Follow Up After an Interview and You Won’t Stay Home for Long.
Follow Up: In general, there are three kinds of follow-up emails you can send after an interview: one to your interviewers immediately after the interview, a second follow-up if you haven’t heard back, and a “check-in” email to stay in touch for networking purposes. Do you know how to draft a follow-up email? Keep reading this article to learn more.
Following up after an interview falls into the category of unwritten societal rules: although very few interviewers would ever explicitly tell you to do it, it’s often expected all the same.
For example, sending a thank-you note after an interview is simply considered common courtesy (more on that later). If you fail to do so, a recruiter might think that you’re cocky or ungrateful.
How to Follow up After a Job Interview
If possible, collect business cards from everyone you meet during your interview. That way, you’ll have people’s contact information on hand.
If that isn’t feasible, check LinkedIn for the interviewers’ job titles, contact information, and the correct spelling of their names. If the information isn’t listed, look up interviewers on the company website or call the company’s mainline. A receptionist should be able to access the company directory and help you gather up details.
1. What You Have to Say
After an interview, you should send a note within 24-48 hours while it’s still fresh in your mind — and the company.
“With technology like iPhones and BlackBerrys, you don’t have an excuse to not be in touch immediately,” says Roy Cohen, a New York City-based career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.
Handwritten notes are okay to send also, says Frank Dadah, general manager of financial contracts with Boston-based staffing firm Winter, Wyman.
Address a note to each person you met with sending a group note doesn’t necessarily imply laziness, but sending individual, personalized notes definitely won’t.
That means no copy-and-pasting. Being personal will increase your likability factor. And spell everyone’s name correctly, including the company’s. Errors of that sort can be a game-changing embarrassment.
Start by thanking them for the opportunity to meet, and acknowledge that they took time out of their day to do so. Next, note why you think you’d be a good fit for the role.
“You’ve had the opportunity to ask the hiring manager questions about the position,” says Driscoll, so this is an opportunity to elaborate on why you are a great fit in writing, beyond your initial cover letter.
In your conclusion, Dadah suggests hitting three points:
- State that you’re still interested in the position;
- You’ll follow up with them again within a specified time frame; and
- Thank them again. Anything that requires the reader to scroll down the page is too lengthy.
2. Subsequent Follow-Up
After your initial follow up, you might be tempted to reach back out to a hiring manager. “Nudging isn’t appreciated,” says Cohen. But you can send something equivalent to a reminder note.
Begin with a pleasantry, followed by a sentence explaining where you left off during your last communication, says Mattson of Keystone. “You had indicated to me that you’d be making your final decision during the week of such and such, and I just wanted to follow up to see where you are in that decision,” is one way to phrase it, she says.
Include something of value in your follow up, instead of simply sending nagging emails. If you completed a course you were taking or closed a big sale, anything that you think will impress them, pass it along.
Mattson also advises that you match the communication medium the interviewer has been using, i.e. returning emails with emails, phone calls with phone calls, etc.
“If you’ve been communicating back and forth with emails and that has been effective, continue to use it,” she says. “If you haven’t heard back from a person, let an extra week go by and then leave them a voicemail.”
Speak in a very respectful manner when you’re leaving a message, Mattson says, by saying that you know they are very busy, but wanted to follow up on the email you sent them and that you’re still very interested in the position.
3. What You Shouldn’t Say:
One of the most common ways in which people flub they are follow-up is by showing impatience. “Maybe there’s a recommendation delay or something routine that’s just slowing down the process, or maybe you’re not in the running anymore,” says Driscoll of Robert Half. Regardless of the reason, you don’t want to blow your chances by being rude.
If the hiring manager gave you a specific date or time frame they’d be working within to make a decision, give them some wiggle room. “People always overestimate,” says Mattson, “and you don’t want to seem overly anxious.”
Mattson says that applicants should choose their words wisely when reaching out, especially when it’s subsequent follow-up. Namely, she says, don’t ask someone to “call you back.” Instead, let them know that you’ll follow up again within a few days, but, in case they need to reach you, here is the best contact number.
Other no-nos? “Don’t reference someone senior in the company who might put in a good word for you,” says Cohen. “Wait for them to put the good word in for you.”
Cohen also advises candidates to avoid gimmicks. “Gimmicks don’t really work, except on an exception basis,” he says. “We’re conditioned to think that sort of behavior can be tolerated, but doing something totally bizarre and out of the box isn’t necessarily going to be appreciated.”
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Follow Up Template
Here’s an interview follow-up email template you can use that addresses all three of these points:
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me [today/yesterday]. I loved getting to hear about [interesting thing you learned from this person], and was especially impressed by [quality or trait of the company or team that made you even more eager to work there].
Our conversation reinforced my excitement to join [company] and help you all [achievement you would support in this role]. I look forward to hopefully working together in the future.
Dear [contact name],
I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up about the [job title] role. I really enjoyed meeting you and the team last week, and I’m very interested in the opportunity. I’d love to know if there’s any further information I can provide during your hiring timeline.
Most of the time, even one follow-up will be enough to prompt your contact to follow up with you, but if you still don’t hear from them within a couple of days, you might want to send one more note — something simple, like:
Just wanted to check in here — anything I can help out with? Let me know!
If you’ve taken the time to interview with an employer, nine times out of ten they will extend the courtesy of providing you with an update — even if it’s not the news you were hoping for.
But if for some reason they don’t, try not to despair. If nothing else, each interview you go on helps you improve your skills for the next one that comes along. Remember: the perfect job for you is out there, and it’s only a matter of time until you come across it!
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