When interviewing for an executive-level position, the follow-up process can be tricky. You want to show your continued interest in the position and remain at the forefront of your interviewer’s mind, but you don’t want to be annoying. The next time you’re in this delicate position, try out these tips for acing executive interview follow-up.
Do Your Research
This first tip should be completed during the actual interview. Study the people you come in contact with while you’re in the office – from the receptionist to the HR manager to the CEO. How do they interact with you and with each other? How are they dressed? This will give you an idea of the company’s culture and the tone you should use for your follow-up communications. Also, before you leave the interview, ask about the timeline for when a decision will be made and who will be contacting you with the final decision. Be sure you have this person’s contact information as well as the contact information for all people with whom you interview.
Express Your Appreciation
Whether you’re interviewing for an executive position or an entry-level job, you should always follow-up with a thank-you note. However, when applying for an executive-level position, you’ll need to go a few steps further. The same day as your interview, send an email to every person who interviewed you. Start by thanking them for taking time out of their day to meet with you, reaffirm your interest in the position, mention something that you discussed with that individual and remind them of why you would be a good fit for the role. The interview panel could compare notes on your follow-up email, so make sure each email is customized. If you just copy and paste the same text, you may come off as apathetic and unimaginative.
It’s also a good idea to go a step further and send a handwritten thank-you note. This does not need to be as detailed as your email, but simply expressing your gratitude for their time and consideration on nice stationery will help set you apart from other candidates.
Make Professional Social Connections
This will not be appropriate for all situations, but if you feel that any of the people who interviewed you would be receptive to connecting on social media, then send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. When you’re analyzing the company culture (see Tip 1) or if you had a good rapport that you feel would translate well on LinkedIn, then feel free to send them an invitation. However, stick with LinkedIn. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are more personal, and your interviewer may not be comfortable sharing that world with you. Also, make this connection worthwhile. Share interesting articles that you think the person may be interested in reading or leave thoughtful comments on posts they share. Don’t connect just to say you’re connected.
Check-In With Your Executive Recruiter
If you’re working with an executive recruiter, always check-in with them before contacting the organization directly. Your executive recruiter should be able to get more information from the company and can help put your mind at ease about whether or not a decision has been made. If not, if you haven’t heard back from the organization by the expected date, then send a follow-up email to the person who was supposed to contact you about the decision. Explain that you’re following up on the interview, reaffirm your interest in the position and ask for an update. Keep it short, positive and to the point. If you still don’t hear back, wait one week and then send a similar email.
Stay in Touch
If you don’t get the job, but you’re still interested in working for the company, then stay in touch. Send periodic emails or LinkedIn messages to those you connected with during your interview process. Again, make these worthwhile communications. Share articles they may find valuable or offer congratulations on accomplishments. Don’t reach out more than once every month or two. You want to stay relevant, but you don’t want to be irritating.
Remember, there is no one right or wrong way to follow-up after an interview. It’s important to analyze the situation and adjust your communications accordingly.