Interview follow-up tips

How you handle the follow-up after an interview contributes to a successful experience.

November is National Career Development Month, and it’s just around the corner. As you think about career development, successful interviewing skills should come to mind. Whether you are interviewing for a job, scholarship or special opportunity, it has been my experience that your follow-up may influence or contribute to a successful outcome. Consider these tips from Michigan State University Extension:

  • Being professional, courteous and respectful at all times with potential employers, their staff and selection committee members is the expectation and will be noticed and captured following the interview.
  • In most interview situations, the candidate should be asked at some point if he or she has any questions for the interviewer. Your answer should be “yes” and can help you set the stage for what follow-up you need to complete. It is OK to ask about the timeline for making a decision. You may also ask when you should hear something. Another good question is to ask how many other candidates are being interviewed. You may also ask if you can contact them if you do not hear from them by a certain date. If the answer to that is yes, you may also ask if they prefer phone or email contact and who to contact.
  • Whether by phone, online or in person, interviewers will process and evaluate candidates after the interview. How will you rate on the following?
    • Did you have an enthusiastic voice? Tone and volume also get noticed.
    • Did you answer questions vaguely or directly?
    • Did you research the company well, or did you ask simple questions? 
    • Did you express interest in a second interview or other follow-up? 
    • Did you follow up with a thank-you letter? In current times, email thank-yous are OK, but never forget the impact of a good old fashioned thank-you note.
    • Did you pursue this interview opportunity with a phone call or email? 
    • Did you send or bring supporting material (resume, portfolio, references, etc.)?
  • Debrief with a trusted mentor or friend. Reflect on your interview experience out loud to sort of analyze how the experience went to help hone your skills and ideas for the next interview – whenever that may take place.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development offers a variety of educational resources in the areas of career exploration and workforce preparation. You may also wish to explore the many materials available through the Michigan State University Career Services Network.

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