Time can feel like it’s standing still when you’re waiting to hear back about a job interview. How candidates follow up after an interview can help or hurt their chances. Don’t throw away a great interview by messing it up with bad follow-up. Use these tips on the best practices for following up on an interview:
Determine Time Frame
Whenever the hiring manager asks if you have any questions, don’t leave the interview until you ask what the next steps are in the process, as well as an estimated timeframe. This is important not only to help you properly plan your follow up, but also to keep yourself from unnecessarily stressing out by overthinking the possibilities. For instance, if they are going to be conducting another week of interviews, you won’t expect contact in a few days and won’t get upset when you don’t hear from them. Once you know the expected next steps in the process, then you can decide accordingly when you should follow up to receive an answer or status update.
Stay on Their Minds
There are several key purposes to following up after an interview, none of which have to do with getting an actual response right off the bat. As soon as possible after the interview (but at least within two days), send a short email (or handwritten note if you haven’t communicate through email) in which you thank the hiring manager for taking the time to meet with you and how you’re looking forward to hearing back about the job. This demonstrates that you’re enthusiastic and professional – two major things that could help your case as they make a decision.
Remain Respectful of Their Time
After your initial thank-you follow-up, refer back to the decision-making timeline that was communicated to you after the interview and stick to it. If the time comes and you haven’t heard back, it’s perfectly acceptable to contact the hiring manager and politely ask for an update. If you don’t reach the hiring manager on your first attempt, only try one or two more times max. Any more attempts than that, and you risk coming across as annoying, desperate, or even aggressive. Remember: Hiring managers won’t forget about strong candidates they’re interested in, so the impressions you make prior to the follow-up are the most important.
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