Separate Yourself From The Other Interviewees With These Critical Follow-up Strategies

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

This past week Austin got a new job as an assistant marketing director for a mid-major Division I athletic department on the East Coast. One thing that separated him from the other interviewees was that he understood the importance of properly following up after an interview, and he knew the various strategies and techniques a person could use to effectively follow-up.

Austin knew the importance of gathering information during his interview. He sounded like a consultant as he asked numerous questions to the members of the search committee.  He probed and uncovered information about the people, structure, culture and current situation surrounding the athletics department.  He used this information in his post-interview strategies.  In other words, the information he gathered in his interview, he used in his follow-up correspondence in an attempt to influence the hiring decision of the search committee.

To influence the hiring manager and the search committee in your favor, you 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 do not.  You, however, should 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 one of the first to interview.

However, if there isn’t enough time to send a letter of influence, you can use this technique and send a hand written note card or an e-mail. A personalized note card is impressive if there is enough time between your interview and the hiring of a candidate, but if time is limited an e-mail should be your strategy of choice. As you write your letter, note card or e-mail, you will want to personalize each message.  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 my book entitled Getting Hired In College Sports.  This book has helped hundreds of people to get jobs in the sports industry.  Best of luck with your job search!


Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at or his new book Execute for Success at


The #1 Careers Book in Sports

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In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University