By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Effectively following up after your interview is one of the keys to getting the job. Your follow-up is more than just a courtesy thank you to the hiring manager. Your follow up should also be viewed as an opportunity to influence the hiring committee.
After your interview, you have a tremendous opportunity to convince the search committee that you are the right person for the job. This is usually done through a typed letter, handwritten note, or an email. Below are a few strategies you can use to help influence the search committee when you follow-up after your interview.
The first and most important follow-up strategy you should concern yourself with is in asking the right questions during your interview. Most search committees are looking to hire someone who can solve the problems of their department or organization. If you ask the correct questions during your interview, you will be able to uncover what challenges the organization is currently facing, and you can then devise a plan to solve these problems. This plan can be strategically communicated as you follow-up after your interview.
A second strategy is in building relationships with the members of the search committee. As you continue to ask questions during your interview, try to uncover what concerns each search committee member has about you as a candidate? You will need to address each of these concerns in a personalized thank you letter. Since you don’t know which committee member has the greatest influence on the committee, you will want to try to influence each committee member into believing you are the right candidate for the position.
A third strategy is for you to properly time your follow-up correspondence. For example, if you are the first of four candidates to interview, you will want your letter of influence (thank you letter) to arrive the day before the final candidate interviews. The strategy is that you want the committee members thinking of how great you are while they are interviewing the final person. If your letter arrives too early, you lose impact due to the passing of time. If your letter arrives too late, the organization might have already offered the job.
However, if you are the fourth of four to interview, you will need to send notes of influence very quickly. In this situation, you might need to send an email instead of a letter. Regardless of when you interview, you will need to develop a letter of influence, addressing their concerns, and solving their problems. And this letter needs to be properly timed.
A final strategy for following up is to understand that quite often the person who gets the job is the candidate who outlasted the other candidates. In other words, they didn’t allow their ego to convince them to withdraw from the search. Sometimes other candidates are offered the job and they turn down the offer. Outlast your competition and be ready for the offer when they turn to you as a candidate.
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 www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.
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- 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
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Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University