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The Immediate E-Mail

You have gotten the business card of the interviewing or hiring authority at the time of the interview. Immediately after the interview, or as soon as possible, you want to e-mail the interviewing or hiring authority. You don't just want to thank her for her time. You, more importantly, want to reinforce all of the reasons that you should be hired.

Every interviewing book in the world is going to tell you to send a thank-you letter. You'd probably be shocked at the number of candidates who don't. One out of every seven or eight, even when they're coached by a professional, either don't do it or do it so late after the interview that it is ineffective. Of course, thanking someone for the interview is obviously important. But what is most important is that you reinforce the high points of what the interviewing or hiring authority said he wanted and restate where or how you address those issues better than anyone else.

The letter needs to be short and very much to the point. Do not go on about how much you appreciated the interview, how much you like them, or how you appreciate the conversation, blah, blah, blah. This letter is going to be read, like the resume, in ten seconds. It should look like the letter on page 83 (remember to make it look like an actual letter).

When you reinforce what the interviewing or hiring authority said she wanted, you need to try to do it in quantifiable terms. State things that can be measured objectively like percentages of quota, longevity on the job, grades in school, stability, being promoted consistently—anything that can be actually measured in a quantitative manner. Make sure that you address specific issues that the interviewing or hiring authority stated was of value.

Follow-Up Phone Call

Once you have e-mailed the letter, you need to be aware that interviewing or hiring authorities, after initial interviews, have a tendency to move on to other things and don't think about the interviewing and hiring process as much as you think they do—unless of course their "pain" is extremely severe. Interviewing or hiring authorities will have a tendency to tell you things like, "Well, we'll get back to you in a couple of days," and then go on vacation for a week.

With this in mind, it is advisable for you to follow up with the interviewing or hiring authority two or three days after the interview with a phone call to "check in with him" and see how his process is coming along. Interviewing

Dear Mr. or Ms._,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, regarding the position with_. Your needs and my qualifications are compatible.

You stated that you wanted someone who was:

(desired experience or attributes stated by the employer or interviewing authority)

(another desired experience or attribute stated by the employer or interviewing authority)

(another desired experience or attribute stated by the employer or interviewing authority)

I have given a lot of thought to what we spoke about. I would like to reinforce the confidence you can have in me to deliver what you need.

When I was at_______ company last year, I_

_(accomplished the first thing that you wrote above)

When I was at_______ company, I_(accomplished or proved the second thing you wrote above)_

And, when I was at_______ company, I_

(accomplished or proved the third thing you wrote above)_

I'm an excellent fit for you in your company. I would like to go to work for you and your firm. This is a win/win situation for both of us.

Sincerely, Your name and hiring authorities have to at least act like hiring is a top priority. And sometimes it is. Hiring is something that everybody knows should be done with decisiveness and real business acumen, but it isn't. So, your calling reminds the hiring authority of the task at hand. It is often a timing thing—and you may catch her and all of a sudden, since you have her on the phone, she will make an appointment with you for a second interview. This is also a great time to ask her about anything you might have discussed in the initial interview that you didn't fully understand or that you need further clarification of.

If you don't get him on the phone, and often you won't, you'll have to deal with voicemail. In spite of the fact that I have a ton of experience in this profession, I'm never really sure of how many times to call someone back when he never returns your call. My suggestion is to call until you get him or her. So, you say, "Well, Tony, don't I run the risk of irritating them and making them angry, and, therefore, they will not be interested in hiring me?" Well, my answer to that is: You have absolutely nothing to lose. After all, until you have a job offer, you really don't have anything to "decide" about.

Most hiring authorities don't intentionally think, "I'm not gonna call that sucker back. She's a schmuck and I'm not going to hire her anyhow." The truth is that their intentions to do what they are supposed to do are sincere, but the activity just doesn't get done. The process of hiring often just slips further behind in favor of other more pressing issues. So, a timely call, and many of them after that—if you have to—may put you on the top of the list of potential candidates.

Now, after ten or fifteen days of calling an interviewing or hiring authority, with no response at all, you might be led to the conclusion that you should pursue other people and other opportunities. Never, never, never take this "result" personally and do something stupid, like calling the hiring authority and leaving a mean, sarcastic voicemail about what he can do with his job and that you didn't want it anyhow. There's always a tendency to take perceived rejection personally. The reason I say "perceived" is that your not receiving a callback may have nothing to do with your candidacy. Now, the odds are that if you have not heard from a prospective employer in several weeks, you were probably not on his list of candidates to be considered. But you never really know. Always leave the door open, so that if a prospective employer wants to still consider you, even after weeks or months have gone by, you could "resurrect" the opportunity—even if you thought it was long gone.

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