When interviewing for a job many people neglect this all-important step – follow-up. In fact, the simple act of following up correctly after an interview may be the difference-maker you need to get the job.

What is Follow-Up?

Follow-up is the series of communications that occur after an interview. The follow-up protocol includes:

* A thank you note
* A follow-up phone call
* A final confirmation or acceptance call (Depending on the acceptance and negotiation process there may actually be several communications once you’ve been offered a job.)

Follow-Up Protocol

Generally, before an interview concludes it is important to ask how you should follow up. Your interviewer will generally let you know their process and how long they anticipate the decision-making to take. This is your cue. If they say it will take a week before they make a decision, you know to call in one week and a day if you haven’t heard from them.

Your Thank You Letter

The first thing you should do when you get home from an interview is send everyone you met with a thank you letter. A thank you email may also be appropriate depending on the nature of the company and the person you met with. Some people still prefer a handwritten note. Do what feels right.
Your thank you letter should be:

* Addressed to the interviewer with their name spelled correctly
* Succinct and friendly
* Relevant to the conversation you had with the interviewer – address something you discussed specifically
* Clear that you’re interested in the position
Your phone call:
* Be friendly – you want to continue to make a positive impression
* Only call once to see if they’ve made a decision. You don’t want to scare or annoy them
* Keep the conversation short to respect their time
* It’s okay to remind them that you’re very excited about the opportunity and thank them for their time.

Follow-up is an important part of the complete interviewing process. Neglecting it is like handing the job to someone else. When it only takes a few minutes to write a note or make a call, it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

Be sure to always be polite, courteous, gracious, positive, and friendly. Even if you don’t end up getting this particular opportunity, if you leave a good impression on the people you’ve met they may lead you to a better opportunity down the road. People leave companies, the network, and new opportunities open up every day. Following up with people after an interview is a sure way to make a positive impression on people that can make a difference in your life.