A lot of things changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the things that never will is how to follow up on a job interview. Going back and reconnecting with the person who interviewed you is important for many reasons. It shows you care about getting the job, and it expresses gratitude for being considered.

Job interviews held via Zoom or other video-conferencing software shouldn’t be treated with any less reverence than any other interview. There is still an open position at the company, and the person you spoke to wants to fill it with the best person for the job.

The Thank You Note

Even before the pandemic temporarily halted in-person meetings, the bare minimum expected of a job candidate was the thank you note. Some veterans might wonder why a person deserves a thank you note for basically doing their job. In this case, it’s best not to think of it as a thank you, but more of an opportunity to remind the interviewer about you.

Think of it from the interviewer’s point of view. While it may be their job to interview you, they likely had to sift through at least one hundred candidate résumés to single out who gets an interview. Then they likely interviewed 20% of those candidates, all perhaps on the same day.

If you’ve ever gone to a party where you didn’t know anyone and immediately were introduced to dozens of people, you might have an idea of how difficult it can be to keep track of who’s who. The thank you note is a simple reminder of who you are and the conversation you had. It also gives you the chance to answer any questions about which you said you would get back to them during the interview.

The digital age may allow for an email thank you to the interviewer, but if the job is really important to you, you might opt for a handwritten note on card stock. It stands out from all the other candidates who emailed and shows that you care about the details.

The same goes for finding the job through networking. If you got the opportunity to interview thanks to some kind of in-person meeting, it’s important to show your gratitude, especially since you spend time in the same circles. Reputation matters.

If you decided to send an email thank you and forgot, then you definitely should send a handwritten thank you.

Did you get the job?

If you’ve reached a job interview, then they consider you to be a viable candidate for the position so there’s nothing wrong with asking the interviewer when they might reach a decision. If they give you a time frame, drop them a line after it has passed, just to see where they stand.

If you do send them a follow-up email asking about their decision, it’s important that you sound professional and don’t send an overly long or overly short email. If they choose not to hire you, there’s also nothing wrong with asking why they chose someone else. It only can help you in your next interview. Take the criticism with grace and do better next time.

— Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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