Following up after a job interview is a critical part of the process. Surveys indicate that up to 80% of employers welcome a follow-up message within two weeks of a meeting. Many employers dismiss applicants who do not send a thank-you note because it indicates poor follow-up and a lack of interest in the job.
Begin the Follow-up During the Interview
The follow-up begins during the interview when you ask an employer when they expect to make a hiring decision. The response to this question will help you to time your follow-up attempts. If the employer gives a timeline, be sure to respect it. Give them a 1-2-day buffer beyond the date. If no timetable exists, allow 4-5 business days before following up. The chances are that they are still interviewing candidates, and your perceived impatience is not going to help your chances of landing the job. However, do send a thank you note immediately after the job interview.
Write a Thank You Note
After your job interview, the first follow-up should be a thank you note. A handwritten letter sent through the mail is best because it is more likely to be read, but an email is better than nothing. Send a note to each person who interviewed you within 24 hours of the interview. Here are a few items to incorporate into a thank-you note:
- Keep it brief and friendly with a conversational tone.
- Restate your interest in the job.
- Thank your potential employer for their time.
- Add any pertinent information you did not voice during the interview.
You may want to ponder sending an email. Although a letter is personal, there is a chance the interviewer will not receive it in a timely fashion.
This step can be difficult and awkward. Making contact after weeks of silence might have you feeling like you are annoying or desperate. Remember that a follow up is a professional part of the interview process, so do not worry. Here are some pointers:
- A hiring process can take time, so don’t assume you did not get the job.
- Patiently wait for the established timeframe and deadline to pass.
- Send a post-interview check-in note after the discussed timeframe has passed.
Stay in Touch with the Employer
Regardless of whether you get the job, keep the employer in your network. Do not view them as a failed job interview but rather as a new contact.
- Build a relationship by periodically sending them helpful information or congratulatory notes.
- Consider adding the people you spoke with on LinkedIn.
- Follow their company page on LinkedIn.
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