Hiring for any job is a process. Recruiters often go through hundreds of profiles and spend days or weeks sorting through candidates to narrow down their interview list. So, if you have made the cut, pat yourself on the back. But keep in mind that you must continue to stand-out as you go through the entire hiring process. At the end of it all, it is of great importance to end on a good note (excuse the pun) with a job interview thank you note.
Often interviews are initially done by telephone and then you may be called for an on-site interview. Regardless of the location you must be prepared for both.
Preparing for your interview
Preparing for your interview is critical
-Research as much as you can about the company and the position you are being hired for.
-Prepare intelligent questions that show you have indeed taken the time to learn about the company.
-Update your resume and print out several copies to bring along. Do not assume all those you will be meeting will have your resume on hand.
-Lay out what you will be wearing to the interview the night before. And of course do dress appropriately. (Read What to wear).
-Know the exact location of the interview, print out your directions and plan to leave early so that you can arrive at least 10 minutes before.
-Get a good night sleep.
The actual interview
Interviews can vary in length and may consist of meeting different interviewers and testings. You may have to undergo an aptitude or psychological test. Be sure to keep track of names and titles of each person you meet with. The easiest way is to collect business cards. However, if this is not possible be sure to write the names down.
During your interview be sure to present yourself professionally. Give a firm handshake making eye contact and be friendly. Listen carefully to questions and ask for clarification if needed. Conclude the interview with a firm handshake.
Immediately after your interview write down notes so that you do not forget any important details. Call the company to clarify any spelling of names and titles for those you met that you did not get a business card from.
The all important job interview thank you note
The job interview thank you note is essential to your career strategy. It is important to write thank you notes promptly. Ideally they should be written within 24 hours but it is acceptable within 48 hours. Sending your thank you note by email is perfectly fine. If you really want to stand out though, following up with a handwritten second note by snail mail would make a great impression.
In your letter be sure to include the following points:
-Thank them for meeting with you and be sure to reiterate your interest in working for the organization.
-Make the letter personal.
-Remind the employer about your qualifications and especially be sure to include any detail you may have forgotten to discuss during the actual interview.
-Follow up with any information that the interviewer asked you for.
-Ensure you have absolutely no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Double and triple check. Have a friend or family member read it over.
-Stand out and emphasize your strengths!
For ideas on how to format your letter, there are plenty of great resources. One particular one we like, here at Workhoppers, is the samples provided by Dr. Randall S. Hansen.
If you have not heard anything after more than a week follow up with a polite inquiry that will show you are still interested.