Employers Reveal How They Want Candidates to Follow Up After an Interview

Does following up after an interview make a difference? Yes, it sure does. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to follow up and recruiters and hiring experts discuss in detail below:

Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

“Post interview follow-up with a recruiter and/or interview team is a wise decision,” says Mayer. “Post interview follow-up, or lack thereof, will probably not land or cost you a job, but it could confirm interview team impressions and may differentiate you from other candidates.”

A handwritten thank you note does exhibit extra effort and thoughtfulness, and is never a bad idea to let a company know you appreciate their time and are very interested in a role, says Mayer. That being said, a well written email can have the same effect.  This email provides a great opportunity to thank the interview team for their time, show your understanding of the company, role, and culture, reaffirm your interest and why you are a fit, and ask any follow-up questions you may have.  Like every step in the job search process, personalize it based on your interview and the interview team.

“I personally prefer email correspondence, and would guess that I am not alone in that preference,” says Mayer.

Jena Brown, Talent Junky, an independent recruiting operations and brand strategist

The value placed on follow-up up depends on role and organization, says Brown The genuine “thank you,” is well received anytime through any platform (email, handwritten, for example).

The “next steps” follow-up is usually best received via email. This simple inquiry for next step clarification is perfectly fine, just be sure not to be pushy or too persistent, says Brown. But if clear next steps expectations and timelines were clearly established and defined ahead of time, then respect those.

Being too presumptuous, pushy, or controlling is not going to help, says Brown.  

“In the end, check your intent-if it’s pure, respectful, and professional, you’re all good,” she says.

Chris Dardis VP, HR Consulting and Search, Versique

An e-mail thank you to each interviewer is a must, says Dardis.

“A hand-written note is a wonderful follow up to the e-mail as well, but with the speed of hiring in today’s economy if the interviewer doesn’t received the thank you in the mail for two days, the decision may have already been made,” says Dardis.

The follow up is very important.

“It can help hiring managers decided between to separate candidates and can also help reinforce to a hiring manager, how excited a candidate is about a specific role or company,” says Dardis.

Mark Babbitt, CEO and Founder of YouTern, a social community for young careerists

For the past two decades, Babbitt has used the follow-up to filter out prospective team members.

“If the candidate follows up in a timely and considerate manner, their stock goes up,” says Babbitt.

If they send a heartfelt email or mail a thank you note, that stock goes way up, says Babbitt.

What if the candidate fails to follow-up?

“It is a death-blow to their desire to work for my companies,” says Babbitt.

The reason is simple, says Babbitt: “The ability to follow-up effectively is a key element of our culture; it is how we build human-to-human relationships, earn customers for life and develop brand ambassadors. To neglect the opportunity to follow-up – to fail to take the relationship to the next level, show gratitude for the time spent and respect the decision-making process – means you likely aren’t a great fit.”

There is one more layer in our self-imposed follow-up filter, says Babbitt: “If you go too far to the dark side – and follow up so many times in a short period of time we start referring to you as a “stalker” – you’ll also be eliminated from competition. No one wants to hire a stalker.”

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Matt Krumrie is a career columnist and professional resume writer who has been providing helpful information and resources for job seekers and employers for 15+ years. Learn more about Krumrie via resumesbymatt.com, connect with him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/mattkrumrie/) and follow him on Twitter via @MattKrumrie.

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