Monday, October 24, 2011

Impressive Follow-up

What do you think is the purpose of follow-up? How do you follow-up?
Thank youMost people know to follow-up after each interview. Many, however, follow-up ineffectively. Too many people sit at home waiting for the phone to ring or the email to come. Others irritate the interviewer by asking “Have you made a decision yet?”. They fail to realize the power of impressive follow-up.
Continuing to convince the interviewer remains the purpose of follow-up. AS I mentioned in previous blogs, you must convince them you can:
  1. Do the job they want done
  2. Fit into their team or organization
  3. Provide a good return on their investment
Immediately After the Interview
Evaluate the interview before anything can distract you (car radio, phone calls, texting). Write down the following information:
  • Correct spelling of the names and email of everyone involved in the interview
  • Topics covered by the interview or meeting
  • The answers to four questions
    • What went well in the interview?
    • What did you say that you wish you had not said?
    • What did you not say that you wish you had said?
    • What requirement did they have that you did not meet?
Four Steps to Impressive Follow-up
My suggestion for impressive follow-up involves four steps:
  1. Send a thank you card or email to each person in the interview the same day as the interview. In fact, I suggest you take 4-5 thank you cards to the interview. Complete them before you leave and leave them with the receptionist. Your thank you card should restate what went well in the interview.
  2. Make a phone call 3-4 business days after the interview. The phone call should last less than 3 minutes. It should fix what you said that you wish you had not said. End the phone call with a simple “I really want to work with you. Is now a good time to set up a second interview?” Do not press it more than that. Just ask and let it go—unless they accept your offer for the interview.
  3. Make a second call 3-4 days after the first phone call. Once again, do not take more than 3 minutes. This time, you say what you wish you had said. In other words, give the great answer that came to you after the interview ended. End your conversation with the same “I really want to work for you. Is now a good time to set up a second interview?”
  4. Make a third call another 3-4 days after the second call. This call should highlight how you compensate for the requirement you did not meet. For example, if you lacked experience with a certain software program, spend 4-6 hours with someone teaching you how to run the software. In the phone call explain the training you received, and detail how it prepared you to do the job. You obviously did not learn everything you needed to know, but your initiative will demonstrate your willingness and ability to solve problems.
Remember, your follow-up continues to impress the interviewer that you will do the job, fit into their team, and provide a great return on investment. You avoid irritating the interviewer by asking if they have made a decision. Nor do you sit by the phone waiting for them to call you. You follow these four steps to impressive follow-up.
Read the blog on Wednesday when I share how to prepare a 10-minute reusable resume
Please share what follow-up techniques work for you

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