How to Follow Up After a Job Interview
Follow-ups can feel awkward, but they are absolutely vital when seeking jobs. While from your perspective you may feel like you are pestering someone, from their perspective they might be reminded about an exceptional candidate that otherwise would have slipped their mind.
Realize that most job interviewers see dozens of candidates, who can all tend to blend together during the process. By following up, you help give the interviewer something concrete to latch onto while demonstrating initiative. Additionally, the follow-up serves as a polite “thank you for the opportunity” missive if nothing else.
Now that you understand why following up on a job interview is important, you can learn more about the best way to go about it. Use the tips listed below when trying to determine how to follow up after a job interview in the most effective way possible.
Start by Gathering Clues During the Interview
If you happen to be reading this post before the interview has occurred, then you are in luck. This piece of advice can make following up far less anxiety-inducing. Namely: ask about the hiring process during the interview. By learning more about how candidates are reviewed, how long it takes and who makes the decisions, you can gain much-needed insight about what your next action should be post-interview.
Write an Immediate Thank You Note
No matter how your interview goes, thank the interviewer and the company for the opportunity in a written statement. An e-mail can suffice for most positions, but for a large company or a position you really want, consider a hand-written note. It will help you stand out in an era where handwriting and direct mail are both practically foreign concepts.
Keep your thank-you concise, and briefly restate your interest in the position and your top qualifications. For example:
Dr. Kleiner,Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about the Black Mesa research facility and for allowing me to express my interest in the head researcher position. I am very excited about your work in theoretical physics, and I feel that my background in particle research would make a perfect match for the duties described. I wish you luck throughout the rest of the hiring process, and I hope to continue our lively discussion soon. Best,Dr. G. Freeman
Follow Up Within One to Two Weeks
The timeline for your true follow-up will vary based on how long you expect to hear back from the interviewer. After an appropriate amount of time has passed and you have not yet heard a response, a courteous inquiry can help you learn more about your status.
Write a letter similar to the one above, but this time include caveats about your curiosity as to when you will hear back. Done properly, you appear professional and eager rather than annoying or desperate. An example statement would be:
I hope you and your colleagues are well! I was writing to see if any final decisions will be made in the upcoming weeks in regards to the position I interviewed for. I would love to hear back from you whenever you have the time.
Keep in Touch
So you haven’t heard from the interviewer in months, or you have heard back and you know you did not get the job. Now is not the time to throw temper tantrums regardless of your emotions. Instead, reach out and inform the interviewing company that although you are disappointed to not get the position, you would be excited to learn about future positions within the company.
Feel free to follow up again every two to three months, particularly if the company has had exciting updates you could commend them on. By keeping in contact without appearing needy, you can make yourself a more viable and memorable candidate the next time they have an open position.
No matter what happens, keep applying to other positions. New jobs in healthcare and other industries open up all the time, so be persistent and never give up!