Posted by Cheri O'Neil on Monday, March 21, 2016 - 10:30
Your search led to a job interview for one of the best accounting and finance jobs you’ve run across, and you’re pretty sure you impressed your interviewers. But after the closing handshakes, what’s the right interview follow-up protocol?
Sit tight and wait so you keep from looking pushy or, even worse, desperate?
Ky Kingsley, a Robert Half Finance & Accounting vice president, advises a more proactive approach than what job seekers may have once been told. She offers four strategic steps to take at this stage in your search for accounting and finance jobs.
Job interview follow-up step #1: Send a strong email
“There is no need to wait to send the thank-you note,” said Kingsley, and she’s not suggesting an old-school missive. “You should send an email thank you within 48 hours after the interview to each person who interviewed you. Decisions about interviews can happen quickly so you don't want to wait too long.”
What should it say? First of all, keep it brief. But don’t make it generic. Reference specific points made in the interview or subjects on which you and the interviewer connected. For example, if the hiring manager said the company is experiencing a lot of growth, Kingsley says you may want to mention how “it would be exciting to be part of a growing company.”
Reaffirm your continued interest and say you hope you’ll be called back for further discussion. Don’t hesitate to sell your strengths and point out why you’re the right person for this position.
Oh, and don’t forget to proofread your email for misspellings or typos.
Step #2: Start building a professional relationship
Candidates may want to ask a hiring manager how long they have been with the company or what they enjoy most about their current role. These types of questions can lead to more meaningful conversations.
It can be a challenge to make a connection with hiring managers, depending on their interview style and personality, Kingsley said.
“Candidates may want to ask a hiring manager how long they have been with the company or what they enjoy most about their current role," she said. "These types of questions can lead to more meaningful conversations.”
Social networks can be handy for building these relationships, but be careful about using Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is often a more professional resource to find points of connection, such as school, work history or a previous employer, Kingsley said.
Step #3: Keep job-hunting
Even if you feel confident you’ll get a job offer, you shouldn’t give up your search or count your chickens before they hatch. Expand your financial network to get together with other professionals, and attend seminars and conferences to keep connecting. Pass out your personal business cards whenever you can.
Recruiters can also help be your “eyes and ears” in the job search. Remember, they specialize in finding people like you for accounting and finance roles.
Read more about how you can work with Robert Half's recruiters to find a position matched to your unique skill set and requirements.
Step #4: Make a phone call
If you haven’t heard back from the hiring manager within a week, it may be appropriate to call and ask about whether a hiring decision has been made. If the answer is “not yet,” show appreciation for the interview, reaffirm your interest, and continue to build rapport.
Be brief and polite, and if the hiring manager engages you in conversation, you might offer a solution to a challenge the department faces that you learned about during the interview, Kingsley said.
Just be sure to maintain your professionalism through the entire after-interview process.
One last tip: If you hear you're not the right fit after a job interview, email and ask kindly for feedback. You have nothing to lose, and it could even open the door to another opportunity.
Need additional career advice or assistance with your job search?
Ky Kingsley joined Robert Half in 2007 as a recruiting manager in the Los Angeles area. She was promoted to division director the following year and went on to manage multiple Southern California teams, leading recruitment, hiring and training activities. Most recently, she was promoted as a vice president and leads teams across North America supporting their growth and success.