Interview Follow Up Techniques

The week before last, we covered some techniques on job interviewing techniques, which turned out to be perfectly timed, as I had two job interviews last week and the blog entries were a nice refresher course on the dos and do nots.  Of course, as I mentioned in that entry, your job hunting task doesn't end when the job interview is over; you need to do the proper follow-up if you want your name to be on the top of the pile for the post.

The most important part of the follow up is a thank you letter.  Remember, the people you spoke with during your interview have been working hards to find someone for this position, and frequently are pulled from other areas of the company in order to have experts in the field present at interview time.  In any event, a positive response, however brief, would definitely be appreciated by everyone you spoke with during the interview.  Sending thank you notes to everyone with whom you spoke during the interview (or at least, everyone who provided you with a name and contact information) will help you to show your appreciation.  It can also help to set you apart from other interviewers or prevent yourself from being singled out as one person who did NOT appreciate the interview enough to send a thank you note.

thank_you___celtic_by_kitera_matarGiven the number of styles (hand-written, informally typed, business letter style) and methods of delivery (regular mail, email, faxes) that exist, it might be tough to determine just what sort of thank you note to send.  Unfortunately, there are few hard and fast rules out there to guide you.  A thank you guide by Quint Careers notes that emailed or faxed thank yous might be acceptable, depending on the culture of the company to which you are applying; I would tend to play it safe and opt for a mailed thank you, unless you were told specifically to send your thanks by email (or don't have a street address for your interviewer(s) ).  As for the style, that's a bit more flexible; although, if your hand writing it truly atrocious (as mine tends to be), it might be best for your chances at the job to stick with a word processed thank you.

More important than the style of the note is the timing; the opinions of job search experts are almost unanimous in suggesting that thank you notes be written and sent within twenty-four hours of the interview.  So, if your interview was on Monday, you should have your thank you note in the mail by Tuesday.  If by chance you can't send the letter within that time frame, send it anyway; a late thank you note is better than no note at all, and many places have such long job filling processes that you might be able to get your thanks expressed before a final decision is reached.  Also, be sure to send a note to everyone involved in the interview; determining who will have influence over the hiring process can be tough, and you don't want anyone to feel insulted by your lack of consideration.

As for what to put in the thank you note, it's best to keep it brief; one or two paragraphs, at most.  Use the first paragraph to express your thanks, preferably by referencing something memorable that occurred during the interview.  (It's always good to differentiate yourself from the crowd, as well as help the interviewer to put your name to the particular interview.)  The second paragraph, if included, can be used to clarify one or two points from the interview, to elaborate on something you discussed, or simply to further comment on the job itself.  Several example thank you notes can be found at  Be sure that if you are sending notes to multiple to people at the company, that you vary them between recipients, even if all the letters have the same general format.

Now, you've sent out all your thank you notes; you can just sit back and wait until you get the job (or at least a second interview), right?  Not quite.  While you may get a response with no more effort on your part, you might instead have to keep asking the interviewer in order to find out the final decision.  If you don't hear back from the interviewer within the agreed upon time frame, or it has been a few weeks without a response, you should try to follow up on the interview.  In these circumstances, a formal letter is not usually called for; instead, a simple phone call or email can suffice.  Should you find that the job hunt is still ongoing, ask politely when a decision is expected.  You migh not get a response right away; don't be discouraged and follow up every few days (once or twice a week).

If you end up getting the job, congratulations!  I hope this guide proved to be helpful.  Should you find yourself called back for a second (or third, or even fourth) interview, simply follow the hints for interviews already provided, and follow up with another set of thank you notes.  If you don't get the job, try to contact one of the interviewers to ask how you could have made a better impression.  That way, when the next interview arrives, you will be in much better shape to get the job.

That's it for following up on your interview; good luck to all the job seekers out there, and hopefully we'll all be employed soon!

Thank You image by Kitera Matar

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