As a hiring manager, I looked at more than a hundred resumes this month. I talked with so many people that I had trouble keeping everyone straight.
I even interviewed a handful of highly-qualified candidates. While those interviews were energetic and invigorating, the substance of what we talked about began to fade in the days following the interviews.
The most impressive candidates were those who did everything they could to keep their memory alive. Here are some of the specific things they did right after the interview:
- While the memory of our conversations were still fresh in my mind, they quickly followed up with emails and handwritten notes.
- They reiterated their enthusiasm. As an interviewer, I often wonder what the candidate thought about the job after our conversation. Sometimes people become less interested as they learn more about a specific job, so it’s always nice to be reassured that their interest has continued to grow.
- They reminded me how their qualifications matched my needs. They refreshed my memory by giving specific reasons why they would be the ideal fit for my job opening.
- They filled voids or cleared up potential misunderstandings. Everyone probably leaves a job interview with a “Monday morning quarterback” moment when they wish they had said something differently. A follow-up communiqué provides an opportunity to reframe the conversation as needed.
- They kept the conversation moving forward. In essence, they continued our discussion by adding a new piece of information or reiterating a key point they’d already made.
- They said something substantive. They added something of value rather than merely summarizing what had already been said. Above all, they avoided using the same, worn clichés that any other candidate could also say.
The best golfers don’t focus just on the moment of impact when their club meets the ball. They know that they perform best when their full swing includes an effective follow through. Likewise, savvy job seekers know that their work is not complete when they leave the interview. Hiring decisions are often influenced by what happens after the interview is over.
I couldn’t agree more. If I had to decide between two candidates, I would be more inclined to go with the candidate that sent me the thank you note.
Cynthia, you and I think alike. In fact, I can’t imagine hiring someone who does not follow up with a note. FYI, on Friday I’ll have a blog post titled, “Four Thank You Notes that Fizzled, One that Sizzled.” I’m sharing specific examples of the follow up notes I received from the five people I interviewed in person. The note from the person I hired was head and shoulders above the others. Hopefully it will give other job seekers good ideas.