You may have already read a lot about interviews and how to succeed in them. Perhaps you already know what you should and shouldn’t do during the interview, or how to prepare for the interview beforehand to create the best impression. But what is it exactly that we should be doing after the interview while waiting for a response? How you handle the period after the interview is really important, so be sure you understand how to use this time wisely.
Following up after an interview can help convey your confidence and enthusiasm, which may ultimately be deciding factors in a recruiter’s decision. If you are wondering what to do after an interview, when you should contact the interviewer, or whether you should even contact the interviewer at all, below are 4 tips to help you choose the best course of action.
How to Follow up After an Interview
1. Ask for the employer’s projected timeline
This is one of the most important questions to ask at the end of an interview. It is not impolite to ask when candidates can expect to hear back about a position. After all, employers know that job applicants have schedules of their own and need to plan accordingly. Always ask what their projected timeline for filling a position will be. This will help ensure that you do not contact them too early after your interview. When you do eventually follow up, use the same mode of communication you used to get to the interview phase, whether it be through phone or email.
2. Send a thank you note to the interviewer
After your interview is completed, send an email to the interviewer(s) thanking them for their time. This should be done either later in the same day as the interview, or early in the next day. A thank you note shows that you are grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed in the first place. However, it is also a great initial opportunity to reestablish contact in the post-interview phase.
Your thank you note should be brief and conversational. Consider subtly referencing a part of the interview that you think went particularly well so that it remains fresh in the memory of the interviewer(s). If the interview was conducted by several different people, write personalized thank you emails to each of them.
3. Speak with your recruiter, if you worked with one
In the event that you secured your interview with the help of a recruiter, ask the recruiter to follow up with the interviewer on your behalf. This relieves some of the pressure of having to contact the interviewer yourself, and it is also less burdensome on the interviewer if he or she decided on another candidate.
If it turns out that you did not get the job, thank your interviewers anyway for their time and consideration.
4. Follow up towards the end of the employer’s projected timeline
If it has been a while since you have heard from your interviewer, take a moment to recall the projected timeline for filling the position. If you find that the deadline for filling the position is approaching, now is the appropriate time to contact the interviewer to check your status as a candidate. In your follow-up email or phone call, simply explain that you thought that you would follow up because you are aware that they were looking to fill the position soon. Be polite, and continue to express your enthusiasm about the position.
In the end, following up with a prospective employer is rarely a bad idea. Even if you receive the undesired news that they hired another candidate, you can still use the open line of communication to your advantage. Consider asking whether or not you can keep in touch about other potential positions. Perhaps ask if you can connect with them on Linked In. This is a great opportunity to continue to build your network so that you are on the radar of more potential employers. Further, remaining in contact with your interviewers might lead to them considering you for other roles.