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After the Interview

Important Email Follow-Up

Get the business card of the person with whom you interview, or if on the phone, ask for his/her email address. After the interview, make sure to send an email to this individual. You want the email to add value. I can help you with the content.

The nature of the e-mail should depend on your level of interest in the position. If you left the interview quite sure that the company is not a good fit for you, a simple "thank you" to each interviewer for their time and information is sufficient. You should also relay this information to me and I will take the responsibility of informing the company that you are not interested in the pursuing your application further.

If, on the other hand, you are excited about the company and want to maximize your chances of a job offer (or a further interview), a much more detailed e-mail is appropriate.

One, don’t just express thanks for the interview. One of your jobs during the interview is to find out the hiring authority’s hot buttons. Your follow up email explains how you can help solve those key issues, thus emphasizing why you're an outstanding candidate for the position. So plan on asking during the interview: “What are the three most pressing ( top) issues (challenges) you need resolved? (OR … “on which the HTS scientist will work?”)

The follow up email also allows you to do damage control. You can respond to a question that you did not, in hindsight, answer to the best of your ability. “Jim, I forgot to mention when you asked about my supervision experience that I led a four person team at…”

You can also take a pre-emptive position on an area in which you know you are a little light. You take the weapon out of the interviewer’s hand by acknowledging a weakness and how you will minimize it if hired.

There are no BAD emails; just better ones than others that might truly advance your candidacy. One final point here, you never know how many other people your email might be forward to... people whom you have not met. One indicator they can get of your ability to do the job is what is contained in the email, where you have cited how you can satisfy the top demands of the job.

Case History Example of an Email Follow Up To an Interview

Here's an example of a candidate of mine who wrote a cover letter to a hiring manager of a major pharmaceutical company last year after interviewing for a data modeling job, which he subsequently got. It shows what I mean.

Thank you for taking the time last week to interview me for the data modeling position at XXXX. I sought to present how my experience and skills working with Bio statistic applications could benefit xxxxx. I hope that I was successful.

In our discussions, the importance of designing and building enterprise-wide data models was mentioned many times. A second need that jumped out at me when we talked was the requirement for hands on experience in both clinical data processing and statistical model processing.

I have worked in all aspects of those projects: interviewing users to obtain requirements, designing conceptual, logical and physical data models to represent those requirements, installation and loading of databases, design of multi-tiered logic on top of those databases, and extensive coding of stored procedures and other SQL logic to service application components. Moreover, I have written many UNIX shell scripts to implement extract, transform and load (ETL) functions for those projects.

The above work has been with the use of SAS. In terms of Statistics applications at XYZ Company, I proposed and modeled a large-scale SAS architecture based upon a central data bus of common dimensions, and a wide variety of data marts representing different subject areas.

This background, I believe, makes me well suited to meet the requirements of the data modeling position. I hope that you can give serious weight to my qualifications. Regardless of the outcome of your search, I again wish to thank you for your consideration.


Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 12:20 AM
Subject: Thank you for interview

Dear xxxxx,
Thank you for taking the time on Thursday to interview me for the Sr. Director of xxxx position at xxxx. I enjoyed our lunch conversation and sharing our experiences. You painted an exciting picture of opportunity and growth for xxxx. I would like to be a part of that growth picture. I shared how my experience and skills working in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years can benefit xxxx.

We discussed my 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. I appreciate your interest in how the combination of my achievements in Marketing, sales, managed care, market research, and finance, are a valuable combination that can benefit xxxx. What we did not have a chance to fully cover is my competitive drive, initiative, and reliability in accomplishing goals. I hope you got some sense of these innate abilities from our conversation.

I sense we both have an entrepreneurial spirit. Xxxx is on the edge of something big and it would be great to be a part of that momentum. It reminds me of the time I was working to build a new oncology business unit at Searle, prior to the Pharmacia merger. It was an opportunity to create a successful enterprise from the ground up.

I felt the excitement from you and your team at xxx. I would like to join you in building upon what xxxx has achieved thus far. I believe my background, collaborative leadership, and achiever-mentality make me well suited to meet the requirements of the position of Sr. Director of Marketing. Regardless of the outcome of your search, I thank you for your consideration. Please contact me if you have any questions while making your decision.


Call me after the interview to recap. I’ll want to talk to you before I talk to the client. It gives me a chance to hear from you about the interview so that with the client I can do a combination of emphasizing your positives and performing damage control if need be. I also can get from you questions that you either forgot to ask the client or which you thought of after the interview. Armed with this information, I’ll know how to best advance your candidacy.

Follow-Up from the Company

You should expect that the company would provide feedback to me on your interview. Typically this feedback is provided within a week of the interview. If the company is in the early stages of a search when you interview (for example, if they would like to interview at least three candidates and you are the first) it may be some time before any decision is made, but the company should be up front about this, and should also stay in contact with me as the search progresses so that I can relay information to you.

If a long period of time (more than month) elapses after your interview, and I have not been able to get any feedback from the company about how they want to proceed, we should this as a red flag. A company that has poor follow-up on interviews, and/or difficulty making decisions about candidates, probably extends these traits to other areas of their business.

You may also find entry level pharmaceutical jobs with Jooble:


I believe that by becoming a Partner in the process of growth, loaded with the knowledge of pipeline, research, core values and culture of a client along the details of the open position is where we can make a positive impact of getting new technology to the market...."

-- Jamie Riley


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