follow up

How to follow up after a job interview

Even if you think you’ve just experienced the greatest interview of all time, if you’re serious about the job, you need to know how to follow up afterwards. Not only is this to make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities, but also to ensure that you remind the employer just how great you are for this job.

Read on to learn exactly how to follow up after a job interview.

Ask about the next steps

Before you leave the job interview, you must ask about the next steps. This is so you know when to expect to hear from the recruiter, and to ensure you’re not being too pushy or too flaky when chasing for a response.

For example, if you simply end the interview stating that you look forward to hearing from them, you might as well be waiting for the rest of your life. However, if you ask the recruiter when you can expect to hear from them and what happens next, you know exactly when you should be contacted, and therefore when it’s acceptable to follow up.

Typically, after an interview, you can expect the recruiter to be in contact within a week. But bear in mind that this is just a guideline. Some employers are fast hirers and have a quick 24-hour turnaround period. Others however, may like to take their time, seeking opinions from a variety of senior members of staff, and so it could take a little longer.

In addition, you have to think about other candidates they may be interview, which as you may expect, can lengthen the process.

It’s fairly difficult to predict how long an employer will take to follow up; therefore it’s always best to ask. Plus if you can identify what the next steps are immediately, such as a second interview or a presentation, you can start your preparation ahead of time.

Send a thank you note

Once you’ve left your interview, you need to send a thank you note to the potential employer – and fast. Not only is this incredibly polite, but you’re also more likely to stay in the forefront of their mind if you send it the same day as your interview. Therefore, playing hard to get isn’t going to work and sending a thank you note is extremely advantageous to your application.

When you get home from your interview, take a few minutes to jot everything down. This can be anything from what was discussed and your performance, to your thoughts about the role and the employer. Experts reveal that if you make your thank you note as personal as possible you will stand out. Therefore, also make note of anything you picked up on in conversation with the recruiter to refer back to in your email.

Once you’ve done this, you can begin planning your thank you email.

Firstly, express your thanks for the opportunity to discuss the job. Make sure you continue to emphasise your enthusiasm for the role. After all, this is the last chance to tell them that you’re the ideal person for the job.

You may also use this thank you note as an opportunity to flag anything you forgot to mention in the interview, or clarify any areas that you may feel you didn’t perform your best in.

Feel free to drop in your personal reference to the conversation wherever you feel suitable. Just don’t leave it out or you won’t stand out.

Then proofread your email thoroughly, include the subject line “[Your name] – Thank you” and email it to the right person. It’s best to email your thank you note directly to the person that interviewed you. That said, if you only have the email of the recruiter and not your interviewer’s, it’s acceptable to email them instead.

Check in periodically

Once you’ve sent your thank you note, the waiting game begins.

But it’s important to check in periodically to remind the employer that you’re still out there.

If you were told you’d hear back by the end of the week and you haven’t, it’s okay to give the recruiter a little nudge. A quick note such as this would be acceptable:

Hi [Recruiter],

Hope you’re having a good week.

I just wanted to check in regarding the status of my application. I remember you saying you’d be in touch by the end of last week. I’m still incredibly interested in the role and am eager to hear an update.

Do let me know if I can provide any more information to help with your decision; I’m more than happy to help.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

If you still haven’t heard back a week or so later, it may be time to drop in some more information. This might help with the decision! For example, you could email across some examples of work, or send an update on recent achievements. Just be wary of being too overbearing.

Follow up after an interview

It’s up to you whether you want to keep checking in after a month. There’s no harm in sending a monthly check-in. But you need to think about whether this role or company is right for you. Or, if there are better opportunities out there.

Need some more interview tips? Check out our articles.

Image:  Luke Chesser on Unsplash

About Laura Slingo

Laura Slingo is a writer, editor and digital marketing professional. She has penned hundreds of career and lifestyle articles for various sites and markets across the globe, including Salesforce and The Guardian. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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