If you’re in the market for an accounting job, you’ve likely spent a good deal of time researching potential employers and preparing for job interviews. What you might not have considered, however, is what you should do after the interview. That’s right– the interview process doesn’t end when you walk out the door at the conclusion of your meeting with the hiring manager. In fact, the way you follow-up– or neglect to–can potentially make or break you as a candidate. Consider the following five tips for following up after your next interview:
Follow-up in a timely manner. The best time to follow-up after an interview is the same day the interview occurred– and always within 24 hours. Many candidates hesitate to follow-up right away, fearing that they will seem pushy or overly aggressive. But waiting a week or more to follow-up might actually be counter-productive to your cause. So, when you get home from your interview, jot down some notes and collect your thoughts. Then, follow-up before the end of the day. Both handwritten notes and emails are acceptable forms of follow-up; which method of communication you chooseshould be based on the culture of the company you interviewed with. For example, a handwritten note might be a good choice for a small, family owned business. Alternatively, an email might prove more appropriate for a large IT firm.
Be concise. The last thing a recruiter or hiring manager wants to read is an essay about why they should hire you. Your follow-up should be concise– no more than three paragraphs at most. What should your note include? A good rule of thumb is to thank the interviewer for his time and reiterate your interest in the position in the first paragraph. Use the second paragraph to briefly discuss how your strengths make you a good match for the job. Finally, in the third paragraph, clarify anything you feel was unclear or left unsaid during the interview.
Personalize the follow-up. While it’s okay to have a general template to use for following up after job interviews, it’s important to personalize your notes to each recruiter or hiring manager. Avoid lines like “to whom it may concern”; make sure to jot down the names of everyone you meet with during your interview so that you can include them in your follow-up later. To avoid sending a generic follow-up, mention specific details you discussed with the interviewer in your note.
Avoid common mistakes. A surefire way to eliminate yourself as a serious candidate for the position is to send a follow-up note littered with mistakes. What, specifically, should you avoid sending in your follow-up message? Avoid using emoticons and excessive exclamation marks. Spelling and grammatical errors also won’t score you any points with a hiring manager either. Finally, avoid any negativity in your follow-up– including referencing a former employer in a negative way.
Give it time. Yes, you should follow-up within a day, but then it’s time to sit back and play the waiting game. Often, a hiring manager will let you know a general timeframe that you should expect to hear back from him; if that’s not mentioned during your interview, ask about a timeframe in your follow-up message. Avoid contacting the interviewer again until after that timeframe has passed– and it’s often a good idea to tack on a brief grace period at the conclusion of the designated timeframe before reaching out. If you contact the hiring manager before then, you risk appearing desperate and pushy.
If you’re in the market for an accounting job in the San Diego area, contact us today. We are a boutique staffing firm specializing in accounting, finance, and administrative positions. Let us help you find the perfect match for your skills and experience!