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Just Had an Interview? Here’s the Right Way to Follow Up After

By Savanna Bous, Fast Company

Imagine you just crushed a job interview for a position you’re really excited about. You made a connection with the interviewer, and didn’t get tripped up by their tricky questions. Congratulations! But now what? Should you just wait to hear from them? Not so fast.

After your interview, the best way to leave a lasting is just by saying thank you. It’s a simple thing to do, but it’s one that many candidates skip, or get wrong. Taking the initiative to show the interviewer your gratitude can set you apart. Here’s what you need to do:

Lots of people swear by the power of a physical card mailed to the interviewer. But what if it takes too long to get there? Does an email feel more modern? If you’re not sure which route to go, why not send both?

Emails are quick, easy, and effective—especially with so many people still working remotely. If you want to go above and beyond with your gratitude, send a physical thank you to the office. This shows dedication and consideration. Since the postal system is a tad bit slower than the internet, make sure to send the email first.

To stay fresh in the mind of the interviewer, try to send a thank you within 24–48 hours. While it’s important to be prompt, don’t sacrifice quality or content. “It’s not just good manners,” former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Kate White told Fast Company. “The interviewer is judging your passion for the job based on whether you send a note and what you say in it.”

It’s pretty easy to tell when appreciation is forced, or a template found off the internet. So make sure to include details from your interview. (Take notes if you can!) This can range from something you had in common with the interviewer, recent news pertaining to the company, information about the position you’re applying for, or a recent accomplishment of yours.

Make sure your thank you is visually eye-catching as well. If it’s handwritten, use nice stationary, or create a quick digital thank you with a site like Canva or Paperless Post.

Give them a brief refresher why you’re a good fit for the position. You could use this as a chance to show them relevant work or add anything you forgot to mention in the interview. If you think the interviewer might think you’re under or overqualified, address their concerns and provide examples. This note is a great opportunity to demonstrate your soft skills whether it’s communication, organization, or time management.

Before you hit send, or drop the note in the mail, check that all the small details are in order. Use spellcheck and reread the thank you to make sure the name of the company and whoever you’re addressing are correct. Small mistakes like misspellings can be associated with lack of an attention to detail. If your note is handwritten, make sure your script is up to par. If no one can read it, it doesn’t count.

You’re not writing a letter or a long form essay. Try to keep the length of your thank you short—between six to eight sentences. This will help you avoid rambling, oversharing, and wasting the time of the interviewer.

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