How To Follow Up After An Interview

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One of the most common question that job seekers ask is "Why didn't they call me back after the interview?". Everyone has been there at one point or another and it has to be one of the more frustrating parts of looking for a job. Once the interview is over and the thank you note is sent, it becomes a waiting game. Just waiting for the phone to ring and compulsively checking your email can drive you crazy.

The way to combat this is by following up with a company after the interview. A follow up phone call is one of the most useful but under-used pieces of interview etiquette. When I think back to the times when I haven't made the phone call, the reason was that I was afraid to call, worried that I would be seen as pushy or overly eager. The problem with this type of thinking is that it won't help you get the job. Here's why:

You've already met a representative of the company and discussed how you could be an asset to their company. This means that you have a business relationship with that person. Calling them back isn't even close to being in the same category as cold calling someone. It's perfectly acceptable, and in fact, expected that you will give them a call to follow up. Here are a few tips to help you get through the call:

Think about why you're qualified for the job. If you are still feeling anxious about making the call, remind yourself of why you are a good fit for the job. Review the interview in your mind and think about all the things that went right. This should give you a needed confidence boost and make it less likely that the anxiety will bleed through in your voice.

Follow up at the appropriate time. At the end of the interview, it's important to ask what when the company is planning to make a hiring decision. If they say three days or a week or whatever, use that as a timeline for when you should call them. Don't call before the timeframe they gave is up. If they said that they will make a decision in three days, call on day four. If the employer wasn't able to give a specific time, then you should follow up in a week.

Don't call on Monday. Mondays are always the busiest days at most jobs, so don't call then. Even if they said they would make a decision on Friday, wait until Tuesday to follow up.

Be careful leaving messages. Before you call, it's a good idea to write out a brief script in case your call is forwarded to voice mail. This makes it less likely that you will leave out important information or ramble because of nerves. Also, if the message is being taken by an actual person, be careful about how much information you give. Simply give your name and number and say that you are following up on a meeting you had last week. Don't mention the details of the job because you can't know how much information the person has.

Don't burn bridges. You shouldn't attempt to leave more than two messages. If you don't get a call back, you can assume that you didn't get the job. Even if the employer never calls you back or if they tell you that they have decided to hire someone else, be as professional as possible. The worst thing you can do is to lose your cool and get mad. You never know when you might need them again, so don't burn those bridges.

Following up only takes a few minutes, but it can really make you stand out. So many people don't bother to call back. Those who do show that they are serious about the job.

Do you follow up after every interview? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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  • Susan B
    Susan B
    It was something I was wondering about and definitely helpful.  I will use that information in the future and hopefully it will help me land the job.Thank you.
  • Paula S
    Paula S
    Very helpful.  I thought it was rude to call after an interview, and I didn't bother to write a thank you letter.  I thought my interview went really well.  I guess it didn't I wasn't selected.
  • Cynthia B.
    Cynthia B.
    Is it appropriate to send an e-mail thank you for the interview when applying for a position? I was told it was fine.
  • Christine T
    Christine T
    I don't anymore ....especially if the interviewer  does not understand English very well!  When I'm hired, I will follow up with a small gift such as a plant for their office.
  • Vicki M
    Vicki M
    Oddly enough the company can do everything by proper protocol then comes the final decision and all goes quiet- Really is nerve wracking when you go from proper hoops to nothing! It also doesn't help that I'm already obligated to a part time job and really don't want to ditch them in a day or two from start date!
  • Paige S
    Paige S
    Is it appropriate and if so how do I go about asking an employer I have interviewed with why I was not qualified for the position after I have received an e-mail stating I did not meet the job qualifications?
  • Kari G
    Kari G
    OMGOSH you guys! Wow! What a wealth of info in the comments! OK. I may have missed someone else posting the same info but I was given a really really good tip recently.As you're leaving, ask them for a business card. And keep talking as they're walking you out. Try to pin them down to a time you can call them personally to check back with them.My tip is simply this: while you have the business card in your hand and their name is fresh in your memory, grab that Thank You note you always have available... right?... with the stamp already on it, right?... and address it before you leave the parking lot. Then you can mail it on the way home and know it's done! Oh yeah. This redhead often forgets things and it's a really great tip for me. Hope it works for you!
  • Sheila S
    Sheila S
    I have been following up on each interview I've had - the "thank you" letter, the phone call within the appropriate waiting period - but I always feel uncomfortable with that SECOND call to them.Here was my wake up call- my husband is in charge of interviewing and hiring for his engineering team and he told me that it is the prospective employee who makes that SECOND call, who may very well win that "toss up" of the person to hire!!!  It shows their commitment and interest. If a supervisor thinks that you are a pest for following up appropriately, you may not want to work for that organization!!
  • John T
    John T
    Is there any kind of etiquette for following up applications or resume submissions? I just keep waiting to hear about whether I even got an interview! Any recommendations for how long I should wait before I write off the application?
  • Milagros V
    Milagros V
    Great recommendation!  I didn't know I could call as follow up after interview.  Thank you for your valuable information.
  • Lawrence L
    Lawrence L
    Many times after an interview for a Dr. of Chiropractic position I've not wanted to follow up call them.  Many times I feel I'm overqualified for the position once I have the interview.  Thanks for this reminder to follow up with a call.
  • mokete m
    mokete m
    sometimes they would state in the post "if you don't receive a response with in a week please assume that you application has been unsuccessful"
  • Dr. R B
    Dr. R B
    I found that the tips provided concerning following up with interviews quite helpful.thank you for sharing.
  • Jamin G
    Jamin G
  • Anna M
    Anna M
    I think it is under utilize tools that is at everyones finger tips.  And besides what do you have to lose.  Maybe the candidate they have selected has said NO to the job prosposal you just never know.I say go for it!
  • Darnell H
    Darnell H
    this was a very helpful tool. It can be frustrating waiting for that supposed call back..And it does make you feel as if you are being pushy ...but at the same time if you're not really going to get that call back it can give some form of idea of why you're not this information is very helpful.if you decide to  call them back..really what do you have to just may gain some knowledge.....
  • Nicole S
    Nicole S
    I completely agree with the follow up phone call and I have to thank you on the noted timeline with which to call back. I always call back after an interview, however, I seem to be calling back too early. This was very helpful in my interviewing dilemma! Thank you!!!
  • Denise S
    Denise S
    Great information.  I have never called back because I felt silly.  They didn't call so why bother.  Someone from my company I was laid off did a call back and got reconsidered and hired. So reading this and speaking with someone who knew this is helpful in my job search.
  • Dayana J
    Dayana J
  •  stacy c
    stacy c
    This is SO true!!  I always follow up with a phone call to see if there have been any decisions and if I am in the running etc. If they are not available I leave a voice mail.  If I don't follow up by phone I feel like I have not fulfilled my responsibility in getting the job.
  • Georgianna V
    Georgianna V
    Great article, however is sending an e-mail to the interviewer also as effective as calling considering that they do have a busy schedule?
  • Gloria H
    Gloria H
    Very helpful advice indeed.  Thank you, I really needed this refresher article in follow-up after interview.
    thank you
  • Robert J. M
    Robert J. M
     The article is excellent especially for recent college graduates. A follow up note was taught in various books, and research, for as long as I have applied for jobs. Sometimes, the person that you interviewed with & sent a follow up thank you note, doesn't get you in the front door. My opinion JUST DO IT. Find a standard note but change it to fit your situation, job type date, people, places. This would be similar for a cover letter. (Hint has one that can be used just adapt it to the types of job(s) that you are applying for.
  • Elena E
    Elena E
          Hello!      I would like to thank you for such a help full article.  It  encourage  the person after an interview.

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