How to Follow Up After an Interview
The competition in the job market is tough. In order to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, you have to be strategic. In previous WTI blogs we have talked about mistakes to avoid during an interview and questions to ask during an interview, but what happens after the interview? Here are three ways to follow up with your interviewer to leave one last positive impression.
Send a thank you note.
After every interview you should follow up with a thank you note. You should send an e-mail thanking the employer within 24 hours of the interview. Some people also send actual thank you cards through the mail. Whichever option you choose, the content in the note should be the same.
- Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
- Remind them of something that was discussed in the interview.
- Remind them why you are a great candidate for the position.
For example, “Mr. Smith, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I was really excited to hear that the medical assisting position would give me the opportunity to work directly with patients as well as the nursing staff. I believe my experience working in a nursing home for the past year has given me the skills I need to be successful in the position and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Call to inquire about the position.
Before an interview is over, ask the interviewer if there is a timeline for when a candidate will be selected for the position. A good time to call would be a few days before the employer makes their decision. Like the thank you note, this call will serve as a chance for you to remind the employer why you are the best candidate for the job. Here are three tips to ensure you have a successful follow up call.
Be prepared. It is important to think about what you are going to say before the call. You can even write down a few key talking points. Before the call, practice, you don’t want to stumble over your words.
Be concise. The potential employer is probably busy. They will appreciate you calling to check in if you make sure to keep your call short and sweet. This will ensure that you are memorable without becoming annoying.
Be persuasive. Let them know that you are still interested in the position if it is available. Remind them of something you discussed during the interview and remind them of the skills and experience you have. Tell them how impressed you were with the company and thank them again for their time.
Connect with the potential employer.
During your interview ask if you can have a business card. This will ensure that you have the correct contact information. Once you get the business card ask if you can connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn. Most professionals are on LinkedIn and connecting with them can be a great way to follow up. Once you connect with a potential employer on LinkedIn you should:
- Follow their company
- View their profile
- Like/comment on their posts
LinkedIn is a great way to set yourself apart. By following the company, viewing the interviewer’s profile, and interacting on LinkedIn you will stand out as someone who takes initiative. The information you learn about the interviewer on their profile might give you a unique discussion point the next time you speak to them. You may even discover shared connections or similar work experience. It is always important to research both the company and the potential employer.
Following up after an interview can be a great way to keep your name at the top of mind. It might even help you land a job. However, even if you do not get the job, the way you interact with an interviewer is very important. If you find out you did not get the job, send a note thanking the interviewer again for their consideration and continue to keep in contact with them through LinkedIn. They may keep you in mind the next time a position opens up.
How to Properly Ask for Letters of Recommendation
Whether you are a current student applying for a scholarship or a recent graduate applying for jobs, some applications may require letters of recommendation. While it may seem like an overwhelming process letters of recommendation are valuable resources that are taken into consideration among future employers. Follow these six steps to learn how to properly ask for letters of recommendation and ease the stress of asking for someone to help you out!
1. Be proactive. Make sure to start the process early. Review the application and discover the requirements to get an idea of about how long the whole process will take and which parts of the application will require more attention. Beginning early will help you establish how many letters of recommendation you will need as well as other specifics about the submission process.
2. State your case, then ask. It is important that you preface your request for a letter of recommendation with a short explanation about what position you are applying for and why. After you provide a little background, find out if your recommender, most likely an instructor, boss, or professional mentor, is willing and comfortable writing a letter for you. Remember, it is always best practice to ask for a letter of recommendation in person. It is also acceptable to ask over the phone or email, but NEVER ask through social media or a text.
3. Ask early. Everyone has a busy schedule, so make sure to ask your recommender AT LEAST two weeks before the letter is due in order to allow them enough time to complete it. It is also beneficial to make sure the letter is finished a few days before it is due to prevent any last minute complications.
4. Provide background information. The more specific a letter of recommendation, the better. Even if your recommender is familiar with your work and character, providing them a copy of your most recent resume so they may see all your accomplishments and credentials is a great way to ensure that specific examples are not left unmentioned. The more information you can provide, the more detailed your letter will be.
5. Ask someone you know. Along with providing background information for specific details, it is also important that your letter of recommendation is personal. To ensure your letter is as personalized as possible, be sure to ask someone who knows you well and knows your education/performance. A professor or advisor that is familiar with your work and your determination for success will be able to provide specific examples of your effort and character in the efforts of boosting your recommendation.
6. Follow instructions. Some applications which require letters of recommendation may require that the letters be submitted in a particular format or be a certain length. If letters don’t meet the requirements it is quite possible that the letters will be discarded, making your entire application incomplete. Most importantly, make sure your letters and the rest of your application are turned in before the deadline.
Starting early is the common theme among each of these steps, so be sure to give you and your recommender plenty of time to put in the necessary effort to receive the best results! For more tips on career development, visit WTI’s Academic Services.