How Do I Follow Up After a Job Interview?
A job interview is a crucial step in the job search process. It is an opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and personality to the employer. After the interview, many candidates wonder what to do next. Should they wait for the employer to reach out, or should they follow up? If yes, when and how should they follow up? In this article, we will discuss how to follow up after a job interview and the dos and don'ts of following up.
Why Follow-Up Matters After a Job Interview
Following up after a job interview is essential for several reasons. First, it shows that you are interested in the job and the company. It demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to the opportunity, which can set you apart from other candidates. Second, it gives you the opportunity to reiterate your qualifications and strengths. In a competitive job market, every opportunity to showcase your skills and experience is valuable. Third, following up can help you stay top of mind with the employer. It can increase the chances of the employer remembering you and considering you for the job.
When to Follow Up After a Job Interview
The timing of your follow-up depends on several factors, such as the interview process, the employer's communication style, and the job's urgency. In general, it is a good idea to follow up within 24 to 48 hours of the interview. However, if the employer provided a specific timeline, follow that timeline. For example, if the employer said they would reach out in a week, wait until the end of the week before following up.
Follow-Up Timeline Based on the Interview Process
The follow-up timeline can vary depending on the interview process. If you had a phone screen, it is appropriate to follow up with a thank you email or note within 24 hours. If you had an in-person interview, you can send a thank you email or note within 24 to 48 hours. If you had a second interview or a final interview, you can follow up within a week.
Factors to Consider Before Following Up
Before following up, consider the following factors:
- Employer's communication style: Some employers are more responsive than others. If the employer has been slow to respond to your emails or calls during the interview process, it may be best to wait a few days before following up.
- Job urgency: If the job is urgent, it may be appropriate to follow up sooner. For example, if the job is a temporary position or a job that needs to be filled quickly, following up within 24 hours may be appropriate.
- Personal circumstances: If you have a personal circumstance that may impact your availability, such as an upcoming vacation or a scheduled surgery, it may be appropriate to follow up before the employer's timeline.
How to Follow Up After a Job Interview
There are several ways to follow up after a job interview. The most common methods are thank you emails, phone calls, and handwritten notes.
Thank You Emails
A thank you email is a simple and effective way to follow up after a job interview. It should be concise, personalized, and professional. Here are some tips for writing a thank you email:
- Address the interviewer(s) by name: Start the email by addressing the interviewer(s) by name. This shows that you remember their names and value the time they spent with you.
- Express appreciation: Thank the interviewer(s) for taking the time to interview you and for considering you for the job.
- Reiterate your interest: Express your continued interest in the job and the company. Mention something specific from the interview that stood out to you, such as a project or initiative that you would like to be a part of.
- Include a call to action: End the email by expressing your willingness to provide additional information or to answer any questions they may have.
- Proofread and edit: Before sending the email, proofread it for typos and errors. Make sure the email is professional and error-free.
A phone call is another way to follow up after a job interview. It is a more personal and direct way to communicate with the employer. However, it can be challenging to reach the employer by phone, especially if they are busy or out of the office. Here are some tips for making a follow-up phone call:
- Call at a convenient time: Before making a follow-up call, consider the employer's schedule and call at a time when they are likely to be available.
- Introduce yourself: Start the call by introducing yourself and reminding the employer of the position you applied for.
- Ask for an update: Ask the employer for an update on the hiring process and if they need any additional information from you.
- Express your continued interest: Reiterate your interest in the job and the company.
- Thank them for their time: End the call by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.
A handwritten note is a more personal and memorable way to follow up after a job interview. It shows that you took the time to write a personalized note and that you value the opportunity. However, it may not be appropriate for all situations, such as when time is of the essence or when the employer is located in a different city. Here are some tips for writing a handwritten note:
- Use professional stationery: Use professional stationery or a blank card to write the note. Avoid using informal or overly decorative stationery.
- Keep it concise: Keep the note concise and to the point. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and express your continued interest in the job and the company.
- Personalize the note: Mention something specific from the interview that stood out to you, such as a project or initiative that you would like to be a part of.
- Sign it: Sign the note with your name and contact information.
Dos and Don'ts of Following Up After a Job Interview
Following up after a job interview can be tricky. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind:
- Send a thank you email or note: Send a thank you email or note within 24 to 48 hours of the interview.
- Be polite and professional: Use polite and professional language in your follow-up communication.
- Reiterate your interest: Express your continued interest in the job and the company.
- Provide additional information: Offer to provide additional information or to answer any questions they may have.
- Follow the employer's timeline: Follow the timeline provided by the employer. If they said they would reach out in a week, wait until the end of the week before following up.
- Be pushy: Avoid being pushy or demanding in your follow-up communication. Respect the employer's time and decision-making process.
- Send too many follow-ups: Sending too many follow-ups can come across as desperate or annoying. Limit your follow-ups to one or two, unless the employer specifically asks you to provide additional information.
- Ignore the employer's preferred communication method: If the employer indicated a preferred method of communication, such as email, phone, or in-person, respect their preference and follow up accordingly.
- Discuss salary or benefits: Avoid discussing salary or benefits in your follow-up communication. This should be addressed during the negotiation phase, after an offer has been extended.
- Badmouth the company or interviewer: Never badmouth the company or interviewer in your follow-up communication, even if you had a negative experience during the interview. This can harm your chances of being hired and damage your professional reputation.
Following up after a job interview is an important step in the job search process. It shows that you are proactive, professional, and interested in the job and the company. Whether you choose to send a thank you email, make a follow-up phone call, or write a handwritten note, it's important to be polite, concise, and personalized in your communication. Remember to follow the employer's timeline and preference for communication, and avoid being pushy or discussing salary or benefits. With these tips in mind, you can follow up after a job interview with confidence and increase your chances of landing the job.