How to Follow Up After a Job Interview
1. The Importance of Follow-up:
Effective follow-up can differentiate you from other candidates by showing your enthusiasm and professionalism. It serves as a reminder of your qualifications and fit for the role. Key reasons to follow up include:
- Reinforcing a Positive Impression: Remind the interviewer of your strengths and how they align with the job’s requirements.
- Demonstrating Interest: Show that you are genuinely interested in the position and the company.
- Staying Top of Mind: In a competitive job market, following up can keep your application at the forefront of the hiring manager’s considerations.
2. Timing Your Follow-up:
Choosing the right time to follow up is crucial:
- Thank-You Note: Send this within 24-48 hours of your interview. It should be brief, expressing gratitude for the interviewer’s time and reiterating your interest in the position.
- Second Follow-Up: If you haven’t received a response, send a more substantial follow-up email one to two weeks after the interview. This shows persistence without being pushy.
3. Methods of Follow-up:
Your follow-up method should reflect the company’s culture and your previous interactions with the interviewer:
- Email: Suitable for most situations, an email is direct yet non-intrusive. It allows you to articulate your message clearly and professionally.
- Phone Call: If the interviewer encouraged you to call or if you established a particularly strong rapport, a phone call can be more personal and immediate. Ensure the call is brief and professional.
- LinkedIn Message: For connections made during the interview process, a LinkedIn message can reinforce your professional network. Keep the message formal and focused on the job opportunity.
4. Crafting Your Follow-up:
A well-crafted follow-up message can leave a lasting impression:
- Thank-You Email: Start with a personalized greeting, express your gratitude, mention a specific part of the interview that was meaningful, and conclude by reiterating your interest.
- Second Follow-up: If you’re writing a second follow-up, politely inquire about the status of your application. Mention any additional insights you’ve gained about the role or the company since your interview that further solidify your interest and fit for the position.
- Subject: “Continued Interest in [Job Title] Position”
- Body: “Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name], I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to reiterate my strong interest in the [Job Title] role. Our discussion about [specific topic from the interview] left me even more enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]. I understand these decisions take time and would appreciate any update on the hiring timeline. Thank you once again for considering my application. Best regards, [Your Name]”
5. When You Haven’t Heard Back:
Waiting for a response after an interview can be anxiety-inducing. If you find yourself in this situation, here are steps to manage it effectively:
- Assess the Timeline: First, consider the typical response times in your industry. For example, tech companies may reply within a week, while government roles could take several weeks. Use this knowledge to set a realistic timeframe for a follow-up.
- Initial Patience is Key: Allow the employer sufficient time to make their decision. If you were given a specific timeframe during the interview, wait until this period has passed. If not, a general rule is to wait at least one to two weeks before following up.
- Crafting a Follow-Up Email: When you decide to follow up, do so with a polite and professional email. Start by expressing your continued interest in the position and your understanding of their busy schedule. You can then inquire about the status of your application and whether any further information is required from your side.
- Subject: “Following Up on [Job Title] Position”
- Body: “Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name], I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to express my continued interest in the [Job Title] position and inquire if there are any updates on the decision-making process. I understand the time it takes to find the right candidate and am here to provide any additional information you might need. Thank you again for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of joining your team. Best regards, [Your Name]”
- Maintain Professionalism: Regardless of the duration, it’s crucial to stay professional in your communication. Avoid sounding desperate or frustrated. Your goal is to show that you are interested and proactive, yet respectful of their process.
- Consider a Phone Call: If email communication doesn’t yield a response and if it’s been significantly longer than the typical industry response time, a polite phone call can be appropriate. Ensure that your call is brief and to the point, reiterating your interest and asking if any additional information is needed.
By following these steps, you can demonstrate your professionalism and eagerness while respecting the employer’s hiring process.
6. Industry-Specific Response Timelines:
Different industries have varying norms for response times post-interview:
- Tech and Startups: Often respond within a week due to fast-paced environments.
- Corporate and Government: Might take several weeks due to more layered decision-making processes.
- Creative Fields: Response times can vary widely; follow-up timing should be adjusted accordingly.
Understanding these norms can help you set realistic expectations for follow-up and avoid unnecessary stress.