“Follow-up” and “follow through” are two very similar concepts that are key to your success in the business world. And you can bank on potential employers paying attention to your post-interview follow-up skills as an indicator of your follow-through when it comes to the job.
See, landing the interview and then nailing it, that’s just half the battle. You need to follow up with finesse to inch ahead of other candidates. One way to do so is to send a personal thank-you note. The art of the thank you is not lost. We worked with Papyrus, the social expressions company that knows all about a professional thank you, to create the ultimate list of follow-up to-dos.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Before you leave the interview, ask the interviewer about the timeline for making a hiring decision to know when to follow-up.
The way you follow up with your interviewer will indicate how you will follow up with your potential clients. For instance, sending a quick “Thanks for the meeting today” email is great. Most hiring recruiters say the faster you get this out, the better. It shows that you’re on top of things, you have tenacity and you want to stay top-of-mind. Sending more than one email in a week is a bother.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, DUST YOURSELF OFF
And try again.
If they said they will make a hiring decision within a week, sending one more polite inquiry after that week has passed is more than OK. In fact, it’s smart due diligence. You never know why or when something might have slipped through the cracks.
"Landing the interview and then nailing it, that’s just half the battle. You need to follow up with finesse."
In the second follow-up, mention recent company news, whether it’s a blog post you enjoyed or a news article that included the brand.
Asking, “Did I get the job?” is not what this follow-up is about. Instead, direct your efforts so that the person hiring thinks, “This candidate should get the job.” People don’t like a teacher’s pet, but they do like someone who pays attention. And if you weren’t on the list of potential hires, this might put you on it.
BE BOLD, BUT NOT BRASH
Hiring managers and founders are inundated with emails. Get out of their inbox and into their head with a handwritten note on beautiful stationery.
It should be a bold and to-the-point thank you follow-up in which you reference a specific point of the conversation that you’d like to expand on. It’s not enough to thank them for their time— you need to tell them WHY you deserved it. There is always a tidbit of information that will show how closely you were paying attention.
A good outline of what to write is as follows:
What a great meeting this afternoon! When you mentioned your company is really focused on growing your social media presence among Gen Z, the ideas started flowing. As someone who has doubled their own social media following over the last year and reports a 4% engagement rate, I feel confident that I can help you achieve that goal. I would love to talk over more ideas and strategies with you. Thanks again for your time and the opportunity to meet.
Use all those 140-character skills you developed with Twitter to nail the art of the quick note that will make them want to click through — aka call you back. And what are those “ideas” you mention? That’s for you to share in interview number two. Make sure you drop the note in the mail as soon as you can so that it lands on their desk 2–3 days post-interview.
THE STATIONERY YOU CHOOSE SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU
When you’re picking the card, consider the audience and your reasoning.
After considering your audience, consider yourself. Cards can reveal as much about you as the words you write in them. Here is a chance for you to show your interviewer that you understand the culture of the company, but also feel comfortable injecting your personal brand and approach into their world.
TO SEND OR NOT TO SEND…A GIFT
For some, this is an overeager act. For others, it shows that you’re really serious about the position because sending a gift after every interview would not be good for your bank account.
Choose something that’s fun and won’t take up space on their desk. À la compliment pencils. What’s not to love? Send them with a note that says, “Pencil me in as your new hire.” Or super cute bow tie paper clips for that stack of paper you noticed on their desk.
KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON
Even if you think you lit that interview on fire, it’s possible another candidate came in and burned the building down.
There are going to be plenty of jobs you want and don’t get. The most important thing is to keep building professional bridges, which is why you should also always ask if it’s OK to connect with them via LinkedIn before you leave the initial interview. Make the connection, that way even if you don’t get the job, they are still in your network and they can see your updates.
You never know when that job, or another that’s more suited to your skills, will open up.