You just finished your job interview. Now comes the waiting and wondering. Should you reach out to the employer or wait patiently?
Studies show many interviewers know quickly who they want to hire and who is runner-up. But in situations where the competition is high, there’s more you can do to tip the balance in your favor.
Sometimes a second or even third round of interviews is an indication of this.
You could also be the runner-up. But it’s not uncommon for the first choice to reject the offer and putting you back in the running. These extra efforts can help you seal the deal.
Let’s take a look at a few more things you can do.
Thank You Card
Sending a thank you card, note, or email is the often-thought-of strategy. In my experience, I still don’t see these used nearly enough.
So even though a lot of employers won’t be startled to receive one from you, you should still do it. Most won’t do it and it adds a level of polish and professionalism to your reputation.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Get it out fast: If possible, drop it off later that day or the next morning – that adds one more point of contact or reminder of how personable and friendly you are to the front office. If you can’t hand-deliver it then send a quick e-mail, or possibly text if you have their number. Time is of the essence because you want it to be a potential factor.
- Hand-written: If you can hand-deliver one, writing it with a pen shows you took a little extra time or made a little more effort.
- Professional stationery: Again, you want to give the impression that you go the extra mile in everything. Every employer wants that kind of employee.
- Business card: If you have a business card (and it’s advisable that you do), include one with the thank you note.
What should you write? This all depends on how the interview went, but you want to keep it very brief. Here are a few scenarios and examples:
- You feel you might be lacking in a key area: Focus a comment or two on your biggest strength. Draw their attention away from the weakness. If you are certain you will not get an offer, you can take a gamble and address it, coupled with how you will make up for it. Example: “I recognize I only have one year of professional experience, but I am recognized for my ability to learn and contribute quickly. For example, …”
- You didn’t say everything you wanted to include: Sometimes there are things you wish you would have been asked because you had something strong to say. Example: “While I know it’s not a main function of this job, I should add that I have experience with XYZ and know this will provide some additional value to the company.”
- You feel really good, that everything went near perfect: If you feel your interview was good then reinforce your strengths. Example: “I enjoyed our discussion today. You mentioned the importance of hiring someone who understands customers and relationships. I know you will find I am particularly strong in this area. For example,…”
Post-Interview Summary Letter
Within a day or two of your interview and thank you note, prepare a Post-Interview Summary Letter to send.
Similar to a traditional cover letter, this document creates one more point of connection with the employer. It’s also similar to the content you would include in your thank you note only a little more expanded.
It gives you an opportunity to reaffirm your strengths and express your excitement to work for the company.
It could also be used to address items you feel are strengths but not discussed. Or possibly additional value you perceive as important to the employer. You could even add a short testimonial from someone they know or that is particularly relevant.
I hate to put guarantees on anything but this I would suggest no other applicant will do. And thus it becomes one more way to stand out. As a bonus this week here’s a FREE Post-Interview Summary Template to help get you started.
Working Your Network
If you haven’t done this already, take a really hard look around at your professional circles, friends, and family. Is there anyone who has any kind of connection to this company? Even a friend of a friend or former employee there.
Any connection could help you out. I did this recently in a job search I conducted and it had a definite impact. Have them make a personal phone call or written letter to a key decision maker, vouching for how great you are.
This kind of influence is extremely powerful if you have it and so it’s worth spending some time to figure that out. Sometimes you can get on Facebook or LinkedIn and see some potential connections.
There are so many things you can do to land a great dental hygiene job – thank you cards, Post-Interview Summary Letters and working your network are only a few.
Think through your own situation to see if your unique circumstances might call for some additional ideas to stand out and land a job.
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual, click here to contact Doug.