The process of interviewing for a job can be tricky to navigate, especially when it comes to what to do after the interview. When following up, you don’t want to come off as being too desperate but you also don’t want to be so nonchalant that you put yourself out of the running. So, what’s the follow up sweet spot?
First things first: after you’ve asked the interviewer your list of questions about the job, inquire about the hiring process timeline. Knowing the timeline will help you craft your follow up game plan.
The recruiter or hiring manager will most likely provide you the contact information for each person you interviewed with. Hang onto this for your follow up!
Should you send an email or handwritten note?
A quick follow up indicates interest, so a brief 'thank you' email is always recommended. Send the email within 12-24 hours of your interview while you’re still fresh on the interviewer’s mind. If the role is something that you’re really interested in, it’s always a nice touch to send along a handwritten note. You can ensure the note arrives quickly by writing the note beforehand, stamping it, and dropping it in the mailbox right after your interview.
Important note: if the interviewer told you that email is the best way to contact him or her, do not make a phone call. It’s always a good idea to abide by their stated preference.
After the initial note
Knowing the hiring timeline comes in handy for a subsequent follow up. If the interviewer told you a decision will be made within two weeks, follow up to your initial note within those two weeks to stay top of mind.
If you haven’t received a response, hang tight. It’s at this point that continuous follow up may come across as annoying. Some companies take weeks, even months to fill a position. Or, the position may have been put on hold for one reason or another.
Unfortunately, you may never hear a response if you didn’t make the cut. It can be frustrating to feel like you’ve fallen into an interviewing black hole, but don’t let this get you down; unfortunately, it is par for the course in an active job search. Get back at it and keep applying to jobs-- the right position will come your way soon! Also, it’s important to note that how a company treats an applicant during the interviewing process is very indicative to what it’s like to work there. Interviewing is a two-way street, so pay attention to these cues to ensure that you land in a place that ultimately feels right to you, too!
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