How to Follow Up With a Thank You for a Phone Interview

Sending Phone Interview Thank You Letters and Email Messages

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When you are interviewed for a job over the phone, it's important to follow up with a thank you letter or thank you email message, just as you would after a face-to-face interview. Often employers will do their first round of candidate interviews by phone. Typically, the human resources manager may contact you to set up a phone appointment.

During this scheduled phone interview, you will be asked a series of questions about your job experience, training / education, and your understanding of what the position might entail.

Because they will be interviewing many candidates at this point, sending a thank you note immediately after your conversation will remind the interviewer of your talk, keep you “top of mind,” reiterate the expertise and skills you would be bringing to the job, and will also help to set you apart from the competition.

Take Notes During the Interview

During the interview, make sure that you have a pen and paper on hand so that you can take notes of the questions you were asked, of your responses, and of information the interviewer provided about the employer and their expectations. As the interview closes, thank the interviewer for his or time. Ask what the next step in the hiring process will be and offer to provide any additional information that might help them in making their hiring decision.

Then ask for the interviewer's email address and send out an interview thank you email message right away, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in and your qualifications for the job.

Keep in mind that a well-written thank you note is actually a second, “freebie” interview in that it continues the discussion you just had by phone. It also serves to remind the interviewer of the strengths you presented as a candidate – skills that you should definitely use the letter to remind him or her of.

What to Include in Your Thank You Letter or Email

Here are tips for how to write a thank you note, including how to customize your message.

If there's anything you wished you had said during the interview, but didn't get a chance to mention, your thank you letter will give you an opportunity to bring this up. Always try to make your thank you note specific to the conversation you had; avoid generic phrases, and personalize the note so that it reflects the specifics of the interview.

The letter will also allow you to proactively address any concerns you may have felt that the interviewer might have had regarding your work history, availability, willingness to travel or relocate, or any other issues.

Finally, remember that this thank you note is a golden marketing opportunity for you. “Toot your own horn” a bit by briefly reminding the interviewer of the skills you offer and, based upon what you learned in the interview, how you believe you would be the perfect fit for the job.

Express your interest in what you’ve learned about the company’s culture, attach a copy of your resume to your email message for their convenience, and conclude by stating your hope that they will select you for a face-to-face interview.

When to Say Thank You

To summarize, it’s important to show your appreciation for the interview regardless of whether it was conducted in-person or on the phone.

As a general rule, any time you speak with someone from the company — whether in person, over the phone, or with an Internet video-chat — it's appropriate to send a thank you note. Not only is this good manners – it’s also a highly effective self-marketing tool.

Read More

Initial phone interviews can be a little nerve-wracking for job candidates simply because of the uncertainty factor and because of your inability to read the expressions and body language of your interviewer. Here are a few strategies to use to ensure that your first impression (and second impression, via thank you note) are stellar:

By creating a positive impression through a sincere, well-written thank you note, you are laying a strong groundwork for your eventual hiring and success with your new employer.