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5 Interview Follow-Up Faux Pas

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Drafting your thank you note the day after an interview? Has it been a week since the interview and you haven’t heard back? Avoid these follow-up faux pas to ensure that your initiative spurs a “you’re hired” and not a “we regret to inform you.”

1. The robot message

A robot message is too formal, not personalized, and is likely to be instantly deleted by a hiring manager.

Be professional, but conversational in your response. The tone of the message should sound like you, not an old-fashioned business letter.

Don’t send the same exact note to every company or every person you interviewed with within the same company. Personalize it. For example, mention something from the interview that you found interesting about the role, company, or the interviewer’s experience.

2. The follow-up novel

If the hiring manager has to scroll to read your entire message on their iPhone, it’s too long.

3. Oh-so demanding

Following up too soon and asking for too much in your follow-up may make a hiring manager question whether they want to work with you.

Ideally, ask about the decision timeline and next steps at the end of your interview. If the interviewer said you would hear back in X weeks, send your thank you note and wait X weeks. If there was no timeline established, follow-up after 1 week. Stop after your thank you note and 2 follow-ups.

A follow-up message should not “ask” of anything more from a hiring manager. Your follow-up may provide the interviewer with information that you didn’t have during the interview (i.e. another job offer that you have to give a response to asap) or offer to provide more (i.e. “Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide”).

4. A show of ungratefulness

This one is simple – don’t be ungrateful.

It’s awesome that the company is hiring interns or recent grads. It’s awesome that they took the time to interview you. Sincerely thank the person you’re following up with for their time.

5. Last place at the spelling bee

A spelling mistake in a follow-up will make a hiring manager question your attention to detail and could cost you the job.

Spend time crafting your message. Check the spelling. Check the grammar (one common mistake is using you’re vs. your). Read it out loud. And do it all again before you hit send.

Getting an internship or first job is easy… said no one ever! Making a commitment to all aspects of the process, including following up, greatly increases your chances of landing a position. If you’re just starting your search, take action and find over 70,000 internships on Chegg today.

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