So you’ve just come out of an interview for your dream job. You impressed them with your communication and leadership skills through insightful anecdotes; made them laugh with your witty sense of humour; and proven that you’ll be a responsible team member. You’ve charmed the HR peeps and have done everything in your means to make sure the interview went well.. So now what?!
Pssst..here’s a hint: Follow up!
What? Follow up? That’s.. almost as bad as double texting. Isn’t that exclusively reserved for the truly desperate?
Well, not if you do it right! So here are some of our tips on how and why you should follow up after an interview:
Step 1: Reach out
You want to keep the momentum going after the interview and make sure the recruiter actually remembers you even after interviewing dozens of other candidates. Try to send out a short, personalised email to each interviewer a couple of hours after or even the next day just to keep your name fresh in their minds. If you heard of the job from a contact from inside the company, it’s a good idea to let them know how the interview went especially if your contact is someone in top management.
Step 2: Keep it Simple
Now that you’ve established that you are willing to make the bold move of following up, what would you say? A simple ‘thank you’ note should do the trick. Make sure to include the position you interviewed for and how much you look forward to hearing back from them (this is your dream job remember! Work for it!)
This is where you ask about the hiring timeline. In some cases, things like conferences and vacations prolong the time it takes for them to get back to you, and knowing these details might stop you from freaking out when you haven’t heard from them after a week.
Step 3: Reinforcements
Have you ever realised that days later after an interview, you suddenly, magically have a great idea or something else you should have asked during the interview? A follow up note is a great way to let them know that you still have the company on your mind and that you took the interview seriously.
Sometimes, interview questions catch us off-guard and we don’t quite have the right answers at the particular moment. Use this opportunity to clarify your points. Most candidates don’t do this and it is a unique way to set yourself apart from the crowd by appearing more ‘proactive’.
Step 4: Creativity is Key
Most of the time, recruiters run interviews on tight schedules especially in larger organisations with more applicants to screen. With that, you may not have had the sufficient time during the interview to demonstrate some of your abilities and unique traits. Casually let the recruiter know in your follow up email that you have some special awards that you’ve earned or papers you have published.Try to include links to your portfolio or blog that showcase the cool projects you’ve been involved in. And for all you Techies out there; use this follow up to send links to the apps or websites that you have built. It all adds extra credits to your ‘slowly-becoming-awesome’ CV as a jobseeker and increase your chances to be on top of the pile.
Step 5: Repeat
Many positions require interviews at different stages with various levels of management involving different tasks. Usually there is not enough of a time duration for you to make an impact at each stage of selection. So use your new found follow up skills to perfectly connect and build a relationship with the necessary people after every stage if the selection process. You will want to keep the enthusiasm throughout the hiring process as that is key to any successful job hire. You do not want to come across as someone who’s tired and cannot wait to get this over and done with.
Some Rules to Remember when following up:
- Stick to emailing– Email threads leave a paper trail and are easily traceable when the recruiter wants to go back and check up on something you’ve sent. This also gives the recruiter time to process the information more thoroughly as compared to over a phone call.
- Short and sweet– try to avoid textual diarrhoea by overloading the recruiter with too much information all at once. Remember they don’t have the time to sift through all of it.
- Try not to reek of desperation– You want to be subtle and succinct while showing considerable amount of interest. If the recruiter does not seem to respond to your emails, take a hint and lay off! Itis then time to move on to other opportunities.
- Keep it professional– Do not get overly casual or personal with the interviewer. Remember this is a job selection, not a search for your next BFF!
Follow Up Anyway!
If you are in the midst of call backs for multiple jobs, following up can nudge the recruiter to make a decision on your position. At the very least, even if you do not get the job, it can give you closure (because you gave it all you can!) and you can then focus on moving on to other opportunities.
Following up and and enthusiastically showing your interest in being part of the company, not just the particular position, may help you in the long run. Even if you aren’t selected to fill the position you applied for, the recruiter may now think of you when other relevant positions open up in the company because you have effectively built a relationship with them.
So there, run along my friend and get that job!