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Guidelines for Following Up By Email After an Interview

So you've finally had the interview you were waiting for, and now you want to know the best way to follow up. Enter the thank you email. You should send a follow-up email thanking your interviewer(s) and reiterating your interest in the position. In this article, we'll review guidelines for following up by email after an interview.


Email the Right People

First and foremost, you need to know who you're emailing. If you interviewed with multiple people, you should thank each of them individually in separate emails. The emails should all follow the guidelines laid out below, but you should tailor each by referencing something specific from your conversation/interview.

If you can't find contact information for your interviewers, you can always ask whoever coordinated your interview to share that information so you can thank them for their time.

Have a good subject line

The subject line of the email is extremely important because that's what determines whether or not the recipient will open your email. In this case, you want to make sure you include "thank you" in the subject line, as well as something to help them remember who you are (like the name of the job you applied for). Using thank you in the subject will increase the likelihood they'll open the email, because they'll know you're not asking them for anything - you're thanking them.

If you've already been corresponding with the person in question, consider simply continuing the thread. Laura Hillson, a recruiter at Academized and Paper Fellows, explains that "the best email subject line that maximizes your chances of having it opened is a reply to the existing email chain between you and that person. The person on the receiving end is a lot more likely to open it right away because it's a part of an existing conversation."

Write Something Meaningful

Now onto the body of the email. Keep it short and sweet, but divide it into these three sections and make sure you're including meaningful content, not just the same vague pleasantries you could send after any interview.

Part 1: Reiterate your interest & be grateful

First and foremost, thank them for their time. Mention the role you applied for and highlight something interesting about your conversation. Use that example to demonstrate that you're even more interested now in the role and the company.

Example:

Dear X,

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me for the Business Analyst position. I really enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. I especially enjoyed our conversation about radical transparency. This is something I believe in strongly and I was thrilled to learn that this is such an important value at Y company.

Part 2: Highlight your skills

The second paragraph should highlight the ways your experience and skills align with the role. Be specific, but keep it concise; this is not the place to ramble.

Example:

After hearing your description of the role, I'm even more confident that my understanding of statistics, coupled with my passion for writing and public speaking, would allow me to excel as a Business Analyst, researching problems and sharing my findings with the rest of the team.

Part 3: Why you?

The third and final paragraph should be a summary statement about why you think you stand out as a candidate and what you can bring to the company. Keep it open-ended by inviting them to communicate with you if they have any further questions, and add that you look forward to hearing back from them. Don't forget to include your signature and contact information.

Example:

From our conversation, I developed a much more complete understanding of the broad skill set required to succeed not only as an analyst, but as a team member at X Company. As someone who pursued a liberal arts degree and has always enjoyed learning new things, I love that X Company values cross-functional teams and I'm excited to be a part of that culture. Please let me know if you have any additional questions — I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you again,

Jane Smith

Title

XXX-XXX-XXXX

*Optional*: Ask for More Info

If you're corresponding directly with the hiring manager or someone from HR, you can end your email by asking them what the next steps/timeline are, especially if this information wasn't covered in the interview.

Spell Check your email

It can be difficult to write the perfect email and make sure it doesn't have any mistakes. If you don't have a reliable friend to proofread for you, consider trying out these online tools::

What to do when the company/individual responds

Depending on whom you've emailed, you should expect slightly different responses. The Hiring Manager or someone from HR may respond telling you that they're still considering other candidates and don't yet have any updates for you.

Alternatively, individual contributors or managers might simply tell you you're welcome and encourage you to get in touch if you have any further questions about the role.

In the second case, it's best to let the conversation end there.

In the first case, if you haven't yet heard something else back about your candidacy, you could use this opportunity to thank them and ask when you should expect to hear something.

If there's still no response (from the HR person and/or Hiring Manager)

If the company doesn't respond, however, that's a different story. Consider how many days it's been, as you want to give them ample time to respond; ideally, about two days (excluding weekends and holidays).

Note: An individual contributor/manager who you simply thanked for interviewing you may not respond, and that's okay. You should only follow up with the Hiring Manager and/or HR representative, as they can give you updates on your candidacy.

If you still haven't heard back after this time, send a follow-up to the same person, using the same email chain and subject line. This should be short and to the point, along the lines of wanting to check in and make sure they saw your last email and see if they had any updates regarding the position. Close it off by asking them to let you know once they get the chance, and thanking them for their time.

After this, it's time to be patient, even if that's easier said than done. It's possible one of the individuals in the decision chain is on vacation or out of the office, or the interviewer you emailed is incredibly busy. At this stage, there's nothing more to gain by sending more emails, so wait longer than you think, a full week at least. If you've done all this and you still haven't heard back, then you may wish to pick another appropriate person to send an email to. The important thing is not to stress; there are many unforeseen possibilities, and it's possible you were the first interviewed of many so they need to make it through the whole process.

















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Why Female Presidential Candidates Are Still Told to Be Chill, Not Shrill

The Dated, Everyday Tech Stifling Women's Voices Shows the Importance of Diversity in Tech

"You're not like other girls. You're so...chill."

I've gotten that "compliment" from multiple guys in multiple contexts — and I'm ashamed to admit that until a few years ago, I took it as one.

Occasionally I'd wonder why. After all, anyone who knows me well knows I am the Anti-Chill: a tightly wound stress ball, ready to explode into tears at any given moment.

So what was giving these guys the wrong impression? As it turns out, it was my voice. My cool, unnaturally-deep-for-a-woman, never-shrill voice.

And if I'm honest, I always prided myself on not sounding 'like other girls.' No uptalk or high-pitched squeals of glee from me. I thought I sounded smarter and more serious. Talk about internalized misogyny.

This isn't just me though. There is a societal double bind that forces women to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the right pitch and tone for each situation.

Just consider the advice that Democratic-debate coach Christine Jahnke gave female candidates to avoid being labeled as shrill: "… go slow and low. Very purposefully slow your pace and lower the tone a bit, because that will add meaning or gravitas to whatever it is you're talking about."

In a nutshell: try and sound chill, not shrill.

What I didn't know, until recently, is how this bias against women's natural voices is being reinforced and amplified by century-old technology. (Just one of many examples of how technology designed by and for men ends up hurting women in the long-run.)

Author Tina Tallon explains this little-known fact in her recent New Yorker article, summarized below:

How 20th Century Tech Is Holding 21st Century Women Back

With the rise of commercial broadcast radio in the 1920s, women's voices began getting critiqued. As Tallon explains, station directors asserted that "women sounded 'shrill,' 'nasal,' and 'distorted.'" So when industry standards were set, directors didn't take women's voices into account.

When Congress limited the bandwidth available to each radio station in 1927, station directors set a bandwidth that would provide the minimum amount of information necessary to understand "human" speech.

They used lower voices as their benchmark, so the higher frequency components of women's speech necessary to understand certain consonants were cut, making women's voices less intelligible.

  • Researcher J.C. Steinberg asserted that, "nature has so designed woman's speech that it is always most effective when it is of soft and well-modulated tone." He explained that if a woman raised her voice on air, it would exceed the limitations of the equipment. As Tallon says, "He viewed this as a personal and biological failing on women's part, not a technical one on his."

Why You Should Care

Women have always been told to lower their voices, but this 20th century approach to sound frequencies is still accepted as the standard, literally forcing women to lower their voices if they want to be heard.

  • To this day, many algorithms and speakers distort women's speech by limiting higher frequencies, causing women's voices to lose definition and clarity.

Tallon sums it up well:

"Consequently, women are still receiving the same advice that they were given in the nineteen-twenties: lower the pitch of your voice, and don't show too much emotion. By following that advice, women expose themselves to another set of criticisms, which also have a long history: they lack personality, or they sound 'forced' and 'unnatural.'"


----

So as we continue to grapple with implicit biases against women, from what it means to be "presidential" to who's considered an "innovative leader," let's remember the importance of diversity in tech.

Had a woman been involved in researching/setting the standards for radio frequencies, she might've been able to steer the industry towards a voiceband that would allow men and women to be heard equally well. And perhaps had a more impartial voiceband been established, I'd have heard a more diverse range of female speakers growing up, and internalized fewer biases myself.

That's why we care so much at PowerToFly about making sure cutting-edge companies have diverse teams.

Times were different then, sure, but the fact that Depression Era standards are still impacting how we hear (or don't hear) women's voices is a vital reminder that what we do today impacts our world for centuries to come.

Agree?

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