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After the Interview

Career Resource Center

After the Interview

Immediately after the interview, expand on your notes from the interview.

Questions to help you debrief yourself

  • What topics were discussed?
  • What questions were asked?
  • What did you answer?
  • What did the interviewer say they were looking for in a candidate?
  • What are the key success factors for the position?
  • What are the expanded position description details?
  • What are the critical projects / goals / objectives?
  • What challenges are they experiencing?
  • Did you feel comfortable with the interviewer?
  • Could you work well with him/her?
  • What areas do you believe may be problematic?
  • Did you miss an opportunity? You may be able to rectify this in the follow-up letter.
  • What value do you bring to the company?
  • What strategic vision for their future is beginning to come into focus for you?
  • What do they need that you can provide?
  • If hired, what would your initial approach be/projects/changes?
  • Do I see myself working at this company?
  • What are my reservations/concerns?

Interview Follow-up

Follow up thank you letter
The importance of a thank you letter cannot be overstated. Candidates have dramatically increased their chances of going to the next step with a strong letter, and the inverse is also true. This is a real opportunity to separate yourself from other candidates. Understand that the employer wants to know why you can do the job, not why you would like to. The thank you letter is one of the most important but least used tools in the search process. A poorly constructed follow-up is as damaging as not sending a letter at all.


Four components to a successful thank you letter

  • Thank him/her for their time
  • Express confidence in doing the job
  • Three detailed reasons why you can do the job, not why you like the job
  • Express confidence in pursuing the opportunity and looking forward to hearing from them soon

Letter Tips

  • The letter should be one page and sent within 24 hours. Your notes from the interview and debriefing are key to constructing a powerful letter. This is usually the first sample of your writing ability and style that the hiring manager will receive; it should be professional and impressive.
  • Every person you spoke with should receive a separate letter and they should be different. Each letter should focus on the particular interests, concerns and perspective of the individual. If there was a particular word or phrase that was used in your conversation with this individual, here is an opportunity to reinforce that you are on the same page with the interviewer.
  • You want to use this letter to reaffirm your ability to be successful in this position. Your enthusiasm should come through in the letter. Also, if you misspoke or missed an opportunity to highlight an achievement, that would be critical for success in the role, you will be able to include it here. Be creative, but maintain a professional approach.
  • Address or reinforce any concerns the hiring manager mentioned about your ability to do the job by stating why you can do the job.
  • Three well-crafted bullets or points, highlighting key successes in your career and that will ensure your success in the position. Do not just take them from your profile. You need to reflect in your letter the information you gained in speaking with the person and that you reviewed and considered what was discussed carefully.
  • Like your cover letter and resume, proofread and make sure the company name and manager’s name are spelled correctly.
  • See our Follow-Up Examples for a sample letter.
  • A hand-written letter in flawless penmanship can make a strong lasting impression
  • Use simple, clean stationary.
  • Translate your experience to fit their needs- link your skills to specific workplace problems you learned about during the interview.
  • A hard copy letter sent via overnight courier makes a good impression and keeps you in the immediate consciousness of the hiring manager.

Follow-up call
Following up an interview with a phone call is a great way to show that you are interested and motivated enough to take the initiative and contact the potential employer. At the end of an interview, a job seeker can directly ask the hiring manager when and how often they should call or email to follow up. Knowing the interviewers timeline for making a hiring decision is another way to determine when to make your follow up call. If the allotted time has past without any response from the employer, call to reaffirm your interest and inquire about the status of the position.

providing your references & background checks
When the hiring decision has been narrowed down to finalists, references are often the deciding factor. A reference is primarily a person to whom you have reported, has reported to you, or has worked closely with you. Sometimes on your behalf, references can be from outside the company such as (clients, vendors) who might offer additional perspective. As a rule, a reference should not be personal (friend, relative) because they do not offer insight into performance and characteristics on the job. Additionally, references should not come in the form of generic letters.

If you have been employed by the same company and reported to the same manager for a long time, obtaining references may be difficult. In these instances, obtaining a copy of your performance evaluation may be a suitable alternative.

The employer should inform you when they intent to start checking your references. Employers prefer to speak to references directly and ask their own questions. References can be a powerful tool in helping you get an offer, if they are prepared properly.

Reference guidelines

  • First, provide your reference with the company name, and the name and title of the individual who will be calling them. You could also draft an outline of your prior duties, accomplishments, reasons for departure and the points you would like them to emphasize when speaking to the employer.
  • Obtain the reference’s phone number and time of day they prefer to be contacted.
  • Contact your references to make them aware of who will be contacting them and confirm they remain willing to speak on your behalf.
  • Provide your references with a copy of the job description for the position you are being considered so they can highlight relevant experience, characteristics and traits when providing examples.
  • Offer your references some guidance by telling them which of your skills and strengths you would like them to discuss. Highlight those that are essential to the position you are applying for.
  • Be sure that your reference understands why you left a previous position, and explain how they can positively convey any difficult circumstances you may have departed under.
  • Keep your references aware of your successes, as you move up the corporate ladder and achieve new goals.
  • Google search your name, chances are good that the hiring manager will. Be prepared to explain any questions that may arise from their web surfing.

Background checks
Typically, a background check uncovers criminal and court records. It includes driving records, vehicle registrations and also may include sex offender databases. You must give written consent for a potential employer to conduct a background check on you. If you agree to the check and inquire about the results, the employer must share them with you. You have the right to dispute the findings if you think they are incorrect.

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