Proper Strategy is Key After the Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Editor’s Note:  The Coffee House Mentor is a series of 10 topics that discuss all aspects of the job search process. This is the last article in the series.  To review any of the previous articles, go to our Home Page at

This past week both Cece and Steve got new jobs.  Cece was hired as an assistant marketing director for a department store in Seattle and Steve’s new position is in operations at a financial firm in Tacoma.  Of the five mentees, three now have new jobs and two others have interviews coming up soon.

Rob is happy for his mentees and the progress they have made.  Since this is the final session for this group, Rob will take two weeks off and then begin with another group of job seekers.   The two mentees who have upcoming interviews really need this week’s session.  This week’s topic is on understanding the various strategies and techniques a person can utilize in following-up after the interview.

Last week Rob spoke about how the goal of the interview is to sell yourself and also to gather information about the organization.  He made sure that the group understood that in gathering information, the group members should be interviewing like a consultant.  They should probe and uncover information about the people, structure, culture and current situation surrounding the organization.  This information will now be used in their post-interview strategies.  In other words, the information they gathered in their interviews will now be used in an attempt to influence the hiring decision of the search committee.

To influence the hiring manager and the search committee toward you, you will need to use three strategies.  One strategy includes conducting a follow-up campaign, while another strategy includes having the proper timing of your follow-up correspondence.  A final strategy is to stay positive and outlast the other candidates.

The use of a follow-up campaign will help you to think creatively and strategically about how best to follow-up with the hiring manager and others of influence.  Many people will send a letter of thank you after their interview, but most people don’t.  You, however, will conduct a follow-up campaign.  This campaign will include corresponding to everyone you met during your interview.  You will want to send a typed letter that includes thanking them for their time, touching on something that might connect the two of you (similar home town, common friends, same philosophies, etc.), and telling them what you can do for them.  This approach should be used if you are the first of 3 or 4 interviewees.

However, if their isn’t enough time to send a letter of influence, you can have note cards already addressed and a quick note of influence can be written before you leave town and put in the mail prior to leaving town or as you wait in the airport.  But, if you are last to interview, you will need to send an e-mail.  Personalize each letter, note, or e-mail.  This will be impressive and help to sway the decision of the committee.

Other items you can include in a follow-up campaign are telephone calls from colleagues who will help to sell you to the hiring manager, work samples you can provide, and maybe even a proposal that might resemble a consultants report stating what you believe the organization needs and how you can fulfill their needs.  These strategies and more are in the book the mentoring group uses entitled Getting Hired In College Sports.  The book has helped hundreds of people to get a job.  It has helped the members of Rob’s mentoring group as well.

To get hired in a new job, you will need to be prepared with the basics of the job interview process.  Remember, in all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.   Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at or his new book, Execute for Success, at


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