In our last post we talked about how to follow up after your interview. Following up should be considered an extension of the interview. Employers now expect their applicants to follow up and give greater priority to those that do so correctly.
However, every time you are in contact with an interviewer you risk damaging the good things you accomplished during your interview. Following up is a great way to improve your job interview chances, but you also want to make sure you avoid any serious mistakes.
Common Follow Up Mistakes
Recruiters will tell you that it is important that you always seem as though your services are sought after by other companies as well. Employers are more likely to value your potential contributions when they believe that other companies are also after you. When you follow up with an employer, you should not sound desperate about getting the job. Instead, you should ask interested in the job by asking questions about the position and simply restate why you are a qualified candidate.
- Rushing the Thank You Letter
Your thank you letter is an extension of your interview. It should have no spelling errors, it should have proper grammar, and it should maintain an attractive format. It should be as well written as your cover letter.
- Cut and Paste Thank You Letter
Write your thank you letter from scratch, based on what occurred during the interview. Employers can smell a thank you letter that was not written specifically for them.
- Calling Without a Plan
Calling your interviewers is a great way to thank them for the interview. Calling without a plan, however, can make you seem awkward. You should always know what you are going to say ahead of time during the phone call, including what you are going to ask and even how you are going to leave the conversation. Practice with a friend if necessary.
- Talking Too Long
Your interviewers have real jobs. They are busy. Try to keep conversations brief unless it is the interviewer that is doing most of the talking.
- Checking in Too Early/Too Often
Again, you do not want to seem desperate. When you check in about the position, wait at least one week and preferably closer to 10 days. Ideally you should ask the employer during the interview when to follow up.
Keep it Short, Centered, and Professional
There are two reasons that applicants follow up after a job interview:
- To be polite, friendly and professional with your employer.
- To keep yourself on the mind of the interviewer.
Interviews in many ways resemble a date. The longer you stay on the mind of your date, the more likely they are going to want a relationship with you in the future. By following up with the interviewers, you are making sure that you stay on their mind for longer, so that if they are on the fence about your candidacy, you push them in the right direction.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Take your time making sure you are ready to follow up.
- Keep your follow up brief.
- Be friendly but also professional.