One of the questions that I receive the most is when or how should you follow up after an interview? That said. I wanted to take a moment to address this question.
There are certain situations where you could very well get a job without having to follow up. Nowadays, if you don’t follow up you could all but eliminate yourself from consideration for the position.
For better or worse, following up or not following up can have a huge impact on whether you move on in the interview process. Here are few tips to make sure you follow up the right way.
Send a thank-you note immediately. This goes without saying. If you are not doing this already, you may want to start doing so…like, right now
E-mail is fine for this and has the advantage of arriving faster, but handwritten notes are still appreciated (and are increasingly unusual, so this will make you stand out in a sea of applicants).
If there are multiple interviews, send a thank-you note each time and make sure they are different from the ones that you have sent to other interviewers.
Be enthusiastic—but not desperate. There is a razor thin line between being enthusiastic and coming across as desperate. I’ve seen the latter, and it’s not pretty. Your job is to be able to strike the right balance.
It doesn’t look desperate to express your interest in the job or check in to ask about the timeline.
However, enthusiasm does cross the line if you are calling more than once a week, calling earlier than the date they said they’d get back to you, sounding like you’re eager to take any job as opposed to this one in particular, or appearing as if this is the only option you have.
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from them immediately. The hiring process often takes longer than a candidate would like, for all sorts of reasons—the decision makers are out of town, scheduling conflicts have delayed a final interview, or the company bureaucracy that is required to finalize an offer takes time to work through. The hiring process for Medical and Pharma sales can sometimes last for months. Patience wins out.
When you don’t hear back after they said you would. If you’re past the time they indicated you would hear something, this isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. As I mentioned above, hiring often ends up taking longer than anyone ever anticipates. Other priorities may come up or HR may still have to get the final touches on the job requisition approved.
Just politely follow up, explain you’re very interested but understand that hiring can take time, and ask if they have an updated timeline. It’s a completely legitimate question to ask ; employers assume you may have other things going on and understand that you have to plan accordingly.
When you don’t hear anything, even when you call or E-mail. I am personally not a big fan of this because I think it’s poor business etiquette, but some companies are simply not getting back to applicants after interviews. It’s inexcusably rude, especially when the candidate is actively seeking an update.
If this is happening to you, be more explicit, saying something like, “Would you let me know when you expect to be making decisions? I’m extremely interested in the position, but I’m talking with other companies as well, and hope to get a better sense of your timeline.”
If you don’t hear anything back after that, move on. This is probably not the company that you want to work for anyway, and they are probably doing you a favor. Everything happens for a reason.
Juggling other offers while waiting to hear from your first choice. If you feel that you are about to get an offer from another company, tell your primary choice company that you are expecting another offer but they are your first choice, and ask if there’s any way the company can work with you on the timeline.
You may be surprised how often this can speed things up if they are interested in you. The key is gauging there interest in you. Make sure they are actually interested in you before pulling this move.
And speaking of other offers—keep your job search going throughout the waiting period. No matter how well your interview went and how interested the company seemed, until you have a firm offer in hand or signed paper work, you have to proceed as if you don’t have anything.
Keep setting up those other interviews!