I returned home, exhausted from a two-hour interview with a panel of three hiring managers, for a position as a Social Service Worker at a local non-profit organization. The group did ask me for my references, which I understand is a good sign!
But, I am still unsure as to whether or not to send a follow-up thank you email as I have been advised in the interview skills workshop at JVS Toronto. If I do follow-up, should I call the interviewers? After all, they gave me their business card. Should I write an email with a thank you note in an attachment? Should I just leave it alone and wait for the hiring people to get back to me? Perhaps I should shoot off a little thank you message in the body of the email?
Please let me know what the protocol is.
Thanks so much.
According to the Employment Counsellors here at JVS, as soon as possible after the interview you should write down the questions that were asked and make any notes that may help you prepare for another interview.
The best practice is to write a thank-you letter within 24 hours of the interview and hand-deliver or email it. I usually recommend to include it in the body of the email, though some of my colleagues suggest you write a letter and attach it, so it can be printed/saved and added to your resume and cover letter on their record. Most importantly, this is a chance for you to tell the interviewer any additional information that might increase your chance of being selected for the position — something you may have omitted during the stress of the actual interview.
If you do not hear from the employer at the time stated for a decision, call to find out if a decision has been made. If no time was given, call about a week or ten days later. This will demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm.
If you are turned down for a position, ask for feedback about the interview or how you might increase your chances for a similar position. Write a note letting the employer know of your continued interest, and asking if you may keep in touch.
The interviewer may know of openings elsewhere, and is now in a position to refer you to assist a colleague who needs a good candidate.
Remember — you did your best, and any mistakes are good lessons for subsequent interviews!
Cynthia Shapiro is adamant in “What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here?: 44 Insider Secrets That Will Get You Hired” that calling to follow-up will cost you the job. Once the interview process is over, and the thank-you notes have been sent, “the dreaded waiting game begins, punctuated by long bouts of nerve-wracking silence” (2010, p. 135). Shapiro believes that you need to wait and any call you make after the interview is over will make you appear needy and desperate, and you can lower your chances. She demonstrates that if they want you, they will call you. If they don’t want you, no amount of follow-up will change their minds. Shapiro posits, contrary to popular opinion, that nothing influences the decisions of the interviewers or hiring managers after the interviews are over.
Contrary to her opinion, I have had feedback from employers who were impressed with a follow-up thank you email notes from candidates whom I have referred to for an interview; those candidates who did not send a note were duly noted by the employer too! He noticed this effort, time and dedication of the job seeker. To go one step further, this email definitely made a difference in their hiring decision.
Hope this helps your decision and I really hope you get that job offer! If you would like samples of thank you notes, we have some here at JVS Toronto.
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