How to Write a Stand-out Follow-up
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How to Write a Stand-out Follow-up

by Samantha Tollin
Photos Anda Marie | March 24, 2016

SO, YOU JUST MADE IT THROUGH A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW, AND EVERYTHING WENT AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE.

You felt confident, you asked the right questions, you genuinely had a good conversation with your interviewer, and you sent them a carefully crafted thank you note the next day. You’re one step closer to the job of your dreams, but now it’s a waiting game, right?

There’s one component that can bring you that much closer to standing out against other candidates—the follow-up. The hiring process can vary from company to company, often taking weeks or even months. Considering the interviewer might meet with countless other candidates during that time, rather than sitting back and waiting for a response, show initiative by following up, ensuring you stay on the employer’s radar.

A follow-up is also a great chance for you to add any information you forgot to mention during the interview that can make you a more viable candidate, or to highlight a way you’re still thinking critically about the role.

At the end of an interview, the employer almost always asks: What questions do you have for me? This is your time to shine.

Now, I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of a stand out interview follow-up:

WHEN TO SEND

You’ve already done your due diligence by sending the initial thank you note, but you haven’t heard back in a couple weeks. That’s okay—sometimes no news is good news. It’s perfectly fine to send a friendly follow-up note to let your interviewers know you are still interested and to see where they are in the hiring process. Just don’t jump the gun: send a follow-up only if it’s been more than a week since your interview. {click to tweet

HOW TO PREP FOR YOUR FOLLOW-UP DURING THE INTERVIEW

At the end of an interview, the employer almost always asks: What questions do you have for me?

This is your time to shine. If you come prepared with the right questions, you can easily determine if the company is the right fit for you and scope out any missing pieces you'd like to discover. But you’ll also ensure you have some material for a stellar follow-up. Here are some helpful questions that will pay dividends down the line: 

What do you think is the biggest challenge the company will face within the next 6 months/1 year/5 years?

Whoever fills this position, what do you hope for them to accomplish in the first 30/60/90 days?

Make sure to listen carefully to their answers. When you write your follow-up, reference those goals and mention a couple ideas you’ve come up with during the waiting period.

THE SECOND THANK YOU NOTE

When composing your follow-up note, it’s not an essay. Make it short and to the point, as employers don’t have all the time in the world. Personalize it as much as you can by addressing the names of the people who interviewed you (and spelling them right), pointing out what you like about the company and reiterating why you would make a great addition to the team. Now’s the time you’ll bring up any challenges the interviewer mentioned and suggest some solutions you've thought about. This will show you went the extra mile to do research on how the company might improve.

A follow-up is also a great chance for you to add any information you forgot to mention during the interview that can make you a more viable candidate, or to highlight a way you’re still thinking critically about the role.

Here’s an example:

Dear ___,
It was great meeting you today. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to interview for the ____ position. The more I learn about [Company Name], the more inspired I am knowing I could be a part of such a dynamic team. After our discussion, I believe my experience in ___ and ___  would be a great addition to the company.

I also had some ideas on how to improve ____ and _____ that you mentioned. Have you ever tried _____? I think it would provide a great solution to _____.

OR

Our discussion about __ and __ sparked an idea that I think could really add value to the company. {Insert suggestion here}

Thanks again for your time and have a great day.

 Sincerely,

 {Your name}

Writing a simple note like this shows you are invested in the company, and employers will greatly appreciate that you took the time to follow up.

There are many effective ways of following up after an interview, and if you do enough research and follow up throughout the interview process, you’ll better your chances of landing the job. Good luck!

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What are some tricks you use when you haven't heard back after an interview?