Regardless of whether or not your job interview was successful, it is always important to immediately follow-up with your interviewer through email.
When your resume and interview accomplish your mission of selling yourself to a target company by highlighting your skill set, experience and interest in a particular position, a follow-up email reiterates your interest in the job, builds on the success of your interview and resume, and keeps your name front and center on the minds of those involved in the hiring process. When you suffer a misstep in an interview, a follow-up letter allows you an opportunity to fix those mistakes you have made.
The basic follow-up letter should immediately show your appreciation for even allowing you to interview for the position. Remember, they didn’t have to interview you, no matter how qualified you think you are for the position. So, thank them for the opportunity and then do the following:
Demonstrate just how important you are to the company. A company like Accenture is not hiring someone just to fill an empty seat. They have a need to fill. What is the company looking for in this job opening and how can you help fill that need. Tell them exactly what you bring to the table.
Expand on the interview. They asked you a question about a problem you faced that you solved and how you solved it. You answered it, but maybe that problem didn’t exactly match the issues a company like Lazard is facing. However, when you get home, you remember another problem you solved that would make you the perfect candidate for the job opening. Touch on that and let them know that you were continuing to think about their questions even after the interview was complete. It shows your interest.
Show your knowledge of the issues the company faces. Random House has books that sell themselves, but some titles just don’t have that power. They ask you how you would promote those titles. You are not as familiar with them, so you provide some generic ideas in the interview. However, when you get home, you research these titles and similar books and come up with a number of ideas that are more specific. Address them in your cover letter. It shows that even when you’re not familiar with a topic, you’re a quick learner and have the ability to figure things out without guidance.
Correct some mistakes you made in the interview. They asked you a question…you did not answer it fully. Rather than leave things incomplete, acknowledge that you didn’t fully answer the question and felt that you should elaborate on what you said earlier. Then add to your answer. Make the answer something that will satisfy the hiring managers. Don’t over-share. Don’t end up putting your foot in your mouth. The best thing about a follow-up letter is that you can look at it before you send it. So, make sure you go over your response before hitting the send button.
Change their minds. A company openly expressed their disbelief that you are willing to relocate for a job. This does not bode well for your chances. Make sure they are convinced you are ready. If you have to, include information on your plan of action for what you will do to make a smooth transition from your old home to your new digs in another state. This goes for any other objections they may have. Give it some thought and then address the concerns they have.
You should always end a follow-up email making sure the interviewer is fully aware of your interest in the position and your desire to work for the company.
With all that said and done, try to keep your follow-up email quick and to the point. There might be some reasons your email will have to be longer than most, but keep it tight; make it easy to read; and make it a letter that will be memorable for all the right reasons. Don't do all this in a handwritten letter. Emails are the best way to go, because they are immediate. If you want, a second follow-up note, sent via snail mail, is ok just to thank them for meeting you. That’s always a nice touch, too.
--Jon Minners, Vault.com
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