Best Practice When Following Up After An Interview

follow up

Getting through a job interview can leave you feeling like you’ve just gotten over a major job search hurdle. However, you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve crossed the finish line just because you met with a potential employer. While the first impression you make at your job interview is huge, your behavior after the interview can also influence your chances of landing the position. So what exactly should you do? Here are a few tips.

interview follow up best practice

Focus on all aspects of the interview – including follow-up etiquette. photo credit: laverrue

Say that you want the job

As you’re shaking hands and leaving the interview, thank your interviewer for inviting you in and say something like, “I’d really admire your company’s work and hope you choose me to join the team”. It never hurts to ask, as long as you do so politely, and it shows that you really care about this position in particular and that you’re not just interviewing while you wait for something better to come along. As you leave, you may also want to (politely) ask when you can expect to hear back, if the interviewer hasn’t specified a time range.

Send follow-up material when requested

If your interviewer asks if you can send a list of references, tell them that you can get that to them by the next morning — and then be sure you actually send it by then. Being punctual with your follow-up material shows that you would be a reliable employee, while being late with requested material may raise a red flag.

Send a thank-you note

follow up

For the most part, it’s perfectly fine and sometimes even preferable to send a thank-you email as opposed to a handwritten note. A handwritten note may come across as antiquated, especially if you’re applying for a job in social media or the tech industry, and emails are received much more promptly (try to send one within 24 hours of the interview). However, if the company you apply with seems to have traditional values, consider sending both a thank-you email and a handwritten note a few days later.

[ALSO SEE – The Power Of A Thank-you Letter]

Don’t be overeager

While you should be prompt with your thank-you note and any requested follow-up material, you shouldn’t call your interviewer up the very next day to ask about the job—unless they specifically asked you to. If the interviewer asked you to wait a week before following up on the position, respect their wishes. They’re probably incredibly busy reviewing other candidates, and calling too soon can be both disruptive and annoying.

Call or email if the employer doesn’t get back to you

Many of us have been in this type of situation before: the hiring manger you interviewed with said they should be getting back to you by the end of the week, but now you’re past the weekend and you still haven’t heard. The idea of following up can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re worried the hiring manager is going to tell you that you didn’t get the job, but it’s still something you need to do. The fact that you haven’t heard back doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been passed over—it may mean that the company is behind in their hiring process, and following up with them shows your continued interest in the position. Be sure to keep your call or email polite rather than accusatory: thank your interviewer again for considering you, and ask them where they’re at in the hiring process.

Handle rejection graciously

Remember, even if you don’t get the position you applied for, there may be other positions opening up at this company soon, or their original candidate may not work out. In any case, you may still have other opportunities down the road to work here, so don’t burn any bridges. If a hiring manager tells you that you didn’t get the position, thank them again for their time and let them know that you hope they’ll keep your resume on file and remember you for future openings.

[ALSO SEE – Getting Over Job Rejections]

About Author – Judi Wunderlich has been a leading recruiter for over 20 years. In 2009 she co-founded the WunderLand Group, a staffing and recruiting firm which focuses on contract and full-time job opportunities in Marketing, Advertising, and Digital Design & Development. WunderLand has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Connecticut. Judi’s position allows her a unique view of hiring trends, and she has written about and spoken at numerous conferences on hiring, career trends, and the use of social media for job seekers and hiring managers alike. Connect with Judi on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

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