There are a lot of conflicting opinions about interview etiquette, with one of the most frequently heard being, “Do I follow up?” Whilst a lot of interview guides will follow Nike’s slogan of Just Do It, personal anecdotes can tell a rockier story. So whilst there’s no denying that a thankyou note can clinch you the deal, how you approach it also has the ability to bring a good interview tumbling to its knees.
Like a good date, timing is everything when it comes to following up. Too soon and you can seem rushed and desperate, but too late and you’ve risked becoming irrelevant. A good rule of thumb is to check in once you’ve returned home, get yourself a cup of tea and really think about what you’re writing. It should be a short thank you, not a long hint at ‘did I get the job?’
It is okay to mention something you’ve forgotten to say in the interview, however this shouldn’t be over-stressed, and it shouldn’t be a long list, which will have the opposite effect you desire, showing that you forget key facts under pressure. Remember not to use your thank you note as a second interview, keeping the content to a few concise lines.
Giving yourself an in, why not use one of the topics you spoke about as an opener? Showing you were attentive during the interview, share an article or thought with them on a software or interest they touched upon. This reference will also ensure that you remain in the hiring managers mind. Your biggest enemy in the job search is memory, firmly linking your name to a conversation or event will help guarantee you’re at the top of the pile.
There are of course pros and cons for both email and snail mail, when it comes to following up, with the risk of both getting lost in a pile a possibility. The answer to which is best will come down to both the company and the hiring manager, with smaller firms being more receptive to personalised notes and larger firms preferring email. Think carefully about which format you’d like to go forward with. Does the company you interviewed with have a commitment to going green? Maybe skip the paper and envelope if that’s the case.
Once you’ve followed up once, settle in for the ride and we can’t stress this enough, leave it. This is where a good recruiter comes in, like a good wingman, they will be able to do all of the pursuing for you, leaving you to look cool as a cucumber.
During the interview, you should have asked about the next steps to the recruitment process. This will help ensure that you don’t panic when time starts ticking by. Keeping the worries at bay, always allow a day or two longer than stated, as although they might hope to have completed the process by a certain date, things often come up that cause delays.
Your note didn’t clinch the deal? Find out how to deal with rejection here