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What are the Best Interview Follow-up Emails?

What are the Best Interview Follow-up Emails?

Most people believe that the job interview is the last bastion before either getting a job or not getting a job, but that may not be necessarily true. There are factors before and after the job interview process that can affect whether you’re the right man or woman for the job. Before the interview, you can have things like a properly done résumé and a well written cover letter, and after interviews there are items called interview follow-up emails where you communicate with the company after the interview. These can be really important if they’re done correctly.

Before we continue, we must emphasize the strength of interview follow-up emails. Obviously, if you tanked your interview, all the interview follow-up emails on Earth aren’t going to help you. You cannot fix obvious mistakes with something like this. However, if you follow up an interview with a good email, then you could separate yourself from the pack of those who didn’t bother sending one.

To begin, we’ll give you some general guidelines for writing good interview follow-up emails.

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Start off by thanking them for their time

Remember that when you receive a job interview, it’s because there is something on your résumé that the potential employers liked. However, these people are taking time out of their likely busy schedule to see if you’re a good fit for the job. It’s an arduous task to hire someone and someone ought to thank them, so it might as well be you, right? It’s vital to begin all interview follow-up emails with a show of gratitude that you were considered.

Remind them of why they’re considering hiring you

Most companies interview a whole bunch of people at once, so you may not have had the opportunity to wow your potential employer at your interview. As an example, I was once part of a “mass interview” where 25 of us were interviewed all at once. It’s kind of hard to impress an employer when you’re sharing the floor with 24 other unemployed people. In cases like this, use interview follow-up emails to showcase talents that you may not have had the chance to talk about. If you’d like to rehash some of the things you didn’t get to explain fully, then go for it. As always, be sure to remind them why you’d be a great fit.

Ask about what happens next

Interview follow-up emails should be a bridge between the interview and them actually hiring you, so if you want to show that you’re excited to get started, then feel free to do so. Ask questions about the next steps in the hiring process to show them that you are motivated and that you are excited to be there.

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Like I said above, these companies interview dozens of people. Sometimes they interview hundreds of people. Management may be looking for someone who’s ready to get started right now and may not want to mess around with people who don’t seem excited about working there; use interview follow-up emails to show how excited you are to start making money with these people.

Show them that you understand what they’re looking for

It can be really hard to make things click with your potential employer, but you can make a lot of great headway by explaining that you understand what they want. By starting a dialogue and saying that you listened and that you understood exactly what the potential employer is looking for, you can bridge those professional gaps more quickly.

Think about it in non-work related environments: When someone listens to you and shows that they understand what you want, how much happier are you with those people? If they don’t listen and don’t understand what you want, then how long is it before you go find someone else? This same dynamic applies here—If you understand what they want in an employee, they’re more likely to make you an employee.

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Now, all these guidelines won’t matter if you don’t go into this with the right frame of mind. Writing good interview follow-up emails takes time because you really need to make sure you say the right things while not saying the wrong things. It’s a skill and one that you need to master. However, we have a few additional pointers if you’re going to write interview follow-up emails.

K.I.S.S.

This well known acronym stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. There is really no interpretation here: it means literally what it says. When writing these interview follow-up emails, you really need to keep it short and simple. As I stated multiple times above, these companies probably just interviewed a boat load of people. They do not want to sit down and read a novella about how great you are and how happy you were to be there today.

It really shouldn’t be any longer than a couple of paragraphs. Remember, a paragraph is between 3-5 sentences, so you’re looking at about 6-10 sentences total. You can fit a lot of information into 10 sentences. A little longer might be okay, but do not go overboard; they are busy people and do not have time to sit around all day reading your email.

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Don’t be needy

The job hiring process is a dance. Employers are looking for employees and the unemployed are looking for employers. Finding that match is so difficult already that there are a thousand blog posts (including this one) written to help you land a job. So don’t complicate things by being needy. Especially since being needy can showcase your potential weaknesses as a future employee.

When writing interview follow-up emails, avoid phrases like “Please, I really need this job.” They already know that. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been applying for a job, right? Don’t be a suck up, don’t be a brown noser, and definitely do not disparage the other applicants. These attempts to put yourself on top of the employment stack are immediately transparent and will turn management off to hiring you. You need to get hired based on professionalism, not kissing corporate booty. If you do, management will respect you more, your coworkers will respect you more, and most importantly, you’ll respect you more.

Use real words

I’m 26 years old and right now my generation bridges that gap between the pre-smartphone era and the post-smartphone era, so this is mostly directed at you younger people. Most people who are older than I am already use real words, real sentences, and proper punctuation. However, people just now becoming adults may not grasp that concept fully. You should be professional when writing any professional email. Don’t call your boss your homie. Don’t use “u” instead of “you”. When in doubt, use your common sense. You want to be friendly but you don’t want to treat your potential employer like your bar buddy.

Interview follow-up emails wrap up

Really folks, it’s about using your common sense. Some businesses may not even appreciate a follow-up email or a note after the interview. Part of the interview process will be ascertaining whether or not you should send one. Some may ask for one while others just dislike the idea of hearing from you again until they’ve decided on whether or not to hire you. If you follow the advice we’ve lined up for you, then you can make sure your interview follow-up emails are what they need to be. After all, tanking one of these emails could mean the difference between you getting a job and not getting a job.

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Joseph Hindy

A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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