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Job Interview Update

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Last week I wrote that I had a couple job interviews lined up for this week, so I spend last weekend preparing for the interviews by reviewing the companies, their work streams, and going over potential interview questions. I felt very confident when I walked in the door, and I hope that was evident to the interviewers.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been bored with my current job, and though I have looked for other positions within my company and pleaded my case several times with my manager and his boss, there just doesn’t seem to be much in my company that will offer me the professional growth opportunities I am looking for.

Both positions I interviewed for offer more responsibility and growth opportunity than my current job, and I am looking forward to hearing back from the companies.

The interviews. Of the 2 interviews, I think one of them went very well. The other, I don’t know. The interviewers didn’t give me much to go on, and they were difficult to read. The second company seems to have a very stiff atmosphere, which is not something I am sure I want to be a part of. The first interview was very laid back, the interviewers were friendly, and the company atmosphere seemed to be an energetic environment in which to work.

My plan going forward. Directly after the interview, I sent the interviewers a thank you note. I did this via e-mail, which some people say is a no-no. However, others think it is fine depending on the industry and whether or not it is time-sensitive (i.e. they need to make a decision quickly). I still have the option of dropping a hard letter in the mail as well, so I think I will do that. Going the extra mile doesn’t hurt.

I also plan on following up with a phone call. Since I interviewed earlier in the week, I will do that today. I don’t want to wait too long, because I am interested in the positions, and I want to be seen as a candidate that is eager and interested in the company / position.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll post an update when I hear back from the companies I interviewed with.


Published or updated April 18, 2008.
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Dollar Plan

I don’t mind when candidates send an email thank you. Unfortunately, if they snail mail it, I usually don’t get it until after my decision is made.

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2 plonkee

You know, I’m not involved in any hiring decisions at work, and no one who is has ever mentioned a candidate sending a thank you anything. Maybe it’s not common in England and it could give me an edge. :)

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3 Ryan

Plonkee, It’s considered good form here in the States. In my opinion, it’s a little something extra that could make the interviewer(s) remember you. I’m not saying it will be the deciding factor in the hiring decision every time, but it could work in your favor. :)

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4 Emily

I hope you hear good news!

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5 Dividend growth investor

Interviewing is more of an art than science. What could be totally inappropriate in a certain situation is totally appropriate for other situations.
For example some people say that calling your interviewer after an interview is a good thing because it shows that you are interested in the job and are willing to go the extra mile. On the other hand though, the interviewer might see you as overly pushy, which might ruin your chances of getting a job. ( In your situation i really wish you to take the job you want).
Yet another example is about writing down thank you notes. Some people say that you should definitely send a thank you letter/ greeting card with your handwritten reminiscence of what you have to say.
Yet others claim that in the era of the internet, its far more convenient to send an e-mail thank you note. In the companies that I have applied for before, most of the people were known to have been out of office the majority of the time( college recruiting). So they wouldn’t have received your thank you note for weeks. In my current company very few people that I know of ( even managers who are hiring) check their mailboxes..

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6 Mrs. Micah

Good luck with them! I think sending a thank-you by e-mail is quite relevant for many situations…particularly those involving IT and the like.

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7 Shanti @ Antishay

Good luck!

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8 Alan

Sounds like your prepared, good luck with your seeking!

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9 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Good Luck Ryan. Hope it turns out well for you.
Every job interview where I sent a thank you note, I received a job offer. Batting 1.000 with that.

Even if you do send it snail mail, I have one already prepared and jot down something right after the interview, then drop it into a mailbox just around the corner. It usually gets there in a day or two.

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10 Erik

Whose idea was it to send thank you notes to people who are not taking as much time and effort to be at the interview as you are? Card companies, that’s who. Don’t do this. It’s more of a risk than an accepted practice and it’s one more thing we don’t need to piss away our resources on. We are not the Japanese. Worker and employer is a symbiotic relationship. Be polite. Thank them for their time at the interview.

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11 Ryan

Erik,

A thank you note can be as simple as a quick e-mail thanking the interviewer for their time, or a hand written note expressing the same. I would think it a bit weird if someone sent me a Hallmark thank-you card after an interview. The key is to be professional.

I also don’t think it is a risk to send a follow up e-mail or note to an interviewer. It gives the job seeker a chance to maintain an open line of communication and shows the interviewer the job applicant is likely to be assertive when following up on assignments.

By all means be polite and thank for their time at the interview, but consider following up as well. It shows them you are interested and willing to continue working toward your goals – a trait every employer I’ve worked for values.

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12 Erik

Based on what evidence is this effective? All I’m seeing out there is anecdotal stuff from unverifiable employers. I know how I would feel about an employee who sent a thank you note and while I wouldn’t hold it as a huge strike against them, I’d wonder about their confidence. Bad news if I was just on the wire about them vs. another potential employee.

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13 Ryan

Erik, in my experience, following up after an interview shows the interviewer you are interested in the position and have the ability to follow up with important tasks.

Simply going through the motions in an interview does not always qualify as being interested in the position. There are many people who interview to see what jobs are out there or to get an offer simply to gain leverage in other negotiations.

Sending a thank you note is very similar to making a follow up phone call to express your interest in the position, only it is a written record. I am not recommending sending a flowery Hallmark card, but a simple handwritten note or e-mail (e-mail is generally acceptable and even preferable in most cases).

As for evidence of effectiveness, I have not read any studies and my “proof” is only anecdotal as well. I was hired after sending thank you e-mails to my interviewers after my interview. I will ask my manager if the thank you e-mail I sent had any negative or positive effect on my interview.

The other thing to consider is the industry and location in which you work. I am sure standards vary based on these factors. I live and work in the Midwest in an industry (consulting and government contracting) that is fairly knit. There is a lot of communication and flow across leadership from various companies. I am sure things are different in a large city or in other industries.

(I should also note that I did not follow up with a hand-written thank you note. I simply sent a quick e-mail to the interviewers thanking them for their time and leaving my contact information in the signature).

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