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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  • Philip K
    Philip K
    Its excellent.. I will use it...
  • Barbara O
    Barbara O
    Great Article! Gave an answer to a questions I have been wondering about for a long time.
  • Rosemarie R
    Rosemarie R
    Good advice! I do not call after an interview for the exact reason you mention. I do not want to come across too needy or bothersome. In the future, I plan to make my one call, after the interview. Thanks for the advice!
  • Lillie B
    Lillie B
    I always thought making that phone call was a little pushy, but from now on I will do a follow call.
  • Ernest M
    Ernest M
    In a number of cases i normally felt it is improper for me to request the feedback or whether the decision had been made.Thanks for the well thought article and advice to jobseekers that have been empowered with this wonderful knowledge
  • Mary M
    Mary M
    I gave a resume to a present employer but at a different casino.  I was told hiring takes place about every three months.  It's been approximately one month since I made a second appearance.  I will call the person I was introduced to which takes away the pressure of a personal appearance, although an appearance would say I'm very interested.  Is another appearance a good followup?
  • Angela S
    Angela S
    I understand waiting as long as possible to follow up so you do not seem pushy or desperate, but I don't understand waiting until after the date the decision is supposed to be already made.  What if you call on the day they said a decision is supposed to be made and the hiring manager was on the fence between two candidates.  That phone call expressing your continued interest could tip the scales in your favor.  
  • Tamara C
    Tamara C
    Yes you are so correct about the thank you letter. I had a group interview and I took the time to get all their email address to send them all a thank you letter. Yeah for me I got a call later that day with an offer for the position I interviewed for just two days ago.
  • ingrid r
    ingrid r
    i had an interview last week and i am so worry about it what happened?all i think is if they gonna call me. thanks for this ideas i will call them next week  
  • Antonio D
    Antonio D
    This is great information. Moreover, I do follow up calls and send letters, but no one ever returns my calls or send me something that says "they have a better candidate that fits the position." At times i think I’m over qualified for the positions although the descriptions of the job is a great match. During the interviews everything goes very well. I'll keep trying...
  • Rich W
    Rich W
    Good information!  Thank you.
  • LaSonya S
    LaSonya S
    After I have interviewed sometimes I get a card from the interviewer.  I think that's a big chance I have the job so I send out a thank-you letter but I don't get the job because their were candidates who were better suited to their needs.
  • Portia H
    Portia H
    Thank you for your observations on following up after an interview. After two and a half years I finally received a call for an interview which I think went successfully. It has been a week since the interview and I was advised that they would be following a week later on their decision. I have followed-up by phone and received a voice mail which your information provided was greatly appreciated. Many Thanks for the tips.
  • Peter M
    Peter M
    Thanks for that. It is an eye-opener. It's a great insight one had not given a consideration.
  • David A
    David A
    Very good information - and you are correct - many times overlooked by many people.
  • Fernando M
    Fernando M
    I normally don't follow up, but now that I read your article, will try to do so.
  •  Jeffrey D. M
    Jeffrey D. M
    I fully support the comments and have been doing this type of follow -up. If for nothing else it lets you know what is happening in the interview process and on the best side it continues to support your interest in the position. Thank you for the article.
  • Gloria R
    Gloria R
    I would always do a follow up to show the potential employer that i am confident, a team player, and that i have initiative to go after what i want.
  • R.J.
    In today's market, they are giving more and more of the higher positions and hiring authority to mere 'toddlers'. Unfortunately, these under-evolved turds come with their own brand of 'etiquette'. After a call back to be sure my resume had arrived safely (due to their inefficient set-up) I was told by the recruiter that a call-back is considered "old-school". When I explained that there had been no way to be certain that he had received my resume other than to ask, he just stared me down. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. He had already decided before he hauled me in there for an interview that there was no way he would hire me, simply because I wanted to be sure he had received my information. I have also followed up with a thank you note (except for with that rude idiot) after every interview I have had... I am still seeking work. My most recent job interview was with a place who had hired a fetus as their general manager. The minute he saw a woman who was old enough to be his mother standing in front of him, he shut down. Refused to ask me any work-related questions or inquire about my credentials. He had my resume in his hands, I had just given it to him. He never bothered to read it or comment at all about my very relevant background. I'm sorry, but too often promotions are not well-founded. This child had no business interviewing anyone. He'll get no thank you from me for wasting my time and gasoline on his 'physical appearance screening'.
  • Michelle T
    Michelle T
    I like to follow up with a thank you e-mail.  Quite often I will have an additional question for the person.  I find this is a good time to ask.  
  • Terri L
    Terri L
    I plan to do just that when I get an interview.
  • Thomas S
    Thomas S
    these are very good ideas and knowledge to have, however how does one fit into the company to get a face to face interview. I have spoken with many companies on the phone, have been told I have excellent qualifications, yet never get a face to face interview.
  • Caroline S
    Caroline S
    Your observations are well formed and worth including in job search development workshops.  There have been times I would have lost my "cool" and questioned the validity of that decision not to hire.   In this day and age, where future collaborations are required for organizations/companies, loosing your cool with one potential employer, may cause uncomfortable situations both for yourself and your new employer.
  • David C.
    David C.
    Since March of this year, I have had about 25 interviews, and have not been able to get a sniff of an offer.  I have also eliminated myself a few times, and if I feel that an interview did not go well, I would still be professional enough to write a thank you note and add that I felt that I would not be a fit in the organization.  Unfortunately, I have come across some interviewers that lied about everything during the interviews, and I know in this day and age, that it requires a ton of guts to turn down possible opportunities, but I have always placed credence in being ethical and above board, rather than risk "Being Guilty by Association".  I have seen potential employers change the requirements of the position, ie, Full Time to Part Time, or change the location where it  would be 40 miles further, one way, to commute.  I have also seen where I allow plenty of time to get to the interview, and while commuting to the appointment, they call my home phone to cancel the interview due to their systems going down, and not attempting to call my cell phone to alert me to the problem and arriving there, just to be sent home.Good luck to all those in the job market, and perhaps after the Presidential elections, maybe more things will open up.  I have drawn the conclusion that companies are putting off hiring decisions until the results of the elections are known, and am just offering everyone a different perspective.
  • Misty B
    Misty B
    This really helped me to know how and in what way to follow up after an interview.  Thank you for the suggestions, especially the one about not calling until Tuesday.  I always try to avoid turning in an application on Fridays and Mondays due to knowing how busy it can be and that my application might actually get lost "in the shuffle" as a result.I hope to use your suggestion this coming week and maybe it will actually help me land the job!

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