How And When To Follow Up An Interview – Must Read!

You’ve just returned home after having sat through an interview for a job that you desperately want. It’s got your name all over it and you can’t wait to get started. What do you do? Hang around getting increasingly morose when the phone doesn’t ring? Chase after other ‘similar’ jobs in a half-hearted manner? Ring up and ask the interviewer if and when a decision is going to be made?

None of those are good ideas.

There is, however, another option. You don’t have to sit passively waiting – you can be pro-active and yet not appear to be impatient and desperate. You can do a follow-up.

Let’s be clear at the outset as to what a follow-up isn’t. It isn’t an excuse to bombard the company with phone calls asking whether you’ve got the job or not. If you do that you definitely won’t stand a chance.

So what does constitute a follow-up then? The precise answer depends upon how long has elapsed since the interview. All of the following timings are approximate and you must make a judgement based upon the company, how well the interview went and the time of year (i.e. how many working days have elapsed).

Within about 72 hours

Send a ‘thank you’ email which reads roughly as follows:

“Thank you for seeing me .

I found the interview most constructive and the experience has further strengthened my desire to work for your organisation.

I look forward to hearing from you.”

This email has the following going for it:

  • It’s short
  • It doesn’t require an answer
  • It conveys enthusiasm
  • It pats the interviewer on the back

72 hours to 2 weeks

It’s too late to send the ‘thank you’ email (or perhaps you already have). You need something a little harder hitting because clearly the company is not visualising you as a ‘dead-cert’ first choice otherwise you would have been offered the job by now.

Try this email instead.

“Subsequent to my recent interview on , I confirm my continued interest in working for your organisation.

If there is any further information I can supply you with in support of my application, please do not hesitate to ask.

I very much hope to hear favourably from you regarding this vacancy.”

This email reminds the interviewer of you and offers them an opportunity to ask you further questions. Of course they could have done this anyway but it looks better from their point of view that the offer came from you. The email also conveys your enthusiasm for the job.

Over two weeks has elapsed

It could be that the vacancy has been filled by now. If you haven’t heard in a couple of weeks, there is nothing wrong with ringing up and asking about the job. After this much time, you are no longer being a nuisance – you’re just someone looking for work who needs to know how they got on.

If the vacancy is still open and you’ve sent the second of the two emails above, what can you do? It’s clear that your name isn’t fully in the frame but, then again, no-one else is an obvious candidate.

Why not offer to do a short free trial?

Everyone likes the idea of something for nothing and, if the employer is being reticent over engaging you (or, possibly, engaging anyone), offering to do a day or half a day free-of-charge and without commitment can be a good way of demonstrating to them what you can do. If you’re otherwise sitting at home, why not give some thought to this?

Not only will you demonstrate to them that you are what they need, you will also get a chance to sniff out your new colleagues and see if this really is the job you want to do.

Some companies may not like this approach so be warned. However, if several weeks have elapsed and you have not been given the job, you have little to lose except a few hours of your time.

Don’t do this if:

  • Less than 2 weeks have elapsed
  • The job’s been offered to someone else
  • You’ve got a job already and doing this would put it in jeopardy
  • You are desperate for work because it will show and your judgement may be clouded
  • The job doesn’t ‘tick all the boxes’

Ultimately, being keen, enthusiastic and innovative are all good attributes. Being a pest, looking odd and showing desperation are all bad ones. Make sure you choose the right path when you are doing follow-up after an interview.

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