After you’ve walked out of the interview, there’s a sense of relief. You feel like you’ve finally finished the application process with that company. However, you’re not actually done setting yourself apart with the final handshake. Until you hear that you’re the newest member of the team or they tell you to get lost, there are still opportunities to better your chances of getting hired.
Tip from the Vibe Tribe: follow up with a thank you email or card after every interview.
Thank You Note
A thank you email after the interview used to be considered a “nice touch” to your overall applicant folder but now it’s an expectation! The interview is when you’re really getting a chance to see the company through a new perspective or often for the first time. Not sending a follow up can give impressions such as:
- You don’t want the job that badly
- You don’t like the people you met
- You don’t like the company
- You don’t like the position
Here at Vibe, gratitude is one of our core values. Sending a thank you note is one of the simplest ways to identify that you hold some of the same values as our company which is a major factor for us when considering candidates.
So yeah, you definitely want to send a thank you note…unless you actually don’t want the job.
While sending a follow up email has become an expectation, you can still set yourself apart from other candidates based on what you include.
Begin the note with their name and thank them for their time- this shows you paid at least the slightest bit of attention. Interviewing candidates takes a lot of time from companies and stating your appreciation will only help them feel like it was worthwhile. These are the easy wins. In your thank you note, be specific about what you’re thankful for. What is the position you appreciate getting a chance for, what additional information did they provide you from answering your questions? These are some of the basics.
An opportunity to dive deeper is to refer back to something in the interview that you either didn’t know much about or didn’t have enough of the skills they were looking for. If they mentioned a new form of social media that companies are investing a chunk of their marketing spend towards that you were not familiar with, utilize the thank you note to inform them that you have since taken the time to do more research on the topic. This will show them initiative and an extra desire to get the position.
Email or Letter
Deciding whether to send a thank you letter or email is based on the timeline the company has given you and the type of company you interviewed for. If they are expected to have the decision by the end of the week, send an email. If they hope to finish the remaining interviews by next week or later, send a thank you letter.
The interview should have given you an understanding of the type of company you’re working for. A traditional company will most likely appreciate a written letter where as a modern, more digital company will be satisfied with an email!
If you’re going to send a thank you email, we recommend sending it 3-24 hours after the interview. Don’t send it in the lobby as you wait for the elevator but don’t wait several days. You want to give the team and the company some time to digest the interview without making it look like you forgot to write one. If you’re going to send a letter, do it as soon as possible as mail delivery times will vary.
The second follow-up email after the interview is where it gets tricky. Yup, believe it or not, the first follow-up is the simple part. We say that because any additional follow-ups after the first one are a “read the room” situation where it can either help or hurt your status as an applicant.
If the company responded to your first follow up and it contains info you need to respond to or you would like more information on, reply! We’re referring to a situation in which you send a thank you and you didn’t hear anything in return and now you’re left wondering if you should send a second follow up.
When You Should
There is no need to send a second follow-up if you’re expecting to hear back for the position within the next week. We recommend sending an additional email if two weekends pass between when you sent your thank you note and when you expect to hear back.
If you decide to send a second follow-up, wait at least a week from your initial follow-up. If you bombard them with messages, you’ll come off as pushy and desperate instead of persistent and thorough.
What to Say
If the interviewer told you that you can expect to hear back by the end of next week, don’t ask them when you can expect to hear back. Instead, imply that you’re checking in on the company’s progress with filling the position. Once again, be specific on the position that you interviewed for and mention one tidbit discussed in the interview. Keep it short and sweet.
Remember: every communication you have with the company is a chance to stand out. Instead of simply asking when you can expect to hear back, consider adding an insight you’ve thought of since your last communication. Did you recall a relevant project in your work history you didn’t bring up in the interview? Did you think of some additional ways to quell concerns your interviewer may have brought up? Keep it brief, but use every opportunity!
Whether you get the position or not, an interview is a valuable tool. When you get home, take the time to reflect on what went well and what can be improved on for the future. This can be notes about how you interviewed, how you were interviewed, or industry lingo and trends that are important for your career moving forward.
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