Tips for Following Up After An Interview
By Jean Baur
It’s an odd moment: you’re relieved that the interview is over, but then start worrying about how you did and when, if ever, you’ll hear from them. A day seems like a long time and a week is forever! What can you do to keep from climbing the walls or tearing your hair out?
Before you leave an interview, ask about their time frame. When do they plan on making a decision?
Right after the interview, make a list of three things you did well.
This could be that you listened carefully, asked good questions and established rapport with the interviewers. Then jot down a few things you wished you had done differently. Don’t let these bring you down — interviewing is hard work and we all get better with practice.
The day after the interview, write thank-you emails to everyone you met with. I recommend waiting until the next day as you’ll often think of things you wished you had said during the interview, and can include them in your note.
A week or so after the interview, see if you can find an interesting article about the company, their products, or the person you met with.
Email this to them with a reminder that you’re very excited about joining the team and look forward to hearing from them. If you’re still being met with deadly silence, reach out to them in a new way. If you’ve emailed, call, and leave an upbeat message about how you can help them.
Fill the pipeline. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to shut down their search efforts. Women in particular get themselves into even more trouble by telling all their friends that they expect an offer next week. Don’t set yourself up for this kind of embarrassment, but instead, look for new opportunities, reconnect with a friend, attend a networking group.
Following up is another way for you to demonstrate that you’re a professional and a go-getter. It shows you want the job. Learn how to do it well so that you up your chances of getting an offer. One hiring manager I spoke with told me that she keeps a file of job candidates who follow up, and goes to that file first when a new opportunity opens up. This is a tricky process, and it’s critical that you know how to get through the frustrations on your path to finding a good job.
Jean Baur, a career coach and author, has worked in the outplacement industry for the past two decades. She’s an expert in working with job seekers of all functions and levels, and like nothing better than helping those in transition overcome obstacles and find work that’s a good fit. Her first book, Eliminated! Now What?, won national media attention. She currently lives in New England, where she works as an independent consultant and continues her work with Lee Hecht Harrison, a talent-solutions company.