Staying on the radar after the job interview
by Eileen Dooley
March 17, 2011
I’ve just completed the final round of interviews for a job I want so badly, I can taste it. The decision is now in the hands of the hiring committee. What can I do now to maximize my chances of getting this job?
The best action you can take is to provide the hiring committee one more reminder of your enthusiasm and experience in the form of a thank-you letter. And this should not be just a “thanks for having me and I look forward to your decision” note. You should see it as one final opportunity to sell yourself and your unique qualifications for the job.
A proper thank-you note should be a professional letter, with four main elements presented as separated for clarity as four main paragraphs:
Express your gratitude
Thank the panel members for their time and interest in you. Tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them and talking about the position, the company and how you can be of benefit to them in the job.
Review your strengths
Reinforce any key points that have repeatedly come up in the interview process that you feel need drilling home. For example, if the ability to manage multiple budgets is paramount in this role, remind them about your many years of experience dealing with this, and the value of budgets you have managed over your career.
If during the interview you made points that you think might not have come across as you had intended, or if there are things the interviewers may have misunderstood, use the thank-you letter to clarify your comments. For example, if you were talking about a complex business plan you were implementing, and you found yourself talking more about the plan than what you did with it, explain your role and work more clearly.
Add one more thing
This happens to everyone: You leave the interview room and remember something key to a question you were asked. In the letter, don’t say you forgot something. Just word it in a way that you thought they would be interested in learning another key point.
For maximum impact, this letter should be sent, either e-mailed or hand delivered, within a day of the final interview. Use plain white, professional paper (if hand-delivering) free of gimmicks or jokes (this is true of e-mail). It should be received first thing in the morning if your interview was the previous afternoon, or in the afternoon if your interview was in the morning, because you want the points to be made before deliberations begin and decisions are made.
If constructed this way, your letter will not only tell the hiring committee you are really interested in the job, but will also give you the final boost to bring you top of mind.
Eileen Dooley is a career coach with McRae Inc. in Calgary.