One minute later, real life overwhelms your manager and your interview conversation begins to slip out of their memory.
Your manager goes to their three o’clock meeting. There’s a crisis they have to deal with. They leave the meeting and make five phone calls. They answer email. They’re a stress case when they leave the office at five-forty-five and head home, but the freeway is jammed and they also forgot they were supposed to pick up dinner.
By the time your hiring manager’s head hits the pillow that night they couldn’t come up with your name if you offered them a ten thousand bucks to do it.
You have to get back into your hiring manager’s mind, and the way to do that is through your thoughtful post-interview follow up.
You’re going to send a quick email message the day after your interview, and a slightly longer handwritten note sent through the mail a few days after that.
The email thank-you note is simple:
Thanks for chatting with me about the Marketing Coordinator role on Thursday. I enjoyed our conversation about forecasting and tadpoles, and I’m excited to continue the conversation.
Why did Taylor the job candidate mention tadpoles?
Your first goal with a post-interview email or snail-mail followup communication is to get the manager to remember you. You have to get them mentally back into the interview room where you met them.
Your hiring manager James happened to mention in your interview that he had taken his kids to catch tadpoles in the local pond the previous weekend.
Of course, you asked James a few questions like, “How long do you keep the tadpoles? What do you feed them?”
You learned something about tadpoles and you also made the best possible first impression on James through your tadpole-related questions.
Do not think that your ability to carry on an intelligent non-business conversation didn’t impact James as much as (if not more than) your knowledge of Marketing! It did.
A few days later James will get your handwritten note card in the mail.
Thanks again for your time last Thursday. I was especially grateful for your detailed description of the plastic extrusion process. I’m very excited about coming on board to help with the fall trade show schedule and to rebuild the customer database after the software upgrade coming up next month.
Let me know what you need from me to continue the conversation, and thanks again for your time last week!
Taylor and James got into the groove at their interview and Taylor is still in it! Taylor is not going to send a generic thank-you note, because a generic note won’t help James remember who Taylor is and what he and Taylor talked about.
Instead, Taylor reminds James of their pithy conversation, and ten minutes after James slices open the envelope to read Taylor’s thank-you note, he phones his HR contact Barbara.
“James!” says Barbara cheerfully. “How did your interviews for the Marketing Coordinator position go?”
“Absolutely great,” says James. “I want to bring Taylor back for a second interview.”
Taylor did a great job at the interview but it was Taylor’s two-part followup program that ended up getting Taylor the job.
Your followup can be more important than the interview itself. Don’t neglect that step!
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