Do you ever wonder what the appropriate interview follow up is after your first interview with a company?

What if it went well? What if it didn’t go well? What if you were stumped on a few questions or there was an awkward pause? What if you weren’t as prepared as you thought?
The first thing you want to do, either right after you get in the car (please drive out of the company’s parking lot), or get off the phone, is to write down any notes and questions you have about the interview, before you forget. In addition, write down the name(s) of those who interviewed you or whom with you spent a few minutes.

Then, you can look them up on LinkedIn to learn more about the person, including their current job and their background and interests. Afterwards, write down specific questions and concerns each of the interviewers had; you’re going to need those pieces of information for writing thank-you notes. The second action you want to take immediately after the interview is write down any of your observations and questions because you will most likely call a friend or family member you trust to discuss the interview. Make sure this person is someone who will keep you grounded. It’s easy to be swept up in all the positive attention you received in the interview. You need someone who will ask you questions that will help you determine whether this is truly a good fit for you or not.

Writing the thank-you notes

Now comes the fun part – writing the thank-you notes! Grab some blank thank-you notes for each person you met on the interview. It’s a good idea to buy a bulk package of these while you are interviewing. Make sure they aren’t filled with fancy designs or colors. The simpler, the better. I know what you are thinking, ‘Hand-written note? Don’t we live in a world full of technology?’ Yes, we do, but you would be amazed at the responses hiring managers have when a well-written, thoughtful thank-you note was received in their mailbox. It’s typically the deciding factor between two capable candidates. A hand-written note shows you took the time to show you cared about them as a person first and the position, second. So there is a lot of room in those blank cards to write a note; remember, keep it simple! In addition, make each person’s note a bit different and specialized to them.

Here is an example of an interview follow up

Dear Bill,
Thanks for a lively conversation about Supply Chain mechanics and international trade laws last Thursday. I appreciate you, Steve and Vince taking time out of your busy schedules to meet me. Looking forward to continuing the discussion and learning more about what’s in the works at ABC Flooring.
Enjoy your week,
Mary Ann

You can’t say a lot in a thank-you note, but you will convey that you have good manners by sending it off, especially within a day or two of the interview. Once the note is sent off, make sure you sit down with your trusted friend and review any questions or concerns you had about the interview. They will be able to see things you didn’t; such as a specific person’s response or personality, or the fact that a person focused on a particular topic (which could relay an issue within the department or organization). After you have gathered information from your friend-discussion, send off a follow-up email to the hiring manager, discussing a specific concern (you will present it as an opportunity for improvement). An example may be:

Dear Vince,
Thanks again for meeting with me to talk Supply Chain and Production last Thursday. I’m excited to talk again and dig into the supplier quality issues you mentioned. I’m curious to learn about what you’ve been experiencing and what you’re looking to achieve in that arena. I’ve done a lot of Supplier Quality work in the past and am eager to brainstorm with you about how to get ABC’s supply chain exactly where it needs to be to support your growth.
Enjoy your week,
Mary Ann

Once this email has been sent, don’t fret. Put it off your mind. If the company truly wants you on their team, they will invite you back for a second interview. At that interview, salary and additional requirements will most likely be brought up. Know what you are worth and don’t settle if they aren’t ready to pay what a person with your talent commands. Move on and be happy you made it through! Interviews and responses to interviews make you stronger and more confident of whom you are in the job market. Remember, companies want people who can do things on their own and bring together teams. Be that person – be respectful and know your worth!
Good luck!