The Career Coach is In

Following up after an interview

I am in Africa, so my colleague, Alan De Back of Alan De Back Learning and Communications of Burke, agreed to share some tips about following up after an interview. MB

I've been told several times that I should follow-up after I have an interview. Do you have any ideas about the best way to follow up?

Many candidates don't realize that what they do after the interview can have almost as great an impact as what they do during the interview. Not following up appropriately can deliver a variety of messages to the recruiter: that you don't care, you don't possess good follow-up skills, or you don't understand the importance of social niceties in the business world.

Consider the case of Susan, a director in a fund raising firm. She interviewed a candidate who she considered perfect for a fund raising position. The candidate interviewed extremely well, was personable, and appeared to have all the skills and qualifications to do a great job. In the days following the interview, Susan waited for some kind of follow-up from the candidate. The job offer was ready and would be made as soon as the candidate followed-up.

No thank you letter or any other follow-up ever occurred. Susan didn't make the offer, reasoning that lack of follow-up after the interview could translate to lack of follow-up with clients.You should plan to follow-up on your interview with some sort of thank you. Some career professionals disagree as to whether the thank you should be in the form of an e-mail message, or a more traditional hard-copy letter.

The best advice is to consider the type of organization at which you interviewed and its culture. An interviewer at an innovative high-tech organization will probably respond best to an e-mail message. If you interviewed at a more traditional organization, a hard-copy letter will probably be a better bet. In either case, a thank you will show good follow up skills on your part, and could set you apart from the competition.

Hope this helps!

Alan De Back


Marshall Brown

 |  October 26, 2010; 6:52 AM ET  |  Category:  Career Management Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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