INTERVIEWS / APR. 24, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Handle Follow Ups After an Interview

So, you've been to that interview, you feel you did great, and you spoke your piece to the interviewer. You've arrived home, deposited your fancy briefcase by the door, and you're sitting down at your home office desk.

So now what?

It's always tough to know what to do after a job interview. After all, unless the interviewer made it very clear that you got the job, there is still a period of nail-biting uncertainty awaiting you. So what do you do after the interview?

Send a Thank-You Note

A thank-you note is a very appropriate follow-up after an interview, as it reinforces that you take the job seriously. It's a little reminder to the interviewer that you consider yourself the best candidate for the job, and you're going to show it.

Want to know how to do a thank-you note right?

  • Make sure to send it within 24 hours of the interview. It will keep your face fresh in the mind of the interviewer, and could give you that little edge to get the job.
  • Try hand-written instead of emailed notes. Email is much easier, but a hand-written note is much more personable. Drop it off early the next day.
  • Add anything you forgot to say. Did you fail to mention that you won a prestigious award or reached a huge professional goal? Add that into your note.
  • Remind the interviewer of your relevant skills. If you are the one best-qualified to do the job, use the note to refresh that in your interviewer's memory.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Write a personal note, but don't make it too informal or friendly. Also, be sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. That can sink your chances of getting the job right there!

Call Back In a Few Days

Picking up the phone and calling your interviewer is pretty daunting, and not the right move in every situation.

Most of the time, your interviewer will be very explicit in stating, "Don't call us, we'll call you." That may be a line that most interviewers say, but it's enough to let you know that they don't want to be bothered with a phone call.

However, the interviewer will most likely tell you that they have a deadline for choosing the candidate--in the next few days, by the end of the week, etc. Let the deadline pass, and give it a few more days before you pick up the phone to call. If you didn't get the callback by the deadline, it's very likely that someone else got the job. You may get lucky, however, and find that the decision was postponed or something else came up.

Calling the interviewer can be the right move occasionally, but make sure to call ONCE. If you call more than once, you immediately transform yourself into the nagging nuisance that no interviewer wants to deal with. If you don't get an answer from the interviewer on the first call, don't call again.

Don't Show Up

You "popping in" to the office of your interviewer is supremely annoying for them, so it's almost always a big no-no. It's rare that the interviewer will appreciate you showing persistence by showing up at their office, 99 times out of 100 it will just annoy them.

What are your experiences with following up after an interview? Has a thank you note ever lost you the job? How has calling or visiting worked for you? Your thoughts and comments below please…

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