While it is important to distinguish yourself in the interview, it is often what happens after the interview the ultimately determines the employers decisions.
A simple thank you is the most overlooked step in the process. Not only does it convey your appreciation, it also clearly demonstrates your professionalism and your interest in the job. I have employers tell me all the time what a difference a handwritten thank you note makes in the process. Those are the candidates they remember and if they are having trouble deciding between two candidates, the thank you note can tip the scale.
After an interview, you should ALWAYS send a handwritten thank you note to every person who interviewed you. Customize each note with a reference to something you discussed. Thank them for their time and convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity. Get your thank you note in the mail within 24 hours of your interview, sooner is better. If you know the timeframe is very tight, it is ok to send a quick email thank you note but it does not replace the handwritten note.
Remember, grammar and spelling matter. They will consider your thank you note a sample of business writing. Use professional looking note cards (no kitties or teddy bears).
If you call to follow-up after an interview, be professional and courteous to everyone you speak to at the organization. Be sure frustration in any delay does not show in your voicemail message.
Ensure that all your follow-up supports the positive impression you made in the interview.
Find more advice in Your Job Search: When to Follow Up featuring Lynne!