When most of us walk out of a job interview, it’s not uncommon to breathe a sigh of relief. Regardless of whether it went well or not, it can be tricky to judge the right protocol with following up. Is it better to do nothing, and wait for interviewers to get in touch with you? Or is it preferable to send an email? Or call? If so, how many times should you phone to follow up?
Ask the question in interview
At the end of the day it’s best to ask your interviewer in person, especially if they haven’t defined what the next steps will be. If they are an inexperienced hiring manager they may have neglected to outline the process and set your expectations. It is absolutely acceptable to ask questions at the end of a meeting with a potential employer, and one of those can definitely be, “In terms of next steps, how would you like me to approach any follow up?”
Say thank you
If you have their contact details, within 24 hours you should email your interviewer/s to thank them for their time. This note should not appear to be applying pressure to them to make a decision and if it feels appropriate, you could pop a personalised thank-you note in the post instead of an email. This could be along the lines of:
Dear [first name],
Thank you again for your time earlier today. I really enjoyed meeting you and learning more about the [job title] role. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be considered for the opportunity.
Wishing you all the best and take care,
I’ve met hiring managers who have refused to call a Candidate back – even if they were fantastic – because they wanted to ‘test’ the Candidates’ manners first.
Do as you’re told
The worst thing you can possibly do is not follow their guidance. This means that if your interviewer does indeed say: “Don’t call us; we’ll call you”, do as they’ve asked. Unfortunately, there exist a number of businesses who don’t consider their Candidate care as a priority which means that they may not treat unsuccessful Candidates as they should be treated. Even if that’s the case, you’ll do yourself no favours by calling every week for an update and reminding them of the fact.
De-brief with a friend
After your interview, write down all the details from the meeting that you can remember and find a friend to de-brief with. An external perspective can play a crucial role in helping you to gain a different point of view, and may offer insights that you hadn’t thought to consider. Any additional viewpoints will only serve to paint a more complete picture, and may well assist you in being better prepared for the next interview you attend.
After your second and third interviews
The same rules apply for the next stages of the process! Don’t forget your manners and ensure you say thank-you to the people who have taken time out of their day to meet with you. It might be prudent to call your referees at this stage to ensure they’re ready in the event they are contacted.
Don’t stop looking
Until you’ve signed on the bottom line, there’s no guarantee you’ve secured the role. Keep an ear to the ground and an eye on the job boards for any other positions that might be suitable. If you’re interviewing for multiple roles, be transparent with everyone you’re dealing with. They will appreciate your honesty and, if anything, will expedite the recruitment process to accommodate you.