The follow-up email or card, after a job interview, can be as important as the interview itself. Many hiring managers and HR specialists appreciate an efficient and effective follow-up letter or email following your interview. There are several obstacles to avoid when sending follow up correspondence to the hiring agent.
Here are a few to consider:
1. Typos and Mechanical Errors: Whether you hand write your follow up thank you card or e-mail, make sure it’s polished. Make sure your handwriting is legible and that spelling and grammar are correct. All it takes is one major misspelling to be thrown out of the consideration pile. I once had a hiring manager at a large firm tell me that a candidate misspelled the organization’s name in his follow up e-mail and that was a deal breaker. Otherwise, they were planning on bringing him in for another interview.
2. Timing: If you are going to send a handwritten note, do it the same day as the interview or the day after, at the latest. The hiring manager will need to receive it in a timely manner if you are going to get it to them before hiring or second interview decisions are made. Be sure, during the interview, to inquire about the time frame for making a hiring decision. If it’s going to be within a day or two, write an e-mail instead of sending a handwritten note. If you wait a week or two to send your notes it sends a negative message-that you don’t really care that much about the position.
3. Brevity and Customizable: Be sincere in your language and your response to the job opportunity. But more importantly, it should be more about them and less about you. It’s essential to use direct and explicit language in your follow up communication. Try to cite something specific that came up during the interview that stood out for you! If you can personalize your thank you, it will go a long way toward making a good impression. Providing specificity about their business shows that you pick up on clues and that you pay attention to details. It’s important to be concise in your thank you note or email. These are busy people and they would prefer to not receive a dissertation. A simple, “Thank you for your time. I looking forward to hearing back from you” can go a long way towards landing that job.
The obstacles listed above may trip you up if you rush through the follow-up correspondence. Take the time to send a unique and timely note to everyone you met during the interview process and then you can take a deep breath and relax.