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Follow-up after the Interview

Surprisingly, fewer than half the people who go on a job interview have the smarts to send the manager a note thanking him or her for taking the time to interview them for a job.

What's the big deal on thank-you notes?

A simple thank-you note could help you stand out from the competition. It will keep your name alive in the manager's mind and it will tell the manager that you want this job so much that you took the time to write. This could trigger a request for a second interview.

How long should this thank-you note be?

Keep it short, and sweet. One page is enough. Use the format given below.

When should I send it?

Write the note as soon as you get home from the interview. Get it into the manager's hands before he or she forgets who you are.

Do I really have to follow-up on the phone?

You bet. It tells the manager that you want this job so bad, you're willing to call. This shows persistence. Managers like persistent people. It implies that you'll be a worker who'll get the job done.

What's all this talk about a second interview?

When managers are interviewing several people for a position, they sometimes ask the strongest candidates to come back for a second interview. This is a very good sign. It means that you are a contender.

What happens during the second interview?

It will focus on your skills, ability to solve problems, and your ability to get along with the other people in the department.

Format of a Thank-you Letter

Use standard business letter format with salutation:
Dear Mr. or Mrs. Joboffer:

Remind the manager of when and why you met:
Thank you for meeting with me on Tuesday to explore the career opportunities as a medical assistant in your department.

Confirm that you want the job:
I'd like to confirm that I definitely want the job.

Offer a trial period:
I'm confident that I could quickly become a productive member of your staff. I'm quite willing to prove myself by offering you a 30-day trial period. Or, if you prefer, I would be willing to work as a temporary contractor for the first 30 days so you can evaluate my performance without any extended obligations on your part.

Explain that you'd like to follow-up:
If I may, let me call you next week to see if you've made a decision, or to answer any new questions you might have.

Close your letter:
Sign your name
Type your name

Add a post-script asking for a second interview:
P.S.: As you interview other job applicants for this position, I'm sure that you've thought of several new questions that you might like to ask me. Please know that I would be eager to come in for a second interview.

Return to where you left off

SETTING YOURSELF APART FROM THE CROWD Make a decision, Write a thank-you, Follow-up on the phone.

On your way home from the interview, think about the manager, the company, and the job. If you were impressed with all three and you definitely want this job, take the next step.
When you get home send the manager a short thank-you note. Tell him or her that you definitely want the job. A few days later, follow-up on the telephone to see if they've made a decision.
On the other hand, if you've decided that you really don't want the job, have the courtesy to let the manager know. Send a letter thanking the manager for taking the time to see you. Explain that you've decided to seek other employment opportunities. Ask that he or she remove your name from consideration.

Above and beyond the call

Here's a tip that most of your competitors won't think to do.

During the interview, the manager will have explained some of the problems or concerns that have to do with the job you are seeking.

Put on your thinking cap. Come up with a few good suggestions. Send the manager a follow-up letter explaining your ideas. Be sure to mention that these are things that "might" be done - not things that "should" be done. Admit that you don't know enough about the inner workings of the department to be specific, but that you'd certainly enjoy taking a crack at the problems.

If your suggestions are good, you'll gain a unique advantage over the other candidates.

Mail this letter a few days after your thank-you note, but before you follow-up on the telephone. When you call, be sure to ask if he or she received this letter.

Calling Script

Call the manager and introduce yourself:
Good morning, _________. This is "Your Name". I wanted to call and thank you for meeting with me last week concerning the ____________ position in your office.

Ask if the manager has made a decision:
I'm very interested in that position and I thought I might follow-up to see if you've made a decision.

If you got the job:
Yes. No way. Awesome. Incredible. This is fantastic. I can't believe it. Yikes! Hey Ma...
1. When would you like me to start?
2. What time should I report?
3. Where should I report to?
4. To whom should I report?
5. Should I bring anything with me?

If the manager hasn't yet made a decision:
1. Am I a candidate for consideration?
2. I really want this job. Would you consider giving me a 30-day trial period to prove myself?
3. (If that fails) Could we schedule a follow-up interview to discuss my strengths and weaknesses?

If you didn't get the job:
Gee, I'm sorry to hear that.

I'd like to thank you for your time and consideration. I learned a lot about myself and the job during our conversation.

Incidentally, I'm going to be scheduling other interviews during the weeks ahead. I wonder if you would give me some constructive criticism:
1. What made you decide not to hire me?
2. What could I do to create a better impression for my next interview?

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