So you’ve had your interview, and you think it went pretty well. That’s great! But your work isn’t done. You’ll need to take the initiative to follow up after your interview. It’s an important step to show a hiring manager that you’re still interested, understand the company’s needs, and hopefully, close the deal. Below are some suggestions for timing your follow-up communications; by the end of the article, you should have a solid idea on when to follow up after an interview.
Before You Leave the Interview
There are two questions you need answered before you leave the interview. Trying to follow up without answers to these questions can make your work very frustrating. First, ask what the next steps in the recruiting process are, and then ease into asking when they plan on making the final decision. Now you have a date for when you can expect to hear back from the employer.
Of course, timelines can slip and priorities might change, and hiring managers don’t always follow up when they say they will. So you’ll need to ask this next question: “Can I follow up with you if I don’t hear back by the stated date?” Asking this question makes it clear that you are interested enough to follow up, and you'll know that you have the hiring manager’s permission to do so if you don’t hear back.
If for some reason you forget to ask these questions, you should plan to follow up two weeks after the interview.One last thing: if you interviewed with multiple people, ask for their business cards, or ask the hiring manager—or whoever leads you out—for the email addresses of your interviewers.
Follow up With a Thank-You Note
Thank-you notes aren’t dead yet! Many employers expect to receive one. Twenty-two percent of hiring managers are less likely to hire a job candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note post-interview because they feel it shows a lack of follow-through and a lack of interest in the job.
Here’s your chance to stand out. Plan to send a thank-you note 24 to 48 hours after your interview. It’s not just simple politeness, but a good chance to show the company that you are interested in the job and the company. If you interviewed with multiple people, each one deserves a personalized message.
Twenty-two percent of hiring managers are less likely to hire a job candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note post-interview because they feel it shows a lack of follow-through and a lack of interest in the job.
In a brief email, thank the interviewer for their time and add a sentence or two about why you enjoyed the interview, why you are interested in the job, and why you’re the best person for the job. Sending a thank-you note also provides proof of your writing skills and gets you in front of the interviewer one more time. To go one step further and really add a personal touch, consider sending a thank-you note through snail mail (in addition to a thank-you note via email). The content of your snail mail thank-you note should be slightly different from your email thank-you note. It can be a neatly handwritten message, or if you don’t have the best handwriting, type it out and hit print. Someone may delete an email (or it could end up in their Spam folder), but they’re less likely to ignore a piece of mail that lands on their desk.
How Long Should I Wait to Hear Back After an Interview?
Many candidates wonder how long they should wait to hear after applying for or interviewing for a job. The length of time it takes to get a call back after an interview can vary based on a variety of reasons. If you haven’t heard anything within the expected time frame, which is common, it’s okay to check in. In fact, some hiring managers expect you to follow up to prove your interest in the job. Your email should be polite, respectful, and brief. For instance, you might say, “I just wanted to follow up and see where you were in the decision making process.”
This is also a great opportunity to re-express interest in the position. If you don’t hear back from the company, don’t give up. No response from an employer doesn’t always mean they aren’t interested. It only means they haven’t responded. If this is a job you are truly interested in, wait an additional two weeks and send another email. Your goal is to be persistent and professional, not annoying.
Don’t Put Your Job Search On Hold
Here’s a distinct possibility: you might not hear back from an employer until much later than expected. It’s also possible you might not hear back at all. The bottom line is that you should never stop looking for a new job.
While you’re waiting for a response from a company post-interview, be sure to continue sending out resumes, scheduling interviews, and networking to find other possible jobs. Never put all your eggs in just one basket! What you do after the interview can be almost as important as the interview itself. Follow these tips and keep yourself in the running.
If you haven’t had the interview yet, check out our Interview Tips for advice on making an impression and winning the job!
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