When should I follow up after a job interview?
You may walk out of the interview feeling like you did great and hit it off with the employer! But no matter how well you did, a busy employer might struggle to remember you. Especially if they are interviewing large numbers of candidates.
By following up after an interview, you can show off your communication skills and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. You also ensure you stand out from the crowd.
1. Understand the process before you leave the interview
The first step to following up begins during the interview.
As the interview wraps up, ask the interviewer what will happen next with the recruitment process. In particular, find out when they expect to make a decision on the successful candidate.
Their response will give you an idea of when it might be okay to formally follow them up.
2. After the interview
Immediately after the interview, write down the name/s, position/s and any other relevant details about your interviewer/s. Also include a few key points from the discussion.
This will help you when you follow up with them, as you won’t have to rely on your memory.
3. Write a brief thank you note
It's good practice to follow up soon after the interview with a short but professional email. Address it to the interviewer/contact person and thank them for their time. Also use this as an opportunity to reaffirm your suitability and enthusiasm for the job.
The email can be just a few lines but it will help to keep you in their mind.
4. Follow up after the expected time
Knowing the employer’s timeframe for completing the recruitment process (see Step 1) can give you an edge. It means you can contact the employer at the right time to check whether they have made their final decision.
You can follow up via email. If you feel like you built up good rapport with the interviewer, you can also call them.
5. Even if things don’t work out, learn from it
In a perfect world, employers would contact every applicant to inform them personally of the recruitment outcomes. But the reality is that many employers (especially small businesses) are just too busy to contact unsuccessful candidates.
One follow-up email is sufficient to indicate your interest for the job. If you don’t get a response, be proud that you did everything you could. Try and learn from the experience.
If you do hear from the employer, ask them for feedback on what you can improve on. This will help you further develop your interview skills for next time.