You’ve known about this amazing internship opportunity for months and you’ve waited patiently for the application to open. You’ve spent an entire week perfecting the application and you’re elated when you get the call that you’ve been selected for an in-person interview. You spent the next week preparing, picking out your outfit days in advance, poring over every possible question at least three times in your head. You even stand in front of a mirror and practice smiling and shaking the interviewer’s hand. After the interview, you feel on top of the world, and when they told you, “We’ll be sure to get back to you within a week,” you feel pretty confident that you’ll be hearing good news.
So is that it? Are you done? Do you just sit around by the phone waiting for that phone call? No! The interview is over and they might be reviewing your application, but it’s important to “seal the deal” and nail the follow-up and leave the best possible impression with your potential employer.
Immediately after the interview, take notes on how the interview went and some of the things that you discussed. Note the moments in which you truly had a conversation with your interviewer. Within 24 hours of the interview, send them a quick e-mail, thanking them for their time and consideration and mentioning one or two important points that you discussed. Maybe you are both alumni of the same school, or your interviewer discussed a particular project of theirs that you found especially interesting. Any personal touch to let the interviewer know that you enjoyed the interview and speaking with him or her. When they get this, it will remind them of the interview, and it will show them that you truly are interested in the position.
The next day, write up a thank-you note and send it in the mail. Make sure it’s handwritten, and even if it takes a few days to arrive, it will be a nice personal touch to show the interviewer that you were grateful for the opportunity to speak with them. Don’t copy the e-mail verbatim, but maybe talk about another discussion point from the interview. It may seem like you are bothering the interviewee, but by the time they get the note, they will probably have reviewed your application thoroughly. Who knows, maybe it was between two candidates, but the other candidate did not take the time to send a handwritten thank-you note, so the job is yours!
Following-up after the interview is part of professional etiquette, and the more personal you make the follow-up, and the more detail you use, the more your application will stand out amongst the rest. Anything you can do to give yourself a leg up in the job hunt will only benefit you! So good luck on those interviews and make sure you follow-up!