How to "Wow!" After the Interview - Only If You Want to Get the Job!
It’s hard enough to get an interview. This is why it is even more important to know what to do once the interview ends to make sure the hiring manager knows you want the job (assuming you do). I have interviewed numerous people at all levels. Here’s what you should know. Candidates who do NOT reach out to a hiring authority after an interview will make them wonder why. No contact from a candidate after the interview is like not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile. It makes the hiring authority think that you may not be interested in the job.
No contact from a candidate after an interview is like not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile!
Many job seekers think they might be stepping on the toes of the hiring manager, being too aggressive or making themselves look desperate. So, guess what? You’re right. A poorly written follow-up email or note card can turn the hiring manager off. I have had candidates send me follow-up messages letting me know they can’t start for four weeks, asking about benefits, writing numerous paragraphs explaining why they are a fit, talking salary and asking how many weeks of vacation, to name a few.
Here is what you need to know.
- After the interview, get the business card of the hiring authority even if they interview did not go well. If you are interviewing with human resources first, treat them the same as the hiring authority. In other words, anyone you interview with is part of the hiring process and all need the correct follow-up.
- Decide whether you want to send them a handwritten thank you letter or an email.The mail has a life of its own. Sending a hand-written note REALLY stands out since only about 10% of candidates do that today. Emails are very acceptable now and they're immediate. If by chance you are connections on LinkedIn a quick message here is more powerful than an email.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: What you say is the key. The only goal of a follow-up is to let the hiring manager know you want the job. Just like the way an optimized resume focuses on skills needed for the job opening, the recipe for the interview follow-up note is the same. A great follow-up note thanks the hiring manager (or HR) for their time. In a sentence or two you let them know that you are very interested in the job. The third sentence optimizes one main skill needed to get the job. If the main part of the job requires account receivable expertise, this is what you focus on in your follow-up. This is the most important sentence. You have many skills. Highlight the one skill that is most important to the position. The fourth sentence just lets them know you are eager for next steps.
Here is an example:
Subject Line: Thank you, Jim
I enjoyed meeting you today and appreciate your time. I am very interested in the accounts receivable position open at your company. I love the team environment you have created in the accounting department and coming from a similar environment, I feel strongly that my six years of AR experience will be a valuable fit.
I look forward to next steps!
What you don’t see is a lot of words, contact information, random facts, small talk or questions. These follow-up notes are personal. If you interview well, you will have already created a professional friendship which is your license to write a personal follow-up note.
The three “S’s”. Short. Sweet. Simple.