Chances are high that if you’ve found yourself in the dating scene, you’ve also probably experienced a similar phenomenon associated with the job interview. Like dating, sometimes you find yourself in the office of an interviewer, trying to make eye contact; but not too much eye contact, as you don’t want to creep the interviewer out, because you look like a ventriloquist puppet. You find yourself furiously rubbing your hands on your slacks to give that end-of- the-meeting firm handshake, sans the clammy hands. Then, something miraculous happens…
Suddenly, the interview is over, you give the interviewer that firm, (albeit clammy) handshake, and realize that everything you said in the interview, regardless of your physical state, was perfect.
Your general values were right on-target, you asked a great question about the latest news of the company, and for the first time ever, you were able to eloquently answer something other than “Living my life like the Kardashians” to the dreaded “What do you see yourself doing in ten years?” question. You are definitely getting a call back, the hiring manager looked you in the eye, nodded at your responses, and did not say “Oh, that’s ok, I’m fine” when you offered your clammy hand to shake.
…And then you find yourself waiting for a call from someone for seven days straight… Who you’re beginning to think was out of your league the whole time.
However, you can control the situation with some strategic communication tactics. According to the article, “Enhance Your Job Search with Effective Job Interview Follow Up” By Beth Gilfeather, a personalized thank-you note is always appreciated by an interviewer. A note that is short, sincere and direct, is exactly what you should strive for. Gilfeather suggests using the A-I-M approach:
Appreciation: Express it sincerely in your letter.
Interest: Make sure you reinstate your interest in the position.
Match: Explain why you think you would be a great match for the job.
Also, whatever you write, DO NOT forget to spell check! The last thing you need on your nervous and fragile conscious is the hiring manager noticing that you did not take the time to spell check. Even the most minor error can come off as sloppy and lazy, so don’t forget it!
Lastly, no one likes being badgered, so keep your phone contacts to a minimum. This means don’t panic if it has only been one week after you’ve been interviewed. Remember that your interview was probably a small portion of what that hiring manager did for that day alone, so be patient. If they haven’t contacted you after one full week, make one phone call, and leave one message. Gilfeather explains the ideal voice message:
“Your voicemail should just be a quick and friendly reminder to contact you, not a detailed summary of the interview: “Hi Bob, It’s Susan Miller. I just wanted to quickly follow up to tell you how much I enjoyed our meeting last Monday. I’m extremely interested in this position and was glad to hear that you thought there was a match as well. I look forward to hearing about the next steps. Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email when you get a chance to let me know where things stand. Thanks again and speak soon!”
Again, like the thank you note, your voice mail should also be short and sweet. Timing is a valuable concept, so don’t end up wasting it!