You just landed an interview and you bring your A-game. You walk out of the office feeling good about the interview. Now what?
You know you should follow up with them, but how often do you do so? What should you say? You want to make a lasting impression on the interviewers, but you’re afraid of coming off as too eager or bothersome. Here are some dos and don’ts of following up after a job interview.
Do – Fire off a thank you note
Shortly after your interview, you MUST send a thank you email to every interviewer. It’s best to send a thank you note within an hour after your interview. At the very least, it needs to be sent within 24 hours to be effective and leave a good impression on the hiring manager.
Use this opportunity to quickly affirm to the hiring manager that you’re excited about the position. Remind them the value you will bring to the position and why you are a good fit. Make sure each thank you note sent is personal to each interviewer. Reflect on something they said in the interview or tell them you enjoyed discussing a certain topic.
Just remember to keep it brief and friendly!
Don’t – follow up unless you have proper contact information
If you don’t have the correct contact information, don’t bother following up. Sending a thank you email to a contact form or a random email address listed on the employer’s website will almost never get to the right person.
Instead, write down all the interviewers’ names during your interview. Afterwards, look them up on LinkedIn or do a quick Google search. You shouldn’t have an issue finding their work email addresses to send them each a personal thank you email.
However, if you do struggle to find their contact information, you can send an email or make a quick phone call to HR. They will be happy to send over their contact information!
Do – Personalize each thank you note
You’re likely not the only person to interview in the last few days. You need to stay at the top of their mind by sending a thank you email that truly stands out. The thank you note needs to relate back to your interview and remind the interviewers why you are the perfect candidate.
As your interview begins, ask the hiring manager if it’s okay to jot down some notes during your interview. As each interviewer is talking to you, write down some notes to help you write a personal thank you email to each of the interviewers. Sending a personal email will go a long way and will remind them what you’ll bring to the table.
Don’t – Follow up too often
Nothing is more aggravating to a hiring manager than a candidate who is constantly trying to follow up after an interview. Don’t panic if you haven’t heard back exactly when you were told. Every company has a unique hiring process and different timelines. Some employers are looking to make a decision in a few short weeks while others may want to take their time. This can all depend on the size of the company, the industry they play in, or even the type of position you are applying for.
If you haven’t heard back a few days after you were expecting a phone call, it’s okay to send a follow-up email. This email should be kept brief and be written in a friendly, yet professional tone.
And if you have been waiting patiently and you still haven’t heard back after your follow up email, chances are, you are no longer being considered for the position. The best way to move forward is to focus on other opportunities.
Do – Ask for the next steps so you know when to follow up again
If the interviewers have not discussed the next steps in the hiring process, the end of your interview is the perfect time to ask what to expect next. You can simply ask, “When are you looking to make a decision?” or “When can I expect to hear from you again?”
By asking the hiring manager what the next steps are, you know when you can follow up again. For example, if the hiring manager tells you that they’re looking to make a decision by the end of the week, it’s okay to follow up again a few days after that if you still haven’t heard back.
I know it can be difficult to be patient, but the hiring process is anything but short and sweet. It takes time for employers to schedule interviews, discuss each candidate, and make a decision, all while maintaining their everyday tasks.
Don’t – Stop job hunting after the interview
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! While you are waiting to hear back from the hiring manager after your interview, you should keep searching for other opportunities. Even if you think you nailed your interview and you meet every qualification on the job description, you never know what decision will be made.
The best thing you can do is keep searching and applying for job openings. Keep your options open while you wait to hear back from the employer. You never know what other opportunities await! And if you get the unfortunate news that you were not selected for the position, you’ll be ready to move on and continue your job hunt!