Many companies use a phone interview to screen candidates. It's a way to narrow the pool of applicants to the ones who seem like the best fit for the position before inviting them to an in-person interview. In the days following the phone interviews, the hiring team decides who to call in for the next round. If you want to make that cut, you have to let them know you're interested. A follow-up email is one way to stand out from the crowd and keep your name in front of the hiring team.
When to Send a Follow-Up Email
It's less common to send a note after a phone interview, but that doesn't mean you should just skip it. The email shows that you're interested in the job and that you're polite and professional, two qualities that matter in the business world. It also gives you an opportunity to clarify the next steps in the hiring process, so you can spend the wait time doing something productive like sending transcripts or searching for plane tickets in case you get called in for an in-person interview.
Keep It Friendly
The follow-up email is not a resume or a cover letter, so use a friendly, conversational style when writing it. Use contractions. Keep the sentences short. Feel free to use we as a collective pronoun. Skip academic words. The following examples show the difference between an academic style of writing and a conversational tone.
- Academic:Please accept my gratitude for conversing with me recently about the opportunity to be employed by such an esteemed company as XYZ.
- Conversational:Thank you for taking the time to speak with me over the phone yesterday about your opening for a Mobile Web Specialist
Express Your Interest in the Job
Perhaps the most essential part of the follow-up email is to express your interest in the job. Companies sometimes don't have the time to interview every person who applies for a job, especially for in-demand positions. In the midst of such steep competition, a follow-up email gives you a chance to express your desire to work for the company. You can also highlight how your skills make you a good fit for the position or mention an aspect of the job that appeals to you.
Choose the Right Timing
You should send the email soon enough that the interviewer still remembers you, but not so fast that you appear pushy. In most cases, you can wait until the next day after the phone interview. Make sure you send a thank you to everyone who was part of the interview. If you get the job, these people will be your colleagues, so this quick thank you is an excellent way to set the tone for a positive professional relationship.
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