Thursday, April 10, 2014

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Follow-Ups

You’ve found a position at a company that you are really excited about, and now that you’ve had the big interview, what’s your next step?  If you want to be the one they choose, you need to let the team know that you are interested, even more so now that you’ve met them.   Landing a great job takes a bit of work and some skill – and your work isn’t finished after that interview.  Make sure to take the next step and follow it up with a nicely-written, professional email.

Here are our DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to following up:

• DO take the time to thank the person or team who met with you

Not only does sending a thank you note show your good manners – it also provides you with the opportunity to show the team just how enthusiastic you are to work at their company.  Take the time to ask a good follow-up question in order to keep the conversation going.  Your follow-up will keep you fresh in the minds of the hiring team, which is right where you want to be!

• DO make sure to send your follow-up to the right people

Try your best to get the necessary contact information during your interview, but if you can’t then follow up with your recruiter and request the information for the manager or the most senior person who interviewed you.  Direct your email either to the team or to the lead person you met.  Also take the time to thank an HR person who may have helped you set up the interview.  And always contact people at work, not through a personal email address or phone.

• DON’T be a pest

During your interview, ask up front about the hiring timeline so you can set your expectations accordingly.  Send your follow up and wait for a response.  If there is none and you feel it’s appropriate, you can send another email, perhaps gently asking them where they are in the hiring process.  And then move on.  At this point, they know you are interested in the position and they will contact you if they want to meet with you again.

• DO be prompt & precise

It’s best to promptly follow-up by sending your thank you email the day after your interview.  This will give you some time to think of what to ask or how to present yourself carefully, while still making sure you are responding in a timely manner.  Carefully proofread your email for errors before sending it, and try to note precisely what excites you about the company and the position and what you can bring to the team.  If you made some technical mistakes during the interview and have now had the time to think them through, you can also attach a corrected solution to the problem. 

•DON’T be long-winded or generic

Don’t waste people’s time with a long-winded letter; take care to craft a concise follow-up note that cites specific reasons for your interest in this particular company.  The team should feel that your message was written especially for them, and not a generic thank you note you send to other companies as well.