When following up on an interview, what's your strategy? If the opportunity is your dream job and there's heavy competition, what are you doing so that you'll stand above the competition? Many years ago, I learned a technique that, when put to use, has resulted in many job offers for candidates. It's called "the job description close" and here's a brief description . . .
This tactic is most often used after the first face-to-face interview, but also can be used after the final interview if you’re assured that you will get to the final stages of the process. Most candidates follow up their interview with a simple, yet professional and friendly, thank you note that goes something like this: “Thanks very much for the time you spent with me today. I really enjoyed the meeting and believe I can do a great job for your firm. I look forward to our next time together.” This will get very little attention, as employers receive this kind of note regularly and it’s extremely generic.
So, how do you make a difference? Step one is to take some time immediately after the interview to reflect on what transpired during that meeting.
What did you learn about the role and responsibilities for this position?
What about the challenges and problems the company may be facing?
Remember, rarely does an employer hire a new person without having a problem to solve. What are the opportunities?
In essence, do a S.W.O.T. analysis of your interview.
After you’ve written down the specifics of what occurred during your meeting, you’ll be able to assemble this information in an orderly fashion to write a thorough follow-up letter. You’ll begin the letter with the simple thank you statement. The following paragraphs will then address your meeting and what you understand to be the role and responsibilities, as well as the critical challenges, facing the company. You’ll then provide specific examples of how you had a similar role and responsibilities in previous positions. You’ll describe, in as much detail as possible, how you faced relevant challenges and helped solve similar problems.
How were you part of the solution?
What was the end result in terms of saving your former employer money or creating stronger revenues?
How did your effort result in increased profitability by not only meeting, but also beating deadlines?
Typically, this letter will be a couple of pages long. You can rest assured that the prospective employer will read every word and be impressed with your effort. The letter also provides an excellent example of your written communication skills, which remain critical to ultimate success in the workplace.
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