If you've had an interview, the last thing you can do to cement your prospect of getting the job is follow up. But what is the best way to contact your interviewer? Should you email her a thank you letter or wait a week to print and send it in the mail? A few tips can help you effectively follow up after an interview.
Ask for a business card during the interview. Use it to glean a mailing or email address so you can contact the person directly. You can save it long after you follow up, since you never know if you'll need to get in touch with that contact in the future. Chances are, all of the interviewer's contact information is on the card.
Send a printed note. While some people prefer email (and that works too), others swear by a handwritten note for a more personal touch. In the note, write a few lines thanking the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Bring up something somewhat personal mentioned in the interview. For example, if you found out that the recipient of your note is an avid kayaker like you, add something like, "Hope to see you paddling on the Adams River this spring."
Drop an email. Email is less personal, but the concept of following up really helps you stand out--regardless of what medium you use. In the email be brief and note the same thing you would in a written letter. Include a professional signature under your name with your phone number, address and email address. In the subject line, make sure you stand out so your message won't get locked in a spam folder. Something such as "Adam: Following Up on Our Interview" or "Adam: Your Interview with Kristen Fischer" or "Adam: Interview Follow-up."
Choose the right language. With a follow-up letter, you want to thank the person for spending time with you and reiterate your interest in the position. You could say that you feel you'd bring a lot to the position and list the name of the job. Or you may want to add that after meeting with the person, you got some ideas to improve sales or productivity in the office--or something else related to the job--then offer up an idea. Provide a more personalized salutation such as "Dear" and use a personal closing line such as "Sincerely," "Warmly" or "Best." These are still professional, but offer a more personal touch.
Stay away from the use of colons in greetings and closings and use commas instead. Never command the recipient to contact you back; you're just saying thank you and showing more interest in the job. That's enough. The most important thing is to be polite and brief--and timely.
Watch the clock. It's never too soon to send out a follow-up note. You can email or mail the note just a few hours after the interview or the next day. Aim to send all follow-ups within 24 to 48 hours to make the best impression. If you use U.S. mail, send the letter out that day. If you email, send the letter within the 72-hour span, tops. If you interview later during the week, try to send out the follow-up message before the weekend. Some people say you may grasp the attention of the interviewer more by hitting him up on a Monday morning, but it's likely that your note could get shoved over in chaos.