job search tip 34The first thing you should do after the interview, when you get in your car is to take out the notes you took during the interview and write down a summary of the interview on this form:

Interview Follow Up Data Sheet

Date: _______ Company: __________

Interviewer / Hiring authority ____________________

Was this an interviewing or hiring authority? ________

How long was the interview? ____________________

Summary: __________________________________

What are the most important aspects of my background to the interviewing/hiring authority?


What were the major concerns about my candidacy?


How could I have “sold” myself better?


What do I need to do to get to the next step?


Follow-up activity: ____________________________

Overall impressions and thoughts:


Next Steps: _________________________________

Write down the high points of the interview and the major issues or topics that you discussed with the interviewer. Summarize what you think your strengths are and where you think your weaknesses are, as revealed by that interview. Write down your interpretation of the qualities that seemed most important to the hiring authority, and make sure that you understand them clearly. Often, in the initial interview, we think we completely understand what the hiring authority is looking for, but we actually do not! Don’t rely on your memory. It may be a two- to four-week period before the second round of interviews. You will need to be able to refresh your memory with detailed notes.

The immediate email

You should have gotten the interviewer’s business card at the time of the interview. Immediately after the interview, or as soon as possible, you want to email the interviewing or hiring authority. In that email, don’t just thank the person for his or her time – it is more important that you reinforce all of the reasons you should be hired.

Every interviewing book in the world is going to tell you to send a thank you to the interviewer. You would probably be shocked at the number of candidates who don’t send one. One out of every seven or eight candidates, even when they’re coached by a professional, either don’t send it or do it so late after the interview that is ineffective.

The email needs to be short and to the point. Don’t ramble about how much you appreciate the interview, how much you like the person, or how you appreciate the conversation. This letter is going to be read, like the resume, in 10 seconds.

This is an example you can use:

Dear Mr./Ms.________

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, regarding the position with (firm). Your needs and my qualifications are compatible.

In our meeting, you stated that you wanted someone who was:

* (an attribute that the employer wanted)
* (another attribute)
* (another attribute)

I have given a lot of thought to what we spoke about. I would like to reinforce the confidence you can have in me to deliver what you need. I am:

* (the attributes and an example of the manifestation of that attribute first mentioned above.)
* (ditto for that attribute mentioned second above.)
* (ditto for that attribute mentioned third above.)

I’m an excellent fit for you and your company. I would like to go to work for your firm. This is a win/win situation for both of us.

Your name

When you reinforce what the interviewing or hiring authority said he or she wanted, you need to do it with examples. Remember: describe transferable skills. Make sure that you address specific issues that the interviewing or hiring authority stated was of value to him or her.

Follow-up phone call

You should be aware that after initial interviews the hiring authority has a tendency to move on to other priorities. They don’t think about interviewing or hiring as much as you might think. They might say they will get back to you in a couple of days, and then go on vacation for two weeks.

With this in mind, it is advisable for you to follow up with them two or three days after the interview. Hiring for an open position is said to be urgent, but it is rarely executed as if it were. Your call will remind them of the task at hand. It can happen that your timing is perfect – you may catch the hiring authority at the right moment and secure the appointment for a second interview. This phone call is also a great time to ask about anything that you didn’t fully understand from the initial interview.

If you don’t get the person on the phone, and often you won’t, you will have to deal with voicemail. My recommendation is that you call until reaching him. Don’t be concerned that repeated calls will irritate and ruin your chances – you have absolutely nothing to lose. After all, until you have a job offer, you really don’t have anything.

After ten to fifteen days of calling the hiring authority without a response, you might conclude that you should pursue other opportunities. Never, never, never take the lack of a response personally, or do something stupid like leaving a sarcastic voicemail. Always leave the door open, so that if a prospective employer wants to consider you, even after weeks or months have gone by, you could resurrect the opportunity.