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How to Follow Up After an Interview

Waiting for the phone to ring after a job interview is much like waiting for a call from your crush. It’s painful.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do to increase your chances of getting a callback. Many interviewers will eliminate candidates who don’t send a follow-up letter, so send a follow-up email as soon as possible. Sending a thank-you letter not only is a courtesy but also can convey anything you forgot to mention during the interview.

Timeline for Success

Send an email immediately after the interview, then follow up each week for a month. The key is to be persistent, to show enthusiasm and to keep your name fresh in the hiring authority’s mind. You want to gently nudge the interviewer without annoying him; so never send multiple emails in a week.

Do not overwhelm him with questions or useless information, and don’t convey the presumption that you will be hired.

What to Include

Sending a follow-up letter is a courtesy demonstrating you have good manners. You only need a paragraph. The email should include a sincere “thank you” to the interviewer for her time and reiterate your interest in both the position and the company. You also want to remind the employer why you are qualified. You should include any information she may have asked you to provide following the interview.

In the Closing

In the final few sentences, relate specifically to a project or aspect of the company and how you can contribute. You want to show that you listened to the interviewer and that you researched the company. If he gave you a timeline, mention you will follow up again before then. You can end with another “thank you” and a solid statement such as “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Why Email Works

Although it has been traditional to mail the follow-up letter, many companies now prefer email. Email is immediate, can be accessed anywhere and provides a simpler method for employers to respond. Employers might even make hiring decisions before postal mail can arrive in their office. For this reason, email is now the preferred method of correspondence. Even though email has an informal air, you must stay professional. Avoid emoticons, don’t overuse exclamation points and avoid ALL CAPS. Do include a salutation and a closing.

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