Following up to interviews without being a needy candidate

So you’ve just finished the interview, and this is the position you absolutely want.  You want to express your gratitude first and foremost, but  how do you deal with the lingering fear that you will be forgotten as the company continues to interview other candidates?  Being too aggressive can misrepresent you and potentially cost you the position.  When and how should you follow up?

  • Within 48 hours of the interview: Send a thank you note.  E-mail is acceptable, but you will stand out more if you forget about technology and send a hand-written card.  It will show that you wanted to put in the time and thought of taking the more personal route.  In your note, express your interest in the position, reiterate why you feel you would be a good fit and be sure to thank them for their consideration.  Mention something about your conversation with that person that really stuck out to you, you are using this opportunity to prove that you have the “listening” skill.  Check thoroughly for any spelling errors.  This is PR; a writing intensive career.  You used the interview to talk yourself up, now don’t prove yourself wrong by blowing it in your thank you card with a grammatical error.  That attention to detail you mentioned?  Well, good luck getting the interviewer to believe it after this slip up.  You are taking the time to write the letter, so take the time to proofread.  Note: If you meet with more than one person in the company, they should each receive a thank you note.  Be sure to personalize them by varying the context.  You never know if they will bring it up when they are reviewing candidates, and you wouldn’t want them to think you were being insincere.
  • If the amount of time that the interviewer specified has passed, and you still haven’t heard then you are able to reach out yet again.  You can send an email at this point following up.  It is okay to ask if they have already filled the position and if not, you may ask when they would be coming to a decision.  Remind them who you are and thank them again.
  • After your initial thank you and your first follow up you may follow up every 7 to 10 days if you still haven’t heard back, but do not do so more than 3 times.  At that point it is safe to assume, the position is not yours and the interviewer simply does not have the time to respond.

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