The Importance of the Follow-Up Email


Unless you’re offered the job on the spot, your interview doesn’t end the moment you walk out the door.  For some employers, how candidates follow up after the interview can have just as much weigh in on their decision as the interview itself.  In order to stay top of mind in the decision process following an interview, you should always follow-up with the interviewer. When done right, sending a follow-up email not only reaffirms your interest in the role, it will solidify the interviewer’s approval.  Here are a few tips on what to include in your e-mail to make it most effective.

Say More Than Thanks.
Unfortunately, many business books and career resources have conditioned applicants to send their interviewers “thank you” notes after a job interview.  While it is important to let the interviewer know the time they took to interview you was appreciated, a follow-up correspondence with a potential employer should be much more than a simple thank you.  They didn’t interview you because they were feeling charitable. They interviewed you because they felt there is potential the company would benefit from having you as an employee.  A successful follow up email focuses less on “thank you” and more about demonstrating your enthusiasm for the position.  It should build on the conversation you had during the interview.

 Include Specifics.
Don’t treat the follow-up email as a perfunctory exercise.  The last thing you want the interviewer to think is that you’re just sending a thank you note to check it off on your job search list. Instead, impress the interviewer by personalizing your note to build on the conversation you had earlier. For example, if innovation and efficiency were common topics brought up in the interview, address these topics in your e-mail.  It’ll show that you were attentive during the interview and know what is important to the organization.

Remind the Employer About Your Qualifications.
If the interview went well, you sold yourself on being a great fit for the job.  You have all the qualifications, competencies, skills, etc. along with the experience to back up those claims.  However, by the time the interviewer finishes talking to the other applicants; they may not remember exactly who had which qualifications.  That is why it’s essential to think outside yourself in your follow up correspondence. Tell the interviewer what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you. Draw references between the company’s needs and your skill set.  Elaborate on experiences you didn’t have time to explain during the interview.

Offer a Solution.
If you want to grab the interviewer’s attention and stay top of mind, offer a solution to an issue the company is wrestling with.  If there’s a process that’s broken, detail ways in which you would fix it when given the opportunity.  Include a brief statement on your findings, or a relevant article on the matter. Many hiring managers will tell stories about how they decided to hire a candidate based on their commitment to coming up with solutions to problems they inferred from the interview. It shows that you went home after the interview and thought about how you could help the company.

 Reiterate Your Interest in the Position.
Last but not least, use the ending one or two sentences of the follow-up email to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and invite the interviewer to contact you if any additional information is needed. Avoid phrases such as “I hope to hear from you soon.” Saying that you hope to hear from the company shows insecurity and a lack of confidence.  You need to be more assertive than that if you are really interested in the position.

Bottom line: a follow-up email shouldn’t just signal manners; it should signal interest and enthusiasm.  If you follow the above steps, you’ll stand out from the competition and be much more likely to land the job.

For more advice on your job search check the RealStreet Staffing blog regularly. If you’re looking for a position in the engineering and construction industries take a look at our available jobs or contact a recruiter today.

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