The most difficult part of any job search can be the waiting time after an interview. Once the hiring process is completely out of your hands and in the hands of the hiring manager, all you can do is wait and wonder. Follow-up in this phase is important because it shows your continued interest in the role, but you don’t want to overstep and become an annoyance. Use these tips to follow up professionally after an interview.
Step One: Ask About Timeline
Following up begins during the interview. Before you close out the conversation, always ask about the timeline for the decision, as this will impact the timing of your communication.
Step Two: Send A Thank You Email
As soon as the interview is over, sit down, and make a list of relevant information you want to include in your thank-you email. These should include points you want to reinforce or any relevant information that wasn’t covered in your conversation.
Then, write a concise, unique, and thoughtful thank you-email to each person you spoke with. Thank each person for his or her time, make your reinforcing statements, state your continued interest in the job, and tell them you look forward to hearing from them.
Step Three: A Handwritten Note
This is an optional step, but it can help you stand out from your competitors for the job. Most people don’t send handwritten notes, so dropping a professional note in the mail can help reinforce your interest without being pushy.
Step Four: Reach Out by Email or Phone
Only reach out a final time by email or phone if a few days have passed since the deadline the hiring manager gave for a decision. Hiring can often take longer than expected, so wait a full three days after the deadline to reach out. Only call if the hiring manager said they don’t mind being reached out to via phone, as an email is less invasive. Send a short, polite, professional email checking in on the process.
Step Five: Move On
If you do not hear back after taking these actions, do not continue to follow up. If you’ve heard nothing from the hiring manager, it’s wise to keep your options open and move on. Many hiring managers do not reach out to candidates they have not chosen, so avoiding you could be their way of saying they won’t be extending an offer.
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