How To Follow Up After a Job Interview

job interview follow-up letter mailA Knock 'em Dead follower writes, "I went on an interview this last Monday and I thought it went really well. Should my follow-up letter be "overnighted"?

Should the letter be over-nighted?

A traditional follow-up letter (email does the same but many people think it lacks the punch of the traditional letter) demonstrates your interest in the job, and your professionalism in taking time and effort to follow through on your meetings properly.

You also use a follow-up letter as a device to keep your candidacy forefront in the interviewer's mind; so where you stand in the hiring cycle and when the decision will be made, are both evaluations that play into how quickly you want that follow-up letter to arrive.


When there are more interviews in the selection cycle

If you have had an interview and are hoping that a follow-up letter will help you make the cut for to the next round of interviews, sending it by overnight mail isn't usually necessary:

  • There is no looming deadline so it might make you seem anxious
  • Nothing you write is right the first time. Important job-search letters can always benefit from being put aside and then re-edited a couple of times.
  • The intent is to keep your candidacy alive and vibrant while other candidates are being interviewed.

These considerations usually mean that a letter arriving two or three days after the interview probably serves your purposes better, because it is just when memory of your interview is beginning to dim in the interviewer's mind.

However, you might consider doubling your impact by sending a short email the day after the interview and a letter through traditional mail (with a little more detail) at the same time, which will arrive two or three days later.


When a hiring decision is being made

Again, timing is everything in deciding when to send the letter. If you interviewed today and the hiring decision is imminent, then yes, an overnight delivery makes sense. When there is more time, say 10 days until the hiring decision is made, you might send an email now, a letter (with different content) to arrive two or three days from now, and perhaps even an overnight letter to arrive on the Monday or Tuesday of the decision-making week; each time with some new information.


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Filed under: Interviews

Martin Yate

Editor

Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

Within the profession he has a global reputation as the thought leader on job search and career management issues. He has lectured on four continents and has maintained a coaching practice since 1991.

The current recession is the 5th he has helped people navigate over the last 30 years.

For more information please visit http://www.knockemdead.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

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turnerczaplinski

The thank you issue is just pontification and since 70-/80% of job interviewers get with the program and do not send a silly thank note the time now is for silly HR people to stop telling people this BS and get 5back to lear6ni6ng how to stop playing games and learn to handle their responsibilities. How many years did business survive without thank you notes? Professional interviewers would think a thank you note is patronizing and shows the applicant is not only begging for the job but lacks self esteem.

Interviwi6ng 101 teals you that you should never show weakness and a thank you note manifests that weakness. Secondly the concept that the interviewer needs to be thanked for his time is silly as they are paid to do their job and if they need to be thanked they lack self esteem. Also when you interview for a job you research the company and spend many hours preparing and taking your time to interview (getting dressed and goi6ng to the interview) and some unprofessional interviewer expects his time is more importnt is not only insulting but is a serious error in public relations. People interviewing for a position must actualize that if an interviewer is not cognizant of them during the interview how are they going remeber them when they leave?

Also if a professio6nal interviewer after the formal interview process has ended if they are not interested in that applicant just tell them to their face they are not interested and cut the bull. No need for the applicant to follow up and the issue is resolved. Everybody cut their losses and move on. Also in Interviewing 101 the first ten minutes are cruical and most decisions are made. Most of the i6nterviewi6ng expects always fail to articulate the importance of a well dressed applicant makes the better impressio6n on the interviwer than a childish and stupid thank you note duh. Plus if an interviewer thinks a thank you is so important that is what many upper management people consider that person to be a Litte Person. An interviewer has to be cognizant that if they mishandle the interviewing process they not only make themselves look bad but their entire company.

October 16 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JOHN

what it is you go on all these interviews and there 100.s of people there and thay ask what will the lease you will except a hour to get pay and them thay pick the cheaper one that the (MEXICAN WET BACKS ) THAT WHY US AMERICAN CAN,T GET A JOB

October 15 2011 at 6:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JOHN's comment
tutularu

Don't ever answer that question! Put it back in their ball court. Say what does this position pay? They may be willing to pay more than you say and by telling them what you want that is what you get.

October 15 2011 at 8:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
snorkelnut55

In the past 2 years, I have been to dozens of interviews. I don't follow up with a thank you note unless I feel the interview went extremely well. I have had interviews that lasted 10 minutes, some up to an hour. You can get a sense of how it is going by not only the interviewers body language but their tone and friendliness as well. I have also been on interviews in the morning and by the afternoon I get the bad news that I was not hired. So no point in sending a thank you note. Also, a lot of the big companies have recruiters doing large group interviews and they do not give out their information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers(for good reason). And lastly, most of the interviewers will tell you they are hiring immediately, but I have waited over 3 weeks(yes, with follow up) to get the bad news as well. Either they have no clue as to when they will make a decision or they are lying to you.

October 15 2011 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
belldn3

What to do after an interview.........You could go home and lose yourself at the bottom of a bottle, but that may be counter productive. Don't know I got nothing, except for the bottle thing. Bottoms up.

October 15 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tree7bugs

All businesses have 100's of applications and resumes in their files. If they plan on hiring you you will know immediately, if not your application just joins all the rest in the file.

October 15 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
pseuzan1

A brief email 'thank you' a day after the interview is sufficient. The mailed letter is old-school. Companies want people that are up-to-the-minute on technology, so it would be best to send your thank you message from your mobile device. The person who wrote this article probably hasn't been on a job interview in 20 years.

October 15 2011 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
scoval711

A follow up letter is a bad idea. If they want to hire you, they will. A letter won't sway them. These articles are the bunk.

October 15 2011 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
tutularu

As a retired executive recruiter, 1. At the end of the interview, make sure you ask if the interviewer has any questions or concerns regarding your ability to do this job well. You are in his face to answer any concerns, 2. get your date setting app on your phone and ask if he would like to set a time to see you again, 3. Good strong handshake and you are done. Don't forget to get the interviewer's card. When you leave imediately send a thank you note, email is fine, again showing your interest in the position and thank him for the opportunity to interview. Now this is based on the fact that you are interested in the job!

October 15 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Patrice

I've been to dozens and dozens of interviews during my period of unemployment and I've never once been told when the hiring decision would be made. Just that they would "let me know". My course of action lately is to send a very professional-looking thank you letter on my letterhead as an e-mail attachment.. I've had a good response to most of them, and many times it helped me at least get a 2nd or 3rd interview. Though not successful yet, I did gain lots of valuable interviewing experience!

October 15 2011 at 6:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
chesterpi

Well, I can tell you, most companies won't even let you reply to their web sites after the interview and the denial decision they've made. In other words, thanks for applying, but don't give us any feed back or any flack, you have been denied, now move on and don't bother us any more..

October 14 2011 at 7:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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