Monday, October 5, 2015

Interview Like a Pro Series: What you do after the interview

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

The interview may be over, but you are not quite done! You still need to write your thank you note. Some may argue that it’s best to write a hand written note, but I don’t agree.
I’ve had candidates who decided to only send a hand-written thank you note after their interview. When I followed up with the Hiring Manager a few days after, the only feedback against hiring the candidate was that there was no follow up email received. The hiring manager received the hand written thank you card after extending an offer to someone else, and unfortunately it was too late to change anything. 
The ideal timeframe for the delivery is approximately 24 working hours after the interview, which is unrealistic to expect from the post office. I bring up the working hours point because if you interview on a Friday and decide to write your thank you note over the weekend, hold off on sending it until mid-Monday. The likelihood of it being overlooked increases if it is sent before or after-hours. Keep in mind that it’s also inappropriate to send a thank you email too early. You shouldn’t be sending the email as you’re getting on the elevator from the interview.
The point of the thank you email is to restate your interest and what you would bring to the table, but that’s not the only purpose. Put yourself in the Hiring Manager’s shoes: in addition to your daily responsibilities, you are tasked with reviewing hundreds of resumes, conducting multiple rounds of interviews, comparing candidates against each other who interviewed a week apart, making decisions on who to bring back, and your boss just appointed you lead in a new project. You’re ready to extend an offer to the top candidate, but then your boss schedules an emergency meeting to discuss a pressing matter. You put the offer letter aside hoping to get back to it by the end of the day, which doesn’t happen because your spouse calls to ask about dinner and you realize you’re late to pick up your kids from daycare. 
The second reason for the thank you email is to remind the hiring manager that their workload will be alleviated if they bring on the top candidate to join their team. I’ve had hiring managers who identified the top 2 candidates and could extend the offer to either one. What did the decision come down to? Who wrote the best thank you email!
On the flip side, an offer was withheld based on the thank you email because it misspelled the names of the firm and the hiring manager. Remember, this email is supposed to assist you in rising above the competition, not the opposite! Double-check your spelling and grammar before you send.
If you have not heard back from the hiring manager within the time frame discussed, it is appropriate to follow up. Most candidates will send a follow up e-mail, but if you choose to pick up the phone and speak with the Hiring Manager, I assure you that you’ll stand our amongst the competition.
Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter!

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