The Art of the Follow Up

I recently moved into a role where I now have a say and influence in the hiring process.  After being on the hiring side of several interviews, I’m surprised at the lack of follow up from those that I’ve interviewed.  The post-interview follow up helps remind the interviewer who you are and offers the chance for you to reinforce your strengths.  Simply put, the follow-up email should be a norm – typical behavior that goes together like peanut butter and jam, thank yous and you’re welcomes, left and right, interview and follow up email.

Think of the follow up email as a way to

  • Highlight the strengths you mentioned
  • Address any hesitations or weaknesses the interviewer may have brought up during the interview
  • Reinforce why you are the perfect fit for the role and the company

And personally for me, the follow-up email provides an opportunity for me to see your communication skills.  If you can’t write a decent email to a first time manager, then there’s no way you can convince me to be comfortable with you writing an email to my manager, to my manager’s manager, or to my manager’s manager’s manager.

For those who raise the point that you may not always have the interviewer’s email address… I call bull.  We live in a day and age of internet creeping.  An easy Google search will pop up the company’s standard email address or you can always guesstimate (john.smith@google.com, johnsmith@google.com, jsmith@google.com, j.smith@google.com, etc.).  If that doesn’t work, try your interviewer’s social networks.  While I prefer not to be messaged via Facebook or Twitter, a nice follow up message on LinkedIn is appropriate.

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