Tag Archives: follow-up

How to Follow Up After an Interview

You’ve got your foot in the door, but how do you make sure they let you in?

We’ve all been there. The interview is over, and you feel great. You breezed past every question, provided solid references, and you know you’re the right person for the job.

But three weeks go by and you don’t hear anything. Weeks turn into months. Did you do something wrong? Is there anything you didn’t cover in your interview?

You want to touch base with your interviewer to see if you’re still in the running, but how do you do that?

Believe it or not, it all starts mere minutes after your interview ends.

Step 1: Write a Thank You Note

As soon as you get home from an interview, start drafting a handwritten thank you note. This should be brief, but powerful. Mention something new you learned about the organization, like what a typical day is like or what you learned about their workforce. That shows you’re not only interested in the company as a place to work, but in the people and culture as well.

Companies interview many, many applicants. Sending a great thank you letter is a wonderful way to stand out and help them remember you. Making yourself memorable means they’ll be more likely to get in contact with you in the future about the interview process.

Step 2: Send an Email Inquiry

The best way to get in touch about next steps is to send an email. Wondering how to make that email stand out? As noted by CareerSidekick, reply to an existing conversation. You’ve already talked to your interviewer by email (or someone in HR), so replying to that same email chain makes it easier to remember who you are.

Change the subject line to something specific regarding your interview. This can be something like RE: Last Monday’s Interview or RE: John Smith’s Interview Status. Something that catches the eye and gets straight to the point.

Step 3: Write the Email

A great follow up email should be short and sweet, but packed with specifics. Start off by using their first name, and then mention the exact position you’re applying for. Sprinkle in a few details about why you’re the best person for this position. Then tell them you enjoyed the interview and are excited to learn more about the company.

Finish up by asking about next steps and when you might hear something about the position.

Not quite sure what to say? Here’s a basic template! Feel free to adjust it to your needs, but try to keep it short and simple.

“Hi Edward,

It was wonderful interviewing with you last week regarding the Administrative Assistant position. I enjoyed learning about your company culture and hope to get started with Company Name soon! With over ___ years of experience, I’m excited to start working with Company Name.

If it’s not too much trouble, could you provide me with information regarding next steps and when I might hear back about the position?

Thank You,

Bobby Schmidt”

Call

You should only call as a last resort. If you’ve emailed and still not heard anything after a month or more, then it’s alright to pick up the phone. Politely ask about the status of the position. If they tell you it has been filled, thank them for their time and tell them you’ll be sure to apply for another position in the future. Just because this job wasn’t right for you doesn’t mean the next one won’t be perfect!

Do you have any more questions about following up after an interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why You Should Always Follow Up After an Interview Offer

It’s just professional!

You spent hours job searching and now you’ve received a few different requests for interviews with companies. However, you’ve decided that one of the jobs isn’t for you. Maybe you get busy and forget to call them back, or perhaps you are simply no longer interested in the position. Regardless of reason, the result is the same: you never got back with them.

This is never a good idea. Why?

Networking

Networking doesn’t have to mean schmoozing at parties. It’s your network of friends, family, and contacts. If you’ve spoken or met with someone in person previously, it’s much more likely that they’ll end up vouching for you during an interview.

Believe it or not, this can include past interviewers or recruiters. Just because a job isn’t right for you now doesn’t mean that something else won’t pop up in the future. Repeatedly interviewing with a company for different positions shows your interest in the company and its culture. Failing to show up for an interview without notification or never telling your contact whether you accept an interview makes you look unprofessional. And that reputation could easily spread through your network.

Reputation

If you’re interviewing with multiple companies in an industry, odds are that you might end up seeing a recruiter or interviewer again once you’re hired at a different company. It could be at a networking event, or they might even end up joining your company!

The point is, you never know when that person might show up again. And you don’t want them to remember you as the person that didn’t follow up after an interview was offered. Never burn bridges.

They Might Up Their Offer

If you receive multiple job offers, don’t make any decisions without really weighing your options. If the salary or pay rate for one job is higher at first, that doesn’t mean a different company won’t be willing to make a counteroffer when you notify them about the situation. You’ll never know if you don’t follow up with each company.

Be Easy to Get Ahold Of

Maybe your failure to follow-up was simply due to forgetfulness. That’s not so bad right? Wrong. You should put multiple notifications in your phone, or have sticky notes around the house. That next phone call could have been your dream job. But recruiters will only chase you around so much. If you’re already missing what are basically deadlines now, recruiters won’t see you as a prime candidate for the actual job.

Do you always follow up after interviews? If not, why not? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why You Need a Thank You Note

thank_mentor_webYou’ve just finished a job interview and you’re feeling great about your chances of landing the position. Walking out of the building confidently, you play through the interview in your mind, remembering the questions you answered well and a few areas where you think you could have done better.

But what’s next? What are you going to do over the next few days to help land the job and start this new path in your career? If sending a thank you note to the interviewer wasn’t at the top of your list, it’s time to make some adjustments.

The Science Behind “Thank You”
Hopefully, you’ve experienced the joy of being thanked for doing a good job or helping someone. As it turns out, that feeling isn’t just a passing emotion, it’s actually a drug produced by your brain.

A study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that when you have an interaction with someone else and gratitude is shown, an increased level of oxytocin is produced in your body. Known as the “love hormone”, oxytocin has an impact on social behaviors including relaxation, trust, and stability. This hormone is thought to be a major component in relationships, so taking the time to show gratitude toward a potential employer has an obvious benefit.

What to Include
As you sit down to write your thank you note, start by thanking the interviewer for their time and the chance to meet with them, but don’t stop there. Make sure to remind them about your strengths and highlight one of your stronger answers from the interview. If they had a question about the skills you can bring to the job and you had a great response, remind them of it and expand on why you’re interested in the company.

If there are qualities or areas you wish you’d had more time to speak about during the interview, the thank you note is the perfect time to bring those up.

Keep the note short, two to three paragraphs, and don’t forget to proofread it several times. This is another chance to make a good impression, so don’t let spelling or grammatical errors set you back.

The Next Step, Not The Last
There were likely multiple steps to take along the way to landing your job interview, followed by the time it took to prepare for your interview. Consider your thank you note the next step in the process of getting the job, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s your last.

Write down notes on the questions you were asked, including the ones you know you can do better on in the next interview. If there was anything the interviewer asked for you to send, like a sample of previous work or a list of references, make sure you include those with your thank you note.

This is also the time to be patient. Be sure to pay attention to the time frame the interviewer gives you for making their decision. If they say it will be two weeks, wait two weeks before checking back to see how the process is going.

Each interview process is different, but there’s a chance that you will be called in for a second interview that includes other leaders from the company. Take the notes you wrote down from your interview and find areas where you can strengthen your answers. Then, research more about the company and think about the questions you want to ask the interviewer. Great questions will help you make a great impression with leaders.

What other tips would you give to someone sending a thank you note? What have you included in your thank your notes after an interview? Let us know in the comments section.

What Does Your Job Search Competition Look Like?

12-28 Competition2When it comes to your job search, competition is inevitable. Job seekers are in a fierce battle for quality positions, and you may wonder how a recruiter chooses between two similar applicants.

Although no two cases are alike, there are ways to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Consider these tips:

Dress the Part
To get the job you want, you must look the part. The old saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is often-quoted for a reason. Hiring managers will evaluate you almost instantly based on how you dress. When you look your best and as professional as possible, you’ve already beat the first hurdle.

Ask Intelligent Questions
At the end of most interviews, you are asked if you have any questions. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask thought-provoking questions about the company and its culture. A good tip is to visit the “about us” section on the company website to find topics to ask about. Not having questions implies a lack of engagement or interest in the business.

Share Your Achievements
When interviewing, share stories that demonstrate your work abilities, your personality, and your successes. If you can “show, not tell” how you are a perfect candidate for the position, you’ll stand out from your competition. Don’t just rattle off a dry list of skills. Instead, tell a tale that shows how those skills helped your former employer.

Follow Up With Current and Former Interviewers
As soon as an interview is over, send a thank you letter that summarizes your abilities and skills. However, don’t forget about contacting businesses that you’ve interviewed with in the past, especially if you were shortlisted for a position that went to another candidate. Maybe the person they chose didn’t work out or maybe they have a new position open that is a good fit.

Make Sure You Stay Sharp
You can’t compare yourself with others, but you can compare yourself to your past. Are you learning new skills? Are you updating your resume and websites? Have you practiced your interview questions lately? It’s important to always keep improving.

In your job search, you can send in a cover letter and resume like everyone else, or you can take steps to stand out from the competition for all the right reasons. Do not beat yourself up by trying to compare yourself to other candidates, but be aware they too are looking for ways to stand out.

In what ways do you stand out from your job seeking competition? Share some tips with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How a Lack of Planning May Be Costing You the Job

lack_of_planning_webWhen job searching, planning is an important step that can make or break your chances of success. A good resume and application may land you an interview, but planning is necessary to ace it and get the job offer.

Is your lack of planning costing you? We’ve put together some resources to help you pick out serious errors and interview flaws due to a lack of planning. These mistakes can destroy what could have been a great interview and result in a lost job opportunity.

  1. Not Preparing to Be on Time

Before the day of your interview, plan out your drive to the location. Always allow extra travel time for accidents, bad traffic, or car trouble. If you can drive to the business location a day or two before your interview, you’ll have a better idea of how long the trip will take.

  1. Not Being Properly Dressed

Showing up at a job interview in inappropriate attire or in clothes that are wrinkled is another deadly sin. If you haven’t planned ahead of time to iron your clothes or explore the company culture, you could end up looking shabby and embarrassing. If you have a chance to drive by your potential employer’s office to see how other employees are dressed, do so. At the very least, pick out your interview outfit the night before, try it on, iron or clean as necessary, and set the pieces out for easy dressing.

  1. Not Preparing for Your Interview

Have you practiced answering interview questions? Have you read the company’s website and annual report if available? Have you looked up news about the company? Preparing for an interview takes effort, but that effort pays off when you have rehearsed answers to difficult questions and can have an intelligent conversation about the company itself. Not preparing for the interview may leave you looking nervous and uninformed.

  1. Not Preparing Extra Copies

The company already has your resume, but you should plan to bring extra copies. While you’re at it, bring extra copies of any portfolio items, references, awards, and anything else a recruiter may be interested in. Never walk in empty-handed. By planning ahead, you can present yourself in a strong light by having extra copies of important documents.

  1. Not Having a Follow-Up Plan

After the interview is over, do you have a plan for following up? The lack of follow-up can hurt your chance to be hired. Instead, make a plan to send thank-you cards and professional follow-up emails. Write the thank-you cards as soon as the interview is over and craft an email asking if the company needs additional information from you to send in a week or two. Not having a plan to contact the company after the interview may take you out of the running.

It’s tempting to leave your career to chance and not plan, but the people who are most successful are prepared ahead of time for any job search opportunity. Take time to put together your plan, and stop letting lack of planning cost you.

How do you plan ahead of time for job interviews? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Power of the Interview Follow-Up

interview_followup_webWhen it comes to landing a job, never underestimate the power of the interview follow-up. In today’s world, the interview follow-up should be a powerful marketing tool designed to sell your skills and accomplishments while reminding an interviewer why you are perfect for the position.

A well-written and sincere thank-you letter can be one of the most powerful selling tools to convince recruiters that you’re the perfect fit for the job, even after the interview is over.

Because following up is so important, here are five tips to help you harness the power of the interview follow-up.

  1. Address specific problems or challenges in the organization.

After thanking the recruiter for his time, share how your experience and skills fill a need in the organization. For example, if a company has a problem with work flow, describe how your past experience included implementing a workflow solution that led to greater efficiency.

If lagging sales are the issue, remind the recruiter of your sales background and successes. Providing a solution to challenges discussed in the interview can be an effective way to stay remembered.

  1. Revisit key points from the interview.

If you were one of many candidates for the job, your interviewer may have trouble remembering the key details of your particular conversation. In your follow-up letter, emphasize the important points of your skills and background, and expand upon those skills as they relate to the business’ current needs.

  1. Give them something new to think about.

It never fails. Once you leave an interview, you beat yourself up about something important you forgot to share. A follow-up letter is the perfect time to bring up achievements, ideas, successful projects, or additional qualifications you may have forgotten about during the interview. In addition, this adds something new for the interviewer to consider when making a final decision.

  1. Offer solutions to any objections.

If the interviewer brought up any hesitation about hiring you, use the follow-up to address those issues. For instance, if you’ve never worked in media relations, but the position requires that, bring up previous experience that shows you can adapt. Talk about your public speaking skills and any media training that you’ve had. Express a desire and the ability to learn new tactics quickly and enthusiastically.

  1. Follow up the smart way.

If you haven’t heard back from the recruiter in the time they said they would make a decision, send a quick note asking if they need anything else from you. Don’t bug them, but asking this question shows that you’re still excited and interested in the position. You can even ask them questions like “What skills can I improve on for this position?” or “What does your ideal candidate look like?” This tactic implies that you picture yourself in the job and that you are thinking of the future.

A powerful follow-up to an interview can be as compelling as the interview itself. The valuable information you include in this process is important, so carefully read and edit all the material you send.

The power of a follow-up letter can tilt the scales in your favor, especially if the note contains substance that builds upon the interview.

What kind of thank-you notes or follow up actions have you done after an interview? Did it help? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Holiday Weekends Are a Great Time to Network

holiday_weekend_networking_webWith the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, many Americans will find themselves traveling, camping, enjoying cook-outs, and gathering with family and friends. While it’s a great time to make memories and enjoy a firework show, it’s also a prime time to make sure you’re thinking about your career.

How can a holiday weekend make an impact on your job search? It’s all about networking. Whether you’re planning to attend a neighborhood pool party, barbeque with friends, or participate in a community event, there’s always an opportunity to network and make connections that could help you on your career path. Take a look at these tips for enhancing your summer holiday through the power of networking.

Be friendly.
You never know who you may run into at a social gathering, so it’s always important to put your best foot forward. In fact, it’s a commonly held belief that people will form an impression of you in the first seven seconds. When you meet someone new, consider it an informal job interview. Be friendly and positive and don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies, what you enjoy doing for work, or your career goals. Even if the person you’re meeting doesn’t seem to possess any direct connections to a new job or company you want to work for, they may know someone who does. And, the first impression you give them could make or break your chance at that relationship.

Give yourself value.
When you meet someone for the first time, it may be easy to talk about yourself and share your career goals with the other person. While it’s important to introduce yourself, make sure you also allow your new connection time to speak. And don’t forget to give yourself value by explaining what you can do for the relationship. If you have experience, certain skills, or training that could benefit the other person, make it known. For example, if you’re an experienced welder and you find out your cousin’s friend owns a machine shop that’s looking for welders, be sure to introduce yourself and make your skills known.

Share your contact information.
If you happen to meet someone with connections or a job they’re trying to fill, make sure you get their contact information so you can follow up with them after the holiday weekend. You may want to consider carrying around business cards with your name and contact information for networking purposes. Keep a pen handy so you can write a note on the back of the card, like “Jim’s BBQ” or “Sarah’s Firework Stand” so they will remember where you met when they find your card after the holiday weekend. You may also consider sharing your LinkedIn profile with any new connections. If you have a smart phone or tablet handy, you can even look up the profile of those you network with and add them as a connection before you forget.

Don’t forget to follow up.
After the holiday weekend has ended, consider sending your new contact a handwritten note thanking them for their time or interest and asking if there’s a convenient time for you to meet and further discuss the open position or your career goals. Sending a quick note through email is another way to make a memorable impression and keep your name at the forefront of your new connection’s mind.

How do you plan to network during the holiday weekend? Have you made a job connection through a social event? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.