By Arnie Fertig
U.S. News, March 13, 2019 —
Use emails judiciously to keep forward momentum following your job interview.
If you’ve ever watched a baseball batter hit a home run, you know that his swing doesn’t stop at the moment the bat hits the ball. He continues to pivot his body and bat with a complete, smooth follow through. The same holds true if you are looking for a job: Your ultimate success is all about the follow through!
At every stage of your interactions with a potential employer, it is important to keep momentum moving forward, and employers look for you to do that with timely, individualized follow-up notes.
Here are some sample emails that you should tweak and individualize to fit your voice and circumstances.
Phone Screening Thank-You Email.
You should prepare for your thank-you email even before your interview begins. Make sure you ask in advance with whom you will be speaking. If you don’t know prior to the conversation, when you are just beginning the introductions, ask for the person’s email address so that you’ll be able to follow up with him or her.
Sample phone screen follow-up email:
Dear Ms. Smith,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today about my application to join X Company as an (insert job title). I know that you likely speak to many applicants, but I want you to know I appreciate you wanting to get to know me and review my background.
Again, I believe that my experience in the areas of A, B and C relate well to the position requirements, and I hope that I’ll be able to make substantial contributions to your company.
I remain very interested in this position and look forward to taking the next step of an in-person interview. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you would like any further information.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration.
John Q. Jobhunter
Interview Follow Through Email.
No matter how well or poorly you think you did in an interview, a follow-up email is necessary, both as a matter of common etiquette and to demonstrate your real interest. Moreover, it is an opportunity to take one more bite out of the apple if you feel that you omitted something or didn’t answer a question you know you should have in retrospect.
These days, it is common for people to be rejected for a position if they haven’t followed up the same day or within 24 hours of an interview if it concludes late in the day.
To prepare for this note, you should make certain to bring your own business cards to your interview, and keep them in your left-hand suit pocket or purse. As you greet each person with a handshake with your right hand, extend your left hand with your card and ask for theirs in return. This way you’ll have their direct contact information for your follow-up note.
Sample follow-up email after an interview:
Dear Mr. Smith,
It was a pleasure meeting you today at X Company. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule so that we could get to know each other. Your question about A was excellent, and I am thankful it gave me an opportunity to speak about B.
As I was reflecting on our time together, it occurred to me that I responded to a question about C without mentioning D. I hope that this further information will aid in your deliberations and evaluation of my candidacy.
It was exciting to see X Company firsthand, and to learn more about the position and your expectations. I hope you will conclude that my experience doing A, B and C will enable me to provide exceptional value to your company.
Again, I want you to know how excited I am about the prospect of becoming part of your team and I thank you again for your consideration. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if I can provide any other information that will help to make an appropriate evaluation of my candidacy.
Jessica J. Jobhunter
Status Update Email.
Of course, you want to know where you stand with your potential employer at all times. But sometimes, no news is simply just that: no news.
Inquiring just to keep yourself in front of people, especially when done too often, can be seen as a sign of desperation and a turnoff to employers. However, if you are truly interested in the position and have something to say that can be relevant, go for it.
For example, if you are going in for a second interview someplace else, but you really would rather work at a place at which you’ve already interviewed, you can try checking on the status.
Sample status update email:
Dear Ms. Smith,
I really enjoyed meeting with you on (add date), and was very impressed by you and the potential role that I can fill in your company. Because I’m most interested in working with you, I wanted to keep you up to date with my job search. Another company with which I’ve interviewed has invited me back for a second interview next week, and has indicated that if that goes well, a job offer will not be far behind.
In truth, there are a few reasons why I would prefer working at your company, including A, B and C. I hope you can give me a better insight as to where I stand with your company. Anything you can do to expedite progress on my application or information you can provide would be very much appreciated. I certainly hope that I won’t lose the opportunity to work with you because our timing is out of sync.
Again, thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon!