So you’ve finished the job interview for your dream job (or, at least a great job) and as far as you’re concerned, you nailed the job interview! It’s only a matter of time before they call you with an offer, right? But after a couple of weeks pass without a peep, you start to get that sinking feeling… perhaps the job interview wasn’t the slam-dunk you hoped for. At this point, you may feel that the best decision is to cut your losses and move on. But before you put that job interview in the past, be sure to follow-up with the employer.
The job interview is only the beginning of the conversation. While you certainly don’t want to come off as annoying, you want to stay on the employer’s radar.
Here is the right way to follow-up on a job interview, without being a pest
1. Write a Thank You Note
After your job interview, the first follow-up should be a thank you note; preferably a handwritten letter sent through the mail, which is more likely to be read, but an email on time is better than nothing. You should always send a note to every person you interviewed with, no later than 24 hours after the interview. Keep these things in mind in your note:
- Be brief, friendly, and conversational. You’ve already had the job interview, so let your gratitude and personality show a little bit.
- Restate your interest in the job and any relevant details on why you’re qualified.
- Thank the potential employer for their time as job interviews can require employers to set aside a lot of time, often forcing them to push off work.
- The thank you note is also an excellent opportunity to add any significant information you may have forgotten to say in the interview.
Here is an example thank you note:
Hi [Interviewer Name],
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. After learning more about the position, I’m very excited for the opportunity to join your team and help [create world-class marketing campaigns, inspire prospective clients, increase revenue, etc.] for [Company Name].
I know my years of experience of working on [web development, copywriting, sales, etc.] would greatly benefit your company.
Please keep me posted on the status of the hiring process. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
If you’re really ambitious and are feeling good about the job interview, you might even try to impress the employer and include an idea that could add value to their company in your follow-up.
For example, you could add a suggestion that looks like this in your follow-up and thank you email:
“Our discussion about [A, B, and C] gave me an idea. Has your team considered trying [X, Y, and Z]? I found it to be an effective process in my last job.”
Make it easy on them by reminding them why you deserve the job.
Sending a thank you note after an interview is the easy part of following up. Making contact again after a few weeks of silence can feel more difficult. You might worry that checking in will make you seem annoying, or worse, desperate. But not to worry! This follow-up is a regular and professional part of the process. If you approach your follow-up carefully, you can come off as a diligent and interested.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you follow up:
- Don’t jump to the conclusion that you didn’t get the job. Sometimes the hiring process can take a while to settle, especially if the decision-makers have a lot on their plate.
- Wait for the established timeframe and deadlines to pass. If you ended your job interview by asking about the next steps of the hiring process and when you should expect to hear back, then stick to that timeline. If that date has passed, then feel free to send a follow-up note by email to the employer.
- When sending a note after the discussed timeframe has passed, here is sample language of a post-interview check-in note:
“Hi Jane, I hope all’s well! You mentioned that you would be finalizing your decision for the IT position by this week. I’m eager to hear when you have an update. Please let me know if there’s anything I can provide to assist you in your decision-making process.”
3. Stay in Touch
Even if you don’t get the job, it might be useful to have this employer in your network. This can take some finesse. Rather than seeing your relationship with the employer as a failed job interview and lost opportunity, treat them as a valuable new colleague and contact.
- Build a relationship. This means keeping the conversation going by periodically sending articles or information that might be relevant to them, congratulating them on recent accomplishments, and thanking them for their replies.
- Do the research, and if appropriate, add the recruiter or employees you spoke with on LinkedIn.
- Also, be sure to follow up and update your LinkedIn interests and be sure to follow their company page on LinkedIn.
But remember, don’t overdo it! Be cognizant of whether you’re being helpful or a nuisance and always be genuine.
The key is to remain professional, proactive, and useful, not pushy or over-eager.