3 good ways to follow up after a job interview

07/26/2013 9:00 AM

07/25/2013 2:23 PM

A common query: “I thought I had a great job interview, but I haven’t heard a thing since. Is it OK for me to contact them?”

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to inquire about the hiring process. But there are artful and timely ways to do it without looking needy or upset.

You must do what you presumably did in the job interview: Emphasize what you can do for the employer, not what they could do for you.

The followup actually should start before the interview ends. If the interviewer doesn’t say something like, “We will be contacting candidates next week,” you should ask about the timetable.

Then, immediately after the interview, write a brief thank-you note. Say you enjoyed the meeting, you’re confident you’d be an asset, and you’re looking forward to hearing back next week (or when the response was indicated).

If you were told you’d hear back in two weeks and three weeks pass, it’s reasonable to call or write. Be nice:

“I hope the hiring process is going well for XYZ position. You’d mentioned that a decision was expected last week, and I’m eager to learn the status of the search. May I provide any more information to help?”

If the promised decision time is long past, or you don’t know the timetable, it’s fine to stay on the interviewer’s radar with another contact. Again, be courteous. Focus on helping them.

An email or LinkedIn request that shares a news article about the company or the industry are examples. Say, “I read this and thought you might be interested, if you haven’t already seen it.” That keeps your name and interest in front of the interviewer without looking pushy.

If you’ve followed up twice with no response, stand down. More attempts may be viewed as a pest. Unless you’re trying to stay on a professional recruiter’s radar, it’s wise to turn your energies elsewhere.


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