How To Follow Up After a Job Interview

job interview follow-up letter mailA Knock 'em Dead follower writes, "I went on an interview this last Monday and I thought it went really well. Should my follow-up letter be "overnighted"?

Should the letter be over-nighted?

A traditional follow-up letter (email does the same but many people think it lacks the punch of the traditional letter) demonstrates your interest in the job, and your professionalism in taking time and effort to follow through on your meetings properly.

You also use a follow-up letter as a device to keep your candidacy forefront in the interviewer's mind; so where you stand in the hiring cycle and when the decision will be made, are both evaluations that play into how quickly you want that follow-up letter to arrive.

When there are more interviews in the selection cycle

If you have had an interview and are hoping that a follow-up letter will help you make the cut for to the next round of interviews, sending it by overnight mail isn't usually necessary:

  • There is no looming deadline so it might make you seem anxious
  • Nothing you write is right the first time. Important job-search letters can always benefit from being put aside and then re-edited a couple of times.
  • The intent is to keep your candidacy alive and vibrant while other candidates are being interviewed.

These considerations usually mean that a letter arriving two or three days after the interview probably serves your purposes better, because it is just when memory of your interview is beginning to dim in the interviewer's mind.

However, you might consider doubling your impact by sending a short email the day after the interview and a letter through traditional mail (with a little more detail) at the same time, which will arrive two or three days later.

When a hiring decision is being made

Again, timing is everything in deciding when to send the letter. If you interviewed today and the hiring decision is imminent, then yes, an overnight delivery makes sense. When there is more time, say 10 days until the hiring decision is made, you might send an email now, a letter (with different content) to arrive two or three days from now, and perhaps even an overnight letter to arrive on the Monday or Tuesday of the decision-making week; each time with some new information.

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