You’re feeling pretty confident after your last interview. You nailed all the key questions, got across the important points, and left a great impression.
You go home, treat yourself to a glass of wine, sit back, relax, and that’s when it hits you: you forgot to write an interview follow up note!
Fret not – we’re here to help you in a pinch.
What’s So Important About the Interview Follow Up Note?
Your follow up note to an interview is just one part of the equation that makes you stand out from the crowd. So why is it important for both you and the interviewer?
Stay Top of Mind – It’s possible that you were one of a dozen candidates who interviewed that day. By sending a personalized note, you bump yourself up through the clutter of the day and stay top of mind.
Gives Them Something to Share – By sending a follow up email that recaps details of the interview, the person you interviewed with can share your thoughts, resume, and interview notes with other hiring managers at the company, or people on the team you might be working with.
Opens Up the Door for Communications – Your follow up note keeps the conversation alive. It gives them something to hit ‘reply’ to, and continue the conversation from a natural point.
It Shows You Do Care About the Job – After all, job seekers often apply to dozens of jobs and have multiple interviews. Sending a thoughtful follow up note shows you care about this job, and are willing to spend the time to craft a note.
How Long Should You Wait Before Sending a Follow Up?
Finding a new job is like dating. You need to first find chemistry, then you need to sweat over the question: “how long do I wait before sending a follow up?” When it comes to the interview note, you don’t want to wait very long. If you don’t send it the same day – you ought to send it within 24 hours.
How to Craft Your Interview Follow Up Letter
There’s no set-in-stone template for crafting your interview note, because each note you write should be unique for each interview.
If you are going to show you care about the job, putting in the proper effort shows. Many sources will tell you that you simply need to state: “Thanks for the interview, it was a pleasure meeting you and learning about the role. I’m confident I can succeed in this role and would very much like the opportunity. Please let me know if I can provide any more information.”
If this is your follow up note, it probably isn’t doing much to help your case.
To craft a unique message that stands out and keeps you top of mind, here’s what you should include in your note:
Make sure you send to the appropriate address. Some companies will only email you through an applicant tracking system, in which case you may only be able to reply to their message system. But if you have the email address for those you interviewed with, be sure to include them.
Have the right subject line. If you are communicating through an applicant tracking system, don’t change the subject line – you might risk removing your communication from your email thread. If you are able to email the interviewer(s) directly, make sure your subject line is clear and expresses that you are following up after your interview for X position.
Start by addressing the interviewer(s) by name. Nothing shows you didn’t pay attention like saying ‘to whom it may concern!’
Provide your takeaways from the interview. If you were actively listening, you learned the biggest problems the company faces, and can relay them back in your note, and then…
Recap how you can uniquely fix the problems or address the challenges. You likely already did so in the interview, but here is your chance to add more color and depth. And that’s not to say your note should be 3 pages long – like all emails, your follow up note needs to be punchy, and easily read. Feel free to use a few bullet points to articulate how your past experience and accomplishments relate to the job.
Be Helpful. You might include a quick scenario illustrating how you would tackle one of their challenges. You may also offer a simple gift: “I remember you mentioned you were curious about trying out X service. I happen to have an account and can share a free week trial with you, I just sent it your way.”
Attach Your Resume. Mention that you have re-attached your resume for further review (if you have a longer version of your resume that stretches beyond one page, here is a good opportunity to share it).
Wrap it Up. Conclude by asking if there is more information you can provide, and if you hadn’t done so in the interview, politely ask for next steps.