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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  •  Denise D.
    Denise D.
    This is good solid advice, that will help me as I go through the interview process. Thank you.
  • vera D
    vera D
    what about email, if they don't have time for a phone call and suggest it will be two weeks before they finish all the resume
  • Lowell B
    Lowell B
    Very helpful!  The concept of focusing on why I am an asset to the company will benedfit me.
    I like this premise, I never thought of making a call. I always try to send a thank you letter though. But what do you do if the interview doesn't go well as planned?
  • Ismail o
    Ismail o
    Good tips but certainly things like these do not really work in Nigeria where some of the recruiting team members are not even competent to drill or get the best out  of you. Sometimes, you feel ashamed of the whole system because some of the interviews do not reveal any standard. So, calling back may even let you lose the job. I once called back and the secretary to the Head human resource who picked the phone told me never to call the number again.  But this was a number I got  from the company's website!
  • Eric A
    Eric A
    Yes, i did follow. The most recent was when i sent an email to the recruiter who had informed me of giving feedback in three weeks. My mail was treated as being very polite and from then, we have had good business relations although decision have not been yet after even a month+.From this experience, i believe follwing-up makes a recruiter have confidence in the candidate and can influence decision if you are the last two candidates for the job.
  • Cheryl B
    Cheryl B
    Thank you.  Just had an interview a week ago and was wondering when to follow up.  I've already made one phone, call no answer, left a message. I sure hope I didn't blow it
    Very Very usefull artical.Agreed with that  interview is  business relationship.
  • Michael D
    Michael D
    Looking for a job nowadays is just plain crazy. I lost a job that i had for 15 years. the company closed their doors due to high taxes and moved production over seas. now everything is done over the computers and its hard to sell yourself over a computer when you are trying to change you career because manufacturing does not exist anymore. It seems like management will not let their HR people do their job without them having to put their 2 cents in. they want you to come back 3 or 4 times for a $10.00 a hour job give me a break. let the HR people do their job that is what you hired them for and management needs to focus on running the company. it all boils down to you need to know someone. you can give advice all you want bottom line is its a bunch of bull   
  • Carol W
    Carol W
    I think this was excellent information. I will use this bit of advise and call the HR person next week.  if I haven't heard from her in the time frame given!
  • Christine B
    Christine B
    Very useful information.Thank You. I had my resume acknowledged via e-mail,waited a week. I did 2 follow up phone calls,received voice mails ,left a message and they did not have the courtesy to call me back.
  • Benjy M
    Benjy M
    Thanks for the valuable information.  I do have a question. Recently had the initial interview, which was over the phone.  Called back to say thanks, butt hr rep was out for the next two weeks. She said candidates would be contacted if they made it to one on one interview with the GM and gave no timeline.  HR rep also asked what companies I'm interviewing with. I gave two, but since this person has been on out for two weeks since the interview I've interviewed with three more, one of which is a competitor.  Since I have not heard back and the rep is back in the office on Monday should I call again to update that I have interviewed with a competitor?  Thank you, Benjy
  • Lezlie H
    Lezlie H
    Very good advice to follow.  
  • Francis K
    Francis K
    Makes sense to me!
  • Karen K
    Karen K
    I always follow up after an interview.  Depending on the time frame, first with a thank you letter, then a follow-up phone call.  If there is no time for a thank you letter, I make a thank you phone call within three days of the interview--but never on a Monday.
  • Raquel J
    Raquel J
    Thanks for posting this article, I actually have an interview tomorrow and this is really helpful.
  • Andrew M.
    Andrew M.
    The article makes some solid points, but I disagree about the timeframe in which to call back.  Certainly you don't want to appear over-eager or pushy (hence the theme of the article), but if the point of the call back is to remind them that you're the right person for the job, you want to be sure to get in there *before* the decision is made.  Use their timeframe, but reach out near the end.  If they say 3 days, call at the end of the second day or the morning of the third.  If they say a week, call at the end of that week, but not after.
  • Kay Are K
    Kay Are K
    I appreciate the advise given. I have always sent a "Thank You" letter to the company after the interview, but never did I think to call. Thank you again for the advise.
    I follow up on the jobs that I want to get. Sometimes I come out of an interview not wanting the job. I have also turned down jobs. This is very good advise though. A week is a good time to follow up. I come home after a good interview and send an email if possible thanking them for their time.
  • Gwendolyn G
    Gwendolyn G
    I really needed this article because I have been going out of my mind. It has been over two weeks ago when I had my interview. However today they invited me to another of there homes for another open interview job fair.I like this article very very much.
  • George M
    George M
    The suggestions was very informative and straight to the point.
    I sent out the thank you note to whose I meet on interview day.then I call at least one of the interviewer, usually the hiring manager to see any process or decision.
  • Cameron M
    Cameron M
    Very helpful tips to an interview follow-up. I intend to use them when I get a chance. Thanks.
  • Dianna S
    Dianna S
    This is great info. A lot of interviewers are just the HR person and want to put the best candidates in front of the CEO or Dept Head. Make sure you keep names of interviewers so if you need to send a thank you letter you are prepared. Also, because companies interview more people than they hire, if you do get a 'thanks but no thanks' letter reply with a card. More than not, your name will be remembered.
  • cathy c
    cathy c
    I agree with everything that you said And to anyone else who reads this Article It really does work I tried it today And was successful and getting the job

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