You go in for an interview, dressed to the nines, ready to impress everyone in the dental office. The interview seems to go well and you walk out the door with your head held high.
But now what? Do you just sit and wait to get a call back? Do you call them back immediately to see how you did? How do you follow up after an interview to help land you the job?
Follow these few steps to follow up after an interview for the best chance of success.
Get a business card
Make sure before you walk out the door, you get a business card of the individual(s) that interviewed you. There might have been multiple people or might have just been one person. Get contact information for each person you met with.
“What if they don’t have a business card on hand?” Still get their email address and write it down or at least know their first and last name.
Send a thank you note
Use the contact information to send a follow up thank you to everyone that interviewed you. You can either send this through email or mail it to their physical address. You should do this within 24 hours of the interview. If you cannot, it is better late than never!
An example of a letter might look like:
“Dear John Smith,
I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualifications for the position of Dental Assistant. I enjoyed learning more about the office and the position, and I believe I would be the perfect fit for this role. My experience and education reflects the duties of this role and I believe I fit what you are looking for in a candidate.
If you need anything else from me for further consideration, please let me know. I will be happy to provide anything I need to.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
“But I already thanked them at the end of the interview.” You most likely did thank the individual(s) you interviewed with (or you should have!). However, what you will be sending after the interview is a formal letter of appreciation for their time and consideration.
Don’t pester the employer.
It is very easy to call or email every day to see if there is any update on your application. However, don’t do it. If the employer gave you a timeline of the interviewing process, DO NOT call or email asking for an update before the timeline says you should hear back. The office is busy and is tied to a specific schedule, so you interrupting that schedule about something prematurely might irritate them and thus affect your chances.
"What if I don't know the timeline?" You could ask about the timeline of the process when the employer asks "Do you have any questions for me?". But if you forget or it does not come up, have no fear! If you sent a thank you letter within 24 hours of your interview, follow up with a phone call a week after your interview. If you sent the thank you a bit later, wait a week from when you sent it.
Call the employer asking for a status update.
This should be done over the phone, as this is more professional and shows you are not afraid of being on the phone and would make a great dental assistant. You should always sound enthusiastic, even if you are told the hiring manager is not available or if you are told there is no update. Be courteous to everyone you speak to on the phone, even the receptionist.
"What do I say?" You would introduce yourself and remind them of when you interviewed. Offices typically interview a handful of people so the hiring manager may need a reminder in order to recall you. Ask if there is an update with your application and if there is anything more they need from you. Tell them you are still interested in the opportunity and are available to start as soon as possible if they should hire you. This is another to chance to ask when you can expect to hear from them.
Ask to shadow.
If the office is still in the middle of interviews or the decision-making process, request to shadow the dentist or another dental assistant. The shadow would only be an hour or two, but you would get a good feel for the office dynamics. Even better, the employer would be able to get to know you more and see that you are a good fit for the office. Asking this shows you have interest and are passionate about the job, not just the pay (as shadowing usually is not a paid experience). This will also make you stand out from the other candidates and you have a chance to really show your knowledge and skills.
"What if they don't allow me to shadow?" If the office is too busy to allot time for you to come in to shadow, that's fine! Asking still shows your interest and boldness which will surely impress the employer.
If you followed all these steps and the employer has gone MIA or you still don’t get the job, that is perfectly okay. It takes practice and time to find the right job for you. However, your odds are much better if you follow up after your interview the right way!