So last week was hell week, and you had an interview. What comes next?
The follow-up letter comes next. This is simply good manners. What are the elements of a world-class follow-up letter? Three suggestions: (1) Thank the recruiter for the opportunity to interview; (2) Reference something “unique” about your interview to refresh the interviewer’s recollection; and (3) Reiterate one’s level of interest in the position.
Below are five model letters, selected by That Guy from the archives of Career Services. Feel free to plagiarize these letters without remorse.
Dear Ms. Maloney:
Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with BigSwing Private Equity. I enjoyed working through various “problems” with you, especially the many times when you corrected my mental math.
In the future, if arithmetic skills are at the top of your recruiting wishlist, may I make a suggestion? Buy a $3 solar calculator and hire a teenager with an index finger. That savings goes straight to the bottom line!
Hey Maloney, what’s the square root of 4 times 10? 20! And what’s 2^5 minus a dozen? 20 again! Put them together and you get 20-20, which is how clearly I see that I’d rather pound sand down a rat hole than work at BigSwing.
Dear Mr. Burgess:
On behalf of myself, I would just like to say that I enjoyed meeting you today. I loved hearing that you went to the University of Maine! That is very far north! Brrrr! Don’t forget the earmuffs! Ha ha!
In all seriousness, I would really appreciate it if you would give me a job.
There, I said it! My mom always said the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well, squeak, squeak! Now where’s the grease? Ha ha!
I enjoyed exchanging ideas with you about what things we put in our coffee. In fact, your arguments were so convincing that I changed my mind! I am putting cream in my coffee now, too! See, old dogs CAN learn new tricks! You sure taught this old dog a new one! Bark bark! Ha. 🙂
Please, in the name of all that is holy, give me a job. My parents are really counting on me to land this one. I loved meeting you today! Keep those earmuffs on, Mr. Maine! Ha ha!
Ms. Rachel M. Green:
Thank you for interviewing me today at 8a in Spangler 208. I am very interested in Taisho Corp, and I was pleased to meet you, having communicated previously with Bill Jacobs (phone conv, 7/27/03, 7:38p), Susan Heep (certified letter, recv’d 8/11/03), and Morton Jensen (Taisho parking lot, 8/18/03, 11:07p), as well as most of your North American customers. Based on what I know about Taisho, which is the world’s leading provider of enterprise solutions to the industrial machinery market, I believe that I would be an excellent fit. I would love to get a foot in the door at your company (a C corp registered in Delaware), and specifically in any one of your 7 business units, which together manage over 825 unique solutions.
With much respect,
Theodore Talbott, III
Dear Mr. Miller:
I was very excited to receive your voice mail this evening offering me a position with Plugg Consulting! I have to admit that I was a bit surprised.
I thought that after your extended cross-examination of me, with regards to my career and lifestyle choices, that my chances were pretty slim. I guess what I mistook for condescension was actually interest! Thank you!
I am leaning toward accepting your offer, but I do have a few questions about you and Plugg that would help me make a final decision. Here goes:
1. Was that mousse in your stylish hair or are you simply lubing up your head in case it gets stuck in a doorway?
2. If you plan to be in the business of correcting people’s English, do you think you should learn the difference between the words “hesitant” and “reticent”?
3. A quick case for you to crack: Let’s say a Plugg consultant, on average, has two children by age 30. If Plugg consultants marry exclusively other Plugg consultants, but 50% of them divorce their first spouses for good-looking but vacuous administrative assistants (and then have one additional child), and if the genes for smugness and arrogance are dominant, then how many incremental jackasses will be added to the universe over the next 100 years? Make sure to walk me through your logic.
Attention Ms. Elfers:
I have been reviewing my notes and recollections of our interview today, and I feel that I should clarify and add some depth to certain comments that I made during our time together. As you begin to make reference calls, I would like you to have a full and accurate picture of my candidacy.
For instance, when I said that I “led” the beta project at Apple, I should have been more clear that I meant this in a spiritual sense, rather than in a traditional “organizational” sense. Hopefully, I conveyed this correctly, but I am just reiterating the fact for the sake of good communication.
I also mentioned that I “graduated” from Yale, and in hindsight, I realize that the word can have many different meanings. I did, in fact, walk across the Yale campus and purchase a commemorative cap-and-gown set. But if you were thinking that I “graduated” in a “call the registrar to verify” kind of way, then we had a miscommunication, which is something I hope we can work on.
Finally, when you asked me what classes I was taking at HBS, and I recited my schedule, I misspoke. As it turns out, I am not a student at HBS, but merely someone who loiters on the grounds with a metal detector. Because of the stress of the interview environment,
I neglected to remember this fact.
I look forward to taking the next step with you, and please contact me if I can provide additional information.
P.S. Also, when I said, “She who smelt it dealt it,” in reference to your comment about the foul odor in the room, that was disingenuous. I was, in fact, the source of the smell, and I deeply regret the emission.