If you’re not using the best, most effective methods of following up after a job interview, you’re missing out on the chance to score some easy points that just could push you over the top and out of the unemployment line. Related: The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist Make sure you’re going above and beyond to impress interviewers and secure the job. Here are some guidelines for the perfect interview follow-up strategy.
1. Sooner Is BetterIn a recent CareerBliss Poll asking how soon people follow up after a job interview, 39 percent of respondents said they do it the next day. Good answer, according to Career Expert, Vicky Oliver. Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, said the best time to reach out after an interview is within 24 hours. The 61 percent of poll respondents who said they wait two to three days, a week or never follow-up should take note. “If you’re incredibly lucky,” Oliver said, “the interviewer will hit the e-mail back to you saying she/he really enjoyed meeting you and – voila! – now you’re in the running! These rules apply even if an executive recruiter helped you land the interview.”
2. The 3-Paragraph RuleYour follow-up e-mail should be short, sweet and personalized. Generally, a good rule of thumb for the length is three paragraphs, with no more than two to three sentences in each paragraph.
- First Paragraph: Briefly thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Second Paragraph: Discuss a couple of your strengths and how the company would benefit if you were hired. Consider using bullet points to break up your text.
- Third Paragraph: Include any points of clarifications you might have. Include answers to questions that you weren’t able to answer during the interview, or add new info about yourself that was left out of the interview. But, remember, keep it brief.
3. Splurge On The Good "Thank You" PaperSending a hand-written thank you note via snail mail adds a charming touch, and further showcases your gratitude for their time. Go all out for this gesture. Practice your handwriting. Splurge and spend the extra money for high-quality paper – it will show prospective employers you value their time, and also will speak well of your attention to detail.
4. Double Check Their NamesCandidates should “double check the spelling of the interviewer’s name, his or her title, and the address of the company,” Oliver said. While you’re at it, don’t forget to spell-check the entire letter – both e-mail and snail mail. These steps may seem obvious, but all too often minor spelling and grammatical blunders get through, making the candidate look careless.
5. Avoid Follow-Up Faux PasAfter you have written your notes, double check to ensure that you have avoided these common mistakes:
- Cheesy emoticons and exclamation points
- Informal language
- Grammar/spelling errors