Following up after an interview is a must. But I do see many people who underestimate its value, especially if you’re applying for a junior role at a big organisation. They are wrong.
Regardless to how big or small the role is in the organisation, reaching out to the people who interviewed you says a lot about your professionalism and interest. And your follow up could be as simple as sending a thank-you note.
“But I don’t have their email addresses?” Look at their websites, the business cards they handed you or follow the naming convention of the company’s emails. If the person who interviewed you had an email address that is email@example.com, you could easily predict the email addresses of the rest.
The point is try to send a thank-you note that reiterates your interest. At minimum, send it to whomever you can reach and ask for them to pass your gratitude to the others. Wonder what else should you include in your thank-you note? Here are four main points about what to include and how to sound.
If you’re still interested in the job, say so, but also add why. Mention something that piqued your interest even further during the interview. Talk about how you learnt more about the organisation and the role, and how this additional knowledge reinforced your interest in the job.
Express your interest passionately. For example, say something like, “I have been thinking about …” or “I can’t stop thinking about …” Your statements will show that the interview was successful in getting aligning your thinking with the job requirement.
If you mentioned during the interview a project that you had done, an interesting article or any other information that could be shared, send it along. You’re not being pushy, you’re just following up on the information you had already provided. Just be careful not to send so much stuff that you appear to be too eager.
For example, don’t just volunteer to send details of your references if you were not specifically asked to do so. Don’t send 10 attachments of your projects and past presentations and end up clogging the recipient’s inbox.
It is not uncommon to think of additional questions after the interview. As long as your question can be answered briefly and relevant to this phase of interviewing, send it along. Don’t send questions that require input from multiple people or too specific to a conversation that occurred during the interview.
Proper questions for this phase could be critical such as the location of the job, or the time frame for filling the job. You also may ask if there is anything else you could provide at this point.
In all cases, make sure that your questions are not overwhelming or presumptive. If you’re still early in the hiring process, asking about a start date may seem too ambitious. Keep those questions for a later stage.
Setting the tone
The most important aspect of a follow up email is to define the tone for how you feel about the job. Even if you think that the interview didn’t go great, use this opportunity to reset the tone. For example, explain how you’re looking forward to growing into the role or that you feel confident that your skills will make you successful.
Your positivity about your role and your skills should help the hiring manager understand your willingness to go the extra mile to be successful in this position even if you’re not the best qualified candidate.
If you’re totally a great fit, use this opportunity to make a final push for selling yourself. Talk to the hiring team with confidence about what you’re looking to achieve together, sound like you’re thinking ahead of goals for the team, and close with a positive reaffirmation of your skills. Although this won’t necessarily earn you the job, it will remind the hiring team that you are a great fit for their needs.
Things to remember
Always send a thank-you note after interviews
Be positive and confident
Send additional information if needed
Ask questions that can easily be answered
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.