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The Best Way to Follow Up After an Interview

June 26th, 2020

Your interview is over. Whew! All that preparation and nervous tension are now behind you and it’s time to get ready for the next step. You may have fumbled a question or two and you may have hit it out of the park…but since you don’t have a clear answer just yet, you’ll want to take every step you can to make the most of what went right and overcome whatever went wrong. Don’t waste any time! Get to work as soon as you step out the door and drive away from the venue.

First, send a note.

A polite, small handwritten note can carry a lot of import after a job interview, and here’s why: because it’s sweet and personal. It lets the interviewer know that you’re a human being, you enjoyed making a connection with him or her, and you care about the job and the outcome of your session. Keep it small; a large card or flashy statement comes dangerously close to looking like a gift, which is not necessary and signals urgency instead of patience and class. (Gifts, by the way, are never a good idea. They can tank your chances and may even go against company policy, leading to your immediate removal from consideration.) Use your note to simply say thank you for the meeting and remind the recipient that you’re qualified for the role.

Second, sit tight.

After you send your note, don’t contact the interviewer or the company for at least two days. They will be interviewing other candidates during this time and it’s inappropriate to expect a decision before every candidate has been screened. After about three days, you can assume that the interview process may be ending soon, and you can plan your next move.

Send a short, professional message.

A short, concise, polite email offers and appropriate way to inquire about your status. If you decide to send a message like this to the hiring manager, don’t expect an immediate answer and never send more than one such message per week.

Call if you like, but recognize that you may be crossing a line.

Calling the office after your interview is not a crime, by any means. But it can be considered rude and intrusive, and some companies clearly ask candidates not to do this. If you call, keep your conversation short and take the opportunity to remind the employers that you’re still interested. Stay friendly, relaxed, and purposeful.

After your interview, focus your attention on the next task: lining up and preparing for your next interview. We can help. Contact the experts at Merritt for advice and guidance.

My Interview Took Place a Long Time Ago And I Haven’t Heard Back. What Now?

September 7th, 2012

You submitted an application for your dream job, waited hopefully by the phone for a while, and finally got the call. On the day of your scheduled interview, you showed up early, dressed for success and seemed to get a positive reaction. As the interviewer walked you to the door, she suggested you would receive a final answer within the next few days.

All of this happened two weeks ago. Since then you haven’t heard a peep from the employer, not even a short message apologizing for the delay and thanking your for your patience. What should you do? Should you take this as a sign of disinterest? Should you fold your cards and go? Or should you start reaching out and insisting on a clear yes or no answer? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.

Following Up After the Interview

1. It may be a little late for this now, but after every interview, it’s a good idea to send your interviewer a short handwritten thank you card. Place the card in the mail less than 24 hours after the interview, and accompany it with a quick email containing a similar message. Simply tell the interviewer that you enjoyed the conversation, you’re excited about the job, and you’re looking forward to a final answer.

2. Don’t stop looking. The very next day after the interview you should be back to the grindstone, searching for jobs, reaching out to contacts and sending applications. The interview may have been promising, but no actual promises were made. So don’t put your job search to rest just yet.

3. Wait quietly for one week during the spring, fall and winter, and two weeks during the summer vacation and holiday season. After that, it’s time to act.

4. Once the waiting period has passed, reach out by phone or email. At that point, you’re not being pushy—you’re simply asking for the respect you deserve as an applicant. If you don’t receive an answer, call two more times total before moving on. Sometimes employers interview several candidates and only contact the ones who are in line to receive offers. That’s not a very professional policy and it can harm a company’s reputation (employers, take note), but it does happen.

5. During every interaction, make sure your communications are polite, positive, and respectful, and expect others to treat you with the same courtesy.

Need specific guidance with your job search process? Try our employment staffing services at Merritt! Reach out to our office today.

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