the most important thing you can do is send a thank you note via email. While we always suggest handwritten, sending an email is a sure-fire way to make sure it gets to the interviewer within a reasonable amount of time – within 24 hours to be exact.

Sure, it’s obvious a thank you note should say thank you, but it should also go beyond simple pleasantries. Think about what you discussed during your interview and include an additional thought on a question or topic that was discussed. If you realized you may not have answered clearly to a certain question, this is the time to clarify. Note your strengths and how they would fit into the roll, as well as your excitement for the opportunity.

Some argue saying thank you via email suffices – and in some instances it does – but we always suggest sending a handwritten note as well. This note can be a little more delayed, as to not bog down the employer with correspondence. Our suggestion is to send within the next days following an interview, ensuring it is received within a week following your interview.

If you did your due diligence, you should have covered all the bases in your original email, so it is okay to keep your handwritten note short and sweet. Take a moment to thank them (again) for taking the time to discuss the position and the opportunity you’ve been granted. If you did forget something in your original thank you, include it here. We also suggest sending on customized stationary, as opposed to that thank you note you purchased at the convenience store. Doing so will show that your professionalism and will make you stand out among your peers.

At the end of your interview, you should have asked next steps in the process, including when you could expect to hear something back. If it’s been a week or two and you haven’t received word, now would be a good time to check in on the situation. However, don’t do this too soon – if they say a week, wait a week. This email (or possibly phone call if your email is ignored) should be more of a check in, noting that the interviewer mentioned hearing something back within X amount of time and asking if they have any follow up questions or updated information.

Another thing to do in the following weeks is to connect with your contact on LinkedIn. This easy-to-do task is a non-annoying way to remind interviewer you're still interested in the position. In the instance where you did not receive a job offer, this also ensures you stay in touch with the employer. By staying in their network, you may find that they are hiring for a different (possibly better) position or that they may be able to assist in your search to find something else.

In each of these three phases, be sure to exhibit the utmost professionalism and gratitude for their consideration. While waiting to hear back can be torture, knowing you’ve done all you can do should provide some sense of comfort. Eventually you’ll receive that email or phone call with the news – and if you don’t, it could be a sign the job wasn’t the right fit for you anyway!