Networking and Interviewing: The Follow-Up

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There are many different professional situations in which you may want to send a follow-up, thank you or request to an interviewer/new connection/possible new contact, and the guidelines for these different situations can get unclear. We are going to share what to do in each.

Following up after a professional interview

Following-up after a professional interview is something that even many professionals may forget to do; but this follow-up makes a difference. It is important to follow-up the day of or day after the interview; in doing this you are signaling that you are deeply appreciative of the interviewer’s time, and this makes your application stand out. It is important in this follow-up email to express that you appreciated talking with them, and to mention the position/job that was interviewed for. It is also important to remember to express that you are excited about some aspect of the job that the interviewer shared; this makes the email more personal and highlights that you paid deep attention in the interview.

Following up with someone you met networking

There are many situations in which you may meet people in your network and ask for an informational interview or small favor. In this situation, we suggest contacting this person the first day that you connect; then if they don’t get back send a follow-up email to check in 6 days later. Oftentimes some people are too busy to respond; but more often than not, your email may have gotten lost in their inbox. If you do not hear from this contact after this second message, move on to another contact and don’t take it personal!

Informational Interview Request & Follow-up

In the search for a job or opportunities it is very possible that you may email or reach out to a contact that you have no previous connection with. While it is better to reach out with a mutual connection, there are no downsides to reaching out this way; besides the fact that they are less likely to respond.  

There are steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood of a response regarding an informational interview Request. In the informational interview request email, there are many important content considerations to be made. First, we recommend a brief introduction of what you are setting the interview up for. Another crucial factor in this email is to express interest in the role of the person you are contacting, in the context of their job. Make sure to ask for 15/30 minutes to connect and express that you wish to discuss their experiences in the position.  It is also great practice to include why you are fascinated in the particular company/value of the company and why you would love to learn more. Also include your resume and a small paragraph about your background. It’s crucial that you offer up interview times upfront. Include the time zone that you are in, let them know you will send over a virtual interview invite through the platform you are working with (CALEDNAR/ZOOM/GOOGLE MEETS etc.), and offer three different dates and times for them to choose from.  

By taking all of these steps, there is a much larger likelihood that you will get a response from someone you reach out to. That being said, we recommend sending two emails; the initial email and then a follow-up email a week later. If they don’t respond, move onto the next person, and again, don’t take it personal!

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