They liked your resume enough to call you in for an interview: Congratulations! We’re sure you nailed it, but your work isn’t quite done yet. Now, it’s time to follow up.
The Follow-up Email
Follow-up email(s) should be sent the same day to your interviewer and anyone else who was involved in the process (we hope you took everyone’s business card while you were there), from the secretary who scheduled the interview and brought you a glass of water to prospective co-workers who may have popped in to ask a few questions.
- This email should be brief: One sentence thanking so-and-so for taking the time out of his/her day to meet with you. Include a detail or two that refreshes his/her memory about the conversation (chances are they had several applicants walk through the doors that day) — a shared alma mater or a shared affinity for U2, for example.
- If your interviewer assigned you “homework” (ideas, a writing sample, etc.), indicate in your day-of email that he/she can expect to have it by the deadline provided (then, try to provide it earlier than that date).
- Be sure to start your email with a proper greeting (Dear Ms. Evans) and end with a proper closing (All the Best, Jerome). Remember that this is an email to a potential employer, not a friend — proper spelling and grammar are a must. Even if you are sure of its accuracy, have a friend or family member look it over before you hit ‘send.’ A second pair of eyes is always a good thing.
- Request a confirmation of receipt.
- Email from email@example.com: Create an email address that is simple and professional.
- Use LOL, OMG or any other “Text Talk”.
- Send a generic, blanket email if you interviewed with several companies that day. After all, they didn’t interview you at the same time as everyone else.
- Use a colorful or ‘fun’ font. Black Times New Roman should do just fine.
The Follow-up Thank You Note
You’ve sent your follow-up email(s), now it’s time for the big finish: the Thank You Note. The Thank You Note — which can be written on either personalized stationery or professional-looking boxed stationery — should be sent no more than a few days after the interview, and it is much like writing one for any other occasion. The bones are the same, but there are a few slight differences.
- Like your follow-up email, begin your Thank You Note with a proper greeting (Dear Mr. Barnes).
- Begin your note with an expression of gratitude. In this case, that would be for taking the time to meet with you. Elaborate with a sentence or two about the company. For example: What inspired you to apply, why you can see yourself working there or a particular fact or figure that impressed you during the interview.
- Get detailed. Elaborate on highlights of the interview. This not only helps the interviewer remember who you are (he/she may have had 10 interviews that day), but also creates a deeper connection between the two of you. If you spent a moment talking about white water rafting or how you both have twin daughters, it’s worth mentioning again.
- Finally, it’s time for closure. End with wishes of luck in his/her search as well as your own desired outcome. Now isn’t the time to be cryptic.
- End with a professional closing, like ‘Best Regards’ or ‘All the Best’.
- Be sure to send an individualized note to every person you interviewed with, as well as anyone who helped schedule it, such as a Human Resources manager or executive assistant.
We’ll leave you with an example, and best wishes for a successful job hunt!
Dear Ms. Peters,
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. As someone who spent his weekends identifying butterfly species in his backyard, speaking with the director of the Natural History Museum was quite the treat.
I especially enjoyed hearing about the new Brazilian exhibit and your recent trip to Rio de Janeiro. I am now even more excited for my visit there next year. Best of luck with the rest of your search, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
All the best,
Have more questions about interview etiquette? Email our Crane Concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org.