Follow Up After an Interview the Right Way
Congratulations! You’ve just finished your second interview with a company you really want to work for and you feel that it went really well. Everything’s looking good for you to land that dream job. So, what’s next? Sit by the phone for the next who-knows-how-long and wait for the offer? How about doing something more productive like putting together a second interview follow up? Sure, you already sent a thank you after the first interview. But a second interview warrants a follow up note, too. Should a different approach be taken this time around?
“Following up after the second interview is a bit different than the first,” explains Kyra Mancine of Oldcastle’s Rochester Recruiting Office. “At this point, the company is definitely interested in you. You want to thank them again for their consideration, but take it a step further. Ask them if there is anything else that you could provide for them: work samples, sales statistics, portfolio pieces, etc. You can also mention that you have references available. And, don’t forget to reiterate that you are a good fit for the position.”
As you can see, there’s more to consider for a second interview follow up than a mere “thank you.” Let’s take a closer look.
Your Second Interview Follow Up
The movie Jaws: The Revenge used the tag line: “This time, it’s personal.”
You can think of the second interview follow up in the same way. In the second interview, you very likely met with specific departmental managers rather than, or in addition to, a hiring manager or HR manager, and you’ll have to address your second interview thank you letter (or second interview thank you email) to each of the individuals with whom you interviewed. You will now know more about the job and what would be expected of you and it’s important to mention these details in your follow up.
“After a second interview, your thank you note/follow-up should be much more specific and tailored to the role, and the day’s discussions,” says Sarah Kesher of Vivo, Inc. “Arguably, a first round follow up can be more general – ‘thank you for your time,’ ‘looking forward to next steps’ – but, the second interview is usually one in which more job details and company information was gleaned. Referencing what was shared, and connecting it to your interest level, is appropriate and appreciated.”
So, you might add in your letter or email that you were glad to have had the opportunity to find out more about the company and the position in further detail. Now that you know more, you might be able to explain how you would be a good fit for the company in a way that you could not in your first interview follow up.
Other things you might communicate in your second interview thank you include:
- How the interview increased your enthusiasm for the position
- How you are a fit for the company culture
- Ways you can meet the specific challenges of the position that were discussed in the interview
These are just a few ideas you might incorporate into your letter or email; there’s certainly no need to include them all. Remember, you’re writing just a brief letter to show your continued interest in the position, how and why you’re a good fit and thanking your interviewers for taking the time to meet with you. This is not the place to go overboard with too many details.
Standing Out in a Second Interview Follow Up
When you’re vying for a job, it’s often important to separate yourself from the rest of the candidates. A second interview follow up gives you the opportunity to do just that.
“Break yourself from thinking that the same old status quo approach will work in today’s competitive job market,” states Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal. “Everybody shows up on time, everybody follows up, everybody sends a thank you note – you have to do something to stand out.
“The best example of this that I’ve seen is one applicant who sent a thank you note, but also sent an article from a trade publication that tied into what we discussed during the interview. It showed me that she was engaged, she knew our industry and she was thinking about ways she could contribute to the team. [She] was willing to go above and beyond the same old motions of trying to land a job.”
Making yourself stand out in your second interview thank you can be as simple as stressing how your particular skills and experience are benefits for the position being offered. It could be one or two things that you and you alone could bring to the company.
Your talents and your experiences are yours and no one else’s. If they are a good match for the company and you can drive that home in a well-done second interview thank you letter, it could wind up that interview No. 2 makes you candidate No. 1.
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