After the Interview: Foolproof Ways to Follow up with Hiring Managers

July 18th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing | No Comments »


So you’ve just finished an interview, gone home, and plopped down on the couch for some much needed mental relaxation. Now what? Do you stare at the phone for days while constantly checking your email for a response? While it may be tempting, doing so means you are skipping a crucial step in the interview process: the follow up.

Your actions after an interview can be just as influential as what happens during it. A solid follow up after a so-so interview can reinforce your importance to a company, but the lack of any type of follow up could potentially sink what was otherwise a great interview. So what can be done after you get home to increase your chances of getting the position?

It all starts during the interview

What you will do after the interview is essentially decided before the interview even ends. Getting to know your hiring manager is the most important thing you can do during the interview process. Is he or she more of a phone or email person?

Feel free to probe into the appropriateness of the follow up at the end of the interview by asking questions such as, “should I look out for a call or an email at some point?” or “what is the next step in the process?” These questions are indirect ways of asking two things: 1) Will your response come via phone or email? 2) When can I expect a response? Try to get an estimated amount of days in which you may receive a reply.

The thank you note

After you have had some well-deserved post interview rest you should jump right into creating a thank you note to send to the hiring manager. This should be done the same day (if possible), and no more than 24 hours later.

Ask yourself what you know about the hiring manager, is he or she more old fashioned or new age? This will decide whether or not to send a hand written note or an email. The note should be quick, to the point, and should accomplish three things.

1) Thank the hiring manager for his or her time.
2) Reiterate your interest in the company.
3) Resolve any questions or concerns that were not taken care of during the interview.

The phone call

A polite phone call is important to let the company know that you are still interested in the position. However, it should only be made after the reply time you were given (and then some) has passed without a response. If you were told they would get back to you in a week, call them back in ten days. Also, think of the timing of your call. Do not call at 9am, when the hiring manager is still trying to settle into the office. Similarly, do not call at 4:50, when they are most likely wrapping up their day and going home. Calling from 12-2 is useless because they will most likely be out to lunch. Instead, a well placed call between 10-11am or 3-4pm gives you the best chance of reaching them.

Once again, thank them for their time and keep the call short. If you do not get past the receptionist, leave a polite and well thought out message. Do not call again unless you are instructed to do so.

Some things to avoid

1) Multiple emails
2) Calling incessantly
3) Sounding desperate in your thank you note or follow up call.
4) Showing up at the office in person.

If you don’t get the job

In the event you finally hear back and are not offered the position it is still important that you do not cut off contact. A well placed thank you note after the denial could help you land a job at a later date. Some companies do file away resumes. Should a position open, the lasting impression you left on the hiring manager could spark his or her interest in you at a later date.

If you do get the job


By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of rogercarr via Flickr