To stand out from others interviewed, follow-up is crucial.
In the IT field, competition for quality jobs can be fierce. When you finally get an interview for a job you really want, you should pull out all the stops in order to make a good impression. But more and more, IT job candidates are finding that it isn't enough to have a great interview. It can be what happens after the interview that sometimes determines whether you get moved forward in the hiring process.
All things being equal, employers are putting increasing weight on applicants' follow-up for several reasons. Not only does appropriate follow-up indicate that the applicant is conscientious, but it also shows that you have good people skills and etiquette - which become important when you are on the job every day.
So what should you do after an interview to send the right message? According to About.com Job Search, several things are important.
--Make notes about the interview. Write down the questions you were asked and your answers. This will help you remember what you said for follow-up interviews and can be used to build on for your own follow-up contacts.
--Send a thank you email or letter within 24 hours. If you didn't get the contact information of your interviewers, call the company and get that information. Then write a thank you email or note that does the following: expresses appreciation for their time and the interview opportunity, offers clarification on any interview questions that you may have blanked on, and offers additional information that the interviewer may find helpful, such as an article link.
One way to make yourself stand out is to write a blog post on a relevant topic and include the link in your email. The idea is to show your expertise and understanding of your subject area. You should send a note or email to each interviewer as well as any support staff that were especially helpful.
Sending a thank you note immediately after the interview shows that you are conscientious.
--Connect online, but be careful. Connecting in a professional way, such as with LinkedIn, is appropriate. Friending on Facebook is not. The middle ground: following the company on Twitter. But don't blitz the interviewer with multiple social media requests or post repeatedly, or you may come across as a stalker type.
--Continue to follow up periodically, but offer something new each time, such as an example of a previous successful project completed or an article you think will be of interest. This shows that you are still interested in the position but that you're not going to be a pest about it.
--Use phone calls judiciously, if at all. Since email has gained popularity, phone calls can feel like an intrusion. If you do call, keep things brief and rehearse what you want to say ahead of time so it comes across the way you intend.
--Notify your references. Letting references know that they may be contacted and by whom will help them prepare to say something supportive and helpful, as well as letting them know why a particular person or company is calling them so that they don't just ignore the call.
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