After a job interview, the long wait begins. You think everything went well. The interviewer complimented your well-put resume, laughed at your small joke about the GDP, and promised to get back to you ASAP. A week passes, though, and you’re not sure what to think. When and how should you follow up about a job opportunity?
Following up after every interview is an essential indicator of professionalism and good manners. The purpose of the interview follow-up is threefold: to show your professionalism, to make sure you understand the next steps in the process, and to let the interviewers know you sincerely appreciate their time and consideration. To ensure that you make the right impression, take note of these second interview follow-up do’s and don’ts. Maintaining proper interview etiquette is a crucial first step to making a great impression, so combining the 4 courteous techniques below with thorough preparation and impressive answers, you’ll be great!
1. Ask About Timelines
To follow up with an employer properly, you should have a basic understanding of the recruitment time-frame. A credible employer will give you an idea of when you should expect to hear back and the next steps in the process. Please don’t leave the interview without asking how you should reach the potential employer once he or she has decided. If your interviewer does not provide this information, it is entirely appropriate to ask for it. If you are genuinely interested in the position, the interviewer will take that question as sincere interest.
2. Get That Thank-You Note Out (With Lightning Speed)
Thank-you notes matter: They give you a terrific opportunity to follow up with the decision-maker right away. I encourage job seekers to get thank-you notes out (to each individual they’ve met in the interview process) immediately after the interview. Same day. From your laptop in the parking lot, if you want to wow them.
Use the moment to affirm the hiring manager that you’re on top of things and would bring a ton of values into the position for which you’re interviewing. Make it easy for them to decide on you.
Dear [Name of Interviewer],
[One sentence thanking the interviewer for meeting with you.]
[One sentence listing two or three of your qualifications that align with the job position and responsibilities.]
[One sentence explaining why you’re a right fit for the company culture, goals, or industry.]
3. When You Want to Know if They’ve Made a Decision
DOS: “Hello, Mr. Employer. I am a Potential Employee. I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed our meeting last week. I’m very interested in the position, and I was wondering if you’ve made a decision yet.” If the answer is “No,” then follow up with: “Are there any questions or concerns you may have about my candidacy that I can answer for you?”
This way, you have the opportunity to address any concerns they may have regarding your candidacy. Just be prepared to provide a professional and confident response.
DONT’S: “I really need an answer and to know your decision timeline and your decision-making process. I’ve been out of work forever and want to know if you’re hiring me or even thinking about it.”
Please, do not communicate desperation.
4. If Things Drag Out, Check-in (Periodically)
It’s a job search technique people tend to stink at the most—the periodic check-in. But it’s so important and should be used throughout your career to keep your network fresh and engaged.
Now, this is not about harassment: “Did I get the job?” “Do you have a job for me?” “Did you make a decision?” Not at all. It’s about offering something of value to your contact. And in doing so, you will also (by default) remind her that you’re still out there.
It could mean forwarding an article that you think she’ll find interesting or congratulating her if you notice she has been promoted or earned some recognition. May be thanking her for a bit of advice that you employed.
Please keep it brief and straightforward, and don’t ask for anything back. If that person hears from you and has an update? She’ll be in touch.
Hi Sue—We spoke last month about the product manager position at XYZ Industries. In our conversation, you highlighted some emerging trends in food packaging. I noticed this attached article about the same topic and thought of you. No response is necessary. I hope you find this information helpful!
Nothing elaborate, and once a month is probably about right if you don’t get much response. But, you can be assured that Sue will remember you, and in a good way, if you’re helpful and non-pesky in the follow-up.
However, if the anticipated offer is not extended, there is no need to sever ties with the contacts you have been working with to build connections. Absorb them into your network, and if appropriate, you might even be able to ask them for referrals. Even if they decided you weren’t the best fit for the position, they might be willing to help uncover other options.
It is easy to get discouraged when job hunting. Remember not to let the lack of a job offer get you down. Stay positive. There will be other opportunities to find a desirable position at a great company.
Please stick to the discussed interview follow-up do’s and don’ts to show that you are qualified, capable, enthusiastic, and a good fit for the position. Still, there is a fine line to walk between projecting enthusiasm and revealing desperation. Show confidence and good etiquette to snag your dream job.