The job interview follow-up++
June 25, 2014 10:44 PM   Subscribe

What is and is not acceptable to include in job interview follow-up emails? Difficulty level: I'm literally in the middle of a project with them right now.

A follow-up to this. To recap:

* After feeling me out for a bit, Dekompany (roll with it) says they like my work and are considering me for a specific job. I am surprised and obviously hopeful, but try to play it cool and non-desperate.

* I interview earlier this week with the entire staff. It lasts an hour. Fortunately I don't completely blow it like I blew my last interview. But it feels like a standard cold interview, and nothing about it feels like the prior meetings ever happened at all. I almost get the sense that the intervening time they've downgraded the position they are considering me for, or that I inadvertently tailored my answers toward a lower-responsibility position I didn't know existed until the interview (it's not a matter of failure to research - the posting didn't mention it). I've read previous questions (and all of Ask a Manager and probably like a tenth of Job-Seeking Internet) on the matter, and I didn't catch any encouraging signs like "we feel you're really qualified" or "mentally casting" me in the roles. (The last job I got, they told me point-blank "we want to hire you." I know that guarantees nothing, but the lack of it might guarantee something. Maybe?) They didn't mention how many other people they'd started considering in the intervening time (the job's currently posted) and I didn't ask. But then other people tell you there is no such thing as encouraging signs. Who knows. Fuck it.

This question has three parts:

* Job interviews generally make me so nervous that all the planning and research vanishes and I revert to my default operating mode, which is to improvise and compose thoughts quickly on the fly. Fortunately, I'm very good at this. This has its upshots, like public speaking, or when interviewers call me out for (it's happened) But the downsides are that sometimes I improvise total bullshit (see: last interview), and that even when I don't, it leaves me wide open to forgetting to mention things. Specifically, one question during the interview is how long it takes me to devise and turn around projects, and examples of such. Standard such. I mention a few I worked on at my old job, which I'll refer to as Project X, but not in detail, because it was years ago and I did so much work back then it honestly blurs together.

Project X happens to live on the Internet. I'm obviously going to send a follow-up email. Is it kosher to include a link to the project, or will it come off as "do you really expect me to read this shit" or "why didn't you mention this earlier"? How about Projects Y and Z for different clients, which I forgot to mention (because I'm a fucking moron) but are much more recent and just as applicable?

* I'm in the middle of a project with Dekompany. If none of this interview process ever happened (given my emotional state that sounds kind of swell tbh), they would want an update tomorrow. Does this go in the follow-up email? Or would they want a separate email?

* Separate emails to all the people I spoke with, or one email with CCs, or BCCs, or what? If I mention the current project or other things I mentioned obviously that calls for separate emails because the others aren't directly involved. But etiquette can be a persnickety thing.

* Basically anything I should be doing between now and the point when I probably don't get hired would be of incredible and immediate use. Thanks.
posted by dekathelon to Work & Money (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Promise little, deliver big.
posted by linear_arborescent_thought at 11:01 PM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

1) sure, include a link to one (max two) projects you're proud of. Spend no more than 4 sentences on this.

2) in general, talk about different projects in different email chains. If you want to say something like "great chatting with you last week, here's the update on current project!" That's fine, but don't mix emails about project A with emails about job opportunity B.

3) if you spoke to them in individual interviews, you should send individual emails. If you spoke to them as a group, then send one email with all attendees in the to: line.
posted by samthemander at 11:07 PM on June 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Though your spider-sense about them not being enthusiastic might mean you are no longer a serious candidate, they could also have agreed in advance to ask all candidates the same questions, so they could theoretically compare apples to apples; that could easily make the interview seem more rote and formulaic.

One other note: whatever you decide to send, I would send it right away - when I interview, the person I talked with generally has the e-mail note in their inbox the next morning. Personally, I would use the thank you note as an opportunity to stand out and reaffirm how much you want the position - that's an excuse to send individual thank you e-mails, because you're thanking each person for their time and insights during the interview. Whatever you decide to do, don't stress too much and don't delay: writing an enthusiastic, engaging note to all now is better than taking three more days to write individual notes.

Good luck, and congratulations on the interview - waiting to hear is the hardest part.
posted by deliriouscool at 5:33 AM on June 26, 2014

I think separate emails to each person are nice even if you interviewed in a group setting (unless they're all identical), but a group email would be acceptable.

Just say you enjoyed talking to them, and wanted to provide more information on related projects you've worked on. Then do bullet points for projects X, Y, and Z, with links.

As samthemander said, keep your interview followup emails completely separate from your work emails. Keep the whole interview process completely separate from your work, in general. Your followup emails should have nothing to do with the quality and timeliness of your project status update.

Try not to focus on the new job too much, and keep up the good work that you're currently doing -- that's probably the best indication they have of whether you'll succeed in the new role, regardless of how the interview went.
posted by chickenmagazine at 5:36 AM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Separate and different emails to each interviewer. Three sentences at the most.

I really enjoyed speaking with you about the position.
I've learned a lot working with you on Project X.
Dekompany is an innovative and exciting place to be.

Crap like that. It's perfunctory. If you felt that you bonded with someone specifically, or if your sponsor was in the room, send that person an email saying, "Thank you for considering me for position X. After meeting with the team and understanding more about the position I'm interested in understanding more about the position within the scope of how my skills and experience would mesh with the team."

As for the updates, your usual email to all parties.

Two separate and distinct things.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:53 AM on June 26, 2014

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