Don’t Be A Pest – How to Follow Up After A Job Interview

You’ve polished your resume, crafted a superior cover letter and prepared for the job interview. Now what? Following up with the interviewer can be an effective way to stay top of mind and solidify your position as a top candidate. However, following up inappropriately can hurt your chances of landing the job.

As the quality manager and senior recruiter here at MAKE, I work with our recruiting team to ensure they have the information they need to match the right people to the right positions. My role is also dedicated to providing better service to our internal employees, candidates and clients. I’ve been a part of the MAKE team for over seven years, and have 16 years of industry experience. I’ve met with hundreds of candidates and seen my share of effective and not-so-effective follow-ups.

Following up appropriately is key
There is a wide range of advice available for following up after a job interview, but here I’d like to focus on the primary form of post-interview follow-up: thank you emails. While hand-written notes have been suggested in the past, today’s busy professionals vastly prefer emails. Crafting an effective thank you email can set you apart from other candidates and help you land your next permanent or contract position. These 5 tips can help you use them more effectively:

  • Send it quickly. Don’t wait to send your thank you email; aim to have it in the prospective employer’s inbox within 24 hours of your interview. If you wait any longer, you could risk missing the decision-making window. The goal is to follow up and solidify a positive impression before any type of discussion or decision is made.
  • Don’t just say “Thanks.” Take the time to really write your email. Don’t go overboard (especially since interviewers and hiring managers are often bombarded with emails), but take an extra one or two sentences to mention key points from your interview, show how you address their specific need and remind them of why you’re a fit. The thank you message is literally your last chance to sell yourself—take advantage of that opportunity!
  • Write it well. I cannot stress this enough: please take the time to craft a well written thank you message. You could be the brightest IT professional out there, but if you send a poorly written email it will effectively end your chances of landing that job. Misspellings, choppy sentences or sending a template email are key mistakes I have seen. Try asking a friend to read through the content first or read it out loud to ensure it sounds good before you hit ‘send’. And don’t forget to spell-check. It can make a big difference!
  • Only send one. We call it an interview follow-up, not follow-ups. Send one email and sit back. Any more than one and you are officially being a pest. It may sound harsh, but you only have one chance to make an impression on an interviewer—make it count. Remember, your prospective employer wants to hire someone as much as you want the job. If you bombard them with multiple messages (notes, calls and emails all count here), you will make a lasting impression—but not the kind you want to make. Craft a well-written note, send it and then move forward on other opportunities. Hopefully, you’ll get the call with an offer! But, you can rest in knowing you’ve done all you can do to highlight yourself for the position.
  • Go directly to the source. Unless your recruiter or consulting firm requires it, send your thank you message directly to the prospective employer and not to your recruiter. Sending it directly to the employer ensures they receive it in a timely manner and that it does not get lost in the shuffle of paperwork.

We take great pride here at MAKE in matching you with the right opportunities to meet your goals. If you’re looking for your next contract or permanent IT job, our job board hosts all our current opportunities.