Interview Follow Up Checklist

The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist

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Knowing how to follow up after one or more interviews can be confusing even for the most savvy job seeker.

Interview Follow Up Checklist

Here is a checklist of things you can do to leverage your post-interview activities and interest from potential employers.

1. Find Out The Next Step

You must always ask what the next step is. One of the most discouraging situations is to believe an interview went well – only to hear nothing back from the company. One way to hedge against this is to get a verbal commitment as to the next steps. If the company says they will contact you no later than next Wednesday – you know you can safely follow up on Thursday if you have not heard back from them.

2. Don’t Think The Worst

If you have not heard back from the company you interviewed with, please don’t assume they are not interested in you and never ever act annoyed or defensive. Leave short, friendly, professional messages confirming your continued interest.

3. Use Your Common Sense

Don’t pester – but be persistent. Try to use your intuition based on the people and the corporate culture you are dealing with to know how aggressively to follow up after a job interview. Some companies love aggressive post-interview follow up, as it is part of their culture. Other companies might find it off putting.

4. Leave A Great Follow Up Voicemail

You can say something like: “Hi Mr. Brown, this is Mary Elizabeth Bradford. It’s Wednesday morning and I am following up on our initial meeting, and I’m very excited to connect back with you. I will be in the office all day today; my number is 212-555-1212. Thanks and I really look forward to speaking with you again.” Don’t tell them you will call again if you don’t hear back from them. They may wait for you to do just that!

5. Send A Thank You Letter

I find that hard mail is much preferred over email for thank you letters. The best way I have found to write powerful thank you/after-interview letters is to mirror, match, and repeat back a summary of key points you discussed in the interview. To do this right, you will want to be taking short notes during your interview. The primary things you want to pick up include their main challenges, the kind of person they are looking for and anything positive they shared about you and your potential candidacy. Keep your letter short – under 200 words. Yes, you read that right!

6. Include A ‘P.S.’ In Your Follow Up Letter

Do you know what always gets read in a letter? The P.S. or post script. If you have occasion to write one, it’s a good idea. Just be sure what your P.S. says is meaningful enough. No soft statements like, “P.S.: Did I mention I am a team player?”

7. Send A Follow Up List Of Short Testimonials

References, endorsements, and testimonials almost always have a greater impact than any other piece of information we can give a potential employer. That’s because they come from a third party perspective, which legitimizes you and authenticates what you are probably communicating with them yourself.

It builds trust very rapidly—more rapidly than any other way I know. Suffice it to say—having a page of testimonials you can use as a “leave behind” or attach with a post-interview thank-you letter is one of THE WISEST moves you can make in your job search. It will “seal the deal,” so to speak.

These tips have helped thousands of job seekers reach their career goals easier and quicker and I know they will help you too. I wish you every success in your job search.


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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Mary Elizabeth Bradford

Mary Elizabeth Bradford, CERW, MCD, is an award winning resume writer & job search coach. For her free eBook: The 21st Century Job Search, visit: www.maryelizabethbradford.com

26 comments

  1. good stuffs for the people like me and you so let us do this we will be
    up the the ladder of life.but idiots leaders don’t leaves a sheets of commendations behind them.

    • Mary Elizabeth Bradford

      My SVP and CXO clients do this all the time. Done right it reaffirms what my clients tell the potential companies via third party testimonials. Short blurbs work best. Very powerful stuff and has worked for me since my recruiting days.

  2. Just attended a Professional Seminar at a local Community College where the Speaker suggested you send your “Thank You” follow-up letter via Fed-Ex. He said this will make the person receiving the package open it up right away as in thinking it is something of strong importance and also in that it will get to him/her faster. The speaker also suggested that unless you have impeccable hand writing, you should type the “Thank You” on good quality paper.

    Your thoughts please.

    • Yes, type your thank you note! Set up a personal letterhead (one that matches your resume heading is an advantage). Only hand write a follow up note when you have met with the person at least three times: informality is not likely to be to your advantage earlier.

    • I don’t agree with this, I would be irritated, thinking I had a package of importance in front of me & it ends up being a follow up letter…..Also hand written is almost always better. It is more personal. One exception would be a younger generation manager who prefers e-mail. They may view your hand written note as an outdated form of communication and therefore view you as outdated. So get a read on your interviewer during your prior communications for which is best. A hand written personal note/card touching on a connection made during the interview 9 times out of 10 can’t be beat!

    • Mary Elizabeth Bradford

      This is the “Dave Perry” method – I have heard this works well but you have to judge each situation on it’s own. All these comments show that different people have different preferences and there may be an overall best way – but no one right away. I think I might be inclined to type the letter – but then again my handwriting is not that good. :)

    • I would use judgment on this one. I’ve gone on interviews and noticed my interviewer (usually another recruiter, like me!) has ‘thank you’ cards pinned to her bulletin board or displayed on a shelf in his office. If this is the case, I know this person appreciates when someone goes the extra mile and adds a personal touch to their communication. An interviewer who seems overly rushed or too busy to exchange pleasantries or small talk in the interview would probably just prefer an e-mail. Also, when an interviewer tells me that there is a short timeline or that they are looking to fill the job ASAP, I will send a follow-up via e-mail same day. I’ll just say thank you for your time etc but also acknowledge that I understood time was of the essence and that I wanted to make my interests clear one more time.

      This step is really important and is overlooked by too many people. You have to follow up if you want the job!

    • I agree with Len, #6 should be eliminated. I was always taught that a P.S. meant you left out something in the body of the letter. This just indicates that you didn’t have your thoughts together (not well organized) when you wrote the letter. In this day of computers when it is so easy to go back and insert a sentence or a paragraph, I think that would be better than adding a P.S.

      I owned a secretarial business for 15 years in Illinois where most of my work was writing resumes and I never ever put a P.S. on a letter.

      • Studies have shown for 20+ years that a PS (or a hand written note on a busines letter) have an amazing amount of clout when you want a key point to stand out, or to build rapport.

        Check mail you receive to see how often these hints are used in business. Watch what catches your eye: this hint is spot on, folks!

      • To have a real impact, your thank you note should be hand written, not typed on a computer (unless your handwriting is practically illegible). A handwritten note is more personal and will make you stand out from the other candidates who sent typed notes.

  3. Very useful. Always feel like following up but wondering if its acceptable, especially when the deadline passed without a word from them. Thank you!

    • Mary Elizabeth Bradford

      Thank you everyone – so glad you liked the tips. I hope they help you get the positions you want.

  4. Good tips except for part of #4 – saying that you’ll be in the office all day. Sure, they likely know you’re working if they see your resume (assuming that you currently have a job), but think it would be better to leave that bit out and just give your number. Otherwise it reminds them that you’ll be speaking on your company’s time.

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